Busy bee

17 04 2012

Spring is a big deal, especially for pollinators like bees. This little guy – a bumble bee – is hard at work on an azalea bush. If you look closely, you can see its proboscis pointing down toward the flower’s center.





1,000 words, image ten

2 04 2012

(Tenth in a series of eventually 1,000 images).

It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words. What do you see here? Think of the saying “April _____ brings May flowers.”

These are drops of rain on a leaf. The monochromatic, high contrast scheme adds dimension to the drops; they almost appear to be moving away from the center of the leaf.





Coming out of the shadows

29 03 2012

The showy bursts of color from spring and summer wildflowers are always attention-getting. It’s usually the bright colors against a cloudless blue sky or filling a huge field that grab you. In this case, the flowers were hillside and not yet fully visible because the sun was just peeking over the top of the hill.

Image

In the shadows the bright yellow flowers are visible as dots while the darker purple ones are at their best in the sun. And there in the full sun is a white Angelica plant, which is a member of the carrot family. It’s literally coming out of the shadows to greet the day.

Photographed at Seljalandsfoss, a waterfall that drops nearly 200 feet. The waterfall is in southwest Iceland, near Reykjavik.





1,000 words, image nine

28 03 2012

(Ninth in a series of eventually 1,000 images).

The beauty of the butterfly. This Malachite butterfly (found the name via Flickr) is doing the busy and necessary work of pollinating flowers.

Green & black butterfly

Short-lived though they are, butterflies evoke a sense of peace and serenity when we see them. It’s a free mental health benefit courtesy of Mother Nature.





The Ides of March: don’t beware, be nice

15 03 2012

“Beware the Ides of March” is a well-known Shakespearean quote from Julius Caesar. Although “Ides” was the ancient Roman way of signifying the middle of the month (reference), the connection to Caesar’s assassination and that one word – “beware” – give it an ominous tone and may bring a sense of foreboding.

The pleasant bit of graffiti below was found on the streets of another ancient city, Athens, Greece. On a day when people commonly think “beware,” isn’t it preferable to “be nice” instead?

Be nice





Cherry blossoms as far as the eye can see

13 03 2012

The International Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon, GA – rated a top event by the Southeast Tourism Society – is a must-do for festival-goers and flower lovers alike. Combine the efforts of citizens to decorate seemingly every surface with something pink, the festival’s variety of activities & entertainment, a vast ocean of flowering Yoshino cherry trees, and you have a recipe for what may truly be the “pinkest party on Earth.”

The discovery of cherry trees in Macon dates to 1949, when local realtor William A. Fickling, Sr., noticed an unusual tree with beautiful spring blooms in his backyard. In 1952, Mr. Fickling visited Washington, D.C., and spotted one of that city’s famed Yoshino cherry trees. Later, Mr. Fickling returned to Washington with a cutting from his own tree and saw that the two trees were a perfect match. Soon thereafter, Mr. Fickling began sharing cuttings from his tree with friends and neighbors.

In the early 1970s, a newcomer to Macon, Carolyn Crayton, was inspired by the trees’ beauty. She had an idea to transform Macon into an idyllic vision in pink with thousands of Yoshino cherry trees blooming throughout the city. With the help of Mr. Fickling, the first mass planting of trees was organized in the Wesleyan Woods neighborhood. In 1982 the International Cherry Blossom festival was launched to celebrate spring, the trees, and city beautification.

Today the festival is a major event spread over two weekends that draws thousands of visitors and pumps much-needed millions of dollars of revenue into the economy. The trees are beautiful, as are the flowering azaleas, dogwoods, and Bradford pear trees that make springtime so enjoyable. Unless you suffer from allergies.

An interesting fact is that the number of cherry trees in Macon – 300,000 – far exceeds Washington, DC’s, 6,000-7,000 trees planted around the Tidal Basin. During the short-lived cherry blossom season, Macon is literally awash in pink blooms. Sadly, though our home is in the middle of cherry tree central, we only have pink azalea blooms to show off to the neighborhood. Thankfully, there are plenty of photo opps in the neighborhood and close by.

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Spring is in the air

8 03 2012

The daffodil’s bright yellow flowers bring cheer around the world. When you see daffodils in bloom, you know longer, warmer days are ahead and winter gloom will soon be a dim memory.

(Or, they may remind of you of times past. I think of sorority girls in college who sold them to raise money for charity, but it always seemed to be snowing or raining and in the 30s during their sale. The girls looked so unhappy on the street with their little yellow blooms.)

Grow

The flower a favorite of gardeners and non-gardeners alike because of its low maintenance requirements, dependable and exponential blooms, and ability to grow seemingly anywhere. The hardy plant, found in a range of climates worldwide, is a member of the lily family, genus Narcissus L. (source: USDA). Other daffodil varieties in the family include jonquils and narcissus flowers.

The specimen above was shot from a low angle at Green Park in London, UK. In England, the flowers bloom during Lent so are known as lenten lilies. Parks throughout London are carpeted with green shoots and yellow flowers. It’s a common sight to see families and children sitting among the flowers to have their portraits taken with this most photogenic of flowers.








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