Saturday, May 24, 2008

Spring Flowers

After hitting a record high of 108 last Monday, today is overcast, rainy and we've barely made it to 60. An inside day, to say the least, so I figured I might as well get some pictures together. Not too long ago, we got a macro lens so I've been playing around. A macro lens can focus at a very close distance and is capable of rendering an object at a 1:1 ratio... in other words, you get extreme closeup, life size images. I've been amusing myself by finding things that hold reasonably still in the back yard to practice my mad photography skilz.

This is our prickly pear cactus. The blooms last only one day, but we were fortunate to get a bunch of them this year. The flower base is the cactus fruit, which I understand can be made into quite a tasty jelly once it ripens, but I haven't the faintest idea how you'd do that. Looks like more Welch's Grape for me!

This rose is actually kind of a purple color. I'm not having any luck getting the color right, the camera really wants to make it pink. I'll have to keep working on the light and/or my processing. It's important, because it's the "blue" part of my red, white and blue rose bushes, which completely thwart me anyway by never blooming at the same time.

Red rose.

White rose.


This is a kangaroo paw, a new addition to our yard this year. Supposedly the flowers look like kangaroo paws but I don't know, I guess I've never been that close to a kangaroo. Anyway, it makes for some fun macro pictures because the flowers are shaped so strangely.

Purple lantana.

Palo Verde blooms. Our tree was so pretty this year, it just glowed yellow, but the blooms don't last very long and they're mostly gone now.

My little columbine plant, which I got last year against my better judgment, assuming it would die immediately since they are wildly not native to our hot summers. Wouldn't have been the first time I've lost a non-native that I just had to try. Much to my surprise, it's done very well and bloomed like crazy this spring.

Another gardenia, this one is more macro-y, showing what you can do with an extreme close up. I like the abstract feel to this one.

A more identifiable picture of the same flower.

This is a hybrid cactus, bred for amazing flowers. Unlike most cactus, these flowers last a couple of days. I guess our weather has been good for something, usually this cactus doesn't bloom until later in the summer, but I'm seeing bunches of flower buds so we may get a pretty good show this year.

Another macro-y close up.

And one last shot of the columbine.