Category Archives: Images of Fauna

Everything is Awesome – almost

Usage of the word ‘awesome’ has become increasingly common. So much so that it takes away some of the punch it can deliver. I still love using it though!

Photo 1: Singular beauty

Chrysanthemum pink

 Everything is awesome

After watching the Lego movie featuring the rather catchy song Everything is Awesome the lyrics stayed in my head for several days. My 5 year old daughter said it was the first ‘boy type’ movie she actually enjoyed. Now that statement would take another blog post to unpack but nevertheless the theme song was catchy to my kids too.

After watching the tv series Chuck and discovering Devon, aka Captain Awesome I also nicknamed my scientist husband Dr Awesome which he finds rather amusing. We would certainly like everything to be awesome all the time and being part of a team usually helps to get you there. Over use of the word can make the awesome seem mundane but there are tiny moments of ‘awesome’ happening throughout our days if we take the time to pay attention.

When I do my floral photography I can spend hours marvelling at the awesome display flowers create while simultaneously being beautiful and providing a vital link in the cycle of life.

When things get awful

Sometimes though life can be more awful than awesome. Sometimes shockingly awful things happen and in those moments it’s difficult to find the ‘awesome’.

When my Mum died last year it was awful for our family. The loss also reminded us of our own mortality.

To keep moving forward though we need to rediscover the ‘awesome’ as that gives us hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Photo 2: Intricate detail on a pink Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum pink macro

Finding the awesome

Then I watched a TED talk given by 70 year old Isabel Allende – “How to live passionately at any age” – she had decided to live her life with passion and make the most of the time she had. Inspirational!

The ‘awesome’ within us needs to be unleashed so the awful doesn’t squash us into pits of despair. When we release our own awesomeness and reflect and encourage the awesomeness of others then life feels more purposeful and meaningful.

There is only one of you. You are unique. What will you do with your ‘awesome’?

Caught in the Rose Garden

Getting together with a portrait photographer on my usual walk about the local park was lots of fun. Specimen spotting and talking to the sun to get the right light was also rather entertaining for her 2 year old charge who happened to be carrying a lovely sprig of lavender given to him by a passerby. When I got entranced by the blooms in the rose garden I also got caught on camera…

Photo 1: Caught in the Rose Garden

Me in the rose garden

Photo 2: Fresh Yellow Rose

Rose yellow droplets

Photo 3: Rosey blues

Rose white blue tone

Photo 4: After the rain

Rose raindrops

Photo 5: Rose refreshed

Rose yellow orange

Rose of Sharon

The delicate blooms of the Rose of Sharon are on show again on the creek trail close to our home. Conditions were not great for photos this morning as there was some wind but that just gave them a surreal look.

Photo 1: Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon 9

Photo 2: Bud and bloom

Rose of Sharon 2

Photo 3: Side by side

Rose of Sharon 6

Photo 4: Blooming

Rose of Sharon 3

Photo 5: Emerging

Rose of Sharon 8

Photo 6: Visitor

Rose of Sharon 7

Photo 7: Opening

Rose of Sharon 5

Yay I now have an artist page!

I am so grateful to have the space to pursue something I love and now I have taken the plunge to see whether it can make me an income as well by launching an artist website today. Taking photographs of flowers is my passion. It energizes and invigorates me like nothing else. It fuels my soul and focuses my chi.

Photo 1: Swallowtail Butterfly on red Yarrow

Swallowtail on Sedum

The photo above is my latest upload on to the site. The one below of the white Agapanthus is my first sale!

Photo 2: New Beginnings

Agapanthus white 2

If you are feeling so inclined I would really appreciate some comments on the images I uploaded on the site.

My photos appear to be popular as floral greeting cards so I am planning to print some batches as well. I still have so much to learn but I am thoroughly enjoying the journey! 

Thanks for your support!

 

Shell ginger, Alpinia zerumbet

Shell ginger is native to Southeast Asia.  The ginger typically used for cooking is the rhizome of Zingiber officinale and shell ginger is in the same family but not usually used as a spice. This one was used for landscaping purposes and the leaves reminded me of Canna plants.

Photo 1: Shell ginger bloom

Shell ginger

Photo 2: Shell ginger bloom and buds

Shell ginger 2

Photo 3: Shells

Shell ginger 3

Photo 4: Bee on Shell Ginger

Shell ginger 4

 

Photo 5: Shell Ginger blooms

Shell ginger 5

 

Hemlock, ladybirds and Purple Goat’s beard

A walk along the nearby creek trail can reveal some interesting specimens. I came across what I thought was Queen Anne’s Lace only to discover after some checking that it was actually Poison-hemlock ( the purple blotches on the stem were quite noticeable in the photographs). What was nice to see though was it had two ladybird visitors, one with spots and one without. A little further away I found a purple flower that I had only seen in yellow before in the UK but did not know it’s name. Upon investigation I found that it is called Goat’s beard (Tragopogon dubius).

Photo 1: Spotted Ladybird on Hemlock

Hemlock ladybird

Photo 2: Purple Goat’s beard

Purple goatsbeard

 

Photo 3: Two ladybirds on Hemlock

Hemlock 2 ladybirds b

Photo 4: Tragopogon

Purple goatsbeard 2

Photo 5: Spotless Ladybird on Hemlock

Hemlock ladybird 2

 

Poppies and Poetry for Memorial Day

Our first Memorial Day in the US so I did some background reading on the day to understand it’s meaning in the new culture we have joined.  In the UK Remembrance Day takes place on 11 November and is also synonymous with poppies. We took a walk to the Airman’s graves in Sussex last year that has crosses decorated in poppy pins. The practice of decorating the graves of the fallen with flowers is a time honoured tradition and I was curious about the poppy connection.

Photo 1: Poppy Field in the rain (near Brighton)

Poppy field wet

Here are some key points taken from Wikipedia:

Memorial Day is a US federal holiday wherein the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces are remembered.

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a physician with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, wrote the poem, “In Flanders Fields” in 1915 and included the reference to the fields of poppies that grew among the soldiers’ graves in Flanders. It is said that the damage done to the landscape in Flanders during the battle greatly increased the lime content in the soil, leaving the poppy as one of the few plants able to grow in the region.

Photo 2: Poppy field in Sussex

Poppy field low res

Inspired by “In Flanders Fields”, American professor Moina Michael resolved at the war’s conclusion in 1918 to wear a red poppy year-round to honour the soldiers who died in the war. Additionally, she wrote a poem in response called “We Shall Keep the Faith” She distributed silk poppies to her peers and campaigned to have it adopted as an official symbol of remembrance by the American Legion. 

Photo 3: Poppy Centre

Poppy centre

The first chapter of In Flanders Fields and Other Poems, a 1919 collection of John McCrae’s works, gives the text of the poignant poem as follows:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Photo 4: Poppies and Blue Sky

 

Poppy blue sky

The poem by Moina Michael is  a rather moving response:

We Shall Keep the Faith

Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet – to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.

We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.

And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.

Photo 5: Poppies on the South Downs in Sussex

Poppies

 

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