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Trees covered with fresh snow

It is still snowing and it's a great pleasure to walk in the fresh, soft snow and take photos.
My intention was to take some snowflake macros in daylight. I've spent a few hours outdoors, even after dark but my macros didn't turn out as intended.


New is the year, new are the hopes and the aspirations, new are the spirits and forever my warm wishes are for you. Have a promising and fulfilling new year!

Here are a few winter photos with fresh snow.
Snow on fir tree
Snow covered fir tree
Snow on tree branches
Fresh snow on a leaf-close up

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

I wish you all, my dear friends and visitors, a blessed and merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas
I Wish That I Could Wrap Up Christmas

I wish that I could wrap up all the love and Holiday cheer
That comes along with Christmas and with New Year's every year,
Pack it in a pretty box and put it on my shelf
And pull it down again each year and give it to myself.

I wish that I could tie up all my favorite carols with twine,
Wind around some ribbon, too, and for twelve months call them mine
Until the next Yuletide came when the sounds again could be unfurled
And untie every single one then give them to the world.



Rose in snow-December rose

It is snowing, gently, slowly. There is no storm, it is not even cold; just the necessary -4 °C to let this beautiful natural phenomena happen.
There are still plenty of roses in the backyard that don't want to let go. They look as beautiful as ever, under the December snow.

For many years I haven't seen roses covered by snow, but I remember from my childhood, that roses are the last flowers that die in winter.
Red rose in December snow
Many years back, in a normal winter, first came the snow and just later, the frost. That's why, each year, in December we saw roses under snow.
December rose
Now, with this global warming, or who knows why, winters are different.
But today is a gorgeous day, I would like to have this on Christmas day.
December rose in snow
Rose covered with snow-December
Rose in snow
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Forget-me-not flower pictures-species

Forget-me-nots are popular companion plants in flowerbeds combined with tulips, daffodils and for other spring flowers, though the beautiful blue carpets formed by this ground hugging plant are spectacular on their own.
There are many species of Forget-me-not (Myosotis) but as they all have almost identical sky-blue flowers, it is difficult to tell them apart.
Forget-me-nots are members of the Borage family (Boraginaceae). Most of them are native to New Zealand but there are a few European species that we grow in our gardens.

Forget me not-closeup
True forget-me-not - Myosotis scorpioides is native to most of Europe and the western part of Asia.
Water Forget-me-not, on its other name, is a herbaceous perennial that grows 20-60 cm (8-20 in.)in wet areas, along rivers, stream banks and ponds.
It flowers in early summer with small, bright blue flowers with yellow, pink, or white centers.
The leaves of this plant are evergreen and are covered with hardly noticeable, fine hairs.
Forget me not flowers
Wood Forget-me-not - Myosotis sylvatica - or Woodland forget-me-not requires moderate shade and rich, moist soil. This annual or biennial plant flowers in May and June.
The flowers range in color from blue to pink and white. It is appropriate for woodland gardens, ground cover, edging, or planting along streams and ponds.
Forget me not
Alpine forget-me-not - Myosotis alpestris blooms in early summer and this species is perfect for rock gardens.
The sky-blue flowers of this perennial plant are almost identical to those of the true forget-me-not but on a shorter flower stem.

Field Forget-me-not - Myosotis arvensis has pale blue flowers. Their flowering period is from May to late in the autumn.

Forget-me-not flower is another symbol of love and hope. So simple, yet delicate.

Violet pansies under the snow-pansy photos

These violet pansies don't mind to be covered by the white snow blanket. They smile as beautifully as they always do.
Just look under the snow, you will be amazed how may beautiful flowers and plant you find.
Pansies in the snow

Violet pansies smiling in the snow
Violet pansies under the snow
Pansies covered with snow
See also some lovely autumn pansies and check out many beautiful flower photos at Macro Flowers Saturday.

Teddy Bear Sunflower-Dwarf Sunflowers

Teddy Bear Sunflower is maybe the prettiest variety of sunflowers (Helianthus annuus). The big, fluffy, golden yellow flower head of the Teddy Bear looks like a soft cushion. Though the blooms are very heavy, florists make wonderful flower bouquets of these sunny faces.
Teddy Bear Sunflower
They are also called Dwarf sunflowers and that is why I always thought they are small garden plants, until I saw them on the fields. These dwarf sunflowers were somewhat shorter than the usual sunflowers but still taller than me.
Dwarf Teddy Bear Sunflower
I was amazed how little care they need, growing by themselves on the fields (and making a huge profit for the vendors).
Yeah, yeah, that was a mean remark but it's true.

