Monday, June 28, 2010

Light pink peonies

These are the last peonies of this season. What a pity!
I love their color and beautiful faces.
Light pink peonies
Pink peony petals
Read more about peonies, see the gorgeous flowers of the tree peony.
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Friday, June 25, 2010

Macro Flowers Saturday #16-White regal lily

Welcome to Macro Flowers Saturday!

All lilies are wonderful flowers but the white Regal lily is my favorite one.
Though it looks exotic, white Regal lily is one of the most popular varieties of lily seen in our gardens, in early summer. It is very easy to grow; it prefer well-drained soils and a site in full sun.
Though all parts of lilies, the flower, leaves and pollen and mostly the heady perfume, are toxic, I can't resist not to have a bouquet of white Regal lilies in a vase, at least once in the season.
White lilyThe huge trumpet-shaped white flowers flushed with purple, with yellow center and gold anthers, smell divine.
Regal lily middle
White regal lilies
Lilium regale- Regal lily
Join Macro Flowers Saturday, a photo meme for macro photos and close-ups of flowers, garden flowers, wildflowers, blossoms, flowers with insects and butterflies (no insects without flowers), flowers with raindrops and whatever beautiful plants, plant seeds or berries you have, in close-up.

First time visitors, please read the rules. They are simple but I do ask that you, please, use a MFS badge or link back to MFS in some way. Thank you.

Badges are in the sidebar:
- use the widget installer button (add to sidebar) if you like, for one click installation in Blogger blogs.
- to install the badge in your blog post copy/paste the code manually from the box, while working in Html mode of the post editor.
- here is a simple text link too:

<a href="http://macroflower-saturday.blogspot.com/">Macro Flower Saturday</a>

I reserve the right to delete entries with inappropriate content or incorrect backlink, without any more warning.

Have a great weekend!

The list with past entries is at Macro Flowers Saturday archive page.
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Garden of pink roses

Another rose garden, this time with all shades of pink roses.
I love these candy pink roses and bees love them too.
Garden of pink roses
There is a bee in almost each rose head but they let me take some shots without incidents.

Bee in the middle of a rose
That's it, I'm coming out!
Bee among rose petals
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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Russian Olive tree-Elaeagnus Angustifolia

Russian Olive trees, Elaeagnus Angustifolia, decorate the landscape with their beautiful, silver appearances, at this time of the year (in May).

Also known as oleaster, the Russian olive tree is a compact deciduous tree or shrub growing to 10-15 meters (35-50 feet) high and has flexible branches, being the best windbreak tree.

This decorative tree produces small clusters of fragrant, silvery-yellow flowers that generally appear during May through July. The tiny yellow flowers carry a very sweet scent, over large areas.
Russian olive trees
It can form a dense shrub layer to close open areas.
Russian olive windbreak layer
Long, narrow, silvery-gray leaves and brown shedding bark are among the attractions of this tree.
Russian olive seeds and flowers
Blooms on this tree turn into hard, olive-shaped edible fruits, which stay on the trees all winter, good food source for birds. Squirrels gather and store these seeds too.
Russian olive-flowering tree
The heavy rainstorms from last two weeks were a hard test for these trees, too hard, for some of them. This one, in the next picture, gave up the fight.
After the storm
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Friday, June 18, 2010

Capturing reflections in raindrops - macro photos

How to capture reflections in water drops/raindrops?

Capturing reflections in raindrop macros is easier as you think, on an amateur level, of course.

I captured this beautiful rose yesterday. We had several, heavy rainstorms during the night; big trees were uptorn by the roots not to mention the poor rose bushes.
Pink magenta rose-macro photography
This is what's left of the beautiful pink rose. It will take some time till other blooms open but in the meantime I can experiment with raindrop macro shots.
Rose after rain
In my previous posts some of the commentators asked about how to capture reflections in water drops/raindrops.
Let's separate things; photo quality is one thing where we can speak about setting the shutter speed and the aperture etc., manually for every photo weather it's a portrait or a raindrop.
Reflections are simply there for everyone, amateurs or professionals, though there will be no reflections in a raindrop without a reflected image.
There is no secret there and it has nothing to do with processing either.
Raindrops on rose petal
Each droplet reflects its surroundings, so in each of them you can find many different reflections by simply changing the angle you look at it.
A water drop is a (concave) spherical mirror which shows the reflective image inverted compared to the object (in this case).
To capture reflections in a raindrop you have to look for it unless you have serious knowledge of geometric optics.
Canon A460
Each of these photos were taken with a small, $100 point and shoot digital camera, which does pretty much everything for me and is always in my purse.
Photography is not rocket science, at least not for me and I assume you don't have time either to study physics or geometry , in order to capture a reflection on photo.

