These floral whimsies are creations made on a phone. The first step is photographing a flower. After that it is pure fun seeing what I can make of it on a phone.
Fire Breathers was created from a sunflower. It seemed so appropriate in this summer of drought and wildfires.
Women and Children was created from a cosmos bloom.
I don’t know how long this obsession with whimsies will last, but I have learned a lot about photo editing on a phone. I think that will helpful when I am taking ‘regular’ photographs with a phone camera.
I tend to prefer color in floral photography. However, every now and then an image seems to call for black and white conversion. I often use black and white when I want to show the structure of a particular flower.
Cosmos are vibrantly colorful flowers. I usually present them that way. But the petals of the variety ‘Seashells’ have fascinating structure. I wanted to show a ‘Seashells’ cosmos in black and white to share that structure.
Finally, black and white sometimes seems cooler on a hot summer day. 😎
Autumn cosmos: cosmos here in Albuquerque really come into their own in the fall. They are beautiful in their own right. In addition, goldfinches, finches, and even humming birds like them. More than that, butterflies, bees, and other pollinators like them. Also, they come in a wide variety, and many reseed themselves. More than that, they grow in poor soil. Therefore, they make a great annual in the high desert for many reasons. Yesterday they seemed to sparkle.
Every now and then I see a package of seeds for a variety new to me. This year I tried “Seashell Mix.” As a photographer, I love them! As a gardener, I must note the germination rate was rather low. Will they reseed themselves? Although I do not yet know, I do plan to plant them again next year.
I am continuing to have fun playing with a new program. I first tried it with Autumn Roses. Here is something with the seashell variety.
For friends here in New Mexico, enjoy this beautiful autumn weather and *rain,* and the flowers so abundant at present.
The first day of autumn in New Mexico is always exciting. Chile roasting and the State Fair are almost over, but the Balloon Fiesta, Marigold Parade, arrival of the cranes and other migratory birds, and gorgeous days with cool, crisp nights are still ahead. This is how the day began:
While I grew Mexican sunflowers many years ago in Arizona, this is the first year I have grown them in New Mexico. I had forgotten how much I liked them. Because I now know, I plan to grow them in subsequent years. In addition, the pollinators like them, too.
Other flowers that bloom well up until frost are cosmos. They come in a wide variety of shapes and colors. Pollinators like cosmos also.
The first day of fall 2017 began beautifully. I was reminded of this quote by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.”
Sexual cannibalism in the cosmos, praying mantis style. You know all the stories you have heard about the female praying mantis biting off the head of her mate? I guess I never gave it too much thought. I had no reason to disbelieve it, but I never expected to witness any part of that ritual. However, I have seen some amazing things in my tiny Albuquerque yard, so I should stop being surprised at what I do see. I frequently go out in the morning to photograph flowers before the sun strikes them. Not too long ago, I found this sexual cannibalism in the cosmos:
I went out that morning to photograph flowers. But I learned long ago, that, if you keep your eyes open, you might get the opportunity to see some things most people don’t see often. Sexual cannibaism was about the last thing I was expecting to see or have the opportunity to photograph that morning! But, there it was. She was a voracious praying mantis!
National Geographic has posted a video about the praying mantis, which you might enjoy. It gives a scientific explanation for this behavior, also noting that “a well-fed female mantis is a well-behaved female mantis.”
This little cosmos seems to still be dancing in the New Year, 2015!
Wishing everyone a very happy 2015, filled with health and happiness (and, a little later in the year, more flowers of all varieties). And beautiful sunsets and sunrises; magnificent vistas; marvelous historic structures; cute animals; wonderful people; and all the things that make us celebrate life!