For this July 4th, how about a bit of flower fireworks, courtesy of these blooming spider lilies. They make me think of bursting white and yellow fireworks. A bit of a throwback to 2015, courtesy of Brazos Bend State Park in Texas.
Where ever you are folks, regardless of the day (which feels to me a bit marred thanks to tRump’s little Covid party last night at Mount Rushmore National Memorial), please stay safe out there. The coronavirus is here to stay until there is a viable vaccine available to everybody, so please practice social distancing and wear a mask. It aint a hoax.
We were waiting for my oldest nephew to arrive from the airport, and I took my camera out into the backyard to photograph the bees on a large thistle bush. This bush is not like the weedy thistles you see sprouting from pavement cracks – it’s more like something a home-and-garden store would sell for a decorative yard plant. The bush is quite large and the spheres are golf-ball sized and covered with lavender flowerets. The honey bees absolutely love them.
I thought the time for iris blooms was over, since it is one day away from May and even the daffodils are gone, and the tulips, while still around, are waning in my yard. Guess I was wrong! The first thing I thought when I saw these lovely yellow iris on the side lawn was Arya, in GOT, saying “Not today,” when asked what she would say to Death.
The iris will shrivel up “not today,”
P.S. Instead of using a macro lens for my flower close ups, I like to use my telephoto lenses. This image was captured with a Canon 1DX Mk II and a 100-400mm lens.
After a search on Google, I discovered that the spindly, dead-looking “bush” out there that keeps sprouting these long-petaled blooms is called a Star Magnolia! This is certainly not the same kind of magnolia that I used to see blooming in southeast Texas, that’s for sure. I learned there are actually 8 species of magnolia. I might have to go out, now, and take a sniff to see if these blooms are fragrant (and hopefully not trigger any spring allergy).
Spring has definitely sprung, if the flowers have anything to say about it. First came the iris, and now the bright yellow splotches of daffodils are blooming in spots of the yard. I’ve noticed some tulip buds coming up but it’s apparently still too early for them – at least, here in Yakima. The hellebore have been in bloom since March. I never really gave much glance to these perennials but as I look at them more closely, they are, indeed, lovely. They are also poisonous, accodring to what I have read (so no hellebore salads – ahem). I’ll content myself with photos of these beautiful blooms.
Well, I have no patriotic images handy, so the bright red heart of this poppy will have to do, I guess.
I’ve been roaming the well-tended neighborhoods of Yakima around my sister’s home, marveling and photographing the beautiful flowers in bloom. Eastern Washington is fantastic for the wealth of fruits, vegetables, and flowers that grow in that area.
I’ve been using only my point-and-shoot cameras for this trip, and this image was captured using the Olympus Tough TG-5. I’m impressed with the camera but I sure wish it was more than just 12mp. It is, however, relatively intuitive to use, which is great since a hard-copy owner manual is not included with the camera.
Because there can be only one …. Does anybody remember that show or am I dating myself … again? In this case, there was only a single blue iris growing in my sister and bro-in-law’s yard. At the time I didn’t think much beyond how beautiful it was (and how lonely it must have been), but later on, I realized it was summer and this iris was apparently trying to be a rebel, because iris usually just bloom in the spring, don’t they? Here it was in July.
This image was captured with a 100-400mm telephoto on my Canon 1DX. I left the macro lens at home (despite my “kitchen sink” attitude where I like to try and pack every bit of gear I have with me). The 1DX was set to track and focus on movement (flowers swaying in the breeze) and it has a fast enough fps speed that I applied the burst method (aka “spray and pray” to get clear shots of the flowers, not only in a Yakima neighborhood but also in Mount Rainier National Park.
For my first vacation of the year, I drove from my home in southeast Texas to Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas – a 13-hour drive (if my friend or her husband had let me borrow one of their brand new Corvettes, it might have only been a 2-hour drive)
I’d visited the park back in December 2013 and I returned to that park for two reasons: the starry night skies (it was a new moon when I visited) and the blooming cacti.
So, where does the ocotillo come in?
Because it’s not a cactus.
Even though it has thorns. Lots of ‘em.
No, an ocotillo is a shrub. Most of the year, it looks dead. But, when it rains, it puts out lots of little green leaves and these beautiful, orange-red tubular blooms. The leaves fall off pretty quickly in an effort to conserve water, but these blooms remain for a bit longer. Ocotillos can live between 60-100 years and grow 20 feet tall.
I converted some of the flower photos I took at the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge. I was aiming for something a little different, and I think I got that with this photo. I used Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro and got rid of some of the structure, but not all of it. I wanted some detail delineated, but nothing that would overwhelm.
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