07/26/16
Sunflower and Bee

Sunflower and BIG Bee

Sunflower and BIG Bee

Update from Baldo Villegas, regarding identification:

this is not a carpenter bee. This is an anthophorid bee. This group of bees are famous for pollinating sunflowers. The males have longer antennae than the females and this is usually how I recognize them right away. Unfortunately, I can’t see the antennae from the picture so my guess is that it is a female.

I’ll be working to get a better image showing the antennae!
Thank you, Baldo!

Sunflower and big bee, and a beautiful blue New Mexico sky! I was out photographing goldfinches playing on the spent sunflowers and cosmos, enjoying the seeds and showing it. This time of year I see a lot of pollinators on most of the flowers in the yards, buzzing around, very busily. Sometimes I specifically photograph them. But, this particular day I was focusing on the goldfinches.

As I sat on my porch enjoying a quiet afternoon, I saw what, at least from a distance, appeared to be a HUGE bee. I’m used to the black and yellow “bumble bees,” and the smaller brown and yellow bees. But this had the appearance of a brown and yellow bee, but very large, and spending a lot of time working a sunflower. Finally, I had to investigate more closely, even though I knew the birds would fly, at least for a bit.

Sunflower and Big Bee

Sunflower and Large Bee

Sunflower and Big Bee

Sunflower and Large Bee

As you can see, this was, indeed, a very large bee. And, it had been very busy! It was covered with pollen it had collected from the sunflower. I think it may be a male carpenter bee, although I need to check this identification.

Under any circumstances, it was a new bee for me, and certainly caught my eye even though I thought I would focus on birds that particular day.

06/27/16
gardens friends

Gardens and Friends

Gardens and Friends: A Day in Corrales with Friends and Family and Friends of Friends

Gardens and friends – gardens are such a wonderful gathering spot for family and friends in the summer. Regular readers here know how much I love to visit with the Price family in their Corrales garden, as well as our “photographic expeditions” to various places. We frequently end those travels back at their home and garden. I have rarely shown all the socializing that goes on in that garden and on the deck. Yesterday was a day for being in the garden and visiting with friends and with friends and family of friends. It ended, as it always does, with wonderful food, drink, and conversation in the outdoor garden kitchen.

I always love driving down the little lane to Tim and Laurie’s home – it is so Corrales!

gardens and friends

Trumpet Vine on the Lane to Tim and Laurie’s

Once there, it was a time for friendships in the garden and at the table. Nothing more needs be said.

06/23/16
_MG_5389

2016 Pollinator Week

2016 Pollinator Week, June 20-26

2016 Pollinator Week is recognized around the world. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators to all living things, whether directly or indirectly, and to encourage planting beneficial to a wide range of pollinators.

2016 pollinator week

Some Native Bees

More information on each of the bees in this image can be found here. More information on pollinators in general and 2016 Pollinator Week can be found at Pollinator Partnership.

Here are just a few of the images I have taken of pollinators over the years. The blue osmia is a little over-represented here, because I only see one day a year, late March or early April. But they are so different and so beautiful, I want you to see them. I stopped spraying my roses and using systemics some years ago, and have seen a marked increase in the pollinators in my yard. I love sunflowers and cosmos for their beauty, ease of care, and the way they attract pollinators ranging from bees through butterflies to hummingbirds. My next-door neighbors are evolutionary biologists who do totally organic gardening, so we have a tiny oasis for pollinators.

06/15/16
dward peach bonanza 2016

Dwarf Peach Bonanza 2016

Dwarf Peach Bonanza 2016

Dwarf Peach Bonanza, my first one that I had for many years and loved for its early spring blooms, peaches, the beauty of the little tree itself in the growing season, the interesting bare branches in the winter, died in the extreme, brutal cold of February 2011. It had produced and been a joy for many years.

In the fall of 2014, my wonderful neighbors not only gave me a new one, but planted it for me. It bloomed in the spring of 2015, but didn’t produce (late cold). This year the bloom was gorgeous, to no one’s surprise, but it once again got cold late and I was doubting production of any peaches.
I am happy to say the little tree is producing some peaches this year, beautiful little blush covered peaches! I could have thinned them a bit to produce larger peaches, but I really wasn’t looking for peaches after the cold snap. These were something of a delightful surprise.

dwarf peach bonanza

Dwarf Peach Bonanza 2016

The peaches will be ready to eat before too long. I’ll want to harvest them before the birds get them, but in the brief time before that, the tree and the peaches make wonderful photographic subjects.

