Thursday, September 29, 2011

Back to the garden...

A Macro Flowers Saturday entry...See: Macro Flowers Saturday AND
A Weekend Flowers entry...See: Tina's PicStory (please click on each photo to enlarge)

Well, I have been remiss. Earlier this year, in the spring, I told myself I’d get over to Rutgers Gardens at least once a week to photograph. Needless to say, this is a promise I failed to keep.  When I stopped by late last week, the fact that I had not been there really hit home and I realized how much I had missed as the gardens transformed themselves through the spring/summer seasons. Not only have the flowers, plants, trees, and shrubs gone through their growth spurts but the Garden crew has added a number of ornamental urns and fountains. I have missed so much!

               Green Jug....As shot 
vs.  Vintage...

But, when you go to the Gardens, it’s not just the scenery that’s interesting - there’s the people. Quite often I’ve had the pleasure of meeting photographers, students, gardeners, and just people taken with the beauty and interest of the Gardens. On this particular Thursday, I had the pleasure of meeting Victorio Loubriel (, a photographer, civil rights photo essayist, and documentarian – and it must have been fate.  I was at that point where I was becoming board photographing flowers; it was humid, the NJ State Bird (mosquito) was starting to make its presence known and I was ready to pack it in. Then he started to talk to me about ‘seeing’ – something I had completely lost touch with. ‘See’ things differently, look at an object from all angles, look for the ‘unique’ or ‘odd’ or unusual. Stop shooting the everyday, run-of-the-mill stuff that people expect you to shoot. Kick it up a notch, see it different, do it different!

So I didn’t leave the Gardens right then. I spent at least another hour there – an hour when I threw out the ordinary and began to view things differently. I forgot about the humidity, the mosquitoes, and my
back pain and I had fun.  The passion was revived. And, now that winter is approaching, I’m not too concerned about not having those beautiful flowers around to photograph. I’m going to make my best effort to look for the unique and out-of-the-ordinary stuff.  Hopefully, this will be a promise I do not break!
Under the orange umbrellas.

Friday, September 23, 2011


A Macro Flowers Saturday entry...See: Macro Flowers Saturday    AND
A Weekend Flowers entry...See: WeekendFlowers           (please click on each photo to enlarge)

The garden is gone...tomato plants pulled, cucumbers pulled, flowers cut back.  As I went about my work this past weekend, I kept thinking that maybe, just maybe, it was way too early to get rid of everything.  However, when you work, you need to do things efficiently so I proceeded to cut.

But, as I rounded the corner of the garden with my new long-handled clippers, there stood one single Stella de Oro Daylily.  Pristine, no bugs, no marred petals - just perfect.  Out came the camera, the tripod, and my new macro lens and the clipping and cutting and pulling took a backseat for 45 minutes while I marveled over Mother Nature's beautiful work.
And then some clouds rolled in and evening came and that chill filled the air.  You know THAT chill...the one that says 'I'm here to stay for awhile' and 'You better think about bringing your sweaters down from the attic' and 'Do you have an extra blanket ready for tonight?'  The thought hit home that those days of ultra-warm sun, summer blue skies, and long hours of daylight were quickly coming to an end.  Sort of depressing, huh?  But aren't you glad we have photos to recall all this beauty!

Farewell mellow yellow, so long Stella...I will see you in the spring.....clip.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Oh, that Rose of Sharon....

A Macro Flowers Saturday entry...See: Macro Flowers Saturday
A Weekend Flowers entry...See: WeekendFlowers
(please click on each photo to enlarge)

It's gone wild and taken over the yard. Well, not really but almost. I hadn't really looked at it for several weeks and all of a sudden it was everywhere. I have to admit, I felt a little bad cutting it back - it was so beautiful. But, I have no doubt, it will be back - in abundance!
Waiting for the bees... 

After the rain...

Friday, September 9, 2011


A Macro Flowers Saturday entry...See: Macro Flowers Saturday
(please click on each photo to enlarge)

The only way I can remember the name of this flower is to think of the word clavical.  It's one of the few things I recall from my 7th grade science class; clavical, the collar bone.  Wow, I knew that class would come in handy one day!

This plant belongs to a friend in the office.  I understand that it only blooms once a year and I've been lucky to catch it two years in a row.

I've photographed it both times and it seems I always have difficulty.  I either can't decide what angle is best or, if my depth of field is so shallow, I'm fighting to decide what part of the flower to focus on.  All this indecision only results in about 100-200 photos of the same plant.  But, I'm not complaining - it's all a labor of love.  Love the flower, love the color, love the spectical it creates that one week that it graces us with its blooms.

Thank you beautiful clavical; I mean clavia!

Monday, September 5, 2011


Keys from that special drawer.

Key to the front door, key to the back door, garage key, bicycle lock key, key to the shed, key to the safe, lock box key…did you ever notice how many keys you accumulate over time?

Antique key from Gettysburg purchased on a visit long ago.

I bet, if you went to that special drawer in the kitchen, you’d find at least five keys. Do you know what they’re for? These keys lay there, doing nothing, until, for some reason, you need to open a shed or a suitcase or a back hall closet. Then they come to life in your hands as you fumble through the key ring or box or chain trying each one to see if it fits that lock. It’s a lot like that glass slipper the prince pushed onto so many feet. Hopefully, you come across the one and only that fits that lock like Cinderella’s foot fit that slipper. And if you don’t, where do these keys go? Back into that drawer of course. After all, you never know if one of these keys is going to fit the next locked door you need to open.

Keys my realtor handed me 20 years ago.
The skeleton key I actually have used on interior doors.
The previous owner only knows what the others are for.

There is only one key you will not find in that drawer. You can’t put your hands on it, it won’t fit any car door, and you can’t have a copy made. And don’t lose it – you should only passed it to someone who will care for and guard it. After all, the key to your heart is irreplaceable.