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Monthly Archives: June 2009

Peony, that is! ūüôā The rain hasn’t gotten them all, although, sadly, we are coming to the end of¬†peony season.

“Pristine” (Herbaceous Peony, ‘Marie Lemoine’) Nikon D300, 70mm, F/9, 1/1000s, -1.0EV, ISO 400

This particular variety is one of the last to bloom and it is well worth the wait! The lucious creamy-white, double blooms have a deligthfully sweet fragrance and are regarded as one of the handsomest peonies.

I caught it early this morning after (another) night of rainfall before it opened fully and liked how it appeared as though the raindrops had washed it completely clean. No bugs, no discolorations, no rips or tears.

Just perfect. ūüôā

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“Open Arms” (Virginia Spiderwort) Nikon D300, 200-400mm, 400mm, F/7.1, 1/50s, -1.7EV, ISO 640, SB900 w/Gary Fong Lightsphere Cloud

 
 
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Similar to day lilies,¬†each spectacular little blossom of¬†‘Virginia Spiderwort’¬†opens in the morning,¬†then wilts and turns to mush by nightfall.

Catching them at just the right moment can be tricky, but if you miss it, don’t worry. Another batch of flowers will arrive bright and early¬†the very next day!

Who knew the garden task of pulling weeds would lead to today’s photo?

Some rather tall and slender plants were growing amongst my daylilies so I began to pull them. While doing so, I noticed the very pretty (and ever-so-tiny) star-shaped flowers and apricot buds eminating out from the center stem.

A quick google search revealed¬†that the¬†“weed” is¬†a¬†actually a native wildflower¬†called¬†‘Whorled Loosestrife’, which came as little surprise¬†since¬†it closely resembles¬†the perennial ‘Yellow Loosestrife’ I¬†have planted about 10 yards away.

“Budding Star” (Whorled Loosestrife) Nikon D300, 550mm (400mm w/1.4x teleconverter), F/16, 1/50s, -1.0EV, ISO 640, SB900 TTL flash w/Gary Fong Lightsphere Cloud, -1.0EV

So, rather than pulling them all, I simply thinned what was interfering with the daylilies and left the others to continue to thrive as Mother Nature intended.

Happy Sunday!

Now, I certainly didn’t wake up this morning and decide, “Hmmm, today’s the day¬†I will photograph a snake.” Nonetheless, today I photographed a snake!

Here’s the story. I was¬†out by the ferns (common ferns, nothing fancy) because they were¬†bent all¬†over each other due to¬†the abundance of rainfall we’ve had¬†and the fronds were forming some¬†unique patterns that I thought might yield an interesting photograph.

While in the middle of¬†a shot, a yellow lady bug lands on one of the fronds, which was surprising¬†since I didn’t know ladybugs came in different colors (they do – lots of colors).¬†I¬†zero in on the ladybug when out of the corner of my right eye,¬†I spot something dark against the bright green color of the ferns.

At first, I thought it was one of those striped tension straps¬†that must have been dropped by¬†the contractor who put in my neighbor’s new sunporch. Seriously. I was just about to grab it when something in my brain warned, “STOP! That’s a SNAKE!”

Cool! ūüėÄ

Just a small Garter Snake, nestled on top of the ferns and looking straight up at me. (I imagine I interfered with his plan for a yellow ladybug breakfast??)

“Spring Loaded” (Common Garter Snake) Nikon D300, 70 mm, F6.3, 1/500s, ISO 400, SB800 w/Gary Fong Lightsphere Cloud, -1.7EV

My goal¬†was to¬†get a shot of him flicking¬†his bright red tongue, but he would only do so whenever I’d lower my lens.¬†The minute the camera was poised for the shot he would simply stare back at me. (Ain’t that always the way?)

Drop the lens…flick, flick, flick; raise the lens…nothing. I attempted a few fake out moves but he was wise to me. And so, our volley of ‘drop, flick, raise, stare’ went on for a few minutes until he tired of the game and slithered away to catch his breakfast elsewhere.

Sooooo, I¬†get¬†today’s shot sans tongue and the yellow ladybug lives to see another day! ūüôā

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