Flowers of Spring Have Finally Arrived

Iris in Bloom in Auburn
Iris in Bloom in Auburn

I took a break from my blog for a while, which always seems to be the case during the cold dark months of the year. Now that Spring is in full bloom here in Auburn things look so full of life and so colorful it just brings new inspiration to everything. Even though I took a few months off from my blog I still kept writing throughout the winter, but for some reason it always seems to be a little different. I wish I could find a way to better merge my offline writing with my writing here, but it would probably change how I write offline. Anyway, hope everyone is enjoying their springtime colors as much as we are down here in the south.

Most Beautiful Dogwood Blooms of any Recent Spring in Auburn

Dogwood Flower Bloom in Spring

OK, so this will probably be the last post of the Spring showing our Dogwood bloom or our Wisteria, but I just love the colors so today it’s my Photo of the Day and my P365 :2012 photo [Day 114]. I don’t know if it’s all the rain we got over the winter or that I’m just another year older, but this Spring has been the most beautiful I can remember in a long time. The Dogwood blooms around Auburn were, and still are spectacular this year. The one pictured above is from our yard and is just screaming of the beauty of creation.

This photo was taken handheld, and is seen basically straight out of my Nikon D7000 camera body, with a little added saturation processing from Adobe Lightroom. You can see the full exif data from over on my Flickr site. The background blur comes from the lens I was using, a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 G version (a very fast and inexpensive prime lens), shot almost wide open (i.e. f/1.4) so the depth of field was very shallow. The purple and green, two incredible contrasting colors for a white flower, come from our purple Wisteria blooms and the trees in the background. This wouldn’t necessarily be considered macro photography (see my previous examples here), but it was shot at the lens’ minimum focal distance.

Hope you have been able to get out and smell the roses this Spring, even if they are in the form of Wisteria and Dogwood blooms.

The Spring Equinox Today with Spring is Coming to Zion :: Poem

Dogwood Flower Bloom in Spring

Today is the first day of Spring (the Spring Equinox)! For some reason, a day I look more forward to each year, but this year, I wanted to commemorate the day with a poem. I make no claims whatsoever to be any kind of a decent poet (see prior attempts), but I do make attempts from time to time. This is one I started in the middle of winter, when it was dark and dreary, and all I wanted was to see some sun and a little bit of warmth in the air. I was writing in anticipation when I would be able to shoot this image above, which I took on Sunday of our Dogwood tree.

I was told off and on in photography that if you have to explain a photo it isn’t very good. I’m not so sure that counts for some forms of writing, since many genres I need plenty of explanation to understand. The first half of the poem is very very loosely formed in an iambic tetrameter as my others have been, in counter rhyming verse, going back and forth between nature and scripture. The back and forth is supposed to be between our current here and now, and the second coming. Looking forward to the time of the new heaven and the new earth, a time when Christ will come back like a Spring, waiting to arrive. I think of that time much like I do Spring after a long winter, the anticipation of Christ’s Second Coming after a long cold winter.

I really wanted to “finished” poem and post it on the first day of Spring, but as with life, so many things got in the way. It still feels unfinished to me, a rough start to something that needs much more work. Kind of like life. So for what it’s worth, here it is:

Spring is Coming to Zion

Spring is coming, ‘or the daffodils say it’s true
Spring is coming, where the frost gives way to the dew
No one knows that day and hour
Still light moves on in full power
The bluebirds fill their boxes full
Where legends of the dogwoods rule

Spring is coming, where the winter must resume it’s queue
Spring is coming, for darkness is a light with you
We are pure at it’s arrival
At once we see him in his all
The seam of light begins the prize
And the meadow grass now gives rise

Spring is coming, where the night is bright as the day
Spring is coming, the very stones cry out and pray
The time as yet to have appeared
His glory is joy and revered
When pure beauty colors our eyes
We know summer is set to rise

Spring is coming, so stay awake and do not snooze
Spring is coming, rejoice in knowing the Good News
Where the city of our God shines
He will establish in the pines
A beauty that has no ending
And winter that has no beggining

Spring is coming now.
In the city of God
There is a river
Where streams are made glad
Though the earth gives way
And the mountains tremble

Spring is coming now
And is to be praised.
Let creation rejoice
to the ends of earth
that this is our God

Spring is coming now
So be still and know
Our God is with us
He won’t forsake us
Let Zion be glad

Spring is coming, where the frost gives way to the dew
Spring is coming, just for you.

If you have some favorite Spring poems I would love to read them, send them on over or leave a comment below.

The Most Colorful Macro Flower Edition of Friday Feet

I thought I would make today’s Friday Feet the most colorful set of flowers shot in this series. I spent most of the day in blasting 100*F heat cutting acres of dry grass so this was a nice break. The flowers are from the Stephens family from after their service yesterday (see previous post). They were nice enough to let everyone take home some flowers from what turned out to be one of the most beautiful displays of flowers I have ever seen at any service, and now they can live on forever on the interwebs. In fact, there were so many flowers that everyone who wanted any got to take some home and the lobby of the church was still filled with flowers when everyone left.

