Sunday, March 28, 2010

Vinca... tiny, perfect blossom! Spring, 2010...

vinca blossom
This ground cover spreads easily (too easily) once established and will eventually choke out other plants if left alone to continue its takeover! Every time I think about ripping it out completely, I remember what perfectly lovely blossoms appear in spring and relent.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mixed pair of violets... garden volunteers... Spring 2010

purple and white violet blossoms
I normally pull these up as weeds... for some reason... there are LOADS of them coming up in my garden this spring... yellow ones, this plant with white and lavender on the same plant, a bi-color yellow and deep magenta... they are everywhere. Maybe this year I'll keep them... they are quite cheery and bloom LATE into winter and started blooming as soon as the snow melted this spring.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tiny Mahonia blossoms... soft yellow delight!

Mahonia blossoms
A landscape designer suggested Mahonia would be a good plant for up close to my north facing house because it gives visual interest year-round AND it thrives in shade. She was absolutely correct... although the plant cost quite a bit more than I felt comfortable paying for it at the time, it has done very well and gives me great pleasure... as well as material for photo shoots... whether with (scroll down four photos) or without pollen gatherers!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sunlight and shadow on a Hellebore... March 20, 2010

Hellebore blossom and buds
Anyone familiar with Hellebore plants will know that it is extremely difficult to get a shot such as this one without doing something to make the bloom face upward rather than the natural down-to-the-ground orientation. Awhile back, I ordered an accessory called a "Plamp" made by Wimberley, Inc. It is "an articulating arm used to hold macro subjects" according to their literature and allows one to pull back stems of flowers (as I did here) to get the flower itself into a more favorable "pose" for picture taking.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Male cowbird in sunlight... on my deck rail... March, 2010

male cowbird
Another "plain" bird showing iridescent beauty in the sun... we see cowbirds when they are migrating... but we have NO cows! They passed through the other day on their way north (at least that's what I assume) and stopped by my feeders. This is a Brown-headed Cowbird, Molothrus ater.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Glowing center of a purple Crocus... March 16, 2010

purple Crocus blossom
We had a few days of rain where I watched my Crocus... they were in bud but not blooming yet. Then, the other day, I went out to get the paper and there they were... smiling at the sun!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Buzzzzzz.... Busy Bees in Mahonia... March 16, 2010

busy bees in Mahonia blossoms
One of the earliest signs of spring in my garden is the bees going after the pollen in the Mahonia blossoms... this plant is so amazing... it has something of beauty to look at year-round and also provides the pollen gatherers with LOTS to go after. My only problem is that I'm really afraid of bees so fear getting close enough to get really great shots with my macro lens! Maybe I should try my 70-300mm zoom on a tripod since that would put me further back. The other issue with capturing these busy bees is that spring seems to wake them up quite nicely and they are REALLY moving around a LOT which also makes for difficulty capturing their images on camera.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Camellia in bud... promise of spring! March 16, 2010

red camellia in bud
My neighbor's Camellia gets morning sun this time of year. It will be a another month or so before my Camellia (situated on the western side of our shared, north-south facing driveway) gets any sun. At this time last year, my Nikon D90 SLR and macro lens were yet to come, so this is a much closer view of the lovely, fuzziness of the bud's outer covering than any shots I took last year with my Nikon Coolpix P80. I should probably post something green for St. Patrick's Day and MAY post two images if I find something suitable a bit later today.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Reflection in the eye of a squirrel... Photographer!

squirrel close-up
I expect you will just have to take my word for it as it is not really possible to see clearly enough to know for sure... but when I uploaded this image to my computer... there I was reflected in his eye! Found that quite amazing since this was shot through my kitchen window while he was creeping along the deck rail on approach to the feeders to steal more seed from the birds. Have a nice weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Common Grackle... Iridescent beauty in the sun!

My bird book says that grackles "arrive from the South early in spring and depart late in the fall." Since spring hasn't officially arrived yet, I was a bit surprised to see these familiar visitors at my feeders today. The first time I posted a photo of a grackle on Flickr, I made a comment about them not being particularly pretty birds to which my friend "wolfpix" responded that he thought they were beautiful. When seen in full sun, the iridescent feathers of this bird do indeed make him a beauty. (and if you want to see some lovely nature photos, visit my friend's Flickr stream to have a look)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Something different... from the Philadelphia Flower Show...

teasel in bottle vase with blue water
One of the displays at the Philadelphia Flower Show (visited March 3, 2010 via tour bus) absolutely fascinated me. So I'm including a close-up (above) and two different views (below) in an attempt to convey the image. Hundreds of glass bottle vases with flowers or greens in differently colored water were hanging from a huge grid suspended above the floor of the convention center. Words cannot describe it so I'll shut up and let the images tell the story.

floral display long viewfloral display side view

Friday, March 5, 2010

Alstroemeria in Sunlight... Winter indoor blossom delight!

Alstroemeria blossom
Along about the end of February, when winter has gone on too long for me, it's off to the florist for a bouquet of Alstroemeria, also known as Peruvian Lilies. If you don't know this flower, it is a lovely cut flower and, if purchased when the flowers are still fairly tight buds, will give at least two weeks of enjoyment, bringing the sunshine in to brighten gloomy winter days!