Tag Archives: pink

“A Touch of Pink”

“A Touch of Pink”

A soul mate’s purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master…” 
― Elizabeth Gilbert

I gazed at this Queen Anne’s Lace flower in amazement. I had never noticed the pink frill. As I observed other, it became apparent that this was unique to one small patch, all the others were plain white.

What made this one particularly special was the slight heart shape, or am I imagining this?

The shape caused me to drift into the realm of emotion and life. My wife simply loves Queen Anne’s Lace and has made several lovely photos of the blossoms. That makes my photography expeditions so much nicer; having someone who also appreciates nature and photography, and is so incredibly supportive and encouraging of my journey into this art. This, of course, means infinite patience on drives, as I pull over to capture some roadside image, though she may not see it as I do. It means helping me overcome my self-doubt about my abilities, as she challenges me to be better than I believe I can be. As in the quote above from Eat, Pray, Love, she pushes me to be more, and for this, I am eternally grateful.

I truly believe that if it were not for her I would still be taking snapshots, suitable only for the family album, and nothing more. Instead, she has opened me up to sense the life and energy around me, by being a part of it. Thus enabling me to focus on the essence of what I am photographing.

Which brings me back to the image of the Queen Anne’s Lace blossoms, with its unusual pink frills, encircling an incredibly complex cluster of sub-blossoms. Each of the ‘pinks’ are small flower clusters as are the component bundles they surround.

Be sure you have a close look at this lovely blossom, go deep, and enjoy this moment captured on a recent summer morning. From the heart.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/320 sec, f/16.0 ISO 200

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“Purple Flowering Raspberry”

“Purple Flowering Raspberry  -Rubus odoratus”

“Saepe creat molles aspera spina rosas” – “Often the prickly thorn produces tender roses” 
― Ovid

This was a mystery plant to me, for a long time. On initial inspection, it looks like a wild rose, but the leaf is not right. It looks like a raspberry, but the flower is too big. So, what is it? Turns out, it’s a bit of both. It’s a flowering raspberry, and a member of the rose family. It’s also one of the larger trailside blossoms, so is easily located. The blossom colour varies considerably from pale purple to magenta, pink to almost white.

It’s also know, in some locations as Thimbleberry and is harvested to make preserves. I’ve tasted the berries, tentatively, thinking they might be raspberries, but found them to be very bitter and not to my liking. Maybe it makes a good jam thought? It would take a lot of berries and they are not overly plentiful.

When I looked back through all my images, I was surprised that I did not have many of this common blossom. So, it was time to make a fresh one and talk a bit about it.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/160 sec, f/9.0 ISO 800

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Musk Mallow”

“Musk Mallow - Malva moschata L.”

“I must have flowers, always, and always.” 
― Claude Monet

I’ve seen these pretty clumps of pink flowers along the roadside before. Many times. I’ve just driven by, last year I saw some and turned the car around to make some photos, but they turned out to be quite disappointing, a bit out of focus, and not showing the characteristics of the flowers well. They are quite pretty and really stand out because of their moderate height and large pink blossoms.

This year I found a few along a local roadside and took the time to gather a few for studio work. It was a hot day, so I carefully clipped them and placed them on the passenger seat floor, in a box to keep them cool, hoping they would not wilt too much. When I got them home, I place them in a vase for a few minutes, though they did not seem to have suffered much from the short journey home.

I made a few images from different angles, but as is usually the case with my compositions, the first, intuitive shot was the best, showing the nature of the flower, with it’s frilly pink petals, a partially emerged blossom and a group of buds, not yet opened below. To this point, I had no idea what type of plant it was, the buds looked a bit like holly-hock. So, as I always do, I went to my wildflower books and found out that it is a musk mallow. I found that a curious name, till I gave it the ‘sniff test’. Yes, musk mallow is indeed a good name for this. So, one more mystery plant identified and documented.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
0.8 sec, f/40.0ISO 100

High Resolution image on 500px

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Sweet Pea Blossoms”

“Sweet Pea Blossoms”

“Like all sweet dreams, it will be brief, but brevity makes sweetness, doesn’t it?”
― Stephen King

Much of the conservation land surrounding my home, including parks and hiking trails, was, at some not too distant time, farmland. It’s difficult to visualize, as I walk through now forested areas. Every now and then though, evidence of former use makes itself known.

On one particular site, many perennial sweet peas can be found at the perimeter of meadows, especially now that they are beginning to bloom. They are quite lovely and I thought worth sharing.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/320 sec, f/7.1 ISO 400

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Pink Bliss”

“Pink Bliss”

“Now a soft kiss – Aye, by that kiss, I vow an endless bliss.”
― John Keats

What more can I say, I am enveloped in pink. It is the  colour theme of the season, the transition from whites to pinks and purples.

Our peonies, are redolent in pinks and magentas. The gardens, filled with pink ruffles, brilliant white ecstasy, and magenta glory.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
2.0 sec, f/36.0 ISO 100

High Resolution image on 500px

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“Pink Ruffles”

“Pink Ruffles”

“Everything passes. Joy. Pain. The moment of triumph; the sigh of despair. Nothing lasts forever – not even this.”
― Paul Stewart

The ‘fancy’ pink peonies are blooming at last. The flowers this year are massive and I frankly have no idea how the weight of the blossoms is supported by some of the stalks. Were it not for surrounding vegetation and a fence, they would surely collapse under their own weight.

I’m hoping to enjoy them for at least a few days, before the heat of day takes its toll or a rainstorm adds so much weight that the just fold over. Perhaps it’s the brevity and uncertainty of their beauty that makes them so precious?

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
2.0 sec, f/36.0 ISO 100

High Resolution image on 500px

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Heritage Peony -Edulis Superba, 1824”

“Heritage Peony -Edulis Superba, 1824”

“The long roots of the peony strike deep into the past.”
– Alice Coats

Today I’m sharing a peony that I have many of and I don’t believe this is the first blossom either. Several blossoms opened a few days ago, so it’s hard to know. The plant itself came from abandoned (expropriated) farm near my home. The family who used to live there (Spangs) were close friends with my wife’s family and are distant relations.

The land was expropriated (taken by the government) back in the nineteen seventies, with plans to build an international airport. Those plans never materialized and many families were displaced for nothing. Over time, houses and farm building were rented out or simply abandoned to rot. Many of these farms also had beautiful gardens at one point, now overgrown with grasses and thick shrubbery. I noticed the bright pinks of these peonies from the road, as I drove by and asked permission to dig them up. Permission was granted and I proceeded to recover some twenty plants, some of which went to my gardens and others were given to friends, as well as planted in the gardens at my kids’ school.

I have no idea how old the plants are, but peonies can live for close to a century and these have roots the size of yams. I have a touch with peonies and most plants bloomed the next year. These are also prolific bloomers, with each stem producing up to three flowers (you can see two more buds in the photo), making for a terrific display.

As I enjoy them, so do others and I’m often asked about them. It’s nice to be able to tell this story, give a bit of local history, and simply enjoy the lasting beauty of these deep pink blossoms, as they fill the air with their rich fragrance.

This richly fragrant, deep pink relic is one of the oldest peonies of all, and yet, writes expert Martin Page, it’s “still one of the best.” Introduced in France soon after the first lactiflora peonies arrived from China, it has been cherished ever since  for its “good form, strong color, and delightful fragrance” (Boyd, 1928).

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
2.0 sec, f/32.0 ISO 100

High Resolution image on 500px

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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