So this is the way I do it!
This rose is on a rose bush, not a single rose.
Each raindrop reflects some part of the bush, another bloom, leaves, stems, even the wall of the house. Let's concentrate on this raindrop at the edge of the rose petal! Some of the photos enlarge by clicking on them.
Pink magenta rose in the rain
Look closer at the raindrop and you will see some colored spots in it. Now find the same colored spot with you camera; you can't see the whole reflection with naked eye because it is too small.
Walk around this raindrop and take a few shots from different angles too.
Rose reflection in raindrop
Notice that my eye level is always on the same level (height) as the droplet (principal axis) or subjacent (under its level) but never perpendicular from above.
This way the droplet is highlighted. With back-light the droplet will be very shinny but is is more difficult to capture it if your camera is faced to the light source.
Then simply focus on the droplet in the foreground, hold your shutter button down half-way and then re-frame the scene if needed. Shoot!
Rosebush reflected in raindrop
In this droplet you can see the rose bush, a few blooms and a window on the wall of my dentist's office but the reflection is upside down. I took these photos while waiting for the rain to stop, no special equipment or tripod were used.
See some more examples at my "Reflections in raindrops" - macro photo gallery.

My intention in this post was to encourage everyone to try it with whatever equipment you have. All you need is a little patience and the result offers a great satisfaction!
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pests on mimulus flower-help gardeners!

Help gardeners!

My beautiful Mimulus is attacked by these ugly green insects. These pests are all over the flower and their green color is a perfect camouflage to blend in with the leaves of the flower.
About a month ago I changed the soil in all my flowerpots.
I brought the soil from a friend's garden.
Usually I by the soil from the florist but there are so many types that I never know what to buy.
Besides these soils have pests and worms too.
Could anyone tell me what are these flower pests?
Pests on monkey flower
I've thrown the Monkey flower in the garbage but I am afraid that these insects will attack other flowers too, in case I brought them with the soil.
I saved some flower seeds from the Mimulus. Can I keep them or they could be infected too?
Monkey flower seeds
I took lots of photos of the Monkey flower when I bought it and I'll buy some new ones next year but I don't know if the rest of my flowers are safe of this pest.
Monkey flower pictures
Here are some macro photos of my beautiful Minulus-Monkey flower!

Please leave me some advices or opinions if you know this insect!

Update:
These beetles are about the size of a ladybug. I couldn't find any part of the part visibly damaged, no holes on the leaves, but the plant was not developing any more after I've changed the soil. Leaves became yellowish and the new flowers, smaller and smaller.
Mimulus is an annual plant and I thought this was its lifetime but than I noticed the pests.
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Monday, June 14, 2010

Mirror in raidrops-macro photography

Water drop reflections are so fascinating and not so easy to capture.
I can't stop taking raindrop macros, it's like a drug, you become addicted to it!
Gazania reflected
IF I would see someone else wasting so much time capturing them, I couldn't understand it.

This is my sweet gazania, growing in a pot.
Raindrop on flower petals

Raindrop macroThis is the reflection of the buildings across the street.
Landscape in reflection
Water drop mirror
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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Oriental lily-Stargazer lily

If you are here for Macro Flowers Saturday meme, please click here.


Sometimes buying flowers is not an easy task, especially with 36C+ (97F) on shadow sides.
Yesterday I had to buy some flowers for my niece's birthday. I was in a hurry and I wanted some beautiful, fresh seasonal flowers not a wedding bouquet, so I thought the best choice is to go to the flower vendors.
Bad idea, on a late Saturday afternoon there are not many vendor at a flower market and the flowers are even less tolerant to heat then the few, interested vendors.
So I ended up with an expensive bouquet of popular oriental lilies (Stargazer lilies) and calla lilies, not to my liking at all.
I took some photos though.
Oriental lilies-Stargazer lilies
Oriental lily stamens
Oriental lily stamens- macro
Oriental lily: stigma and stamens
Oriental lily: stigma and stamens
Visit Today's flowers for beautiful flowers photos and Macro Monday for amazing macros.
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Friday, June 11, 2010

Macro Flowers Saturday #14-White roses

Welcome to Macro Flowers Saturday!

Roses are the oldest flowers ever known to mankind, so old that
"When love first came to Earth, the Spring spread rose-beds to receive him."
~ Thomas Campbell
The rose has been a favorite flower of artists, writers and singers of all times, maybe because a rose can say so much without saying much at all. The soft looking, silky layers of rose petals evoke tenderness and remind us of the dazzling beauty of creation.
"Rose! Thou art the sweetest flower that ever drank the amber shower:
Even the Gods, who walk the sky, are amorous of thy scented sigh."
~ Thomas More

Well, my roses are not exactly white, as in the title, they have this cream center that I like so much.
White rose-macro photography
A bunch of glowing white roses are a symbol of innocence and spiritual love that resides only in the soul.
White cream roses
Macro Flowers Saturday badge
Macro Flowers Saturday is a photo meme for macro photos and close-ups of flowers, garden flowers, wildflowers, blossoms, flowers with insects and butterflies (no insects without flowers), flowers with raindrops and whatever beautiful plants, plant seeds or berries you have, in close-up.

Many thanks to all participants, contributing with their beautiful photos!

Please join and share your beautiful flowers!

