Category Archives: Details

Playing in the Sprinklers

“In the Sprinkers 1”
Heatherwood Meadow

I have been trying to create the essence of what I see in the meadow for the last couple of weeks. My results have not been satisfying. I am still making my images from my mower since I cannot walk around unaided yet. My prior images have not been as crisp as I would like. I converted several into abstracts to make up for their softness.

For this next set of images, I focused on isolation using a long lens and a narrow depth of field. I also timed taking the images when the meadow was being watered with sprinklers.

In my youth, the highlight of a warm summer day was running through sprinklers in our yard with my brother and sister. I guess I have never outgrown those special times.

Another Newcomer

Mountain Lantern
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

This informal Mountain lantern was also added this spring to the Heatherwood Japanese Garden. It quietly sits on the hillside above our “Perch” viewing overlook. Its light will gently grace chairs below. I look forward to spending warm summer evenings listening to the waterfall and overlooking the garden below.

Nature’s Little Wonders – 6

“Ouch”
Yakima Arboretum, Washington

“When you see red, shoot” … especially in the garden. The leathery red leaves of this Oregon grape popped out from the background. The Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium) is a multi-season star of the garden. Its dark green leaves provide a strong contrast with its bright yellow spring blooms. These turn into blue berries in the late summer/fall. In the winter, the leaves turn to various shades of orange, burgundy, and red.

We have planted several mahonia among the pines and spruces of our conifer grove to provided a multi-season complimentary contrast.

Nature’s Little Wonders – 5

“Squiggly”
Yakima Arboretum, Washington

The squiggly branches of this tree shrub would catch anyone’s interest. My challenge creating this image was to compose it to achieve a balance within the image and to have a light background to highlight the curly branches.

Heatherwood does not have one of these … yet. It is another opportunity to make an interesting addition.

Nature’s Little Wonders – 3

Oakleaf Hydrangea
Yakima Arboretum, Washington

The glow of this back/side lit expired hydrangea bloom stopped me in my tracks. It was like if it was a bright red stop sign signaling me to stop and pay attention to what it had to offer. Each fall, I face a hard decision to deadhead the spent blooms for a better bloom next year, or let them be to provide special winter interest. We solved the problem this spring by planting several additional plants in the lower part of the garden.

Nature’s Little Wonders – 1

Paperbark Maple
Yakima Arboretum, Washington

This post will start a series of images depicting nature’s little wonders. These images are from a photo excursion I took in the Yakima Arboretum over a year ago. From time to time, I give myself an assignment to practice a specific type of photography. This trip I focused on looking for little things that caught my eye whatever they might be. Some were abstracts, others were macro details of pieces of nature.

Interesting bark was one of the things that caught my eye. The texture and color contrasts of the peeling bark of a paperbark maple (Acer griseum) creates a beautiful abstract that highlights a winter scene. We have planted two acer griseums in our yard, one at the entry of our Japanese garden and one in the middle of our front lawn. They are striking in the summer and gorgeous in the winter, especially covered with a little snow.

Monet’s Yarrow

Yarrow in the Meadow”
Heatherwood Summer

This image continues the theme from my previous post. The colors in our new meadow are striking. Adjacent colors were actually laid out using a color wheel. Here, opposite colors were planted next to each other to create the color contrast. Here again Monet’s perspective comes to the rescue.

Isolation #2

“Past, Present, & Future”
Cherokee Dogwood
Heatherwood Autumn

This is another example of “Isolation.” My mission for this photo excursion was to collect isolated macro images that represent the early autumn of our Japanese Garden. I am in the process of preparing annual image collections of how our Heatherwood Garden changes from season to season throughout the year. For this specific photo shoot, I walked around the Garden and tried to collect compelling images that would represent the details of our autumn garden.

The uniqueness of this image is that is illustrates the yearly life cycle of a dogwood tree bloom. The yellow protrusions are the remnants of the spring blossom sepals; the leaves are turning to their autumn color before they fall for the winter; the red berry is the fruit for the wintering birds, and the purplish bud is the future blossom for next spring. The dew drop adds additional interest while the tips and edges of the leaves draw the viewers eye to the subject.