09/12/16

Late Summer Flowers

Late Summer Flowers

The Earth Laughs with Flowers ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Late summer flowers in the Middle Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico are magnificent.

late summer flowers

Cosmos in Corrales

Visiting with friends Tim and Laurie is always fun. Visits usually include Tim and I photographing, and Laurie sketching. This weekend was no different. Our “photographic expeditions and excursions” are on temporary hold. However, we make the most of what is locally available. Their property always has great photo ops, but their Lively Meadow is especially lively in late summer.

A forest of sunflowers greets the arriving visitor. As I was driving into Corrales, I almost stopped to photograph some sunflowers growing along the highway. I laughed at myself as I drove into their property. I was also glad I did not stop along the highway!

late summer flowers

Sunflowers

The tall sunflowers provide a natural backdrop for the cosmos.

late summer flowers

Sunflowers and Cosmos

Cosmos are a riot of color. The little blue flowers are morning glories.

late summer flowers

Colorful Cosmos

Laurie sketched while Tim and I photographed.

late summer flowers

Laurie Sketching

Later, as we always do, we went back to the house and deck.

Tim and Spunk:

man and cat

Tim and Spunk

On the deck and outdoor kitchen:

man hat coffee

Tim Relaxing

woman

Laurie

I don’t know how or why, but something a little special and always unpredictable seems to appear at just the right time. I love this beautiful, sparkly little damsel fly that visited the butterfly bush as we were enjoying conversation on the deck.

damsel fly

Damsel Fly

A beautiful late summer day with friends and flowers.

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09/9/15

Cosmos in Corrales

Cosmos in Corrales: The Beauty of a Naturalized Landscape

Cosmos this past Labor Day weekend were spectacular in the Corrales garden of our friends Tim and Laurie. They grow many different plants, with roses being the focal point of the formal part of the garden. But, sunflowers, brown-eyed Susan, echinacea, morning glories, coreopsis, and others, have been allowed to naturalize portions of their land along the Rio Grande. All were spectacular this past weekend.

Cosmos attract many different pollinators as well as hummingbirds, goldfinches, and other birds and butterflies. The entire garden was buzzing with lively critters.

There were so many different colors and combinations in these naturalized, self reseeding annuals . This is a small sample to give a feel for the beauty of even just one kind of flower in the garden.

cosmos

Field of Cosmos

cosmos

Cosmos, Up Close

cosmos

Almost White Cosmos

This is just a very small sample of the cosmos in the landscape. They appear among a wide variety of flowers allowed to naturalize the garden space, which was spectacular in its color and beauty this past weekend.

The prolonged drought has taken its toll among many flowers. One very good adaptation to that appears to be growing a wide variety of plants. More images of different flowers growing in this beautiful space will appear later in different posts.

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08/2/15

Cosmos

Cosmos

Cosmos

Cosmos

Cosmos is an annual I grow every year, not only for the beauty of the flowers, but also because the goldfinches and hummingbirds like them. When the seeds develop, the goldfinches prefer them to the nyger seeds I usually provide. For that reason, I do not deadhead these flowers, even though I would get more blooms if I did. I grow them, enjoy them, and then enjoy watching the birds feed on them.

Several days ago I posted some images from my garden, images with no editing (to say nothing of enhancements!) except for cropping and placement of a watermark. That was something of a photography exercise for me. Although I was not unhappy with the outcome, I personally found the exercise itself to lack the “fun” I find in digital photography. Last evening, for the first time in some time, I had a couple of hours to do what I enjoy – manipulate a photograph to create an image that reflected something more (to me, at least) than “a real flower captured by the camera.” What you see is the result.

I firmly believe that developing a raw file is something absolutely necessary to realize the full potential of digital photography, and should always be allowed.

“Enhancing” a photo through the use of many techniques, as this image has been enhanced, is very different from editing a raw file to develop it. I think any discussion of what should be allowed for any given use of an image should clearly distinguish between “editing” to develop a raw file, and “enhancing” to create an image not captured on a sensor.

Back to cosmos – a wonderful annual for its inherent beauty, and as a natural “feeder” for birds. A good flower for the garden in the desert southwest.

