The Curious Garden

The current special exhibit at the Atlanta Botanical Garden is called The Curious Garden.  It is  a mix of plants and man-made objects intended to pique our curiosity and make us think about things in a different way.

The Curious Garden features 11 site-specific installations created to highlight the Garden’s plant collections and plant conservation work by prompting visitors to make discoveries, ask questions and engage in conversations. Bold, often unexpected, man-made and altered natural materials are employed to direct the eye to focus on the simple beauty of nature.

My image above is part of the installation inside the Orchid Center conservatory.  This display features multiple chandeliers and crystal beads with orchids and other plants entwined among the hanging lights.  It is a wonderful combination of shape, color and light.  We found ourselves walking in circles while looking up through the leaves, flowers and shiny sparkly glass.  Quite a sight to see!

Atlanta Botanical Garden
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
38mm @ f/16 – 1/10 sec – ISO 400

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Jungle Orchid

There are so many beautiful orchids at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.  This one caught my eye mainly because of the leaves.  The apricot-colored flower is magnificent but the patterns in the leaves just made me think of some deep-dark jungle.  Sometimes, the background is just as important as the subject.

In his Macro Bootcamp workshop, Mike Moats tells students that his most successful images come from a combination of a subject and a background that work well together.  I’m not sure if I lived up to his level on this one but I do believe that the combination of the two is more than either one by themselves.

Atlanta Botanical Garden
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
100mm @ f/11 – 1/16 sec – ISO 400

Hidden in Plain Sight

This spring, when the Roswell Azalea Festival came around, I was amazed to find that I had very few photographs of azaleas in my portfolio.  I mean, azaleas are everywhere around us.  How could I not have any pictures of them?  Well, maybe that’s the answer.  When things are always right in front of you, they tend to be taken for granted.  We miss out on the true beauty that surrounds us just because we’ve seen it before.

This time, I didn’t miss out!  It could be that when you are “tuned in” and paying attention, you see things that you commonly miss.  Since we had made a special trip to the botanical gardens, my eyes were open to the plants and flowers as we walked by.  Even in this place that is so packed with beautiful plants, you have to be observant or you miss out on the most special details.

This Native Azalea was blooming along one of the walkways.  I like the native varieties because of the neat shapes and the long stamen that shoot out of them like whiskers or eyelashes.  Now that I am paying attention, I expect I will see azaleas everywhere and will probably have too many to choose from next year.  That’s not such a bad problem!

Atlanta Botanical Garden
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
86mm @ f/13 – 1/13 sec – ISO 200

Lun Lun sleeping

The Giant Pandas are among the most popular animals at the Atlanta Zoo.  When they are inside, you get a great close-up view of the whole family, including the twins.  Unfortunately, the glass windows that let you see them is terrible for photography.  The reflections off the glass make it really hard to get a clear shot but I did get a couple.

This is Lun Lun, the adult female who was in the enclosure with her two cubs Ya Lun And Xi Lun.  The father, Yang Yang was in the next enclosure busily eating.  I would have much preferred to see them in a natural habitat but, you have to take what you can get.

Zoo Atlanta

Nikon D7100
Sirui P-204S Monopod
Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM
250mm @ f/5.6 –  1/160 sec – ISO 800

Is anybody in Atlanta from here?

I have to say that this scene looks like it could be in any US city during the winter but, this is Atlanta.  So, I bet most of the people you see here are from somewhere else.  Most of the residents of the ATL have moved from areas where winter is normal.  Here, anybody who has been around for a while has become acclimated to the sunny south.  Natives would be freezing to death and wouldn’t venture out.  Still, there is a good-sized group who seem to know how to ice skate and are not huddled in the corner so, probably transplants.

Avalon
2200 Avalon Boulevard
Alpharetta, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
300mm @ f/6.3 –  1/200sec – ISO 400

Aleutian Tiger

This variation on the Flying Tiger theme is from the 11th Fighter Squadron which flew out of Alaska and protected the Aleutian Islands

Had to go do some research to find the answer to this riddle.  All of the P40 aircraft on display at the Atlanta Warbird Weekend were painted with the Flying Tiger “shark face” except for this one.  This P40k Warhawk is painted with the insignia of the 11th fighter squadron, 343rd Fighter Group that was based during WWII at Elmendorf Field, Anchorage, Alaska.

This group was known as the Aleutian Tigers because their assignment was to defend the Aleutian Islands.  The group was commanded by Lt. Col. Jack Chenault, the son of General Claire Chenault who commanded the Flying Tigers.  No wonder there were similarities!

DeKalb–Peachtree Airport (PDK)
2000 Airport Road
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
16mm @ f/18 – 1/60 sec – ISO 100

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Out for a ride

North American LT-6 “Mosquito” out for a ride around PDK airport

Part of the Warbird Weekend which I unfortunately did not get to participate in, was rides in some of the vintage aircraft.  I watched jealously as the vintage planes taxied for takeoff, circled around the field and then touched back down during the day.

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Checking out all the insturments before lift off to another ride

North American LT-6 “Mosquito” (T-6 Texan, SNJ, Harvard) – Originally configured as an SNJ-4 (Navy version), this plane was restored to honor our Korean War Veterans as a LT-6 “Mosquito”, used for forward air control and close air support. Of course, this was the plane that every pilot – bomber or fighter – had to master before they were assigned to front line aircraft like the B-17, B-24, P-51 or Corsair to name a few.

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North American LT-6 “Mosquito” ready to go

DeKalb–Peachtree Airport (PDK)
2000 Airport Road
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Featured image:
Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
300mm @ f/10 – 1/320 sec – ISO 100

#NorthAmericanLT6 #Mosquito #aircraft #warbirds #vintage #WWII #DeKalbPeachtreeAirport #AVG#CommemerativeAirForce Atlanta Warbird Weekend Atlanta Warbird Weekend PDK – Dekalb Peachtree Airport