Archive for May, 2014

The Garden in the Woods II

In what I think it becoming an annual ritual, my mom and I went to The Garden in the Woods again in May. We don’t go exactly on Mothers Day, but near to it and this year we went a couple of weeks earlier than last year and boy was it different. Most of the ferns were still unfurling. Shooting stars, lady slippers and wild hyacinth were not blooming. That’s not to say nothing was, and I’m happy that we caught the bluebells in their pristine glory, something we missed last year.

A girl this beautiful

And another blue beauty, Forget me nots.

Forget me not

I’ve never seen either of these flowers in the wild and that’s one of the main reasons I go to The Garden in the Woods. It’s a beautifully put together display of native plants, both abundant and rare. I had a time getting this grouping just right, but I love it. Each plant is 1-2 feet high and the leaves are a foot across on some plants. The flowers themselves are 2-4 inches and I don’t know if they ever open completely like other trillium. All the ones on display were upright like this; like flames on torches.

Yellow Trillium (Toadshade)

Toadshade

As usual, I shot with the legacy Olympus 90mm macro pretty much all day. One thing I didn’t do, because I forgot, was to use the on-board flash for fill, which I did quite a lot last time with good results. I really have to be better about remembering all the tools I have at my fingertips with this camera. The other day I persisted through something that was annoying me because I didn’t remember that I could change it. Doh!

One lesson I’ve learned the hard way is not to fight the light. Photography is all about light, but sometimes nature doesn’t serve up the perfect conditions. This used to frustrate me to no end and I actually ruined a bunch of vacation pictures trying for the shots I had in my head even though the light didn’t serve them at all. Now I work with the light I have and use it to its best advantage. If that means giving up on the shots in my head so be it. I try to be open to new images, compositions and arrangements with the light I have and for the most part it works. Mostly I try to enjoy what I’m doing regardless of what I had in mind when I went out. By now you know my love of dappled sunlight and I hope I’m getting better at showing just how magical it can be.

Anyway…Not all the flowers are big and showy though. Many are tiny and unobtrusive.

What’s in a name?

I should have taken a shot of the sign for this one since I can’t find it anywhere. It grows on a bush and has many trooping tassels of these flowers. At first we thought they were gone by, but on a closer look we discovered they weren’t. Each one is about 1/4 of an inch across. I bet hardly anyone ever notices them. These, too –

Star Chickweed

Definitely this trip had more of the mundane than the exotic. Even though violets are pretty much everywhere, it doesn’t diminish their beauty.

Yellow violet

Impossible desires

On our way out, we stopped by the planting beds; the place the plants are grown so they can be placed in various displays or sold so people can create their own wild gardens. While there I found this lone yellow bellwort in the sun. Who could resist? Especially since the plants in the displays had all gone by already.

Yellow bellwort

I’d like to take another trip to The Garden in the Woods during high summer…say mid-June. I bet it is so different that it would be like I’d never been there. Ah the panoply of nature. It’s never boring.


Go with the flow

Spring, spring, glorious spring.

Yeah, I’m a bad blogger, I know. Honestly though, I hardly shot a thing all winter. Zero photos from March.

Zero.

So I’m making up for it.

This is Chesterfield Gorge which is way the frig out in western NH…nearly Vermont. I’d been there in the mid-90s, but not since, but I think I got my timing right as Jeff Newcomer told me the gorge had a big clean up recently. Lots of debris was removed from the waterway and I thank those folks profusely!

Nameless One

There are many interesting sections to this gorge and I did my best to find them. For this shot, I had the tripod in the water, weighted by my backpack. I haven’t had the ability to do this with my previous tripods and I think it’s going to prove helpful with the stronger currents to reduce vibration and make for sharper images. Here’s a shot of how it looks – Click here.

Into the Valley

Because you can get to the edge of the precipice in a lot of places, I went for the opposite approach with this shot and the next one. I wish there was a bit more sense of scale, but what can you do? The sun came out now and then and I tried to work with it and I think it adds some depth by lighting up branches. I’m a big fan of that anyway. I know not all photographers are, but I’ve learned the hard way that you can’t fight the light. You have to work with it and figure out how to make it enhance your photos. Make it work for you.

Chesterfield Gorge

I didn’t mind that it rained a bit at times either. It was part of being there. The experience. One thing I try to do is to soak up a location as much as I can. Sometimes I think I rush too much to shoot and I don’t really absorb the location. The way the breeze moves through the rocks or trees. The sound of the water. The shape of the rocks. It’s all part of why I’m there and I need to be mindful of it.

Finding my way

I’m sure the people who walked by me thought I was a little crazy to be just standing in the brook with the tripod, but I needed to see.

Beneath, Between and Behind

Circumstances

You never know what you will notice when you take the time to be still.