It's great to have wildflowers back.
Well hello there, spring. Welcome back.
It's brutally cold out there today (at least here in Council Bluffs), so here's a flourish of warmth for everybody.
Here's a thistle I recently found in a local prairie preserve here in Council Bluffs. They're not the easiest flower to handle, obviously, but they're worth the trouble. Thanks to everybody who visited my display at Lauritzen Gardens over the summer. It was an incredible experience.
I've never had much luck photographing hibiscus blossoms, so I've been experimenting a bit with hibiscus buds and seeds. Here's the former. By the way, because of the subtle out-of-focus gradient around the flower, this photo will probably look bad on some screens. It should look mildly better here than on my Facebook page, but the image as I see it in Lightroom (and hopefully the future print) looks as it should. Just one of the pitfalls of jpg compression/screen differences/other technical ado. Thanks for looking.
Thanks again to Teri for planting so many zinnias in our flower garden this year. I had never realized how expressive they can be. As we approach the (second) end of my Lauritzen Gardens show, this is perhaps the best weekend to go, since admission is free on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (Labor Day).
I misidentified this flower last week. It's not a coreopsis; it's a cosmos. Same tribe, different genus. But do I get partial credit since they're fellow tribesmen?
We were all excited that one of our California poppy plants was about to blossom, worried constantly that they'd be eaten by deer every night, and then cosmos popped out instead. Here's to beautiful impostors. Or to garden ignorance. Hell, here's to the weekend!
Well, the good folks at Lauritzen Gardens asked if I would extend my show until September 14, and I thought about it for a quarter second before answering yes. I'd be a fool not to, right? This is one in a new batch of prints I dropped off at the Gardens yesterday to replace some that have been either sold or stolen. I'm kind of hoping for the latter, since nothing sells like a scandal. They say that you know you've made it when people start stealing your work. I'm not necessarily condoning theft, but it is the theme of my show (A Theft in the Garden), so if I'm on the receiving end of it, I kind of had it coming. Plus, if you know me, I'm not always one to take the high road.
Having a 2-year-old in the house means that I read a lot of kids' books, and many are adorned by cute little drawings of background flowers (and bunnies, butterflies, birds, etc). They are typically 5 or 6 rounded red or yellow petals above a green stem and maybe a few hastily drawn leaves. I'm usually unsure which type of flower they're meant to represent; maybe some British flower that I'm unfamiliar with, since so many kids' books have deep English roots. Regardless, I'm always on the lookout for flowers that seem to match the characteristic style of those in storybooks. A few months ago, my wonderful grandma sent Teri a bouquet of interesting little short-petaled tulips for Mother's Day, and at certain angles, they resembled the flowers in Gavin's books. So I spent an afternoon trying to emulate that look. This one falls seriously short of the description above, but it's one of the "outtakes" that I like.
This was taken a few months back. The poppy was from our (well, Teri's) flower garden.
Back to nigellas. Have I mentioned how much I love these flowers?
Just a flash of homegrown color to enhance your Monday.
As I explained in my last post, I bought a bunch of nigella from one of the vendors at an Omaha farmers' market last weekend. It's a flower of many dramatic faces, and here's another example.
I know of only two places to buy nigella flowers, and they're both at Omaha farmers' markets on weekends in summer. I believe that Thai families operate both of the vendor tents that sell them, and something must be lost in the translation every time I try to buy a couple stems of them, because I always end up leaving with gargantuan flower arrangements of which nigella are a minor component. It's a small price to pay, though, to photograph one of my favorite flowers. From bud to blossom to seed, they go through dramatic and varied transformations, and two are seldom alike. They appear forbidding with thorns, but the "needles" are just flimsy leafy projections, and the pointed blue or white or purple petals are translucent and delicate. It's all a beautiful ruse.
Just another reminder that my floral prints will be on display at Lauritzen Gardens for about another month. If you have time, please go take a look.
It's coneflower season again, and our neighborhood is coneflower central. I keep trying to come up with new perspectives for them, but I can't seem to get away from that hypnotizing vortex up on top.
I had some time to go wildflower hunting yesterday and found myself in a field of these little pink and white flowers. I learned this morning that they are fittingly called crown vetch, or axseed. I can only assume that I've seen them countless times throughout my life, but I just never took a closer look. A Google search told me that they are considered invasive in many areas, that they are poisonous in large quantities to horses, and that they provide excellent erosion-resisting groundcover. They're also ubiquitous and hardy, which many find to be unforgivable qualities in plants of all kinds.
The honeysuckle is one of the most unique flowers I've met.