Backlit Waterlily

I have taken thousands of photos of waterlilies, most of them awash with the gentle light of the Florida sun hovering low in the morning sky. Usually the waterlilies bloom parallel to the surface of the water, but this one was standing perpendicular to the water – so it was backlit by the morning sun. I got down low on the paved walk (not easy for this aging body) because it felt so special for me.

Lens-Artists Challenge: Curves

My many strolls around the Botanical Garden with camera in hand have given me many files to peruse for curves. The hard part was deciding which ones to showcase. To make the decision I evaluated the quality of the photograph, whether there was inherent beauty or interest, and the bottom-line-truth is that these are the ones I like best of all. They trigger fond memories and personal thoughts, some of which I will also share. Here are my gifts of curves and words.

The colors of this orchid drew me in, but I really enjoy how curvy they are and how the curves create ruffles.
This fond caught my eye because it was the only curved one within a cluster of straight spined fonds. It made me wonder what makes some parts of plants grow in unexpected ways. I shouldn’t project human attributes to plants, but it sure seems like it is leaning down to hear the whispered thoughts of the plant growing beneath. Maybe I need to do more leaning in to listen to what nature is telling me.
I fell in love the moment I saw this ornamental cabbage, I felt the excitement of finding a treasure while photographing it, and experienced the satisfaction of creation as I did some editing to make it look like what I remembered. What’s not to love about the ruffly curves, the freshness of rain drops, the purple veins. The only thing that could make this more beautiful is a little more photographer practice.
We are moving ever closer to the time when we will be moving back to Michigan so… Where the mind goes so does my search of files. I love how the soft fall/early winter light hits the gentle curves of grasses going to seed.
We were camping along Lake Superior last summer when a storm came through, creating big waves. Waves are just water that is curving over itself so I searched my files for a good crop of a wave in action.
The waves grabbed my full attention and it was only after I felt I had more than enough photographs of the waves that I turned around and saw the beautiful curve of the grasses in the stiff wind. Gee whiz, how lucky that I found a reason to take even more photographs.
We stayed just outside Munising and there are a lot of water falls in the region. I took this photo of the Au Train water fall, through the trees as I was walking down the steep dirt road towards the small power plant. Those are some pretty curves in the rock layers. This was in the fall; I bet it would be really pretty in the spring when the snow melt and rains swells the river.
We will be visiting our daughter in Winston-Salem on our way home and this reminded me of the curvy roads of the Blue Ridge Mountain Trail. This is a two-fer – a curved road and a curved bridge. Lovely.
Two days ago was the first day of Spring so I felt it only appropriate to include some curves of spring flowers – taken at Hidden Lake Garden (MSU) in southern Michigan.

There have been a lot of interesting photographic representations of curves posted for this challenge. You can check them out here and learn how to join in the fun.

Macro Wildflower Seeds

The main purpose of macro photography is to capture the intricacies of a subject that we normally don’t register with our eyes. It allows us to slow down and look deeper into the soul of nature.

In response to Cee’s CFFC: Macro or Close-up.

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”.

June Close-Ups

Wildflower taken at a local natural preserve.

During the Covid pandemic we found fun, diversion, and emotional healing by spending time in nature where we could be almost normal when all social gathering was dangerous. The past two springs I have spent a lot of time in my garden attacking weeds (a good target for virus-anger), moving plants that weren’t thriving according to my original garden plan, and dividing plants (some of them 10 years old) to increase their flowering and to spread their color in the garden. Now, in the first week of June, my garden is covered in new green growth with small patches of color here and there. Within a month it should be a sea of color – in fact I think I can see the green growth quivering, just waiting for the right moment to send forth its blooms.

Geranium growing in a container.

Yes, I am waiting for June to do its transition from spring to summer. I look daily for signs of flower buds on my perennials and just finished up an application of liquid fertilizer designed for blooming plants – just in case nature (and my soil) needs a little help.

Bearded iris that has a beautiful variegated leaf.

I am having to wait – something my personality doesn’t do gracefully. My waiting is helped a little by the wonders of digital photography and computer science. I decided to go back to the digital files of past Junes to find close-ups and macro shots for the CMMC where Cee is asking us to provide close-ups or macro photos. I had a good number of them because I had bought a close-up lens filter in June of one year so I put in some practice time with it. I haven’t used it lately so maybe that would be a fun project as my garden begins to flower again.

Freshly washed local strawberries anticipated towards the end of June.
Wonderful black cherries grown on the northern sandy shores of Lake Michigan.
Last year three of us ate 60 lbs. (give or take) of Michigan high bush blueberries.

And how can I fail to mention the most important anticipation associated with June – the promise of freshly grown Michigan strawberries, blueberries, and black cherries. We wait all year for this production and June means that we have only one more month of waiting. Depending on weather conditions and where they are grown in Michigan, they may start during the last week of June and into/through July. Strawberries have the shortest season, sometimes only a couple of weeks if it is really hot.

Surface of Lake Michigan on a calm, blue-sky day.

June is also an excellent time to visit the northern Michigan resort areas because their tourist season doesn’t go into full swing until after the Fourth of July holiday. June holds all of the excitement of a new season of warmth while still being a bit cool for swimming in the Great Lakes and our many inland lakes. We will be heading up to the Traverse City area with our camper next week-end for a few days (we save the Upper Peninsula for later because summer is slow in coming that far north). I think I will put the warmer quilt on our bed as the nights are still pretty cold in June but too warm for flannel sheets (I hope). I am looking forward to walking the sandy beaches of Lake Michigan, shopping the charming stores of the small tourist towns, and maybe even visiting a winery on the Mission Peninsula for a sampling and maybe a lunch.