“Spring Finds”

Well, now that spring is fully here in Michigan, I have been thoroughly enjoying our warmer weather, and taking the time to go out in search of what is blooming. I had been afraid with a couple of late freezes we had that some early bloomers would have been affected. Thankfully most everything came through unscathed!

The daffodils this year got pelted with a bit of spring snow early on, but as you can see from these images, they rebounded nicely and we had some really beautiful blooms!

"Daffodils in Sunlight" Sun drenched daffodils on a spring day!
“Daffodils in Sunlight”
Sun drenched daffodils on a spring day!

 

I have been out nearly daily in the last week or so in search of blossoming crab-apples of various kinds, as well as cherry and apple trees. I have found many beauties, but this one is the first one I have processed of the flowering tree blossoms. A lovely white crab-apple with a bokeh-licious background in raspberry pink!

"White Blossoms on Raspberry" Beautiful crab-apple blossoms against a background of raspberry.
“White Blossoms on Raspberry”
Beautiful crab-apple blossoms against a background of raspberry.

 

Another beautiful daffodil enjoying the warmth of the sun!

"Daffodils within a Dream" Sun drenched daffodils on a windy day!
“Daffodils within a Dream” Sun drenched daffodils on a windy day!

 

 

For some reason, I usually miss the hellebore coming into bloom each year, but this year was different! I actually got to witness several different varieties in bloom!
These were beautiful in a pinkish purple hue!

"Hellebore in Deep Pink" Really lovely pink Hellebore , fully open.
“Hellebore in Deep Pink”
Really lovely pink Hellebore , fully open.

Spring seems to pass by so quickly, and in no time at all it will soon be summer, but I will be outdoors as much as possible while the air is still a bit cooler, the rain more frequent, and the mosquitoes not out in force yet, enjoying all the spring finds that I can!

I hope that wherever you live, you make sure and take plenty of time to enjoy your outdoor environment too! 🙂

 

“Crystal Plumage”

The title of this post might seem a bit strange when you see this first photograph of some beautiful yet very simple leaves on a row of plants. In fact, I have no idea what these plants are.

I had originally gone out looking for some late summer flowers. Unfortunately it turned out to be a pretty windy day. The few flowers that I found weren’t very cooperative in the wind.

As I went around to the other side the garden I found rows of these leaves. They had a really nice flow to them. My first inclination, after making one simple photograph was to do a long exposure and have a nice motion blur effect. I made three photographs using different exposures.

My favorite out of the ones I made was the second image you’ll see here. It had just the right silky flow that I envisioned in my mind.

Please scroll down to see that image and also the image that gave me the idea for the title to this post.

These are beautiful leaves by themselves with a nice flow.

"Long Leaves"
“Long Leaves”

In this image I used a slightly longer exposure to blur the motion and give it a soft, silky, and flowing feel.

"Ride the Wind"
“Ride the Wind”

What I did in this next image is a different story altogether.

"Crystal Plumage"
“Crystal Plumage”

After I had processed the previous photograph in Lightroom, I decided to reprocess it again in Lightroom for a totally different effect.
I played around with solarization a bit, which I have done many times before with certain types of plants, especially succulents and cactus. However I almost always process these in monochrome.                                                              This time as I was trying out the different colors and effects, I found that I really liked the way the blur of leaves took on a look of bird plumage! Maybe some exotic bird from a far away location! The colors are of course totally unlike the original, but to me they looked like Crystal Plumage!

So if  you are a Lightroom user, but haven’t yet tried out the solarization panel,  I advise you to give it a try for something really fun and different!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the photos! 🙂

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“The Humble Sunflower”

Behold the humble sunflower! Could there be a happier and sunnier flower? Enjoy these images and quotes!

"One Summer Day" A beautiful flower with a sunny disposition!
“One Summer Day”
A beautiful flower with a sunny disposition!

I don’t think there’s anything on this planet that more trumpets life that the sunflower. For me that’s because of the reason behind its name. Not because it looks like the sun but because it follows the sun. During the course of the day, the head tracks the journey of the sun across the sky. A satellite dish for sunshine. Wherever light is, no matter how weak, these flowers will find it. And that’s such an admirable thing. And such a lesson in life.
~Helen Mirren~

"Sunflower Halved" Wonderful sunlight streams through this beautiful half of a sunflower!
“Sunflower Halved”
Wonderful sunlight streams through this beautiful half of a sunflower!

Does she realize she looks like a sunflower, ready to rain sunlight on all who look down upon her?
~Simone Elkeles~

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do.”

~Helen Keller~

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“One is Not Like the Other”

It’s summer and it’s such a great time of year to get out in nature so I’ve been taking full advantage of the warm days and great things happening in the garden and other local green areas!

Here are a few photographs of my recent nature abstracts from the garden. I hope you enjoy them! 🙂

Ferns in a simple but beautiful pattern.

"Fern"
“Fern”

Green ground cover with a few of the rosettes having bloomed yellow.

"Yellow on Green"
“Yellow on Green”

Green ground cover in the shape of rosettes.

"Living Green"
“Living Green”

These purple flowers have just begun to burst forth.

"Never Ending Dream"
“Never Ending Dream”

Here’s the one image that is not like the other! These purple flowers are just starting to bloom. There are rows of them dreamily layered behind each other!

Have a wonderful week everyone! 🙂

“Spring Happenings”

With spring in full swing here I thought I’d bring you a few of the recent images from what seems to be about peak for our spring happenings, at least as far as tree blossoms go!

The crabapple blossoms were amazing this year, so here is just one variety in beautiful soft sunlight!

