Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Lo the winter is past....at least for a couple of days.

I am SO happy to have the opportunity to photograph flowers again, especially after six months of snow and white, white, white every where I looked. 
Last Thursday I shot crocus in my own garden, then drove over to Red Butte Garden to see what was bloom there now.
You might remember that last year Red Butte had 25,000 daffodils.
This year there are to be even more, but I knew the daffodil season was just beginning so I  wanted to see what was blooming there right now.

But first I took up a photo challenge: I wanted to see if I could capture light and shadow on the flowers in my own garden.

The clouds would erase the shadows as soon as I had focused on them, then the clouds would clear and back the shadows would come.
You probably are well aware that crocus are about four to six inches tall.
All these shots were taken while I was flat on my stomach in a flower bed thick with sequoia sticker branches.
Frenchie also was in the garden, checking me out, and wondering what on earth I was doing.
Thankfully I don't understand "cattish" or I am sure I would have had to answer a few of her questions!

But look!  Shadows! Little echos of the flower structure are seen on the petals!

(OK...I admit it, I get excited over the silliest things.)

Some of the blossoms were naturally shaded so artfully that shadow capture seemed unnecessary.

The tulips were budding along the steps to the lower garden. 
I got pretty stoked about seeing the first red buds getting ready to bloom.

Then just for the record: my fingers to show exactly how tiny is the miniature iris.

With the tulips, iris and tulips in my garden now duly photographed, I packed up my camera and headed to Red Butte Garden.
I was amazed to see the bees already working the flowers throughout the garden; we had snow just a few days earlier.

That more art than science stage of my macro skills allows me to feel good about shots like this one:  the blur gives a sensation of bee buzz.

Capturing the dusky elements found in budding petals...

and getting  the petals to look more like a painting than a photo...

And getting so up close that the glisten sheen and veins can be seen...
Absolutely worth getting my elbows soaked in mud and having my fleece jacket front covered with muck.

Occasionally I found things to photograph standing up...this particular early blooming bush had a steady bee buzz sound.
I was glad the bees were really intent on their task as I stuck my lens within an inch of their wings.

Now snow drops: There's a challenge for you.
I was flat on my back trying to get beneath the flower, wiggling to wedge myself closer in and under, while not disturbing any of the other plants.
The snowdrop was blooming right along an asphalt pathway, so at least I wasn't getting too dirty.
By-passers barely broke stride or conversational flow as they stepped around my recumbent form.

Finally I found a snow drop tall enough I could get the camera and my face under it to see inside.

Now I swore to myself I would remember what these little nickle sized flowers were called.
Should of taken a picture of the label.  When will I ever learn?

My home garden only has the dark blue mini iris; Red Butte had clumps of all the possible iris color variations.

Lenten Rose: I had never been much of a fan of this flower until I started going to Red Butte.  Now I am a bit nutty about all the interesting elements in the flower.

They are just so cool!  The more I look at them the more I see, and yet to see anything other than a rather bland downward facing cup shape requires reaching out and upturning the blossom.  Then...wow!  What an intricate design!

The pale baby blue iris surprised me the first time I saw one.

I wish I could say the Canada geese were back...but the truth is they never left.
They do photograph nice though.
The shadowing from the front and the light on the back is pretty.
For some reason this goose and the other Canada goose were determined to run off Mr. and Mrs. Mallard.
Huh...what's up with that?

The same scene that I had photographed in a frozen state just a couple of months ago.

Moss and shadows make this lovely pocket sized benched rest area.  Imagine the same view at your feet being just asphalt or concrete.

I would like to commend whomever thought to include this little six square design within the stone work.
Good job!  It looks great!

A penny sized flower that seemed to grow Seuss like in dots across a raised flower bed.  Don't you love how the hexagon shapes are exploding into blossoms and fuzz?

More irises that needed photographic attention...as up close and personal as I can get.

Veined, wrinkled and freckled spotted beauties all.
(Note to self: Veins, wrinkles and spots are beautiful.  Remember that next time you are dismayed by the same on one's self.)

Do you see the yellow bird flying from the throat of the flowers?

I readily admit that I am sometime using my camera to excuse my need to get my face just inches away from flower clusters like this.
If I tried to do put my face this close to the flowers without a camera in hand, I would probably have people thinking I was totally out of my mind.

Angel wings...descending doves...heavenly rays...sometimes I think if I could just listen closely I would finally be able to hear the flowers sing!

Another Lenten Rose...I know that this is just one of many variations of the Lenten Rose. I will be dropping by Red Butte regularly to be sure I don't miss the other varieties as they bloom in turn through Lent and even a bit past Easter.

(Totally love when stamen casts shadows!)

The tulip varieties also have a regular blooming pattern: very early, early, mid season, late season, late late season.
Just when I think I have finally found my favorite kind of tulip, then another variety blooms and I find I have changed my mind.

Daffodils...hi there first blooms.
Thanks for arriving early and for braving snow storms to bring your sunshine yellow again to our snowy world.

(The blurry daffodil with just the very tips of the outer petals in focus...what do you think?  I like it myself.)

How about rejoicing about seeing a gnat?
That gnat sized bug is hard at work spreading pollen unseen and unnoticed by all but me.
And now you as well...
Thank you gnat for your faithful unsung work.

Ha ha...fooled you for a moment didn't I?
The garden's newly expanded gift shop had these wonderful flower print umbrellas which would sure help one to believe that all that spring rain really will soon bring spring flowers.
Now to decide which one I want....pink. No, yellow.  No, pink..  Definitely pink.  But maybe yellow. Or blue...
Which one would you pick?

Maybe I should have a cup of tea to sip while I make up my mind...
If only Red Butte had a tea room too I would never leave the grounds, but at least it now sells lot of interesting tea cups and teas.

Well, it was easy enough to head back to my own little garden and have a cup of tea with my own first blooming tulips.
So that's what I did.
It was just a grand way to finish off the day
Wish you could have been with me.
It was a lot of fun!


Vee said...

Yes, I imagine it is fun to be photographing the flowers again. Yes! The umbrellas fooled me just for a sec jolting me out of my stupor. I'd choose the middle one. No tea room in your corner? How about starting one? (My little fussy dream that I allow myself to think about, but never act upon because I don't really want to start a tea room.)

ellen b. said...

Gorgeous flowers. It's so nice to see them with sunshine. Today I'm feeling the gloom of this weather. I do hope the sun can break through the clouds soon. It was great to see all these beautiful photographs...

Vicki said...

I wish I could have been there with you, too!! I love the umbrellas!

A Lady said...

i would pick yellow

Lovella ♥ said...

OH what a splash of spring everywhere. You are learning so much and enjoying it more. We are having so much rain here. .it is turning my fragrant magnolia petals brown ..very sad.
Enjoy your trips to the gardens. .I'm sure you'll be back there quite often.

PhantomMinuet said...

Beautiful, gorgeous. Wish I was there. :-)

Kathy said...

Oh...pretty, pretty, pretty! Such fun umbrellas! I'm ready for summer's bloom!