Friday, May 9, 2014
The odd weather this year has not deterred our state flower. On the way north through Monterey county there are areas of the hills off of the 101 freeway that are more gold than green. Patches of what must be hundreds of thousands of flowers cover the crests of many foothills. There are smaller groups that have taken over rocky harsher more vertical terrain, and some even appear right out of cracks in the asphalt along highway 1. This particular beauty was close to the coast, in a spot that was quite obviously buffeted by harsh winds constantly as evidenced by the windswept cypress trees in the area. The poppies in this spot were a little smaller and more variegated than average with yellow edges. Most of them were hunkered down near the ground, but this guy caught my eye standing tall for his portrait. This is a great time of year to travel around California.
Monday, December 10, 2012
It's the time of year when the Monarch Butterflies return to their overwintering spot in Santa Barbara, the Coronado Butterfly Preserve. According to the experts the clusters of butterflies are small this year, although it's still early. Even so the experience is amazing. This is just one of the small clusters, but the position of the sun was perfect. What you can't see are the hundreds of butterflies fluttering around the grove. It's a wonderful spot that only exists because of the hard work of volunteers and donors who have protected it.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Santa Ynez Grapes on the Vine
Grapes in the Santa Ynez valley. Ok it feels like summer, Spring is just starting, so here is a picture from last Fall. Just because I really like it and I realized I never published it. This is in a nice little vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley.There was a space through the vines that I was able to frame the beautiful valley in the background. The red flowers in the lower right are roses that are planted at the ends of the rows of grapes.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Agapanthus in the Morning Rain
Friends and family who live in a "less temperate" climate make fun of me when I mention the different seasons here, but I do love the change in our seasons. This is a fun early spring shot. The Agapanthus are just starting to bloom in our yard, and on this day an early morning rainstorm had just subsided to let the sunlight through. This combination of weather and sunlight can capture my attention for hours without even leaving my front yard. I actually had to tiptoe through the wet flowers to frame up the second blossom (or inflorescence), out of focus in the background.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Although it's been a rough winter spring is just around the corner. Of course it's never far away here in California. The winter gives us beautiful sunsets, but now it's time for some amazing spring flower images.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Translucent Santa Ynez Grapes
It's getting to be just the right time of year to start to wander around Santa Ynez. The grapes have just got to the point where they are starting to look juicy and delicious. They change fast this time of year. It won't be long before the leaves get some amazing colors in them. The day I took this shot I was looking for a nicely backlit bunch. This was the last shot of the day, when I saw the three grapes on top with their seeds perfectly visible in the afternoon sun I knew I had what I was looking for.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Santa Ynez Valley Grapes
I've been working on trying to get an image that captures the feel of the Santa Ynez Valley. Of course, vineyards are a big part of that area of California these days. Especially after a rather popular movie about the area a few years ago. But wine is not the only thing they are known for. This weekend Solvang is having their Danish Days festival. If you've never eaten an Aebleskiver that alone could be worth the trip. Of course, I prefer just making my own and avoiding the crowds. Then again, maybe I'll brave the sand castle festival in Santa Barbara this weekend. Could be a busy weekend!
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Gulf Fritillary in the Back Yard
Our babies are growing up! A couple of years ago we got a couple of vines, (a Passion Flower and a Mandevilla) to try to coax the beautiful butterflies to stay in our back yard. They almost wiped out the Passion Flower completely the first year. This year the original vines are each about four times the original size, and we have two additional Passion Flowers about the same size. That was finally enough to support the caterpillar crop this year. This is one of four butterflies that we suspect were recently caterpillars in the Passion Flowers and now spend most of the days fluttering and playing in the back yard.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
It has been a good summer for Hibiscus. So good in fact I could not be sure where I took this. One day I shot some pink Hibiscus at Alice Keck's garden and a day or two later I shot some very similar Hibiscus near Butterfly beach at the same time of day. Good thing I was using my digital camera, I could check the date.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Mexican Tulip poppy
This is a new friend that followed us home from
a nice little nursury in Montecito. Nursuries
are a dangerous place really, we only have a small
backyard and it is getting pretty full.
Last week a similar thing happend with a Passion Flower vine and a dwarf Fingered Citron tree. Both of which will be featured on the Photo of the Day in the near future. Just as soon as their blossoms get a little further along.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Backlit Grape Leaf
One nice thing about living in Southern California is the fact that you can take pictures like this even this time of year. On the other hand, we were walking The Hound yesterday when we passed a tree with beautiful fall colored leaves. Makes me think about taking a trip somewhere to see some real fall colors!
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Glowing Succulent Blossom
This was a surprising find at a local nursery. I saw the flower as we were coming up to it and I was surprised when I saw that it was growing on a cool little succulent plant. We didn't bring it home with us yet, but I'll probably be going back to get it. Usually when the photos come out like this I regret not going back to get the plant. Too bad they don't sell bigger back yards to go with it.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
It's a common flower around here, but I never knew it had so many names. This one was in a nursery in Carmel Valley.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Lily of the Rain
The yard is a completely different place in the rain. Unfortunately for my camera I love the look of the flowers when it's raining. It's not just the drops of water. If it was I could just spray them. The soft lighting from the clouds changes the feel of the photo completely.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
This is one of my favorite flowers. I don't usually see them in peach though. It took a very low angle to get this shot, as the name suggests they kind of hang down like lanterns or bells. I was almost sitting on the ground.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
We took a walk around one of our favorite nurseries today. The late afternoon light combined with the smoke in the air from the Zaca fire near us made for some beautiful lighting. Well, if we are going to put up with the fire danger we might as well get something out of it!
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Ackermanii in the Morning Sun
My wife pointed this blossom out to me this morning. It's a good thing too. The sun was so harsh this afternoon that the top of it got burned! This is on our biggest Orchid Cactus. It has been blooming non-stop for about a month which is pretty impressive since even in the shade each blossom only lasts for a few days.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Glowing Kalanchoe Close-up
I have been having a lot of fun with my plants and cameras lately. This flower is less than a quarter of an inch across. When you see it normally as just one in a cluster of flowers (called an inflorescence) the colors look continuous. Fading from red to yellow. However, on closer inspection you can see the speckled nature of the color like the printed page in a magazine.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
It was another good weekend to take pictures. But, as usual it was just too short. Fortunately I had enough time to get a shot of this cool Tiger Lily. This is actually a native Santa Barbara plant.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
I have always had a soft spot for these plants.
They have amazing thick leathery leaves and
when they bloom they are absolutely covered in flowers.
Recently there have been a more creative variety available. I found a "double" variety last year, and the coloring on this one is absolutely unique!
They make great subjects for creative photography lighting experiments too.
Monday, May 14, 2007
Glowing Sun Star
I have been playing with some creative lighting on my
flowers lately. That's the reason that the photo of the
day has been the flower of the day lately. :-D (Well, that
and the fact that it's spring and there are some amazing plants
out there that all seem to follow me home.) I\'m pretty happy
with the results though, both in the back yard and my photos!
If you ended up here because you have one of these beauties and you are looking for care instructions, take a look at the main Sun Star page. There are more tips and discussion on the March 25, 2006 Sun Star too. If you find any of it helpful, or have questions that have not been answered there, drop us a note!
Thursday, May 3, 2007
This is one of the plants that recently scored a new pot and trellis. We originally got this vine and one other to feed the butterflies in the back yard. The butterflies (and resulting caterpillars) almost got the best of them. But they have come back strong. A couple of weekends ago I spent about two hours unraveling the two vines from each other and putting them on their new trellises. It was like an elaborate living puzzle.