It was a short season, the annual festival of azalea blooms that charm the south. It was the schizophrenic weather that did them in, reducing the vibrant flowers to drooping puddles of faded color. But not all met their demise.. It gave thought to the possibility that old doesn’t always equate to impending doom. Maybe 60 year old azaleas are made of sterner stuff. Witness these giant Formosa Azaleas that weathered three days of 20 degree nights.
As you may have gathered, I have changed my mind about ditching this blog. Sort of! The fancy custom address is gone but I figured if 60 year old Azaleas can carry on, this 72 year old shooter can. See you after the next frost, maybe before.
Our azaleas have been through the wringer this year. The mild winter, down here a lot of people called it “the phony winter,” brought out the blooms several times in January and again in February only to have cold temperatures kill them off. Now, it seems spring has finally taken hold, albeit a week early. March is busting out all over. These big red formosas seemed to be partying in the sunshine with the still blooming camellias providing some nice bokeh backup. Floral shots are not on everyone’s hit parade. Landscapes usually win, but I was so glad to see these, I decided to give them their “15 minutes of fame.” Enjoy and have a great week.
The Azaleas started blooming here in mid March which is about the earliest anyone can remember. They were quick victims of the almost weekly frosts but now that warmer weather has finally arrived, the blooms have resumed their parade of color. These red flowers are on a very old formosa variety.
If you’re interested in photojournalism I call to your attention the work of Ron Haviv which is featured today in the New York Times Photography Blog “Lens”. You’ll find it in the “Links” listing on this page. Scroll to “Photography In The Docket”. Haviv’s very moving and disturbing shots of the Bosnian War of 1992 have been used as evidence in War Crimes Trials. Unable to stop the “ethnic cleansing” he used his camera to bring the slaughter of innocents to worldwide attention.
With blooms! Everything is popping out. Azaleas, Jasmine, Periwinkle, Forsythia, Daffodils, Peach Trees. Today the Bradford Pear Trees reached their peak forming a white canopy over the loop road around the compound here on the farm.
The “Winter” or as someone said the other day, the interlude between Autumn and Spring, was kind to the Bradford Pear Trees. Very brittle they usually take a beating from heavy snows. Not one flake this year though. And the weather brains are saying once we get by this chilly weekend, warm weather will be here to stay. To illustrate how strange it is here, the Camellias are still blooming profusely. We can’t remember the last time we saw Camellias and Azaleas blooming at the same time here. Have a great weekend everybody. See you next time on most of this same blog.
The Rhododendrons have joined the Azaleas in the Spring Bloom A Thon making for some colorful background bokeh. What is it about hot pink against hot red that pushes my button?
The “Arrangers” on the farm (as in flower arranging) love the big Rhododendron bloom clusters. One cut and a table centerpiece is done. No muss No fuss. The downside: there’s a very limited window of opportunity. Suffice to say, the Rhodie Blooms are not known for their staying power. The upside: No Danger of too much of a good thing.
I was going to sleep in this particular morning because I am fighting the mother of all colds. Bad One! A Killer Sore Throat which has now zoomed up into the Sinuses with the resulting terminal case of post nasal drip. It was pointless to lay there looking at the ceiling and through the window I could see the first rays of dawn. No time to get out into the fields to catch it but the Azalea beds are right across the creek in front of my house. There is something about those early sun rays blasting through those red blooms. A B-12 shot to the eyes.
Hey the eyes are right above the schnoze so maybe all those Rays laced with Vitamin D dribbled South a bit. Sniff Sniff. See you next time on most of this same blog.