Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Aging Flowers

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge Special Request: Wilting, dead, or aging flowers and leaves.

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Unusual special request, but I understand it.

After all, beauty comes at all ages.

I found two examples.

Tulips – while wilting – took on a “life” of their own a few months ago. A different kind of beauty. One worth documenting.

faded tulip
A vine of leaves added a unique touch while weaving its way through a fence along the river’s edge. Stopped me in my tracks.

Still hanging on…

faded leaves

…and showing off.

Lens-Artists Challenge: Cropping the Shot

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #96: Cropping the Shot

This week’s challenge is a chance to explore a photo editing technique and the benefits of cropping the shot.  Show us how cropping helped to improve an image and create a desired effect.  Include the shot “before” and “after” so we can see the difference.

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I often call this time of year “fun with flowers” since I am always gifted with beautiful bouquets on Mother’s Day and my birthday. Yellow blossoms…my favorite flower color…are usually in the mix.

This year was no exception. A bouquet of tulips arrived from my son…and I had a great adventure yesterday chasing the sun as it crept around the room streaming through the windows in our corner condo unit. I moved the vase from window to window as the afternoon wore on. Crouching…bending…balancing…catching the light from as many angles as I could.

Fifty four shots later, I happened to glance at the clock…oh wait I should make dinner....

Here are a few samples from “Fun with Flowers 2020″…

For this shot I stood above the bouquet, but wanted to highlight the yellow tulip.

yellow tulip orig
Tulip – full frame

Which I did…after the crop.

yellow tulip crop
Tulip – cropped

I captured another shot crouched on the floor looking up. Unfortunately it also included the corner of the window…

tulip full
Tulip – looking up, full frame

I still wanted to salvage the image, but obviously without the distraction of the window frame in the corner.

Cropping proved to be more of a challenge than usual.

These are two different cropped versions. Each emphasizing different aspects of how the light plays with the petals. As much as I enjoy cropping as a way to create, I really didn’t want to eliminate too much in this case.

Which do you like better?

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Tulip Crop #1

 

tulip crop 2
Tulip Crop #2

Any ideas and suggestions welcome!

Stay-at-Home Mother’s Day

 

TULIPS
Mother’s Day Tulips 2020

Mother’s Day in the age of coronavirus has taken on a different shade…

Even before this new 2020 reality hit us between the eyes, Mother’s Day was sometimes lonely. Empty nesters like me missed our adult children more than usual. Memories of sweet smiles and shouts of Happy Mother’s Day Mommy, followed by hugs, a homemade card and when older…perhaps breakfast in bed.

Who knew back then how fleeting those times really were? I just relished the moments as they happened.

My adult children weren’t always able to make the trip back to our family home for Mother’s Day – although they often tried and succeeded (probably because my birthday often overlapped!). This year – with all the unknowns and fears hanging over us – it seemed even harder to be apart. Perhaps also because there was no choice in the matter. FaceTime of course helped, but there’s nothing like an in-person hug.

During a long ago trip to San Diego, California, I bought a print made by Sally Huss, a local artist. It grabbed my heart at the time. My children were still teenagers. And I thought…yessss….

Today it has taken on a whole added perspective and an even bigger YESSSS…

sally huss049

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Flower

This post inspired by Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge. The topic: Flower of Any Kind

 

I’ll admit it was strange to view flowers in anything but color, but I decided to explore my favorite flower photos with an open mind. And eye.

I was intrigued to discover how much I was drawn to the black and white version of the two “tulip survivors” from our former home. The two that were still bursting through the hard packed side yard after more than 30 years.

It seemed fitting to give them an antique look.

Version 2

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Pairs

Cee’s Challenge topic this week is Pairs

When my husband and I bought our first house, it was new. No landscaping. No lawn. Just dirt, mostly clay.

One of our first outside projects was planting 12 tulip bulbs. With our first trowel.  Over the next 30+ years, we planted iris, daffodils, black-eyed susans, trilliums, lilies of the valley. And more.

A crowded situation ensued. We weeded around them (mostly my husband did the weeding, to be fair), transplanted a few…but some died out and some still spread.

Our first 12 tulips followed suit. As the years went by, we noticed fewer and fewer made it through the congested patch of dirt next to the house.

Except…two that lasted 20 years.

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Pair of Survivors

 

By the time we moved – after 36 years – there was just one left.

downsizing and stuff – part 4 – nature

Downsizing does not include nature. Except for a few small houseplants, you don’t take “nature stuff” with you…from a house to a condo. It usually doesn’t get donated or sold. For the most part, that’s okay. Some of the nature I don’t miss: weeds, massive wasp tree hotels, chipmunk holes, poop in the back yard from the cat next door, wasp nests behind the shutters, leaf piles, ants. Oh, right….and piles of snow that need to be moved. We left that “stuff” of nature behind.

The nature I do wish we could have taken with us? The flowers that came to life in our yard this time of year.  The little purple crocuses that sprouted up around the maple tree; sometimes so early they poked through the last of the melting snow. Purple irises that originated in my great-grandmother’s garden in Cincinnati – making it to my parents’ house in NJ and then to our home of almost 37 years. They multiplied over the years and we transplanted them from one side of the house to the other. And then next to the garage.  And later, we added trilliums, daffodils and black-eyed susans to the mix.

daffodils
2013
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2007

My husband and I moved to that house in early 1980. No kids yet. We were first time homeowners eager to start “decorating,” so we bought over a dozen tulip bulbs that fall.  We ceremoniously planted them in a small patch of dirt next to the house (alongside the iris); with 2 little girls who lived next door watching over our shoulders.  We didn’t know it at the time, but although tulips are “perennials,” they don’t last forever. Gradually fewer and fewer showed themselves every spring. Perhaps the salt runoff from the icy driveway killed them off.  I think there may have even been a few years with no tulips at all. However during the last few years before we moved out, one tulip showed up. Hooray! A welcome survivor and salute to our first attempt at landscaping.

tulips 1981007 copy
1981
tulips 2015
2015

Lilies of the valley. I miss them most of all. Transplanted from my in-laws’ garden in the late 1990’s, they multiplied like crazy – gradually taking over the strip of dirt in front of the house. So delicate. So simple, green and white. Their sweet scent was like no other…when that huge patch was in full bloom, it took my breath away. Literally.

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2014

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I drove by our former home a few months ago and spotted the crocuses. Next to the tree by the road…same as always. I slowed down, but didn’t stop.

One of those peculiar sad happy moments….

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Front yard crocuses – 2012