A Little Surprise of Orange

I haven’t gone batty – this isn’t orange by even a stretch of my imagination. It is a hens & chicks I bought last spring to put in a hot, dry spot where they thrive. When I looked at the tag, however, it said that it was hardy down to 40 degrees F, and Michigan winters get a tad bit colder than that. I bought it because it was beautiful and I have a perfect place for it on our lanai in Florida. I also had the perfect pot for it and it was happy on my front porch by my purple porch swing all summer.

Then I saw a blossom coming from the center and upon checking there was a baby chick. What a surprise, but the surprise was even greater when the blossoms opened.

What a pretty orange color and it keeps getting longer and longer although I brought it into the kitchen because our nights are getting colder now that we are going into the last half of October.

Brought to you in response to Jude’s, Life in Colour October “orange”.

September Garden – Up Close

I was afraid that the zinnia seeds I planted weren’t going to bloom before we have our first frost – they had a slow start. Probably because I was slow in getting them into the ground because of a very cold month and then a very hot month in the spring. Or was it the other way around? Not to worry – they are now blooming just when needed most for late summer color.

I love close-up photography so my zinnias and Cee’s Close-up or Macro call to photographers were perfectly timed for each other. Zinnias are a lot of fun to photograph because of their symmetrical petals that seem, at the same time, to be asymmetrical. And look at how a really up close photograph shows how the petals form. What a beautiful wonder right under our noses, especially if there is a camera between our nose and the flower!

A while back I was doing some research before deciding on a new lens and read an article about whether it was better to use a telephoto lens or to use a 50 mm dedicated lens and crop. This second photo was taken with my new Nikon Z fc and a 16-50 mm lens, taken at 50 mm. I have really been pleased with this camera. It is light enough so I can take hand-held photos and have them be acceptably sharp. If I ever wanted to enlarge them a lot, I would have to use a tripod. This serves as a really nice walk around, grab quickly camera – similar to how others use their smart phones.

I was surprised to see the little flowers within the unfurling petals when I processed this last photo. This one was taken with the 50 mm setting and I only cropped a little of the edges off for aesthetics. I have found I can get really close to my subject with this lens but can also get good shots to crop when I need to stand back so I don’t frighten butterflies away.

Poppies for a Sunday

My poppies have finished blooming for the year – but I try to hold on to their beauty by taking photos of them. It works, mostly. I have heard people say that taking photos of events or places shouldn’t be a substitute for being there – that we shouldn’t hide behind a camera. Now there may have been a time or two when I didn’t really want to be at an event so I offered to be the photographer as a way to make the time more tolerable. I’m not going to say where or when this was the case, just a speculative observation on my part.

I did enjoy my poppies when they were blooming… And I did take a lot of photos. These weren’t mutually exclusive behaviors. This is my view as I sit in front of my sewing machine working on a fun quilt project.

I look up a lot as I’m pulling the sewn pieces from my machine, cutting threads, thinking or day-dreaming (yes there is a difference), waiting for the iron to heat up. I like the seed pods almost as much as I like the flowers.

This was just as the petals were dropping; I had just helped the last couple let go and drop. Isn’t it beautiful?

Just in case you like poppies as much as I do, here is one more photo. Enjoy!

I could also search photo files from past years for more pictures, but you know how, well, dated those photos would be.

Wishing you simple joys and safe socializing in the coming week.

Sunshine For All My Northern Friends

A Florida Sunflower Radiating Sunshine

I lived in the north long enough to know that as March nears, nerves begin to get prickly and souls are yearning for signs of spring. It could be guilt that I am in a sub-tropical local with flowers everywhere, but more likely just compassion that motivated me to search for just the perfect yellows for all of you who are currently color deprived in your environments.

What a beautiful yellow bouquet with a touch of red and deep blue on a ground of green. Makes my heart sing.
A sure sign of spring.

I was also motivated by Jude’s posting of beautiful lemons for this month’s Life in Colour: Yellow.

Life in Color: Yellow Orchids

Last week I spent a lot of time in the Orchid Garden at Naples Botanical Garden. It was 8 in the morning and in most places there wasn’t strong sunlight so I had lots of fun and ended up with lots of photos to filter through, delete or keep, and process. And I found lots of yellow orchids to post in response to Jude’s monthly challenge “Life in Colour: Yellow.” Use the link to join in the fun as many times as you like during the month of February.