"Crabapple Blossoms"
“Crabapple Blossoms”

We had a robin nesting in a magnolia tree. I wasn’t able to get close to the nest for three reasons. Firstly I didn’t want to disturb the nesting process. Second the nest happened to be higher up than I could see into, and thirdly the robins were so protective that even coming withing twenty feet or so, they’d start swooping down on me! I took this image as the robin perched in a nearby crabapple tree as the blossoms were just starting to come out.
I never got to see it but the Robin’s eggs did hatch and the baby birds were born and eventually flew away without me being able to see more than a peak of a baby beak!

"Robin in Spring"
“Robin in Spring”

I love Hostas and they came up pretty quickly this year. I went out after a spring rain one day and made a few nature-abstract images with these beautiful plants. Here is just one example.

"Hosta in the Rain"
“Hosta in the Rain”

I hope you enjoyed a bit of my local spring happenings, and I hope whether your area of the world is in spring or fall, that you are experiencing a beautiful season!

“Palm Fronds and Shadows”

Last spring, after the long winter we had experienced in the Midwest, I felt that I needed to see something that looked like spring, even though it surely didn’t look or feel like it outside!

I took a day to myself and went to the Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids Michigan. I walked leisurely around the entire inside of this wonderful sanctuary, away  from the winter doldrums, and finally ended up in The Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory.

There were lovely tropical plants and flowers everywhere. I enjoyed everything, and of course photographed too many flowers and plants to count, but sometimes it’s the little things that really capture your attention.

In this case I was strolling past some very large palm fronds. The light from above was just barely shining through. I looked up and noticed the shadows of leaves of another plant as it hung above the palm leaves. What a lovely sight! I just had to make a few photographs of these fronds and shadows! If you know me, you’ll know that one of my other favorite things is finding nature abstracts. This to me fit the bill! 🙂

The image to me imparts a hint of mystery and also a feeling of peace. The combinations of green hues and  the darker but subtle shadows of the leaves, seemed just perfect!

Enjoy!

"Palm Frond"
“Palm Frond”

“Japanese Maple in Red”

"Japanese Maple in Red" Some glorious fall color!
“Japanese Maple in Red”
Some glorious fall color!

Hi all, If it looks like I’ve been away from blogging for a couple of weeks or so, it’s because I was. I’ve been in a transition process and also trying change blog themes, which has been one theme after another!  Currently I’m trying to figure this one out LOL, so bear with me! 🙂

I’ve also been out and around on my usual hunt for early autumn color. I haven’t had to wait long this year at all. The colors are coming out quickly and quite boldly too! Yep, I’m happy!! 🙂

A few days ago I spent a bit of time under a beautiful Japanese Maple tree all bathed in morning sunlight! What a treat! The colors were really warmed up by the back lighting and the bokeh was delicious!!

In general the Japanese Maple is stunning nearly all year long in my opinion, with such beautifully shaped leaves, and color. Unlike most other maples though, autumn doesn’t bring about much of a change in color in these, but lighting surely can!

You’ll probably be seeing my journey through the fall of 2014 for quite a few posts, but as with every season, it does eventually come to an end, and ….. well you know…..things have to change and so will my subjects.

So for now, enjoy this wonderful early introduction to autumn in Michigan! 🙂

 

“Simple Garden Delights”

These are just a few of my simple garden delights.

This toadstool sprouted up one morning after quite a few days of rain and damp weather. I watched it grow from infancy to old age in a matter of four days. What a marvelous, yet simple thing to behold. Each day I eagerly waited to see what its next state of maturation would look like. All the time hoping no harm would befall it, and worrying that I might come out to find it crushed or destroyed.

"Toadstool"
“Toadstool”

On a late summer evening not long before sunset as I walked among the flowers, I made my way through the beds of roses and this lovely lady in pink gave me reason to stop enjoy her delicate scent and marvel at her wonders.

"Lady Pink"
“Lady Pink”

Early morning dew has a way of casting its magic across any landscape. In the grass, way down low, I lay quietly. I knew I would be covered with the wetness of the ground, but that didn’t matter. There was a whole world of dancing lights at my disposal. From near to far I watched as the sun rose higher until everything was golden and glistening! A tiny glorious moment in time, twinkling forever!

"Sparkling Morning Dew"
“Sparkling Morning Dew”

These small moments alone with nature are so important. They give us the much needed connection to something greater than ourselves. The time to simply watch and listen to the world around us. A few moments away from the rush of our lives, and the constant connection to technology that we are so immersed in.

What simple things delight you, make you curious? What do you enjoy in this wonderful natural world around us?

“Floral Summer”

This summer has been a floral summer for me. Instead of the traveling I usually do, I’ve ended up spending much more time with garden flowers, and trips to botanical gardens. Here are just a few of the images I’ve taken recently. A little summer color for you!! Enjoy 🙂

"Zinnia Orange King" A Stunning deep orange hued Zinnia!!
“Zinnia Orange King”
A Stunning deep orange hued Zinnia!!
"Summer Tiger Lily" Also known as Day Lily, Tawny Lily, and Ditch Lily.
“Summer Tiger Lily”
Also known as Day Lily, Tawny Lily, and Ditch Lily.
"Sangria" A Rose among many colorful flowers!!
“Sangria”
A Rose among many colorful flowers!!
An imperfect Marigold in lovely morning sunlight and dew!!
An imperfect Marigold in lovely morning sunlight and dew!!

“Timeless Rose”

Timeless Rose I remember thee,
Velvet soft petals,
In folds so gently.

Ever swirling inward bound,
Lightly touching,
Without a sound.

Wrapping curving in endless ways,
Ever soothing,
Through all my days.

Timeless Rose as last light goes,
Days are numbered,
Yet no one knows.

Stay a while for now you see,
Forever loving,
Through Eternity.

~ Rachel Cohen ~

"Timeless Rose"
“Timeless Rose”