The shots below were macro shots taken at a 1:1 magnification ratio or greater. The orange rose with the water drops was slightly greater than 1:1 by using what is called an extension tube (basically 27mm’s of air between the lens of the camera body). I love macro photography. It has a tendency to show all kinds of details that we just don’t see through casual observation like the oil and water colors from a few weeks ago. The first show below of the two pedals is the big flower on the very top by the basket handle above. No special lighting or anything, the flowers were just that colorful. Have a good weekend everyone.

Purple Iris Blooms and Double Knockout Roses Today :: Friday Feet

Today is Friday again, can’t believe how fast these weeks are going by. Today the Friday Feet post comes from my garden just about 50 feet from where I am typing out this blog post. The cool thing about a flower garden is having plants that bloom at different times all throughout the year, and as Spring moves on, the next in line is the Iris. They just started blooming in these magnificent purple blooms (although they come in a huge variety of colors). These flowers below were shot using my wife’s Nikon D90 and basically this is how they came right out of the camera. I did very little post processing editing with these particular flowers, they really didn’t need it, the colors were incredible.

This week has been, thankfully, a week of getting back to the routine of things, a week without a doctors appointments, which we were both thankful for immensely, and a week that flew by in a blink of an eye. I had so many blog posts I either started or wanted to get started this week and just never got back to them. I do have several book reviews that I want to get out but they will just have to wait for another day. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Photos of Spring Wildflowers and Dogwood Blooms

Wild Flower in Bloom

Wild Flower in Bloom

Wild Flower in Bloom

Spider Web in the Sunset

Dead Cedar Tree

Closeup of Dogwood Flower Bloom

The flowers around town tell us it is Springtime but for the last week or so it has been nothing but cold and rainy so last night before it got dark I did another photo walk-through in the back yard (see part 1 Backyard Dose of Spring Flowers // Photos). There were plenty of wild flowers blooming and the Dogwood trees are still in full bloom down here.  I always think that if a photo needs an explanation it isn’t very good, but… the one with the sun in the middle was a spider web wrapped around a branch and the last photo is the very center of a Dogwood bloom.

If you walk around outside long enough you can always find something of beauty, even if it is actually in the eye of the beholder.

Photography of Wisteria Flowers in Bloom

Wisteria in Bloom

Magnolia in Bloom

Violet in Bloom

The backyard is a great place to take some photos of Spring in action.  I took these photos last night after I got home from work and it shows the color of Spring can be found just about everywhere right now.  The fist shot is the bud stem of the Wisteria plant which is almost as prevalent around here as Kudzu.  You can click on the larger size of the Wisteria and see it is covered in yellow pollen from the pine trees which is covering just about everything right now.

The next is a bloom from a Magnolia tree (a southern Magnolia I believe, not the traditional large thick green leaved trees), and the last is a violet (weed).  The violets are everywhere this year but they are so small if you don’t look closely you might miss them altogether.  They are about the size of a pencil eraser at most, and are usually considered to be weeds.

The Magnolia tree is interesting… one of the early bloomers of Spring, it produces these large white flowers before it grows any leaves at all and doesn’t bloom again until next February.  Right now it has exploded in bloom and the very center of the flower has a beautiful yellow and red center (shown below) which is also smaller than the size of a pencil eraser (very small).

Closeup Photos of Dogwood Blooms in Spring

dogwood buds

dogwood buds

dogwood buds

Pine Cone Buds

I didn’t really think about it like that until this year, but life seems so fragile sometimes, even if we live out the average life span for this country, we will only see, or recognize, this time comes around 50-80 times on average, if we are lucky.  I think the first 5-10 Spring season changes don’t really count since we can’t comprehend what we are looking at, but I have already experienced 37 Spring’s in my life, so as the flowers bloom and leaves start to fill the trees again, I am keenly aware I have about 35 down and 35 to go, so to speak.

I am amazed at God’s symphony that we call Spring.  Almost so slowly we don’t notice, the buds on the trees come out and things go from brown to green in a blink of an eye.  Last week in what I hope is winter’s last hurrah, I shot some photos of the Dogwood blooms on a tree in front of our house.  It survived the snow, the ice, the cold, to bring us the images below.  Of course down here in the south, no Spring is complete without the bloom of the yellow pollen from the pines.  I took the other shot a few days ago just before all the pods started to release gallons of yellow pollen that now covers every square inch of everything.

These photos are of the Dogwood in bloom just outside out living room window.  Just the smallest blooms, waiting for a warmer day to arrive.  The closeup of the pine tree below covers us in a bath of yellow pollen for several weeks, but it is still a beautiful sight when you know warmer weather is on its way.

Colorado Columbine Flower in Bloom, Always Beautiful

The Colorado Columbine in Bloom

There are a few wildflowers that really capture a state, and the top two that come to mind are the Texas Bluebonnets and the Colorado Columbine. The Colorado Columbine is actually native to Canada but has really become a symbol of Colorado since it was adopted as the official state flower on April 4, 1899 by an act of the General Assembly.

The Colorado Columbine Flower in Bloom

This flower has so many different faces and can be photographed in so many different poses that one shot does not do this flower justice. Below is the classic head on shot as I like to call it. When trying to shoot closeup images of flowers it is great if you can get the green leaves in the background as this will make the flower pop off the page. I managed to get a little green in the bottom right corner but would have loved that all the way around the image.

What are your favorite wildflowers of the Spring and Summer months?