Bloodroot blossoms from a few angles

Walking through the woods yesterday there were not a lot of wildflowers blooming... except for the bloodroots.  These are very simple blossoms.  I am not a particular fan of white flowers as they have very little (obviously) color and are hard to expose correctly.  They also easily show any "wear and tear", so it is important to find fresh clean samples when looking for a composition.  I am pleased with this first image, as the flower seems to be perfectly symmetrical. The bloodroot is a perennial that is native to eastern North America.


My Favorite Maple Tree is Gone

During the first night of our second of four "nor’easter" storms this winter my favorite maple tree fell to the ground from heavy wet snow and near hurricane winds.  It was one of 14 trees we lost that night. 

Now that it’s gone I remember the great photos it has given me.  The inch worm image was a once in a lifetime capture. And this particular tree was always heavily laden with colorful seed pods each May. 

Feeling nostalgic, I did some searching in my Lightroom catalog for images, and came up with a few.

Taken in May, 2008
Olympus C8080 bridge camera with 2/3" sensor

Taken in May, 2014
Sony NEX-6 with I think an old manual focus macro lens

Taken in May, 2014
Sony NEX-6 and unknown manual macro lens
Likey a Tamron 90mm with adapter

Taken in May, 2014
Olympus E-M1 and 60mm macro lens

Taken in May, 2017
Olympus E-M1 and 12-100 F4 zoom @ 54mm


Using the App "GardenAnswers" to Identify Flowers

I’ve been learning a bit about flowering plants with an app on my iPhone. I can’t recall if I’ve commented on “GardenAnswers” here on a prior blog post or not, but I’ve been using the app for a year or so.

My last blog post included a few crocuses I had photographed at a nearby garden, Tower Hill Botanic Garden. A crocus is one of just a few flowers I can identify. I know a pretty flower when I see it, but most of the time I have no idea of its identity.

“GardenAnswers” has come to the rescue. All I need to do on my iPhone is open the app and then take a photo of the flower or search my photo album for a photo already taken.  I guess it is like face recognition technology, as the app analyzes the photo and gives samples of flowers that look similar. You can then pick the one that best matches. The app will give you the matching flower’s common and scientific names, and a brief description of some of its characteristics.

This all works smoothly almost always. When it doesn’t, and no adequate samples are found, you have the option to send the image to one of their horticulturists for identification.  The cost is $1.

"Glory of the Snow".  An early season flowering bulb
Olympus E-M1 and 12-100mm zoom @ 86mm (172mm equiv)
1/800sec, F4, ISO200, +.7EV

This is how I used the above image and “GardenAnswers” this morning, an app on my iPhone. 

I picked "photo album" as the image was already in my phone library

I matched my photo (top) with the photo their software picked (bottom)

I confirmed the match and received an identification and description


Spring-Time Flowers

It's been a roller coaster couple of months in New England. After feeling very sure that the snow was all over, today we just had the coldest April 15th in recorded history, with an occasional snow flurry or "snizel" (i.e a combination of snow and drizzle).

The high temperature was surprisingly at midnight, which was 38 degrees at our house, and the temperatures fell all day.  As I write this at 8pm, it is 32 degrees.  Boston reported windchill near 20 degrees.  

Tomorrow is the Boston Marathon.  It will be windy (15-40 mph) and rainy, with temperatures in the mid-30s when the race starts and perhaps low 40s by mid-afternoon. I see an 80-100% chance of rain for every hour from 8am to 2pm.  

All that yuckiness aside, I spent a warm and wonderful two hours outside at the botanic garden two days ago.  Many of the outside areas were roped off because they were undergoing maintenance (and looked very muddy), which I guess should be expected after the heavy (and just recently melted) snow this winter.  Nevertheless, I did take some pleasing photos of a few of the spring-flowering bulbs.

Below is a selection.  

Gear: The first image, that of a "snowdrop", was taken with my Panasonic GX80/85 and 60mm Olympus macro lens.  The rest are all crocuses of various colors and the photos were taken with my Olympus E-M1 and Olympus 12-100mm zoom lens.