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


Long lashes

Here’s another view of some of the native Azaleas at the Chattahoochee Nature Center.  If the brilliant orange isn’t enough to get your attention, I know the long stamen extending out of the center must be!

This is another case where I have to wonder, why?  Some flowers have deep cups, some are convex curves with many tiny blossoms and this one has long fingers reaching out from the body of the plant.  Usually, the birds or insects that pollinate will want to land while trying to eat the goodies inside.  Maybe this is a ploy to get them to hover over the pollen and blow it off the plant or get it stuck on wings?  You have to assume that the design works somehow since these plants seem to have no problem continuing on from season to season.

It certainly is amazing, though, to think of how many ways there are that nature deals with so many different situations.

Chattahoochee Nature Center
Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
300mm @ f18 –  1/100 sec – ISO 200

Native Azalea

It never seems to fail that when you are looking for something, you can’t find it and right after the deadline passes, that thing is all over the place.  I was searching for azaleas to submit for the Roswell Azalea Festival that started yesterday and couldn’t find any over the last few weeks.  Now, they are in bloom everywhere!

Most of the azaleas we see these days are the Japanese hybrids that are often the red, pink and white flowers that appear in home landscapes.  I think some of the most interesting varieties however, are the native azaleas like this beautiful orange example above.  I am not 100% sure of the variety here but it looks like a Flame Azalea to me.

Chattahoochee Nature Center
Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
100mm @ f18 –  1/400 sec – ISO 400

Time for Azaleas

I had heard that there were some early azaleas blooming at Gibbs Gardens.  I was actually looking for these a week or two ago but the ones that came out first got knocked back by the cold snap we had.  There are not all that many in bloom yet but what is here is quite beautiful.

A trip to Gibbs Gardens is nice pretty much any time of the year.  It’s not quite time to plan your azalea/rhododendron outing if that was your lone reason to visit but that is probably coming up pretty soon.

Gibbs Gardens
Ball Ground, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/20 –  1/160 sec – ISO 400

Dell of the War Woman

After visiting Black Rock Mountain for sunrise pictures, the group from North Georgia Photography Club went out to find Becky Branch Falls.  This beautiful little waterfall is part of the Warwoman Dell Recreation Area, located in the Chattahoochee National Forest, just east of Clayton, Georgia.Black Rock_May 28 2016_0094

Warwoman Dell is named for a Cherokee woman from this area, who was respected by Indian and settlers and advised to the Cherokee tribal council on war and peace.  From Warwoman Dell, we followed the Bartram Trail in search of Becky Branch Falls.

Black Rock_May 28 2016_0105
William Bartram is known as the first native-born American naturalist/artist.  At the time of the American Revolution, Bartram made a journey throughout the Southeast – from the Carolinas, through Georgia and into Florida and also west through Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana as far as the Mississippi River.

Our group made the way up Bartram Trail up a short switch back path which then crosses over Warwoman Road to get to the falls.  After crawling over a four-foot in diameter tree that is fallen over the trail, we arrived at the falls.Black Rock_May 28 2016_0139




The falls cascade down a rocky slope surrounded by native azalea and rhododendron and towering pine trees.  There is a small bridge over the creek that was ideal for getting images of the falls but could only accommodate 4 or 5 photographers at a time.Black Rock_May 28 2016_0115

This was a lovely outing and I really enjoyed meeting and getting to know the members of the North Georgia Photography Club.  A wonderful group and excellent hosts – Thanks to all of you!!

Once again, all of these images were taken with my new,
Tamron SP 10-24mm  f/3.5-4.5 Di II.