A Rush to Bloom

It seemed far too quick. Everything just decided to bloom at once.  It was as though the stage manager for the big spring show just packed up and walked off the job.  Perhaps all the spring bloomers went into a panic after three hard freezes in almost as many days iced the camellia blooms. Whatever, the daffodils, wild dogwoods, pink and red azaleas all decided to come on stage at once, quickly followed it seems, by the white azaleas, rhododendrons and pink dogwoods. Now everything has peaked, the blooms are dropping, and the temperatures are zooming up to near summer territory. The humidity will soon ramp up and before we know it, the high heat of summer will be back.

I know, everything has its time.   Its just that this time around, all the plants got the same wake up call. It was so quick I missed the crab apple blooms. I didn’t even realize it until one of my flickr buddies in Raleigh posted some on his site.  I ran over to the crab apple here on the farm and there were all the blooms on the ground.  I was too late.

But not too late to grab the Rhododendrons which are even now nearing their pink.

I got lucky with the pink dogwoods. They were all in full bloom when I got out to take a look.  It isn’t often that I’ve seen the pinks blooming at the same time as the wild white dogwoods but in this topsy-turvey spring, there they were.

Experience has taught me that photographs of flowers and blooms are a dime a dozen,  and I dare say most people are more turned on to landscapes.  The visitors to my flickr site confirm that. I just love color and something in me demands I give the blooms and flowers their due. I just wish they would space out the big show a bit and stay on stage a little longer. .

An aside about flickr.  The week brought news that the photo sharing site is under new ownership: Smug Mug!  I never thought Yahoo knew exactly what to do with flickr.  They weren’t photo people. Smug Mug is. Perhaps better times are coming.  Thanks for the read and have a good week ahead.  See you next time.

Computer Glasses!

My recovery from neck and shoulder pain from spending too much time at the computer screen continued this week with a new pair of computer glasses.  If you wear bifocals and spend time at the computer with your chin and head tilted up in order to focus on the screen, you should think seriously about getting a pair.  I had a pair but the prescription was five years old and I had reverted to old habits.  My eye Doctor wrote me a new prescription for combination reading and computer glasses and almost immediately, my upper back and  neck which was as tight as an over-tuned snare drum, loosened up.  At the same time, I made it a point to get outside and away from the hinged box that has  held me hostage for so long.

 

Not a lot here other than the spectacular dawn but that alone was worth the walk out into the field.  Like the northeast, we’ve had a lot of weather here but no snow and ice; just a lot of wind, rain and thunderstorms. I also  spent quite a bit of time nosing around the azalea garden and an area we call Dogwood Dell; a large patch of wild dogwoods that seem to thrive in the acidic soil under the tall Lob Lolly pines.  The storms had taken a toll but there were plenty of blooms left to make it a worthwhile effort.

But the big spring show, which always comes early down here, is about done.  Not to worry! With the nutty weather we’ve been having, the azaleas will likely be blooming again early in the fall as they have for the past several years.  As always, thanks for the look-in and have a good week ahead. And remember: Computer glasses!

Spring: Good for what Ails Ya!

I hope Spring  has caught up in your neck of the woods.  It has here in Southeastern North Carolina.  Just in time to provide a much needed distraction from my aching neck and tingling arms and fingers.  It’s all about spending too much time at the computer in an ill advised chair fooling around with photographs. So I did what any photographer would do.  I got outside with the camera and went to work.  These were all taken here in the 75 year old Azalea garden where giant Formosa Azalea’s have the run of the place.

A new chair and a more intelligent location for my keyboard and mouse  no doubt spurred my recovery but I have to believe Spring had more to do with it.  It made me think of the old days with film.  You shot your 36 exposures, sent it off for processing and went on about your business.  Digital photography is marvelous.  Processing pictures is almost, almost as much fun to me as taking them, but somewhere the balance got upended. I’ve been spending more time staring at the screen than out taking photographs. I’m sure winter had something to do with it, but now it’s time to get outside more and limit my time staring at a screen.  If I forget, my neck and aching shoulders will serve as a reminder.  Thanks for the look.  Have a good week ahead.  See you next time.

An Azalea Affair

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.   

 

Photo Of The Week: Azaleas, Finally!

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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.

Photo Of The Day: Southern Belles

Southern BellesThe 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.

Thanks for the visit and have a great evening.