Every spring Central Park puts on a show of spring blossoms. It’s free. You just have to wander the paths. There are cherry blossoms, magnolias, forsythias, tulips, daffodils and so many other details for the pleasure of all who visit. Once and only once so far, did Julia accompany me. We wandered near and far across the park. It’s was a special day in my memory now. Hey I’m glad we got some quality time together.
It’s called bokeh. Ah, they make up terms for everything. I understand depth of field and blurring the background to male it pleasingly out of focus in order to complement the foreground. It’s all summed up in ‘bokeh.’ Yup, Costa Rica. I had to look it up, the place. Oh, it’s a bird of paradise, the flower, that is.
I’m parked on the side of the road looking over a march along Seven Lakes drive in Bear Mountain. I didn’t even get out of the car. I just slid across to the passenger side and rolled down the window to shoot. As I was just about to roll the window, I looked down and snapped this shot. Serendipity.
Here’s a slide image that’s comparable to the digital image I have somewhere posted. The colors are almost surreally brilliant. It could be the film, camera, or scanner. It’s not been Photoshopped. I don’t remember the image so brilliantly colored but the end result is pretty nice. Sometimes I get more from the process than I expected.
This is a rather impressive display of wildflowers. It’s somewhere out on Long Island, Southampton, I believe. What you have here are native species, which is to say that the plants are indigenous to the location. However, to say that this is a matter of scattering a few seeds is hardly fair. There’s a lot of hard work to get this impressive garden to come together. It’s not really wild at all.
We have a back yard with flowering trees. The early morning fog softly muted the pink and white dogwood flowers. Near enough to the ocean we often have fog present into mid morning before the sun finally breaks through. There’s something soothing to awaken to muted colors.
Each spring the blossoms put on quite a show. Some years are better than others. I have an especially soft spot for bright deep blue sky. And with this background the blossoms are just that much more dramatic.
After you plant and look at the same flowers year after year, you yearn for something different. But the heat, and water requirements limit some of your choices. And I especially don’t like to have flowers get leggy and stop blossoming halfway through the summer. African daisies are different. You don’t just see them everywhere. Although after I planted them they don’t seem so rare any longer. But meanwhile they are intense and colorful. And unlike African honey bees, this flower is not dangerouse.
I was an avid container gardener on our Manhattan deck for a number of years. We had some daisies that were spectacular. I took plenty of shots to document the results. I’m glad I did. In recent years circumstances have kept me from planting. But boy was it spectacular once upon a time.
They are native to Long Island. Say that it means that this flower grows in the environment and likes the summers hot and dry. With a minimum of care they still thrive when other plants wilt. And they are colorful, almost fluorescent. Singly or in bunches daylilies are always an easy subject. They are summer on Long Island to me.
Well I suppose it’s turquoise really. Rockland, Maine, the Lobster Festival parade day. I was walking with my friend Bob to the Coast Guard store before the parade. I think he wanted to buy socks. Go figure. There was this wall with milkweed [it’s what I call it] asking me to photograph it. I don’t think I paused but for a mere instant. Sometimes you take a shot and know it’s a good one even as it transfers to the memory card. I didn’t take another shot or experiment. We were on a mission to the store. My daughter loved this enough to have it framed.
This plant just appeared in our garden bed on Long Island. I didn’t know it’s name at that point. Then I watered it. The initial spray from a hose sitting in the sun on a hot day is hot water. So I cooked the plant and killed it. I never made that mistake again. But we never had these flowers again either.
My daughter went to camp in Maine for a number of years. The jump off point was Portland where we would stay the night before dropping her off. One of the lighthouses was always on my list to visit. If you’ve been there once, ‘no need to see it again’, was one of my wife’s pragmatic views. Indeed this shot was taken during one of the early trips to Maine and camp. I have been back to this park many times but I have not seen as nice a display of flowers on the hill as on this one occasion. Maybe you can’t go back. It’s another precious moment passed before you know it and not to be repeated.
April 2001, Central Park. There are a few trees that are dependable subjects in the park in the spring. This year I have been past this tree several times and not noticed it. Usually this tree, laden in blossoms stops me. Sometimes things are remembered more vividly in your memory. Here’s proof that my memory still works. This tree is just not as spectacular this year.
Tulips, same day different tulip, come in all different colors around Central Park. Here I got one with more detail in the petals and used the shadow to highlight the center pistil. I wonder at the color pattern, which must look inviting to the bee that pollinates the flower. I imagine the pattern like landing lights guiding the plane into the runway at an airport.
