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.
Monday, April 1, 2013
Recently I found some aphids on the blossoms of one of my cacti. Rather than spray or use soap we went down to the hardware store and got a little box of lady bugs. Most of the nurseries or home and garden stores keep them in little refrigerators, kind of dormant just waiting for an assignment. Mine had two jobs... get the bugs, and look pretty for the camera while doing it.
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 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, 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.
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.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
We often try to get these guys to grow all around our property but with the exception of one pretty hearty yellow one that came up this year from seeds planted last year they seem to have a mind of their own. Even the first poppy that was the inspiration to start this site was a volunteer that popped up in one of our potted plants. This is one that we purchased from the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens. The red color was really striking and I couldn't pass it up. Which is probably not a bad thing considering we were there for a Bonsai show so there were much more expensive and delectate things I could have fallen in love with.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
It's a great time of year, time for our Epis to really start blooming. This one lasts a little longer than one evening so I'm pretty sure it is a hybrid of some sort. In the wild they only bloom for a single night. The blossom is about nine inches at the widest. The cup of petals in the middle is about four across. It is quite an amazing sight and makes for some nice night-time photography.
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.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Sun Star Bloom
Well it's that time of year the Sun Stars are in bloom!
This is a beautiful Orange hybrid related to a Star-of-Bethlehem.
This particular flower was my first one. It took a rest last year, but
it is back strong.
If you landed here looking for care and feeding of your new plant take a look at the Sun Star page. And my earlier shot from the first time this one bloomed. Most importantly, it's a perennial bulb, so No!... you did not kill it! It dies back every year down to the bulb. And pretty fast after it's done blooming! If you're looking for one, they are available as live plants now. Or you can get bulbs in the fall. I've had a few requests for sources of bulbs so I'll try to get some links online soon.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
More plants followed us home from the grocery store the other day. One of them was this beautiful Tulip. The bellows was still out from the recent Ladybug fest so this shot was inevitable really.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Break time for the farmworker
Another lady bug fresh from work on our epi farm. They are doing a great job,
the aphids are virtually gone! So she (he?) deserves a break. This is a rose
from our first anniversary. Lasted well didn't it? Well, it helps to buy the
bush rather than the cut flowers. :-D
Unlike the Ladybug from yesterday I shot this one with a macro lens attachment and no bellows. This was the closest I could get as compared to yesterday when I was actually at the maximum focal distance of the bellows. This way I can get a little bit of the beautiful surroundings. Oh, and as you can probably tell it's dark outside. I was using a hand-held light to get these shots. I'ts best to release the lady bugs in the evening unless you just want them to fly away.
It was interesting though, they were much warmer and therefore much more active tonight. It finally got to the point where I had to go inside because I was covered in ladybugs. Fortunately these don't bite unlike the apparently carnivorous ladybugs in the farm country where my parents live. When the farmers harvest the fields the ladybugs run... and then they descend upon my parents' house in a swarm.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Lady in the Epi
The ladybugs seem to really love our epis.
Probably because when they start to bloom (the epis, not the bugs :-D) there's a lot of nectar
around the buds. The nectar seems to attract aphids. This time
we tried to get the jump on them. We bought a small bag of
ladybugs from the hardware store. Of course I was not going to let
them go until the camera was ready!
I used a bellows to get close enough for this shot. The whole background of the shot is the same flower that the ladybug is sitting on.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Ranunculus Close Up
It may not seem like it, but I have finally
got off the sofa to start to take some pictures
again. This was during a nice walk through a local
nursery the other day.
I appreciate all your kind notes and thoughts over the last few weeks. Zoe's still a great inspiration. I think of her often when we are out and see something beautiful like this, or the amazing flowering pear trees that are covered in white blossoms right now. The kind of things that she would have got me out of the house to take pictures of. Now it's all up to Tweetums to get us out of the house once in a while! I wonder if he would like to go out for a walk? ...hmmm
Monday, May 28, 2007
Poppy Seed Pod
No, it's not upside down! Well, the photo's not anyway, the flower is.
This is the same flower from the Photo of the Day on the 20th. By the looks of things there will be poppies all over the place in our back yard next year.
I like the "cross section" look of the flower. And the ruffled edge of the petals too.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Kalanchoe & Star
I was tinkering with using the Kalanchoe as a nice backdrop to get some shots of the green tipped Sun Star blossoms. In the end I was happiest with the shots that had them both in the mix. I really like the Kalanchoe in this shot because one of the flowers in the upper right has five petals. There are hundreds of blossoms and only two of them have five petals. The rest all have four.
Friday, September 22, 2006
A few months ago we put some new plants in
near our front door. Among them were a few white Cyclamen
and one purple one. The Purple one was right next to this
white plant but it did not seem to do
so well. There is not much left of it above ground
But it has managed to make it's presence known. (they are tubers,
so hopefully it is still down there)
These plants are interesting and beautiful anyway. The flower is actually pointing down and the petals turn around and point up. (called "reflexed petals") But this little addition has made this one of the more interesting plants in the front yard at the moment!
Thursday, August 31, 2006
I really like this shot because, not only can
you make out the individual flowers in the center
of the daisy, but you can see the different stages
of their development. In the center they have not
opened yet, but has you move out you can see the stages
of the flowers' development.
This is not the first time I have enjoyed the structure of a daisy on the photo of the day.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
One of our neighbor's beautiful roses was peeking over the fence. Actually several of them are. We only have small yards here, in fact our neighbor's yard is actually a patio. But he makes good use of it. It is completely covered with roses in giant containers. This one is about 6 feet tall.