Thank you, Rosemary and Burton!

06/9/16

Rose Gold Medal with Butterfly

Rose Gold Medal with Hair Streak Butterfly

The rose ‘Gold Medal’ has long been one of my mother’s favorites. I photographed the rose in her garden near sunset. The hair streak butterfly is from a macro shot taken in friends’ garden on a wonderful day. This image is a composite that brings together people important in my life and two gardens I love.

This image was chosen as the winner in the Judges Class of the 2015 American Rose Society Digital Photography Contest. I thank the special selection committee for that honor of an image that was already important to me for so many reasons.

rose Gold Medal ARS Photo Winner

Rose ‘Gold Medal’ with Hair Streak Butterfly

05/18/16

Dr Huey, 2016

Dr Huey, 2016: The 3rd Annual Corrales Rose Society Dr Huey Tour

Dr Huey, know best among most rosarians as a common root-stock for grafted roses such as hybrid teas, floribundas, and many other classes of roses, may be seen in all of its own glory all over the Village of Corrales, New Mexico, for approximately one week in May. The Corrales Rose Society held its 3rd Annual Dr Huey Tour on May 15 this year, and the blooms were truly at their peak; the best overall I have ever seen them.

You may wonder why Corrales has so many of this hybrid wichurana, not usually planted for its own good qualities. Corrales sits on the river, here in the Middle Rio Grande Valley. You may recall from elementary school that “hot air rises, cold air sinks.” When I’m visiting friends in Corrales, even in the summer, if I am going to be there in the evening, I always take a jacket. Winter nights can get 10°-15°F colder than my location in Albuquerque. Corrales could be considered a “cold sink” and is just another example of one of many micro environments in the high desert.

People buy and plant grafted roses, and enjoy them as such while they are in that form. But many winters have killing freezes, often prolonged. In a desert area where winterizing of roses is rarely, if ever done, the grafted portion dies. In spring, the very hardy, alkaline-soil-thriving root-stock appears. The blooms are not at all unattractive, as you will see. People in the high desert tend to appreciate what grows and thrives, and most of these are kept. Some people keep them trimmed; some allow them to grown into their natural fountain shape; many allow them to cascade beautifully over walls; and one in particular has gotten quite huge!!!

I hope you enjoy these images as much as I enjoyed seeing the roses in person.

05/17/16

2016 Corrales Garden Tour

2016 Corrales Garden Tour, Sunday, June 5

The 2016 Corrales Garden Tour is coming up very soon, Sunday, June 5. The information for times, as well as for pre-sale and day of tour sale are on this poster.

2016 Corrales Garden Tour

2016 Corrales Garden Tour

Gardens Fulfill Needs

Gardens answer so many desires. They are places of beauty, offering emotional and physical recharging and introspection, or a chance to share hospitality. Our gardens are the first place to act locally as we think globally about caring for the environment.

The six unique gardens on the Corrales Garden Tour on June 5, from 9AM-4PM, speak to all those needs and yearnings. Some are quietly serene and very private, others capture rain runoff and allow it to return to the soil; some have whimsical elements and a variety of seating areas. You will see gardens in the trees, others in the sandhills, and each has taken our climate and need for water conservation to heart in various ways.

Different gardens are featured each year, and the gardens are always interesting. Here is a post from last year’s tour on water features in the garden.

Six different gardens will be featured this year, and Master Gardeners will be available to answer questions. It will be a very enjoyable day.

Be sure to wear sunscreen, and it is always a good idea to have water with you.

05/13/16

Preparing Rose Show Photographs

Preparing Rose Show Photographs – Easily, Quickly, and Cost Effectively

Preparing rose show photographs to conform to the requirements of show schedules using ARS Guidelines or the old PSWD guidelines, for example the one next week in Albuquerque, can be easy and can be done without spending a lot of money. It can also be done so that the photos hang straight and do not develop “waves” during the show.

This volume illustrates step-by-step how to mount and mat an 8×10 photo to total outside dimensions of 11×14, meeting the requirements of the old PSWD guidelines and now the National ARS Photography Guidelines. Beautifully prepare your images easily, quickly, and inexpensively.

Readable on any device (desktop, smart phone, iPad, variety of tablets, laptops) with the free Kindle app that can be downloaded at Amazon.

Susan is an American Rose Society Accredited Horticulture Judge, and in 2015 became an Accredited Arrangement Judge Emeritus. As the first PSWD Chair of Photography (2009-2012), she wrote the PSWD Photography Guidelines. She is a member of the American Rose Society Photography Committee (2012-present), chaired by Curtis Aumiller. That committee produced the first ARS Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography, approved by the ARS in 2015, now the national standard for all ARS rose shows.

