Category Archives: Details

Macro Stroll

“Japanese Maple Leaf on Phlox”
Heatherwood Winter

I enjoy the little things in the garden. A couple of days ago, I took a short stroll with my macro lens just looking for little things of contrast and interest. I looked down and noticed a single Japanese maple leaf from last year lying across the new growth of the a mound of phlox ground cover. The tips of the maple leaf accentuated the tips of the old and new growth of the phlox.

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Adios Until Next Fall!

“Last Year’s Grasses”
Heatherwood Meadow

By the time this post is published, this clump of grasses will be gone. They are saying goodbye until next autumn. We have held off cutting the grasses down through the winter. They have provided seeds for the birds and interesting visual textures for us to enjoy. We enjoy watching them flow through the winter winds as well as visualizing the interesting shapes they form when laden with snow.

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Shadows Beget Hope

“First Crocus”
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

After the shadow of record-setting freezing temperatures, our first crocuses start to emerge. They provide hope that spring is just around the corner. In a similar fashion, I contemplate and pray that our world’s humanity will overcome the shadow that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is causing.

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Purple & Green

“Blue Rug Juniper and Woolly Thyme”
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

Many times I walk through our garden with my camera focusing on a simple objective. Contrasting colors and textures in our winter garden was my photographic theme during this day’s garden stroll. I consider our Heatherwood garden as one big experiment. This little vignette is the result of two seasons growth of a creeping juniper and a soft-textured thyme. It provides a tight contrasting ground cover in our Japanese influenced garden. More thyme has been ordered for this year’s planting project to provide additional interesting ground cover for the garden.

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Seed Pod or Weapon?

“Nature’s Flail”
Heatherwood Liquidambar

Little things frequently catch my attention during my garden strolls. I almost always have a camera with me to record my thoughts. Liquidambars (American Sweetgum) have caught my interest for many years. Their beautiful multi-color fall foliage first caught my eye in a nursery near Woodinville, WA in the late 80’s. I purchased two and planted them at our driveway’s entrance. An ice storm following a heavy snowfall bent the trees to the ground and broke off several branches. The trees never really fully recovered.

My next experience was in Pennsylvania where I again saw the beautiful fall color of a row of sweetgums lining a local nursery. I quickly bought six trees to line the edge of our yard along the road. Fifteen years later, they were the highlight of our neighborhood’s drive.

I am on my third trial here in Central Washington. Two years after I moved in, I planted two more Liquidambars, one on each side of our driveway. They grace our front yard with lush green foliage in the spring and summer, beautiful fall color, and the weapons shown in the image above in the winter.

When I look at these spiked seed pods, they remind me of a spiked medieval weapon called a flail. I don’t want to think how it would feel to be hit by one. However, I have felt the excruciating pain of crawling around on the ground weeding beneath a tree and kneeling on one of the spiked seed pods.

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A Beautiful Gift

“Late Afternoon Sunlight”
Heatherwood Rose Garden

It was a beautiful late autumn day. The sun was just about ready to fall behind the western hills. I was out strolling through the garden enjoying the warm sun and beautiful light shining across our Heatherwood lower garden. The last rays were caressing one of the late roses. It stood up beconing me to pay attention and photograph it. I made one image, then the sun dropped below the hill and the light was gone. What a wonderful gift to end the day!

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Play and Experiment

Heatherwood Late Fall

The best way to learn is to just do it, experiment and play. I just got a new Lensbaby lens to add to my arsenal of tools for macro photography. After watching several videos on using the Lensbaby by other photographers, I came away with the bottom line tip, “Put the lens on your camera for several weeks, and just go out, play, and experiment.” This image is one of my first experiments.

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Happy Thanksgiving

“Fothergilla and Maple Leaf”
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

Thanksgiving is a time to sit back, contemplate, and give thanks for the many things in the wonderful world around us. Everywhere I turn in our Heatherwood garden I see a little wonder of nature, This spent Japanese maple leaf among glorious reds, oranges, and yellows of a fothergilla highlights the beauty of the changing season. Noticing little things like the leaf on my daily strolls through our garden brings me excitement, peace, and balance. Being in nature frees up my mind from the many distractions of life and allows me to focus on what is most important to me. It reminds me to celebrate all the good that is in our world.

May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends, family, and loved ones! And, please take the time to give thanks for all the good around us.

Happy Thanksgiving!


“Last Days”
The Palouse, Washingto

For years, this tree was a cornerstone of a SW view from Steptoe Butte. It anchored a vignette of lush green (spring), golden tan (harvest), and contrasting dark and light browns (after plowing). I had last seen it during the fall of 2019, pre-Covid. It still had all its leaves and looked healthy (at least from a distance). When I saw it from Steptoe this spring during a severe draught, it had lost most of its leaves. I am afraid that this stately giant is in its last days.

On the last day of our workshop, several of us went out to photograph the tree up close. I made images from several different perspectives, but nothing seemed to express the sadness I felt seeing the tree in its dying state. Most of my images were of the lone tree against a background of rolling green hills and a cloud dotted sky. It seemed lonely, just left to die. Then I looked up and zoomed in to focus on the strong stately branches still reaching out. This is how I want to remember it.

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