Category Archives: Photos of Flora

A favourite photo of some sort of plant growth; from my collection.

Blooms and Tree Trunks, Gilbert AZ and Vancouver BC

I like the juxtaposition of new blooms and weathered tree trunks on this palo verde and crabapple tree, respectively.

Yellow palo verde bloom against tree truck.

Pink crabapple bloom against tree bark.

 

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The All-Aboutness of Art

Art is all about spontaneity, right?

It’s mid-February and I’m resting on a bench helpfully placed about 3/4 of the way through one of my regular walks in Gilbert, AZ.  (Helpfully, if puzzlingly.  I mean, how did they know? )

Looking up, I see striking bare branches against a background of last year’s harvest of leaves, now yellow and brown.

I play with depth of field a little bit in the field, as it were. At my winter rental home, I play with cropping and filters a little bit, and ta da! A masterpiece is born.  Or at least a photograph.   Continue reading

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Defining the Desert

Desert:

  1. arid land with usually sparse vegetation
  2. an area of water apparently devoid of life
  3. a desolate or forbidding area:  lost in a desert of doubt
  4. any area in which few forms of life can exist because of lack of water, permanent frost, or absence of soil
  5. any place lacking in something:  The town was a cultural desert.

Synonyms: wasteland, barren wilderness.

– Sources: Merriam-Webster and Dictionary.com

As I click through this past winter’s ton o’ photos of the Sonoran Desert, I realize how much my experience of the desert surpasses what I might have expected based on these definitions.

Certainly I have shots that evoke a sere, unforgiving environment.

Two dried seed pods against deep-blue sky.

Single blade of prickly pear with thorns

But I have other shots that invite a different understanding.

Desert: an area of lush prickliness

Close-up of thorns on rounded cactus

Desert: an area of soft prickliness

Single lavender fairy duster bloom

 Desert: an area of unexpected colour

Yellow fruit on cholla cactus

Bright yellow daisy-like flowers against bright-blue sky.

Orange globe mallow buds

Desert: an area of fuzziness, nay, even fluffiness

Red and green new leaves.

White seed fluff with green seed pods

Desert: a land of welcome shade

Yellow daisy-like flower in shade of tree

Desert: a land of life-giving water

Yellow grass reflected in water

 If a barren wilderness can so surpass its definition, surprising and delighting me, surely anything and everything can.

 

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Magnolia and Rhododendron, Vancouver

I’ve written bitterly about the depredations of squirrels on my magnolia tree.

I’ve written bemusedly about the challenge of finding views of flowers that are more than just pretty – something a wee bit different.

Today’s offering from Vancouver (where, apparently, the squirrels don’t gorge on magnolia buds in the Spring) tackles both topics.

Multiple magnolia blossoms shot against blue-sky background.

Magnolia

 

Pink rhododendron blossom in crotch of tree.

Rhododendron

 

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Chuparosa, Gilbert AZ

Just down the walkway from the Spoon Overpass there are a few bushes that bloom whenever they seem to feel like it.

Catching them in nice light and without a distracting background is trickier than you might think.  It was certainly trickier than I thinked it would be.

Their Latin name is justicia californica; their common name, chuparosa, is a colloquial Spanish word for hummingbird.

Close-up of red desert flower

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