Teddy bear sunflower is a real eye-catcher in the border and its long lasting flowers are even more impressive in a vase.
In the same time they are popular vegetables with their tasty and nourishing seeds.
Click the badge to see many beautiful flowers at Macro Flowers Saturday!
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See a close-up of those giant sunflowers too.

Yet another orchid photo-White Phalaenopsis orchid

Yet another orchid photo, two whispering white orchids.
Yes, I know, I have lots of them but I just can't have enough or these beautiful flower.

White Phalaenopsis orchid-close-up
There are more beautiful orchids on this blog, search for them or see another of my white orchids.

Visit Macro Flowers Saturday and join the club of flower lovers.
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Changing mood with colors

I usually don't like photo touch ups, I like them the natural way, sharp and with high contrast.
Though, in most cases, my Canon gives me exactly what I want, sometimes it's tempting to play around with photos, changing mood with colors.
The first shot of the little Rapeseed flower (Brassica napus) is the one with the make up.
I feel more excitement in this one.
Rapeseed flower in warm tones
This is the original, in cool tones and a quite different mood (I think). When I look at it, I feel balance, inner peace, calm, back with my feet on the ground.
Rapeseed flower (Brassica napus)- in cool tones
Color has a huge impact on our emotional states and on our physical body.
Warm colors (red, yellow and orange) hype us up, while cooler colors (blue, purple and green) calm us down.

Red is the most emotionally intense color, it stimulates the heart to beat faster and increases breathing.
Green is the universal healing color, calming and refreshing. Clear perception, self- recognition, and compassion are associated with green.

While the general perception of cool and warm colors is universal, a color may become associated with a personal event (nice or ugly). By remembering that event (ex: your blue dress at the prom), every instance thereafter, that color may affect you differently then someone who doesn't have such an association.
We like our favorite colors because of the way those colors make us feel.

As you can see, color is more than simply decoration, it alters mood and also affects a person's state of mind and health.
Remember, when decorating, the power of colors can change how you feel!

Try it yourself; let your eyes rest for about 10 seconds on the first picture, then move down to the second one.

How do you feel?

Check out Macro Flower Saturday for other beautiful flower macro photos.
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Coral red Begonia

Here are some bright, coral red begonias, for a beautiful Sunday.
Red begonia flowers

Red begonia close up

Hummingbird moth-macro and video

At the end of September, I was walking among the beautiful flowers of the flower center's garden.
This was the first time I ever saw a hummingbird moth.
At first I wasn't even paying attention, I thought it's a big bee. Then another one came, and another. They made such a noise that I had to inspect them more closely. They were sipping nectar from some pink flowers, through a long needle-like tube, while hovering their body in the air.
I was so excited, I thought they were hummingbirds. I've never seen a hummingbird either, but I was familiar with their feeding technique and their backwards flight.
They flew so fast that I couldn't see with my eyes their exact form and I ended up with just a blurred spot on my photos.
This is a Hummingbird Hawk moth feeding on a phlox flower.
Hummingbird Hawk moth feeding on a plox flower
The photo is courtesy of Wikipedia editor J-E Nystr'm (User:Janke), Finland. The wing action is frozen in this photo by using electronic flash.

Yet, this was a must have capture, so I started my camera. Hypnotized by their zipping flight and being afraid of scaring them off, I was not able to hold the camera quite still either but the result is acceptable.

Back home, searching on the web for similar photos, I found out that they are

Hummingbird moths

The Hummingbird moth is not just any ordinary moth.
Unlike other moths, Hummingbird moth is active during daytime, feeding in the morning and at dusk.
Those needle-like straws through which it feeds are called a proboscis. They can uncurl it and stick it deep within tubular flowers such as phlox, petunias, honeysuckle, and trumpet vine.

