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.
A few splotches of color returned to the landscape this week. Not that we’ve been living in a totally drab world; the Sasanquas and Camellias have been showing their glory since late October. Now the Daffodils and Japanese Quince have joined the chorus.
The occasion prompted some lens changes. The 60 mm and 105 mm macro lenses were clicked into place as I waded into the Daffodil patch and the huge, very prickly Japanese Quince. It was a nice preview of what’s to come in a few months. Thanks for the look and have a good week ahead.
The wild Dogwood Trees went from small buds to full fledged blooms in a couple of days. Our farm here in Eastern North Carolina is thick with them; filling the sky with blooms, like large snow flakes on a blue sky day. One of the larger trees covers a deck that is perhaps three to four feet off the ground. It affords an interesting perspective of the blooms high up in the tree. I focused on the closest bloom at f/6 throwing everything distant into a soft blur; a quick and easy composition of a scene that only comes once a year. Thanks for the look and have a good week.
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.
Its been a long time since I spent an afternoon tracking butterflies. For one thing, we haven’t had that many fluttering around the farm until now. Perhaps they decided to check out some other fields before gracing ours. August was the charm. We’ve seen flocks of them cruising around the blooms. This one is romancing one of the Mexican Petunias. I used the Nikon D7100 with the 18-200 mm lens handheld with no tripod. I got lucky. Thanks for the visit and have a great week.
I spent the better part of a day in a section of the farm I call Dogwood Dell. About a dozen wild Dogwoods thrive there under towering Lob Lolly Pines feeding on the acid earth which is also home to ancient Azaleas and Camellias. The late afternoon sun finds its way into the Dell and I’ve found that late afternoon is the best time for shooting. This view was taken into the sun using a Nikon D800E camera with a 24-120 mm f/4 lens which pretty much lives on the camera. I think it a good marriage. I usually take several shots of scenes like this running through different ranges of ISO. On this one, I settled on an ISO of 400. I found the soft light on the fragile blooms and the warmer light in the bokeh rather pleasing. I put this shot on my Fine Art America site (click on John Harding Art Prints in the upper right) and immediately got several dozen hits and one sale of a rather large print so it was a day well spent. Have a great Sunday everybody and thanks for the look.
Wild Dogwood Blooms in Eastern North Carolina. The blurred background or bokeh, are Azalea Blooms. Nikon D7100 with an 18-200mm DX lens.
Thanks for the look and have a Peaceful Sunday! Cheers!