In the spring tulips are dependable photographic subjects. For the most part I have tried it in every possible angle. The subject here was shot in Central Park and from a head on position to focus in on the center. I shot this with slide film. There is too much contrast to see the individual petals, which enhances the center.
Here’s another find my wife brought me to see. She drives the Montauk highway often in the summer. Just a few miles from home, in a direction that I usually don’t travel, she brought me to this wonderful field of wild flowers. I gorged on feast of color. What’s interesting to me is that I passed this area every summer afterward and never saw this field in bloom again. So my question is, that if these were wildflowers, doesn’t it mean they come back every year, like it or not? Wild right?
So someone, my wife I think, was watering the day lilies. These are also native to Long Island and need very little care. You do need to occasionally supplement the rainwater. It was wonderful to have a rainbow. And one that I could reproduce! I don’t see them often enough to have an opinion on how best to shoot one. Just glad to be here…
In the spring for a short period, the blossoming trees are in full regalia. It only lasts for a short time until the rather plain trees take on their leafy green mantle for the summer. But for that brief time in the spring Central Park rocks.
Cone flowers crept into my consciousness when my wife purchased some for our container deck garden on the premise that they would bloom perennially. The problem is that she would cut them down or weed them out because they looked like weeds before they would bloom each year. Yeah.
Native to Long Island these flowers flourish without too much difficulty and are commonly seen in the summer. The trick is to get a picture that is worth saving.
Well, as the title of my blog says – “story.” It’s a bit long and also a time long ago – 2003. One Saturday night about a week before these photos were taken, I had the brilliant plan to invite three families for dinner that same evening. It would include their kids, two each, of about 9 and 7 years old. Doing the math this would be dinner for sixteen including my family of four. Mind you, I had never entertained, much less cooked, for such a large crowd. My wife has always been the social director. Somehow she agreed and I made the calls. Everyone was expected at 7:30PM. I was going to do it all – shop, prep, and cook.
Soon after the invitations, I got a phone call from the hospital. A young man with an acoustic neuroma had been admitted. The tumor was pressing upon his cerebellum and brainstem and he was quite ill. With the help of Don, my trusted PA, we went to work and eventually removed this tumor. Time passed and of course so did dinner prep and then dinner hour. I did have one of the OR nurses make a call around 7PM to let my wife know that I was still in the OR – really! The nurses had all rolled up their eyes, having heard my plans and then the late hour of my call. When she returned the Pat (Ginny corrected me) said, “No problem.” And she followed with, “She (my wife) made reservations.”
Well, the operation finished at about 8PM. The young man was fine and would recover quite well. In the recovery room I explained to the family how we had saved their loved one. And I also mentioned that I had missed preparing dinner for sixteen. I could still make it for dessert. But ever the coward, I was afraid to go home. Don and I had dinner at a local diner. When I arrived home, my wife was a bit annoyed but otherwise cheerful in that she had quickly adapted and had entertained the crowd in my absence.
The following Tuesday during my office hours, a dozen peach colored roses from the grateful family were delivered to the office. The photos have no scale due lack of photographic foresight on my part. The buds were the size of your fist. I mean to say that they were bigger than any rosebuds I had seen except in a botanical garden. Large! Get it?
So I did what any husband might do under the circumstances. I took them home and presented them to my wife in apology. I have brought home flowers before, red roses for Valentine’s Day and so forth. (I neglected to mention that they were from the patient’s family). These were so impressively huge, that I was instantly forgiven for my transgressions days before. Hugs and kisses were given all around. Since I photograph just about everything, these photos were pulled this morning and scanned.
My office staff and my nurses all kept the rose story secret until Christmas. Then at the office Christmas dinner party, my wife was surprised to find roses at her place setting. You can guess the rest. If you want to keep a secret never tell a woman. Or, as the pirates say, ‘dead men tell no tales.’
During my childhood in West Virginia monarch butterflies were everywhere. Now they are not common for me. I had a great photo op one day in Central Park. There were cone flowers and this monarch just sat and posed ever so nicely. The lake in the background was pleasantly out of focus. Imagine that, all this wildlife right in the middle of Manhattan.
This was an image taken from a point and shoot Nikon. I got it in the front yard. These flowers are native to Long Island and require very little care. I have to say that there is little post processing. The image is a bit high contrast but I love the detail.