Waves of green

The Orchid Center at the Atlanta Botanical Garden is full of gorgeous orchids but, there are other plants in there that are equally interesting.  This is one that made me think of Mike Moats and his instructions on finding good patterns for macro subjects.  These leaves were so full of color and texture and there was a coating of water drops that made them glisten in the light.  Can’t get too much better than this!

I love how nature is so full of things that just make you say WOW when you look at them.  From the smallest thing to the most immense vista, nature never fails to make me full of awe and wonder.

Atlanta Botanical Garden
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
78mm @ f/16 – 1/30 sec – ISO 400

Bird Walk with Atlanta Audubon Society

Joyce and I spent part of Saturday morning on a Bird Walk at the Chattahoochee Nature Center.  This was an event sponsored by the Atlanta Audubon Society which went trough the Nature Center grounds and out on the private boardwalk along the Chattahoochee River.

It was a very informative and enjoyable morning but we didn’t actually see all that many birds.  We did see your basic stuff – robins, mockingbirds, towhee, etc and of course there were the captive birds in the aviary displays.  The image shown here is an Eastern Phoebe who we saw along the boardwalk area.

I hope they have more walks from the Nature Center in the future so we can see what other beautiful bird breeds are in the area.

Eastern Phoebe
(Sayornis phoebe)
Chattahoochee Nature Center
Roswell, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/11 – 1/250 sec – ISO 400

Lilies on fire

I posted an image of aquatic plant leaves from the lily pond at the Atlanta Botanical Garden a few days ago so, I had to show at least one of the lilies.  It really is amazing to look at these big showy flowers with all the different hues of color.  The lily pad leaves are a world to themselves with the texture and beautiful green and tinges of red.  It is hard to spend too much time admiring these plants.  If the gardens were not packed with so many other amazing sights, I might stay at this spot for the whole day.

Atlanta Botanical Garden
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
86mm @ f/11 – 1/125 sec – ISO 200

A bundle of Sunshine

Some of the plants at the Atlanta Botanical Garden are exotic and rare and others are just beautiful to look at.  These glorious splashes of color are planted along the walkways in the Children’s Garden.  Not rare but definitely beautiful!

I love to examine things that are uncommonly beautiful when shown in extraordinary detail and with the right light.  Under these conditions, almost anything can be extremely beautiful.  It is fun to uncover that beauty and capture it to share with others.  That’s what I think photography is about.

Atlanta Botanical Garden
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
86mm @ f/11 – 1/125 sec – ISO 200

Unmarked

Each time there is a major exhibit at Atlanta Botanical Garden, it seems that they acquire a permanent installation to remind people of what had been there before.  One of the biggest pieces from Chihuly in the Garden (2016) – the yellow-orange neon column called “Saffron Tower” is still in place.  It stands at the end of a beautiful reflecting pool which is planted with an array of flowers.  Most of these are prominently marked but for some reason, I couldn’t find a tag for this one.

The beautiful pink flowers were not very tall but they were just reaching out for the sun and I loved the way the light was rimming the buds hanging beneath the open blossom.

If anyone know what the name of this one is, I would love to know.

Atlanta Botanical Garden
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
300mm @ f/9 – 1/25 sec – ISO 200

Tears of the Orchid

As I said yesterday, the Orchid Center at the Atlanta Botanical Garden is one of my favorite places.  The shapes and colors on these flowers are totally amazing!  There were a number of this variety showing off their beautiful blooms and glistening with water drops that are frequently sprayed on the plants in this environment.

I am glad that there are experts who know how to care for these plants and put them on display for people like me who have no idea how to do this.  I can sure appreciate them though and do my best to capture the beauty and share it with others.  We each have some talents and I know mine isn’t gardening.  Hopefully, the photography will make up for that lack.

Atlanta Botanical Garden
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
86mm @ f/16 – 1/13 sec – ISO 400

Luck or skill?

Skill is essential, preparation is required but luck, well maybe luck is even better.

On our visit to the Atlanta Botanical Garden we stopped by the Orchid Center which is one of my favorite spots here.  The front of the building was rather blocked up as they were preparing for a concert in the gardens and that is where the stage is set up.  In spite of all that, I walked around in front of the stage to see what was going on in the water lily pond that is always a great sight.

I got some great water lily shots but when we were about to leave, I spotted something that stopped me in my tracks.  The image above is a reflection of aquatic plant leaves partially submerged in the pond.  The texture and colors of these leaves were just spectacular and the mirror image made it irresistible.

If I had stuck with my original focus and only saw the lilies it would have been worth the stop but this was the icing on the cake!  I love it when a scene just jumps out at you when you weren’t even expecting it.  I will take the lucky accident whenever I can get it.

Atlanta Botanical Garden
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
240mm @ f/16 – 1/25 sec – ISO 200

Taking time to smell the flowers

OK, I have to give credit to my wife for the idea on this one.  While visiting the Atlanta Botanical Garden this weekend, we stopped at the Cascades Garden.  Behind the beautiful pond and cascading fountain is the 25-foot-tall topiary sculpture called “Earth Goddess“.  The sculpture is always a gorgeous sight but the pond is also surrounded by many blooming plants that are interesting.

Combine the two was the obvious conclusion to be had and so, I found a composition that made it look as though the garden goddess was leaning over to take in a bunch of flowers.  It took a bit of playing with the position and depth of field to get the flowers in sharp focus and to make the face look to be just behind them.

Since the whole purpose of the gardens here is to give people the chance to see and appreciate the beauty of nature in the amazing variety of plants that are on this earth, it seemed to me to be a very appropriate image.

Atlanta Botanical Garden
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
62mm @ f/9 – 1/160 sec – ISO 200

Elusive

Blue Jays are a strange breed.  They are so very common yet, I have been struggling to get a good shot of one.  You would think that a relatively large bird, that is usually pretty aggressive with other birds would be an easy subject but, not these guys.  They spook at the slightest breeze.  They are kind of bullies at some points but I have seen them get scared off by sparrows.

They also have a very wide variety of calls.  One of these seems to be an imitation of a hawk – maybe in hopes of scaring other birds away.  I can always tell when they are around but every time I go out to get a shot, they scatter.  While the other birds slowly return to the feeders, the Jays stay out at the edges of the yard.  They fly up to the top of the trees and if I move at all they fly off.  I got this one by setting up at a spot near the yard-favorite suet feeder and snapping a shot with my cable release.  (He flew off immediately at the sound of the shutter of course!)

As soon as I went inside, there were 3 Blue Jays lined up to get to the feeder.  They are really bid teases!

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
280mm @ f/11 – 1/60 sec – ISO 400

Flowers of all types

The butterfly is a flying flower, the flower a tethered butterfly.

                                                                 Ponce Denis Ecouchard Lebrun

Once again, nature shows me how beauty appears in so many shapes and forms.  The colors and details of the butterfly’s wings against the flower’s petals and color is amazing.  The delicate legs and antennae, the curl of the proboscis which allows this insect to draw nectar from the flowers, all part of a little creature that we see float past on lazy summer days.

Doesn’t it just make you want to sit and wonder over the miracle that is our home?

Butterfly Encounter
Chattahoochee Nature Center
Roswell, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
250mm @ f/9 – 1/40 sec – ISO 100