Don’t Forget Purple

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Lilies in summer,
Yellow and orange and pink—
Beautiful flowers!

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The Fire Within

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The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled. —Plutarch

Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple

One thing leads to another.

Read The Daily Post on Friday afternoon. Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple. Walk down to collect the real mail a few minutes later, notice a wide patch of thistles in a neighbor’s pasture. Return with 400mm lens on tripod. Decide that photo is too flat, but closer views show promise. Strong breezes make focusing and framing difficult. Become aware of several bumblebees working over the thistles, but impossible to track. Ready to hang it up when a solitary swallowtail butterfly arrives. Breezes be damned. Thirty minutes together before it moves out of sight. Back to the computer, and I’ll be darned—a keeper!

Dreaming of Provence

The Provence region in southeastern France is renowned for its artful fields of lavender, but until I go there I’ll be satisfied with the short row Kathy has planted along the path from our house to the garden. Honeybees like it, too.

Garden Delights

I was on my hands and knees in the garden yesterday, which has begun its colorful run towards summer with the lovely Iris in the lead. That’s an irresistible photo subject for me (here’s a post from 2007), and I wasn’t alone—a really fat bumblebee was focused on the flowers for its own purposes.

Since I don’t own a dedicated macro lens I rely on a 90mm Tilt/Shift lens, which focuses to about a foot-and-a-half. That’s not bug close, so for shots like this I sometimes add a close-up filter, in this case a B+W Close-up NL +1 Lens. I was pleased with the framing at the 90’s minimum focusing distance.

“I’ve never seen Iris that look like these,” you say? I confess—so-called artistic liberties have been taken to better match the flowers’ already flagrant colors with my perceptions of them. Like the bumblebee, I came away from the garden very satisfied.