Bearded Iris

One of my favorite flowers of Springtime is the Iris.  I have a little patch growing near my front door that is now in bloom and always looks great.  I went out yesterday to be sure I got a few images before they got beaten up by wind or rain.  Somehow, I also got a few waterdrops on the petals just as an added bonus.

Nature is wonderful.

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 –  1/40 sec – ISO 400

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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

Face down

I have always found it interesting to see plants with flowers that face downward.  You would think that nature would say, this is wrong.  The whole point of having a flower is to attract attention toward the pollen that will allow the plant to reproduce so why point that to the ground?  But, maybe there are cases where the pollinator is not a butterfly or bee but some other creature that is more earth-bound.  Nature always has a reason even if we don’t know what it is.

I suppose I should just accept the fact that the flower is beautiful.  The colors are wonderful and the shapes so, elegant.  Still, my curiosity makes me wonder why it is this way.  Science would say that the plant naturally developed this way to adapt to something in it’s environment.  I think God has a sense of humor and throws a curve every once in while, just to see if we are paying attention.

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

Purple power

Little flowers can pack a big punch when they are a vibrant color like this.  The Chattahoochee Nature Center is full of plantings that include small flowers like this. Individually,  they would hardly be noticeable but in groups they really are eye-catching.

I didn’t bring my macro lens on this visit but, I probably should next time.  It is always amazing to look at the detail of things and I kind of think the center of this flower-head is as cool as the open flowers.  Nature is wonderful!

Chattahoochee Nature Center
Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
300mm @ f18 –  1/80 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

Cherry Blossoms

Last weekend, on my trip to Gibbs Gardens with the North Georgia Photo Club, the cherry trees were in bloom and making us all appreciate the Spring season.  It may have been a little past the peak for these but there were certainly lots of beautiful white flowers showing.

If I had to guess, I would say that the walkways of Gibbs will be covered with Cherry blossom petals this weekend.  That’s OK since I have noticed that the azaleas are bursting out around the area so, it will probably be their turn to give the gardens some color.  It really is a great pleasure to visit Ball Ground through the seasons and see what is putting on a show at the moment.  Will have to get back up there soon.

Cherry Trees at Gibbs Gardens

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/13 –  1/400 sec – ISO 400

Flowers for free

Would you complain if someone brought you flowers for free?  Well, if they are considered to be weeds, then yes we do!  Another of Spring’s little gifts is that along with all the plants we love, there are all those other uninvited guests that appear in our gardens and lawns.  The puffy seed ball of the dandelion is one of those that we see over and over.

It really is quite amazing to study the structure of these plants (even if we are muttering unkind things each time we see them) and the clever seed delivery system that is built in.  You can see in this shot, the brown seeds clustered around the stem, each with it’s own little star-shaped parachute attached.  They are just waiting for a good gust of wind to blow them around and start new plants in someone else’s lawn.  I guess that’s why they never seem to go away.

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 –  1/320 sec – ISO 800