The adult Hummingbird Hawk moth has a ritualistic, daily feeding schedule and seems to fly his tour by the clock. Once it finds a flower source it likes, it becomes a loyal visitor and returns to it to feed, at approximately the same time each day.
Isn't that nice?
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My favorite orchid

This phalaenopsis is my favorite orchid; not that it is so sensational but it is content with my care.
It was small an insignificant for everyone when I bought it, though it already had an emerging spike. The little orchid opened all it's buds at my place and looks healthy, so far.
I often say that it is thankful for bringing it home.

Though the flower structure is different from other phalaenopsis flowers, there are so many types that I was not able to identify its exact name. On the label from the flower shop stays just phalaenopsis.
Purple Phalaenopsis orchid
Purple orchid-close up

If someone happens to know this type, please, let me know.
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Chyrsanthemums-Commemorating the Dead

All Saints' Day, on the 1st of November followed by All Souls' Day, on the 2nd of November are centuries-old traditions, celebrated by the Christian community.
On these days, Roman Catholics and Anglo-Catholic churches, all Western Christians, commemorate the faithful departed, The Day of Dead.

The traditions and activities that take place in celebration of the Day of the Dead are not universal. Different Christian traditions define, remember and respond to the the celebration of this day in very different ways.
In most countries, cemeteries are inundated with people who visit the graves of their loved ones with flowers, light candles and pray for the departed souls.

Pink chrysanthemums-Day of the Dead
In our parts (and not only), the special flowers offered on these days are Chrysanthemums.
Yellow chrysanthemum-macro photography
The graves covered with Chrysanthemums of all colors and sizes are an amazing view.
Yellow chrysanthemums covering a grave

Last pink roses-pictures of roses

Happy Halloween!

I have no sweets but I'll treat you with roses instead.
These are some of the last roses photographed this autumn. Beaten down by rain and wind, roses are still ROSES.
Pink autumn rose
Pink rose with raindrops
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Head over to Flowers on Saturday for more beautiful flower photos.

Garden snail on statice flower-macro

I know, gardeners don't like garden snails but they are such interesting creatures.
This little garden snail was crawling on this spiny statice flowers. And if the spines were not enough, its little house is broken.
Statice flower
Garden snail-macro
Garden snail with broken house
Visit Macro Monday for many interesting macro shots.

Chinese lantern-Physalis alkekengi

Chinese lantern plants (Physalis alkekengi) are one of the season's delights.
This unique plant is a popular ornamental plant, appreciated for its bright orange-red papery covering over its fruit, which resemble Chinese lanterns.
Chinese lantern-macro
As a member of the nightshade family, physalis is related to tomatoes, peppers and petunias.
The lanternlike bladders are protecting the forming fruit, which looks like a cherry tomato. Inside this shinny, smooth, flashy fruit are the seeds.
The fruit of the Chinese lantern plant is edible and is used to make delicious jams around the world.
Chinese lantern fruitThe Chinese lantern looking balloon gradually dehydrates, becoming paper thin and breaking down to a delicate, lacy veiling. When the seeds inside are dry, this covering opens and the seeds will be scattered by the wind.
Dehydrated Chinese lantern fruit
Chinese lantern branches and fruitsFlower arrangement with Chinese lanternThe dry branches with the fruits are used to accentuate flower arrangements.
For its aesthetically appealing fruits, the Chinese lantern plant is used as a means of garden decoration, thought it spreads rapidly. Its underground creeping rhizomes must be restricted, when planted in flower bed.
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Jasmine Nightshade-Solanum jasminoides-Potato Vine

Jasmine Nightshade (Solanum jasminoides), also known as Potato Vine is a shrubby climber. This plant can reach 6 m in height and is very appreciated for its long flowering season.
Nightshade shrubs come into bloom in middle summer and persist till latest autumn.
Nightshade-Potato Vine
The star-shaped flowers are pure white to light blue, with prominent yellow stamens. The flowers are followed by small purple-black berries, toxic if ingested.
Potato Vine is relatively frost-hardy, it can withstand cold temperatures down to about 17-21°F (-6°C to -8°C), and even lower.
Solanum Jasminoides-Potato vine
Its evergreen leaves take a red tint during fall offering a spectacular view on fences and walls covered by Nightshade.
Solanum jasminoides - Jasmine Nightshade
Another member of the Solanaceae Family is the Chinese lantern plant.