Here is another batch of photos from my obsession with macro, though I’d argue these might be some of the best non-flower, non-nature ones I’ve ever taken.
It was late in the summer when during a wonderful, warm rain – which I miss terribly now as rain in the fall in winter only means miserable, bone-chilling cold – that I took a few photographs of the plastic bottles and aluminum cans stuffed into my recycling bin.
When I first looked at the photos on the computer they were average and little dull, but I found putting them through some basic image enhancements in Photoshop brought out the muted colors reflected in the bottles.
It gives the shots an almost painted effect.
A cement mattress can’t console a hungry woman, one huddling under a tattered blanket in thin socks and filth. A street corner is a cold place to kneel.
He’d heard her many times chant “little change” as he stepped by. He’d never given her a coin. Since she wasn’t a thin woman he suspected her sing-song plea worked on others. Someone was feeding her, giving him a reason to walk past with his hands in his pockets.
One night, as he rolled out of a bar and sought cheese fries and coffee to wash away the booze, he found the woman curled up, rocking on her bottom at the street corner next to his favorite diner.
Though her dirty fingers shivered as she held out her palm, nobody stopped. They all walked past. Then, as the late fall air became early winter in one cold gust, she broke.
“GOD DAMN IT, I’M HUNGRY. Won’t somebody give me a little change?”
An hour later, when he left the diner and wiped ketchup from the corner of his mouth, she had gone.
Years later he stumbled out of a wine store, having emptied two bottles of Rhone red during his eight-hour shift. He stopped at the gas station on the corner of Main Street for a pack of cigarettes on his way home and saw a woman dressed in a torn sweater and tight sweats hanging out of an open car door. She heaved and coughed thick, brown globs that she spit on the station pavement. She rolled off the seat and hit the cement, red-faced and gasping, and the station attendant ran outside and yelled, “Get up. You get shit all over the pump.”
Then the late fall air became early winter in one cold gust.
These are last of my summer flower pics, and though I can’t say they are the best ones I took, I can say the actual moment when I took them was one of the best of the summer.
I credit the wind.
It was a warm summer day, late afternoon, and I had walked outside of my in-law’s house because I had noticed a set of flowers I hadn’t photographed yet, a bush full of flowing purple hibiscus.
Then, when I started taking photos a warm wind kicked up, ruffling the petals of the flower like cotton sheets hanging on a clothesline. It was so quiet outside that i could hear the wind scrubbing my hair. And though the air coursed around me like rapids split by a river boulder, it felt like I too was bending in the wind with the tissue-paper petals.
The joys of the moment. A still joy. A peaceful joy. A summer joy.
I’ll miss it, but the season will return. Now it’s time to dig into fall.
Enjoy the photos.
A little help here would be appreciated.
Judging by the smell of the following vine I’ve photographed, which climbs up the corner of my house, this is some kind of jasmine. It’s a pretty unmistakable fragrance.
However, though a few Internet searches have led me to believe this is some kind of star jasmine, there is one difference I just can’t overlook. Star jasmine flowers have five petals, while the one I photographed only has four.
In fact, I can’t find any four-petal jasmine flowers online. But, trust me, these little white flowers smell like jasmine.
So, if you happen to be, or know, a flower expert, I could use your help.
What is this?
Here’s another batch of photos that I’m quite happy with. It’s been one of my favorite activities to take photos of flora after, or sometimes during, a rain. In addition to the great colors of the flowers, twigs, branches or leaves, the droplets or irregular coating or mist add texture and often a sense of movement to the shots.
Some of the “wet” photos have ended up in earlier posts, such as the recent butterfly bush one and the one that featured collection I shot at Channing Daughters Winery several weeks ago.
However, the following are the bulk of what’s left of the nature-themed wet photos. I’ve also taken a series of soaked man-made items, but those photos I’ll save for later.
This is one of my favorite plants, one I draw a lot of symbolism from.
The butterfly bush gets its name because its phallus-like clusters of fragrant flowers drive butterflies wild, and at all times one can find the bugs with the painted wings drinking from the blossoms. Unfortunately, it also is a bumblebee magnet, so whenever I move the lawn, one of the yellow-striped menaces dive bombs my scalp as I putt by on the tractor.
The bush on my yard is actually two bushes, one with white flowers and the other with purple. All summer long, a blossom grows, turns to seed and dies, leaving the carcass of the flower behind, and then another one grows out just above the dead one, and goes through the same cycle. It’s that effect which always gets me thinking. It’s like the bush makes a point of hanging on to its dead flower. It’s like us. Our memories, though they have lost the life they once had when they were happening, hang off of us, reminding us of once-living past, but not necessarily getting in the way of the new blooms of our lives. We carry it all with us, the new and the old, the alive and the defunct, growing all the way.
I’ve been working on a poem to that effect. I’ll share it when I’m done.
Meanwhile, enjoy the photos. I shot both the white and purple blooms, and even included a shot of one of the dead appendages. I shot some of the photos just after a rain storm, and I love how the beads of water look on the flowers.
One of the first plants my wife and I planted at our home, lining the front porch, were short, young, big-leaved hosta plants. And though the first year they grew greener and wider, and then shriveled and detached from the earth in the late fall into winter, my wife assured me they’d come back next year.
They did, only, this time they bore flowers. These white little bells, with starburst tips, stood nearly three feet high.
Who knows what they will look like next year?
The photos came out well. I took them one dim afternoon, and you can see the porch blurred in the background.
There was a time (a month, actually) where I posted on this blog every day. Sure, it took signing up with National Blog Posting Month to get me to do it, but I like to believe my life was also more cooperative then.
Now, that just isn’t so, and as a frost keeps threatening to make me finally fold up my short-sleeved shirts for the season, I find I still have a stack of summer photos I had intended to have posted by now. So, it’s time to get caught up.
I was initially waiting to post a lot of these with companion poems I am writing, but since my free time is so much less these days since I have an infant (something you shouldn’t consider a complaint from me – fatherhood is bliss), I’m going to post them. The poems will come, but I need to move on. I’ve already started taking fall photos.
I’ll start with a rather large gallery of assorted flowers taken in the summer. Some are wild, some are ornamental, some are vivid, and some are delicately muted – the panoply of summer in the Northeast.
I hope you enjoy them.
Here’s a quick photo post.
When I bought this bag of Bartlett pears each was green and firm, and my plan was to let them ripen them up a bit before I would poach them in either a sweet white wine or a lemon-infused simple syrup. But, as I’m learning as a new parent, keeping plans can be tough.
What happened is I kept pushing back the poaching until one day I noticed the pears had turned yellow and their flesh had become a syrupy mush. I ate a few, but tossed the rest into the woods for the local raccoons, possums and rabbits to snack on.
At least they were eaten.