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07/13/15
July Garden datura

July Day in the Garden

July Day in the Garden

This July day dawned clear, and while there were clouds, the sunrise did not have the oranges and pinks seen in recent days. Nevertheless, in its own way, it was typical of the high desert. ‘Blue Hour’ was definitely blue!

July Garden sunrise

July Sunrise

Here in mid-July, the roses are between bloom cycles. But, other flowers are blooming.

Datura is an intriguing plant. It grows wild throughout the Southwest. The bloom is short-lived, opening at dusk and generally wilting as the sun comes up. This morning, however, the cooler temperatures and abundant moisture of this monsoon season so far, a couple of blooms remained relatively fresh for an hour or two longer.

July Garden datura

Datura

One of the brightest flowers in my garden is a gladiolus that generally starts to bloom around July Fourth. This year it began a little earlier, and this is one of the last flowers until next year. I love the vibrant colors!

July Day gladiolus

Gladiolus

The black chinned hummingbirds have been here since mid-April, and will remain into September. But within the coming week, here in Albuquerque we will begin to have a variety of migrating hummingbirds. Where I am, the rufous is the most abundant late summer migrant, but I have seen calliope and other hummers that are not seen frequently. Late summer can be very interesting at the hummingbird feeders.

This July day, however, was very calm and peaceful. A beautiful day in the garden.

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07/8/15

Sunflowers and Birds

Sunflowers and birds of all kinds go together naturally and beautifully. Several years ago some “volunteers” came up from the seeds I had been feeding. The birds loved the fresh seeds that formed when those flowers finished blooming! The goldfinches preferred them over the expensive nyger seed. The house finches love them, and the doves hang around under the flowers waiting for the other birds to drop an occasional seed. Since that first year of volunteers, I plant sunflowers each year. Although I always intend to plant them right after average frost-free date, some years I don’t get them planted until mid-summer, giving me and the birds flowers and seeds in the autumn. This year I got them planted early, and the flowers have peaked and the birds are enjoying the seeds. Within the next couple of weeks I’ll be removing the spent ones, and resowing seeds for a second bloom in fall. While this past Fourth of July weekend was an extremely busy one, I did make time to relax one afternoon and photograph some of the birds enjoying the sunflower seeds.

sunflowers and goldfinch

Male Goldfinch

Sunflowers and Birds

Male Goldfinch

sunflowers and birds

Male Goldfinch Taking Flight

Sunflowers and Birds

Male Goldfinch

Sunflowers and Birds

Male and Female Goldfinches

sunflowers and birds

Male and Female Goldfinches

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06/25/15
bee cosmos

The Eyes Have It

The summer annuals I grow regularly are sunflowers and cosmos. They attract a variety of pollinators and the birds like the seeds. This year I got them planted in late April, and they are now in bloom.

This morning I found this bee on a cosmos, and it was still cool enough that the bee posed for a couple of good images.

I am fortunate to have neighbors who also grow things to attract pollinators and birds.

bee  cosmos

Bee and Cosmos

bee cosmos

Bee and Cosmos

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02/14/15
cosmos summer flower

Summer Flowers

It Is Not Too Early to Dream of Summer Flowers

Summer Flowers – such a wide range of vivid colors with which to paint a landscape – or a container or two. These flowers are a reminder of summer. Here in the Southwest, we have had an exceptionally mild winter. This collection is especially for my friends in the Northeast, caught in the seemingly Winter of Endless Snow! Although the winter here has been mild, I’m ready for some summer flowers, too! 🙂

The flowers of summer shown here are easy to grow, and most attract butterflies and bees. Some are annuals, some are perennials, but all bring beauty. I always grow some of these, even though I grow more roses than anything else. Variety is good! Some of these are from my yard, some are from the home of friends Tim and Laurie, and some are from the Albuquerque BioPark.

summer flower cosmos

Cosmos, Fibonacci Sequence

summer flowers

Fibonacci Sequence, Dahlia

ranunculus spring flower

Ranunculus, Fibonacci Sequence

summer flower sunflower

Sunflower, Fibonacci Sequence

summer flowers

Mexican Sunflower

summer flowers brown-eyed Susan

Brown-eyed Susan

summer flowers echinacea

Echinacea

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