Category Archives: Our Garden

Images taken in our Pennsylvania garden

Hana Matoi #3

Hana Matoi Late Fall Growth
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

A few red and green leaves of late autumn growth contrast against the dried brown leaves of the spent leaves. Ice plants in their red and yellow winter color on the hillside frame the new leaves.

Below, the fragile disectum leaves of the Hana Matoi shade the spreading blue purplish green thyme below.

This concludes my Hana Matoi mini-project. Or does it? These six images in the last 3 posts were all taken on an overcast day. Early morning light and late afternoon light provide many additional perspectives. Different seasons display different colors. Snow, ice, rain, and dew create magical views. And there are always an abundance of opportunities for abstracts. An infinite number of images are yet to be discovered.

Hana Matoi #2

Hana Matoi Looking Down
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

This post continues my Hana Matoi mini project. Looking for a different perspective, I walked up and leaned into the tree. I stood on my tip toes, held my camera above my head and took this image looking down through the top leaves to highlight the structure of the trunk and branches. It looks like a good spot for a bird to nest.

The image below is from a perspective of walking on a semi-hidden path adjacent to the main Japanese garden path. The Hokkeji pulls a visitor’s eyes to the Hana Matoi and the garden hillside.

Hokkeji and Hana Matoi
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

Hana Matoi #1

Hana Matoi Japanese Maple
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

I love my morning walks through the garden with my camera. Many times I stop and take a photograph of something I have taken several times before. A couple of days ago I decided to give myself a little challenge to take purposeful photographs of some of our Japanese maples from a different perspective than I have before.

I walked around the little Hana Matoi from different directions and distances. I took close-up and distance images. I climbed above and got down on my hands and knees to just check things out. I used the tree as my primary subject and as a background. I used my feet as my zoom lens. After about an hour, I had around fifty images of different perspectives. I decided to make a small mini project of six images to attempt to characterize our little Hana Matoi Japanese maple.

The above image portrays the Hana Matoi near the entrance of Heatherwood’s Japanese Garden looking east. The maple welcomes visitors to the garden and introduces them to what is to come.

In the image below, the Hana Matoi bids the visitors goodbye as they round a bend and start to exit the garden.

The Caretaker

Yukimi Lantern Overlooking Pond
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

A little Yukimi lantern guards over our small pond. During the winter months we turn off the waterfall, which allows the surface of the pond to function as a mirror reflecting the rocks and trees above. For now it is peaceful and quiet. In two months, the water will be turned back on and the waterfall’s turbulence will excite the emergence of spring.

Come On In!

Japanese Garden Entrance
Heatherwood, Winter

Come on it! The curved path and rock border leads the way. The Hokkoji lantern provides a greeting. Branches of deciduous trees frame a vision of what may be. Conifers hint what may lie beyond as the fog creates a little mystery and maybe hides a surprise.

These are some of the thoughts and ideas that have gone into the design of Heatherwood.


“Selah Ridge – Framed”
Heatherwood, Winter

I constantly am trying to improve my photographic skills. Early this morning I was re-reviewing an on-line class from David duChemin titled “The Decisive Moment.” It was dark outside when I started the session. After I finished, I looked outside and saw that our garden was encased in fog. The decisive moment was at hand. I quickly slipped on my shoes and grabbed my camera. It was mysterical and magical outside. I enjoyed this moment and many more.

Related Images:

Looking for Light

Hokkoji Lantern
Heatherwood Japanese Garden

The entrance path to our Japanese garden is in the shade in the early morning. I walked around the corner of the house and got a blast of sun rays shining through the crabapple and Japanese maples. Frost crystals reflected tiny speckles of light back at me. I stopped … and just took in the light and the abundance of early winter color.

I appreciate the light that surrounds us. It may be physical light, or it may be the light of a new thought, or even may be the light of a smile. I try to keep my mind clear and search out the light that each day brings. Something always appears!

Abstract Thinking

“Rudbeckia Cezanne Style”
Heatherwood Meadow

As I was reviewing some of my past images, I saw this one and immediate thought of an Impressionistic painting. Topaz Impression and Cezanne came to my aid. Magic happens.

Below is the original image straight out of the camera.

“Original Image”

Brightness to Start My Day

“Early Morning Beauty”
Heatherwood Meadow

Yesterday I woke up to a bright and brilliant early winter day. The skies were bright blue without a cloud. Sun was streaming down on our Heatherwood meadow. I grabbed my camera and went exploring. Many times when I wander through the garden I pick a certain photographic aspect that I want to practice. Yesterday I chose close-up isolation using depth of field. I chose a 100-400mm lens as my tool.

So off I went looking for a spent flower highlighted by the beautiful early morning sunlight with an interesting background. This is one of the “beauties” I found. It was a wonderful way to start my day.

A Beautiful Winter Day

“Winter Color”
Heatherwood Rock Garden

December 31 was a beautiful winter day and a great way to end the year in the garden. The temperature was in the mid-40’s and the sky was bright blue. Mary and I took a walk around the neighborhood and then settled into our Adirondack rockers or our lower patio. We closed our eyes and cherished the warm sun as it beamed down on our cheeks. It was a time for quiet and a little reflection on things that we were thankful for during the past year.

Peacefully sitting in our garden enjoying the warmth and beauty of nature, it just doesn’t get any better.