Monthly Archives: November 2020

“Leaf Witching”

“Leaves in Shade”
Heatherwood Fall

We are now blessed with a little frost every morning. When the sun comes out, the leaves remaining in the shade retain their frost dusting. There is so much to see. How do I pick what to photograph?

I use a similar technique that some of our forefathers used to find underground water on their land called “water witching.” Their first step was to find a branch shaped like a “Y”. They held the “Y” branches very lightly with the leg of the “Y” facing horizontally in front of them. They would slowly walk across the land hoping that the leg of the “Y” would drop. When it did, there was water below and they selected the site to dig their wells. Now, imagine a camera with a telephoto lens serving as a “witching” tool. I hold my camera lightly with the telephoto pointing horizontally forward. When I feel the lens starting to drop down there is my pile of leaves that I am destined to photograph. “Leaf witching” works for me … or maybe, my arms just get tired.

Looking Through

Kotoji, Yukimi, & Japanese Maple
Heatherwood Fall

This is one of my favorite view points in Heatherwood’s Japanese Garden. A large stone natural bridge extends over a stream and a small waterfall. On the far side of the bridge, I can look over a small Japanese maple and the Kotoji lantern to see the pond and Yukimi lantern below. Our five Japanese lanterns are placed around the garden to provide different viewpoint perspectives. As the garden changes color during the seasons, the perspectives change as well. Over time as the surrounding trees, shrubs, and ground covers mature, the perspectives will also change. There seems to be something new every time I walk around the garden.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Autumn Colors
Heatherwood Fall

This has been a crazy, crazy year. Our traditional Thanksgiving is normally spent with our wonderful families. This year will be different for many of us. We still plan to make the most of it and have quiet but special Thanksgiving Holiday.

We have a lot to be thankful for even in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. We have our health and the wonderful world around us. We share the spirt of our families even though we are physically separated. With the development of effective vaccines, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel to be able to get back to a “normal” way of life. If we all work together, we can restore our national economy and resolve the political strife. Two Thousand Twenty One will be a much better year.

Here is to all … Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Make the most of every moment.

Go With the Flow

“Rudbeckia & Grasses”
Heatherwood Garden

I saw these spent rudbeckias blowing against flowing grasses in our Heatherwood garden. I did not see the individual flowers or the grasses but instead visualized swirling orange, brown, and yellow colors and textures. When I reviewed several of the images I took, none seemed to catch the feeling that I had when I was out on my walk. Instead of moving on to other images, I decided to experiment a little by creating a multi-image blend in Photoshop. Voila … this is the result!

Thank You Neighbor!

“Neighbor’s Cherry Orchard”
Heatherwood Fall

Our neighbor’s cherry orchard provides a beautiful background for Heatherwood. It has seasonal interest throughout the year. Beautiful light pink blossoms welcome in spring. Lush green highlights the summer months. Striking orange-brown decorates the fall hillside. The snow covered trees provide a striking contrast in the winter. The orchard provides a nice place to take a walk throughout the year and provides a special sweet treat in July.

The orchard and hillside are a good example for “borrowed scenery” for Heatherwood’s Japanese garden. With the limited space in our garden, we wanted to make as much use of the surrounding hills borrowing their character and beauty. As we were laying out our garden paths and tree placements, we consciously identified surrounding areas that we wanted to highlight. We formed the path and placed trees to create framed scenes of the surrounding hills and valley below.

I Can’t Get Enough of Fall Color

“Stream Side”
Heatherwood Fall

I can’t get enough of the beautiful fall color at Heatherwood. With all the guidance to stay at home during the accelerated expansion of Covid-19 cases, we are so lucky to be able to just step outside to partake in the beauty of autumn.

Along Heatherwood’s waterfalls, several Japanese Maples grace the stream bank. Their fall color frame the Kotoji lantern as well as the stream. They are young trees now, but over time will grow with their branches extending over the stream and waterfalls. After the final leaves fall, we will reluctantly shut down the stream’s water for the winter.

Three is a Charm

American White Birch
Heatherwood Fall

Two sets of American White Birch trees were planted by the previous owner of our property. They marked the southwest and southeast corners of the original landscaped area. A lot has changed in the last four years. Now they act as sentinels linking the upper and lower landscape areas. The birches provide much needed shade in the summer and stark beauty in the winter. Their fall foliage is interesting, but not as striking as the bright yellows of the European birch. However, they are better acclimated to our environment and much more disease resistant than their European cousins.

For both the small birch groves, we are planting understory shrubs, perennials, and ground covers. This will naturalize and smooth the transition between lawn and planting areas.

Great Way to Start a New Day

“Sunshine and Mist”
Heatherwood Fall

As I was writing my daily journal entry, I looked outside my office and saw the sun highlighting a distant hill. I quickly grabbed my camera and became immersed in the sunshine and mist. Tree leaves were glistening with droplets from the prior nights rain. Sun rays were highlighting Heatherwood’s trees and shrubs while a light fog was partially hiding the surrounding hills and valley. What a great way to start the day!

Two hours later I went in the house and had a wonderful breakfast/lunch. Then Mary and I went out for another walk around the garden, enjoying, feeling, and touching nature’s wonders.

Abstract Thinking

“Sunrise Through a Pear Tree”
Heatherwood Autumn

A walk through the garden on a autumn day is always full of color. Today, I was focusing on color and texture as I was walking around with my camera. Our flowering pear is at its peak of fall color. The early morning sun came out for a moment to backlight the tree in brilliant color. I decided to create an abstract texture using a nine-image multiple exposure.

Here’s to a bright and shiny new day!