Category Archives: Flora

“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.

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!

Buttery

“November Rose”
Heatherwood, Fall

The buttery yellow of a November rose brings a little sunshine to our rose garden. Most of the garden’s roses are spent and hanging down. Just a few of our yellow floribunda remain. Even these are on their last hurrah. Leaves are wilting and falling off. Rose hips are forming. It is time for the roses to go to sleep for the winter and get their rest for a bright June bloom.

Leaves in the Grass

“Leaves in the Grass”
Heatherwood, Fall

The wind was blowing and leaves were falling. It was time to go out and play with my camera. Walking around looking at the blowing trees, I wasn’t coming up with anything that really grabbed me. I looked down at my feet and saw patches of leaves in the grass. I decided to try a slow diagonal pan using multiple exposures. Here’s the result.

Heatherwood Fall Colors #8

“Liatris Glory”
Heatherwood Meadow, Fall

These Liatris were once a brilliant purple in their summer prime. Their beauty remains even after the blooms have long shed their color. Part of nature’s glory in our meadow is what is left behind. The late afternoon sunlight creates an emphemeral feeling of fleeting moments. I anticipate the liatris will present a different version of beauty as the late fall frost and winter snow decorates them.

Heatherwood Fall Colors #5

Russian Sage & Yarrow
Heatherwood Fall

“Purple and Gold” is my favorite color combination. Being from the University of Washington, how can I help not having these being my favorites? Go Dawgs!!!

Fall and Husky football are synonymous. September and October have not really felt like fall with no Husky football. But, the short season is scheduled to start on 7 November. It will be a different type of season, but at least the young athletes will get to play if things don’t change.

In the meantime, my focus has been in our garden, working and enjoying the fall colors. Throughout the meadows and rock gardens, the primary colors are purple (asters, Russian sage, etc.) and gold (rudbeckia, yarrow, etc.). Reds, yellows, greens and oranges highlight the trees.

Heatherwood Fall Color #4

“Fall Roses”
Heatherwood Fall

The roses are hanging on to their last burst of color. They have provided five months of beautiful enjoyment. It is now time for them to rest. The following is Mary’s perspective:

Fall Roses

As the end of the summer comes, 
one last gasp of velvety red hangs quietly from the stem.

The season of roses gave us color and imagination 
with every gaze of the thirteen rose bushes planted here two years ago.

Some made their way inside, but most lost their petals 
in the summer winds and carpeted the ground with red, pink, yellow, and white.

Now the cold nights are here, and the fall sky grays dully 
during the shortening days.

Here, two red blossoms hang on, sharing their last gasp of fragrant beauty, 
delicate yet defiant of the nature of things.

The uncut rose hips signal a winter nap to get ready for next year’s bloom, 
and their cycle reminds us of the ebb and flow.

Thank you, little roses, for teaching us that the difference 
between the end and the beginning is simply a little time to get ready.

                                                                           Mary Graf, 2020

Heatherwood Fall Colors #3

Liquidamber Styraciflua ‘Worplesdon’ (Sweet Gum)
Heatherwood Fall

A pair of liquidambers frame the entry area to Heatherwood. I planted them three years ago, before we added the other entryway planting areas and replaced the flowering plum trees with Green Vase Zelkovas. I am attracted to them because of their prominent upright shape, their brilliant fall color, and their “spikey” fruit.

I first planted three liquidambars in our Woodinville, WA garden 25 years ago. I did not have much luck. The first winter after I planted them, we had a very wet snow storm followed by a freeze. The trees still had their leaves and the weight of the snow and ice bent them over to the ground. While we lived there, they never regained their form. Our first year in Fountainville, PA we planted a row of five liquidambers along the road in our front yard. They became the star of our front yard landscape. So when I moved back to Selah, I had to add a pair to a prominent place in our landscape.