Had a workshop to teach on Sunday at Cornell Plantations, and it was such a beautiful morning that I arrived early to spend some time in the Herb Garden. It is luscious right now. The iron gate into the Herb Garden still has the brilliant red Clematis.
The past weekend was hot in the Finger Lakes, but I found myself going from hot to hotter. It was not the best weekend to go to Washington, DC. I was focused on keeping in cool AC in DC, but our daughter had on her mind to go the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens on the Anacostia River. It is one of the overlooked attractions. See:
One of the summer interns at Cornell Plantations asked me what my favorite wildflower is. I have many favorites, but the one I anticipate most is the Showy Lady’s Slipper, Cypripedium reginae. So that is my best favorite. The species name in latin, queen(ly), says it all.
Shot with Nikon D800, 105 mm Nikkor Micro lens, f/11 at 1/125 second ISO 800. Gitzo tripod. Shaded the bloom to reduce harsh light.
So, for Cayuga Nature Photographer members in the Finger Lakes region, the message is that it is Showy (Lady’s Slipper) Time. If you know of a population, this weekend is a great time to visit them.
I’ve posted a more details report in my regular blog at:
Visited the Smoky Mountain area in the southeast United States for the first time. In addition to being rich in waterfalls, I expected to find some native wildflowers that were new to me compared to the northeastern US. I have added nearly a dozen new wildflowers to my photo galleries as a result of this outing.
The first stop was with friends who took us to Bald River State Park in southeastern Tennessee. Rather loved this single drop and the plunge pool half way down the drop.
Our daughter got us admitted to the annual open house at the production greenhouses for the US Botanic Garden. They raise the orchids and other showy plants seen in the conservatory adjacent to the capital building on the mall. The staff was very excited to have a day to show what is normally invisible to the public. It was also a nice way to celebrate our 46th wedding anniversary too. We ended up spending a lot of time with the master gardener for the orchids. Wonderful experience.
I used the open house to continue my exploration of the iPhone camera, this time comparing it to my Canon G9 point and shoot camera. This is a typical photo with no editing. The blooms are nice, color is good but the mesh under the pots just doesn’t compliment anything. My first observation is that busy backgrounds were difficult to hide the iPhone wide angle lens.
There were situations where I could move around and get so close that the greenhouse did not show, and then the result could be good. I think the color is nice and rich in this example.
But, when the subject is larger, the wide angle often could not miss showing the overly bright sky or a maze of plumbing and framework. Then the zoom on the G9 had a clear advantage. It could find just the right amount of focal length.
This photo has good color and excludes most of the busy background to deliver a more pleasing result.
I’ve posted a more detailed text in my personal blog at:
Winter Aconite is often the first wildflower of the spring excepting the Skunk Cabbage. Not native, there are eight varieties that stretch from southern Europe to western Asia and Japan. Introduced as a garden plant, the spread into the woodlands gives me pause at thinking of introducing it into my wildflower garden. Seems a potential problem if it gets out of hand. Nevertheless, it gives a bright burst of brilliant yellow for a few days. I’ve wanted to photograph a rich cluster of Winter Aconite but in the past, the flowers faded before I could get to them. Yesterday, I was lucky at a good friend’s cultivated wildflower garden.
Winter Aconite is a true ephemeral. The flowers fade rapidly and the leaves fully develop to capture the suns energy before completely disappearing by late spring. For those few sunny days in earliest spring, they are a favorite of the bees coming out of a cold winter.
Despite the mild winter, I am, as always come February, longing for the greens of early Spring. The tips of Day Lilies are already showing on the sunny side of the house. Buds are swelling on the trees earlier than usual.
Most look for the tell-tale Robin to signal Spring’s arrival. I’ve found that the arrival of the Turkey Vultures in the gorge behind our house as an equally dependable sign.
The woods of early Spring are often as beautiful and colorful as Fall. The new green is more intense than any other. And the trees glow against the contrast of nearly bare branches that still await new foliage.
Spring blossoms arrive with colors that have been absent for what seems far too long after months of monochrome winter.
The forest floor soon comes alive with new life and the warmth of the Spring sun fills the gorges and fields. The frost is gone, the morning dew is heavy, and I am inspired by the awakening of the earth.
The robust leaves of the lotus are slowly changing color and fading. They will soon be brown after the frost and will decompose in the pond over the winter. This truly amazes me because there is a huge amount of leaf biomass in the pond behind my house. There must be about 500 plants that bloomed this summer and will renew their growth in the spring. Here are a few samples of the leaves as they are found in October.
So Hello CNP members. This is your new blog. Hopefully you received an email telling you about its existence and the log in information if you are a member current with your dues. You are invited to become a blogger and write about where you’ve been, what you’ve seen, show your recent photos, offer advice on deals you have found, equipment you like, or even let members know you have equipment to sell or trade. Anything you feel might be of interest to members. So share your nature photo news with us all, and enjoy this forum. Also feel free to leave comments on things others post. It’s easy. Be sure and sign your posts at the end so we know who the author is.