Rules are simple but I do ask that you, please, use a MFS badge or link back to MFS in some way. Thank you.
Badges are in the sidebar:
- use the widget installer button (add to sidebar) if you like, for one click installation in Blogger blogs.
- to install the badge in your blog post copy/paste the code manually from the box, while working in Html mode of the post editor.
- here is a simple text link too:

<a href="http://macroflower-saturday.blogspot.com">Macro Flowers Saturday</a>

I reserve the right to delete entries with inappropriate content (no winter landscapes here, please) or incorrect backlink, without any more warning.

Have a great weekend!

The list with past entries is at Macro Flowers Saturday archive page.
Read more >>

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Campanula persicifolia-Peach-leaved Bellflower

Campanula persicifolia - Peach-leaved Bellflower is a classic beauty flowering in June.
The tall bellflower produces large white cup-shaped flowers on slender stems.
As they like moist, they are very happy after the long period of rainy days and they are blooming everywhere, even on the road, near the sidewalk.
Bellflowers vary in size, shape, and plant form but are usually white and various shades of blue, lavender.
The botanical name for this perennial, campanula, is from the Latin word for bell and refers to the shape of the flowers.
Bellflower-Campanula persicifolia
White bellflower macro-CampanulaBellflowers attract bees and there are many of them on the flowers.
Campanula persicifolia-white bellflowers
Campanula persicifolia-Peach-leaved Bellflower
"The garden's silence: even the single bee
Persisting in his toil, suddenly stopped,
And where he hid you only could surmise
By some campanula chalice set a-swing.
Who stammered--"Yes, I love you?"

-Robert Browning
(1812-1889)

Visit Fertilizer Friday for many beautiful garden photos.
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Monday, June 07, 2010

Orange lily - Fire lily blooming

Orange lily or Fire lily is blooming in the gardens and they are an amazing view.
The crimson-spotted, orange flowers have a beautiful chocolate colored stigma and the petals on the outside of the flower are curved, giving the lily its unique shape.
Tiger lily-tiger lily macro
Orange lily-Fire lily close-up
Orange lilies-Fire lily
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Friday, June 04, 2010

Macro Flowers Saturday #13-Wild rose (Rosa canina)-Dog rose

Welcome to Macro Flowers Saturday!

Macro Flowers Saturday badge
Macro Flowers Saturday is a photo meme for macro photos and close-ups of flowers, garden flowers, wildflowers, blossoms, flowers with insects and butterflies (no insects without flowers), flowers with raindrops and whatever beautiful plants, plant seeds or berries you have, in close-up.

Many thanks to all participants, contributing with their beautiful photos!


On last Sunday's hike I've capture the flowering wild rose bushes (rosa canina) of early summer, blooming in the wild.
Wild rose bushes, also known as dog rose are native to Europe, northwest Africa and western Asia but I think it is known worldwide. They have clusters of scented blooms varying in color from almost white to a very deep pink, and have a delicate but refreshing fragrance.
Wild rose macro photo-Rosa canina
Wild rose close-up white
Pink rose-wild rose macro
Wild rose bush-Dog rose
The main flowering period in early summer is rather short, but the flowers develop into orange-red and bright red rose hips. It's the hips that make these wild rose bushes so valuable.
Rose hips, especially the Dog Rose (Rosa canina), are very rich in vitamin C and certain antioxidants and they are used for tea, syrup, puree, jam, jelly, sauce, marmalade and wine.
Rose hips have a tangy yet sweet flavor and can be used fresh, dried, or preserved.
Here are the new hips (picture bellow) and a little visitor too.
Spider on a wild rose
In my next post I'll share how to prepare rose hips for winter and some recipes too.

Please join and share your beautiful flowers!

Rules are simple but I do ask that you, please, use a MFS badge or link back to MFS in some way. Thank you.
Badges are in the sidebar:
- use the widget installer button (add to sidebar) for one click installation in Blogger blogs.
- to install the badge in your blog post copy/paste the code manually from the box, while working in Html mode of the post editor.
- here is a simple text link too:

<a href="http://macroflower-saturday.blogspot.com">Macro Flowers Sarurday</a>

I reserve the right to delete entries with inappropriate content (no winter landscapes here, please) or incorrect backlink, without any more warning.

Have a great weekend!

The list with past entries is at Macro Flowers Saturday archive page.
Read more >>

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Passiflora caerulea-blue passion flower close-up

This is my blue passion flower.
Sometimes you come home from the supermarket with something else that you intended to buy.
The long shelves of the flower department were full of new flowers and the scent of blue passion flowers filled the air.
Passiflora caerulea, or the blue passion flower, is one of the best passion vines for growing indoors and the young, potted plants are flowering already.
The silky exotic flowers consisting of whitish petals and sepals surmounted by a corona of purple, white and blue filaments, are so intricate that they seem almost fake. I just had to buy one.
Blue passion flower-macro photo
If I am lucky, I might see some deep orange egg-shaped passiflora fruits soon.
Passiflora caerulea-blue passion flower close-up
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