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, May 27, 2013
Pink Epi Blossom
Ok, before you just dismiss this as just another flower, you should know this is a pretty cool plant. This is an Epiphyllum (or Hylocereus) Hybrid. It's a cactus similar to a christmas cactus, but bigger in every way. The pads are several feet long, and this blossom is about 9 inches across. His ancestors, were pure white and lived in one of the most unlikely places imaginable for a cactus, the canopy of Central American jungles, just like orchids (hence Epiphyllum, an epiphyte is a plant that grows upon another plant, like an orchid.) If that is not interesting enough, the large white blossoms of their ancestors bloomed in the evening for only one night. Why? Because their pollinators are nocturnal and some have fairly bad eyesight... bats and some large moths. I've always loved these plants. I have more than I really have room for, and each one is an amazing beauty.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
One of my beautiful Epiphyllum blossoms blooming right now. These are some of my favorite plants. Imagine a Christmas cactus, with 3 foot long pads and blossoms literally 9" across.
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Ranunculus Dew Drops
Last night we we were wandering around the plant section of the local home improvement store and we found ourselves in the spring Annuals section. I'm a sucker for varigated flowers, especially red and yellow, and I really love Ranunculus. This one is a bit more subtle than most varigated flowers. From a distance the petals look orange, But the veins are more orange-red and the petals are yellow. Which makes for an amazing effect where they seem to change color depending upon the angle you look at them. And with so many petals the effect is even more pronounced. This morning my wife found him a nice spot in the back yard and gave him some water, then it was time for his photo shoot!
Monday, December 24, 2012
State Street Farmers Market
This is State Street in Santa Barbara on a Tuesday afternoon. One of our larger farmers markets, although they set up at one place or another around town almost every day of the week. I was looking for some nice shots of the people on state street, and this turned out to be one of my favorites mainly because of the little girl's expression in the lower left.
Friday, December 21, 2012
Sunset at the Santa Barbara Farmers Market Vertical Panorama
A couple of weeks ago I was wandering around the Santa Barbara Farmers' Market during a beautiful sunset. It was the perfect opportunity for a glimpse of downtown Santa Barbara life.
Friday, July 20, 2012
Man Eating Jungle Cactus
Ok, well maybe not man eating, but if you see him in person you might think it's possible. This is one of my Epis, and although there is not much in this image for size reference the blossom is at least eight inches across. These beauties are more like orchids than cacti. They, or more specifically their non-hybridized ancestors, grow in the South African jungle canopy and in the wild they are polinated by bats. Nature never ceases to amaze!
Monday, July 16, 2012
Cosmos Honey Bee
A Honey Bee on a cosmos flower at a beautiful spot in Carmel Valley.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Monarch Butterfly [Danaus plexippus] on a Zinnia at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History's Butterflies alive. It took a bit of manuvering to get the profile shot I was looking for, and although there are many more opportunities at the Natural History Museum, it's still fun to try to get just the shot you're looking for.
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Zebra Heliconian Butterfly
Zebra Heliconian butterfly at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History's Butterflies Alive display. The museum allows you to wander in an enclosed area full of hundreds of butterflies this time of year. It's a wonderful experience!
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Gulf Fritillary at Rolling Hills Nursery
A backlit beauty at one of my favorite local nurseries! This is a Gulf Fritillary at Rolling Hills Nusery in Buellton. We have some beautiful nurseries in Santa Barbara, but sometimes it's nice to get away for the day and see what's happening in the Santa Ynez Valley. Especially this time of year with our June Gloom (costal fog that covers the city for most of the day,) which comes early sometimes. The fog is usually very beautiful in itself, but after a couple of days it's nice to be able to go get a little sun in the valley. Then we can come home to the nice cool evening termeratures.
Monday, April 23, 2012
This beauty was found in one of my favorite local nurseries, Terra Sol. There are a lot of beautiful poppies around this time of year, but the advantage of taking my camera to Terra Sol is they have them up on shelves which makes it a lot easer to get nice angles like this. Of course I have been known to lay down on the ground with my camera when necissary to get these beauties, but it's nice to have a variety of subjects all in one place.
Monday, January 30, 2012
Nursery Hummer Close Up
A beautiful Anna's Hummingbird at one of my favorite spots, Terra Sol Nursery in Goleta, California. I imagine, living in a nursery for them must be like us living in an all you can eat buffet with all your favorite foods. It seems like a pretty good life, they live in there a lot closer than most hummingbirds because of the abundance of food. And the Nursery's cat is very mellow and never bothers them, but keeps anything else away that might be a predator.
Monday, December 5, 2011
Amaryllis Christmas Flower
Blooming amaryllis flower. This is the biggest Amaryllis I have ever seen. The bulb is amazing, and as the first bud started to work it's way out I could see there were going to be quite a few blossoms. I loved the curves of the blossoms as they opened, and my timing was perfect. A few minutes after this shot was taken the inflorescence was completely open and the five buds were all pointing in different directions.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Hummingbird Sampling Nectar
Last weekend the Hummingbirds were very busy at the local nurseries. This girl (an Anna's Hummingbird) in particular was spending a lot of time at her favorite flowers. She was not particularly excited to have me there at first. But it was easy to see she really loved these flowers, some kind of South African Lily I believe. So all I had to do was get a step closer each time she came by, and she eventually was pretty comfortable with me.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Our winter friends are back! The last couple of weeks have seen quite an increase in the number of Monarch butterflies around Santa Barbara. This one floated by as I was chasing a Hummingbird. The hummingbird turned out to be too shy, but there is always someone around who loves to have their picture taken!
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Poppies and Dasies Playing in the Sprinklers
I didn't intentionally put the water drops on these flowers when I was taking care of a friend's yard. But I did have my camera along for just such an occasion. I loved the way the light caught the huge drops of water. The beautiful curves of the drops complement the small ridges of the poppy petals nicely. And then the daisy decided he wanted to be in the picture and leaned in from the right and said CHEEEEESE. Ok, maybe I spend a little too much time in the garden, but I'm making up for a very busy year that saw my plants too neglected.
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.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Varigated Miniature Rose
Most of my recent work has been architecture and Santa Barbara city related. Most of those images take a bit logner to plan and execute so the photo of the day has fallen behind a bit lately.so I decided to spend some time last weekend looking through some of my older flower shots looking for interesting unpublished images.