Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What To Wear in the Garden

You might be surprised to learn that this is a picture of a hummingbird.  Yes, the hummer working my roses and cleomes this morning as I sat in the garden, writing in my journal, hovered so long in one place that I figured even I might be able to get his picture.  I ran to the house for my camera, waited for him to reappear and then started shooting away with my mighty Canon (not the boom-boom kind.) I now fully understand the difference between snapshots and photographs, as if I didn't already after having collaborated with wildlife photographer Jim Backus on four books.  If Jim had taken the photo, you would see a picture of a hummingbird with flowers in the background.  Maybe it's the gardener in me that brings out the flowers...  Anyway, I did manage to capture this digital image of the little wonder, though his/her iridescent body barely shows up against the background greenery.  Can I help it birds wear camo?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

In Focus

Every picture has a focal point (or should have--now some of mine don't, really, especially since I tend to be chronically out of focus even with an automatic camera, a feat to which only decades of caffeine can be attributed.)  In this photo, the focal point would seem to be the garden fairy, reading her book, but if you look behind her, you can change your focus to the craggy, creviced, leathery bark of the black cherry tree which is currently dropping small black fruits all over our lawn, much to the delight of birds and scurrying creatures.  The details of the trunk constantly change, never repeating as far as I can see.  If I could actually take credit for growing such a wonderful specimen, I would consider myself to have finally arrived as a gardener.  Alas, Mother Nature planted the tree and I have only to behold it.  To focus.  And to remember that sometimes it is quite beneficial to change my focal point. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Too Precious to Plant

If you've been reading All the World in a Blade of Quack, you may have read about my struggle to find the perfect place to plant one perfectly beautiful, hot pink hardy hibiscus.  When I brought it home from the greenhouse years ago, the petals lazed back like five Kleenexes wired together for a kindergarten craft project.  The stamen, though, was intricately detailed, cream-colored and lacy.  The stalk itself stood barely taller than the single bloom it bravely held intact.  Yes, the little hibiscus was way too precious to plant just anyplace.  It demanded, in its own delicate-but-in-your-face style, nothing less than center stage. Well, to read the whole tale, you'll have to check out Chapter 15, but suffice it to say that I finally found a place, and the hibiscus found that place to its liking.  Several years later, it is three feet tall, three feet wide, and still dazzling passersby.  When the rest of the garden is satisfied with just being green during the dog days of August, the hibiscus isn't satisfied with anything less than stardom.  It really ought to be in movies.