Category: Plants and Flowers

Summer is Passing

Snowpond MilfoilIt suddenly seems hard to believe, but next week is Labor Day Weekend.  All too quickly the sun comes up later, goes down earlier and lays down really deep shadows in the afternoon.  Even so, we can’t complain as the last two weekends have been perfect 10’s around here.  I hope that the same applies to wherever you are.  Last Saturday, Darcy and I took a tour around the pond and saw the beginnings of fall.  We’ve noticed many isolated spots around the pond as in the swampy areas as we drive around that the swamp maples and blueberries are tinging up with red.  There are still many fine weeks ahead before we get into the uglies of winter (all do respect to you skiers, but I’m done with winters) so we’ll look forward to fine photo opportunities as summer leads to fall.

Everyone likes summertime flowers, so this week I’m posting a few of my favorites from this year.  Something to remember these last fine weeks.

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Daylilies are Summer

You really know its summer when the daylilies are blooming.  Shot right in the front garden this morning.  Welcome to summer and July.  Too nice to be indoors, I’m going back outside and hope you can do the same.

Nikon D4, 24-70 mm lens @ 24mm, 1/320 sec, f8, ISO 400

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Cherry Blossoms

Everything seems to be a couple of weeks ahead of normal and the Cherry Blossoms last weekend were no exception.  We have one weeping cherry tree in the front yard that has gotten a bit out of control from lack of proper pruning, but every year it treats us with a week of beautiful pink blossoms.  Everything in the garden seems to be a couple of weeks ahead of normal making it hard to remember it’s still only April. 

Nikon D300, 70-200 mm lens @ 200mm, iso 200, 1/320s@f5

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Daffodils in March

Daffodils in March

Today was one of those days to be anywhere but in the office . . . too bad reality doesn’t always work out that way.  Still, after work I looked out the back window expecting to see some buds on the Maples and found that several daffodils were blooming.  March 22nd and the daffys are out in Princeton, MA has to be a record.  The weather didn’t just break the local record today, it smashed it but good.  It easily hit the 80’s today. 

 A welcome sight even though we’ll pay for this fine week of June weather in March later on. 
 
Don’t have too much else to say other than enjoy it while it lasts.  Thanks for looking. 
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Bee Balm

It’s been a great weekend for New England weather and we just came in from a glass of wine on the dock.  Nice.  A sunny spring afternoon is just great for May Day, making it feel really great to get out in the sun for a bit.  It was also a reminder that early spring daffodils will soon give way to the more summer flowers like Monarda.  

Monarda is commonly referred to as Bee Balm, for the obvious reason that it attracts bees.  This shot is actually a few years old, captured on a nice July summer day.  But, it won’t be long before the bees will be working in the garden.  We saw our first hummingbird of the season and that’s a subject I hope to be able to get some good shots of this year.

Nikon D2X, ISO 500, Nikon 200-400 mm lens at 310 mm, 1/250 sec. @ f4.0

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Lilies Mean Summer

When the lilies start up in Darcy’s garden, we know that summer has definitely arrived.  It’s always fund to try something a bit different, so I really boosted the color on this guy and ended up with something out of Andy Warhol.

I kind of like it though.

Converted the image int LAB, tried out Dan Margulis’ “Man from Mars” technique which not only boosts the color but really separates out the different shades within what might otherwise just all blend into orange or red.

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Tulips Today

Darcy put a pot of tulips in front of the French doors a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been watching them on a daily basis.  Today I decided it was time to try to capture just how cool they really do look.  The sun was out, but it’s very windy today so I set up a couple of flashes and tried out a few different views.

These are very translucent in the light and, while I’ve got some shots of them that way, my favorite is still looking straight down into one.  There is just so much detail, softness and texture all going on at the same time. Hope that you enjoy this post as well.

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Paper Whites Mean Winter

Paper Whites

Paper Whites

The end of January signifies Paper Whites time at our house.    When they’re here it means we’re in the dead of winter, but we get a tempting sense of the spring to come.  From a single planting, the house is filled with their distinctive, strong yet welcoming scent.   I really like that Darcy faithfully sets out containers of these bulbs each year, beginning right after Christmas. 

Winter becomes less and less of a thrill for me each year, so I’m glad to watch these spring up in the family room every winter.  They also make a willing still life subject on a cold January day when there is little outdoors that I consider worth venturing outside for. 

I added a bit of glow to the highlights of this capture with some Gaussian blur on a separate layer set to lighten mode.  The image itself was shot in manual mode with exposure set to underexpose by at least 3 stops, taking out a nasty mix of  indoor tungsten and cloudy late afternoon natural light.  Two SB-800’s were set up with one pushed through a small softbox and fill light added through a 1 stop white diffuser.

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