Dogwood Festival

The Dogwoods went into hibernation during the week and half freeze but blossomed with the return of warmer temperatures.  Within a week the flags of Spring were on full display.



These are wild dogwoods that have popped up on the farm over the years.  Attempts to transplant them to suit one’s own landscaping plan are iffy.  Wild things don’t like to be tamed.  And it seems the wild ones are less prone to the myriad of diseases that plague hybrids.  Wild or hybrid, they are very photogenic.

These were taken with a Nikon 24-120mm f/4 lens on a Nikon D750 Camera.  Thanks for the look and have a good week ahead.

Photo Of The Week: Sourgrass


It dots the fields in Eastern North Carolina every spring.  It’s sourgrass, a decidedly red, wild grass.  Stick a sprig between your teeth and you’ll think you are sucking on a very potent sour ball.  Highly photogenic, the bright red sour grass gives a nice foreground for otherwise blah landscape shots of the field at sunrise.  Spot Metering, ISO 400, f/22 using a Nikon 18-35mm lens on a D800E camera. Click on the photo for a larger view and thanks for the look.

Color Where You Can Find It.

What color there was in the wild before Hurricane Irene was pretty much wiped out by the storm here in Southeastern North Carolina  but some wild flowers are made of sterner stuff.  Tis the season of the Morning Glory and  Golden Rod.  Pretty striking when they’re right next to each other.  See you soon on most of this same weekend.

Wildflowers 2


We see this every year in the Spring in the fields and along ditch banks.  Colors range from blue to an almost purple hue. (Check my flickr stream to the right for the blue)  I’m told its of the mint family.   They grow in spike-like clusters with from one to several stems from the base.  Always good for what I call a Monet Wanna Be  Shot.

See you soon on most of this same blog.

Unexpected Self Revelation

My wife Jerri  had plopped a copy of  “Wildlife in North Carolina”  on my desk in the Library  along with a comment:  “Susan says you should enter the Magazine’s Photography Contest.“  Susan is married to  Jerri’s Nephew and is  a frequent visitor to my flickr site.  Aside from Jerri,  she‘s  the lone supporter here on the farm of my photographic endeavors such as they are.

As usual,  the magazine got replopped on my very casual to-do pile:  Bills on top, everything else stacked up in order of receipt.  It’s usually a kind of archeological dig of printed stuff,  direct mail junk, long forgotten post-it notes and…..magazines.   Anyway,  the Wildlife Magazine and Susan’s admonition got lost in the pile for several months.  It wasn’t until September that  I was jogged to dig through the historical layers of paper to pull it out.   “Did you Enter the Contest” she yelled  one afternoon as I was shooting pictures of  butterflies.

I’ve never entered contests before.  Well none except  journalism contests which the company I worked for was very big on.   Big promotional value.  They got the plaque.   I got a mention.   In the interest of full disclosure;  when I left they did give me all the plaques I had won.  It was either I took them or they tossed them out.   An effective treatment for “Legend in One’s Own Mind Disease”.   But the disease does endure…. The Plaques  look rather impressive on my “I Love Me Wall” here in the house.

But aside from the Journalism hardware,  I’ve never won much of anything.  Not even a good neighbor game at the Emporia Volunteer Fire Department’s annual Bingo Fund Raiser which is to say no one sitting on either side of me ever bingoed.  I was devoid of bingos.

You know where this is going, right?   Nah, I didn’t win the NC Wildlife Photography Contest, not first place anyway.   But I did win in the Wild Plants Category.  My shot of Wild Olives here on the farm took third place.

I was pretty jazzed about it.  You’d have thought I’d won a Pulitzer.  As it was, I get a 50 dollar check,  my photograph in the magazine when it comes out and a spot in the NC Museum of Natural Science for three months. Jerri snuck a mention in the Church Newsletter and a couple of folks gave me the requisite kudos.    My Sister June in Maine sent beaucoup congrats.  But mostly, it just kind of validated all those miles of  trundling and slogging around with cameras in tow taking pictures of anything that moved or wagged, had one pixel of color or jiggled some recessed cell of artistic appreciation in my feeble brain.  In other words, it was a nice little self induced high.  Don’t get many of those at my age.  See you soon on most of this same blog.