The illustrated instructions offered in this Kindle volume meet the requirements of the new ARS Guidelines, as well as the requirements of the old PSWD guidelines, for those who are still using those and have not yet caught up to the ARS Guidelines.

preparing rose show photographs

Mounted and Matted for Rose Show – Gemini

04/19/16

The New Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography: Breaking It Down I

The New Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography: Breaking It Down I

For readers at both of my blogs, I apologize for the repetition, but I want to get this information out as much as possible at the start of the 2016 rose show season.

Since September 2015 the ARS has had national Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography. Although I am writing this series to help make the transition from the old and outdated PSWD Guidelines easier for those who are used to using them, if others find this useful, so much the better.

Starting at the beginning, National Chairman Curtis Aumiller states

This first edition is not meant to be an ending point, but rather a starting point for those who judge rose photographs. The standards agreed upon in this manual will grow and evolve in future manuals, just as our roses grow and evolve over time. This manual is meant as a way to find common ground when judging photography of roses for those who already judge roses for horticulture or arrangements. As with the other guidelines, the most important aspect to any judging is to enjoy the beauty of the roses displayed while fairly applying
standards to all exhibits. This book will help the seasoned rose judge, the student judge, the apprentice judge, and most of all, the exhibitor to frame the beauty of America’s flower!

Like the Guidelines for Judging Horticulture and Judging Arrangements, these guidelines are for exhibitors of rose photographs in shows that give ARS awards, and for judges who “already judge roses for horticulture or arrangements.” This, of course, is not surprising to anyone who has done the work to become an accredited judge. The people to judge rose photographs are the people who have prepared themselves to judge roses in rose shows. That was always the intent under my chairmanship in the PSWD, strongly supported by Bruce Monroe who at that time was the National Chairman of Horticulture Judges. My last official act as PSWD photography chair was in June 2012, when I organized a day long seminar and workshop on judging rose photography, taught by myself, Sally Long, and photographer Pat Berrett. Because Bruce Monroe so strongly supported photography in our shows, horticulture judges who attended were given four hours of credit, which is what they needed for that cycle of accreditation. Additionally, Arrangement judges received two hours of credit.

The 40 available spaces for that seminar filled fast. The day was a lot of fun, people felt they learned a lot, and left excited about the possibilities for photography in our shows. Click here for a few images from that seminar.

Photography in the PSWD took a sharp turn with a new district director and photography chairman, but Sally Long, the third PSWD photography chairman is working to revive the interest in rose photography present in that district at the end of my tenure.

The challenge for photography at the National level now that official Guidelines have been adopted will be to provide educational programs for both exhibitors and judges on their use. This can be done in a variety of ways. I do believe one important component will be the addition of a segment on judging rose photographs to Horticulture and Arrangement judging schools and seminars. At the present time the ARS has no plans for separate accreditation of Photography judges, so it becomes especially important that our judges are presented with opportunities to learn some of the specifics of the new ARS Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography. They will certainly be called upon to judge rose photographs in our shows.

RESPECTING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Chapter 2 in the new Guidelines is “Intellectual Property.” This was definitely a needed addition, and in the past few months I have been reminded just how needed this new chapter is. It may surprise some of you who know me when I say I had nothing to do with this chapter. It appeared one day in the Committee’s discussions, and I was delighted! From Chapter 2 of the ARS Guidelines:

All photographs entered into an ARS show, from local shows to national shows, are the property
of the photographer and are protected as intellectual property…The information about intellectual property
should be in the show schedule; however, failure to include this information in the schedule does not negate
the legal precedence, and the show must still follow this rule…

The following should be included in any schedule for photography:
All rights to the submitted photographs are retained by the owners of the photographs. However, by submitting
a photograph to the contest, the exhibitor (1) warrants that he or she owns the copyright of the submitted
photograph and is not legally prohibited from submitting it to the contest, and (2) agrees to allow the
[name of the rose society sponsoring the show] to display the photo at the [name of the show] show [optionally
time and place of the show], [if applicable] and publish the photograph in [name of newsletter or newsletters,
optionally specify the issue].

The chapter on Intellectual Property is a new addition, a much needed one. Any questions may be directed to ARS Photography Chairman, Curtis Aumiller.

That is enough to both write and absorb for one day. Stay tuned for Breaking It Down Part II at a later time. If you have read this far, thank you for your interest.