Something Lupine

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Today I am lingering on some of the sights I captured on this morning’s photo walk at Kendrick Woods instead of doing a single post combining them all. I’d guess that this photo shows a wildflower close to a lupine, which reminds me of the experience that inspired me to photograph wildflowers.

Way back when hair was bigger and waists were higher (a phrase that brings to mind the best band name I ever heard, When People Were Shorter and Lived Near the Water), I won a scholarship to participate in an Earthwatch wildflowers census at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory located high in the Colorado Rockies. I spent two weeks counting lupine, fireweed, linum, and other wildflowers. That fortnight was as rough on my body as it was uplifting to my spirit. Dancing weasels popped out of the holes in the floor of my unheated cabin every morning.

I left there with a permanent faith in the beauty of the natural world. I only had a cheap Vivitar camera packed with me, and I vowed that I would work on taking better pictures ever since.

(Edited to add, 7/15/17: I have now identified this wildflower. It is Baptisia Alba, or White Wild Indigo.)

Garden, June 17

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The good light was brief today. By late morning, a storm front began weaving thunderhead clouds and gusts of wind.

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Petunias in concrete flower pot
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Daylilies
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Echinacea
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Daylilies
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Candyland by Proven Winners, calibrachoa
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Echinacea
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Candyland by Proven Winners, calibrachoa

Summer Photo Walk, June 17

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In the backlight of weekend mornings, ordinary things look closer to the divine. I’m happy that I rolled out of bed in time to capture some of it.

As the official start of summer approaches, the heat-loving flowers are emerging, and tall grasses are have climbed halfway to their peak height. Milkweed is also in bloom, their banquet open for insects of all sorts.

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Milkweed
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Tall Phlox
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Daylily
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Milkweed
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Coreopsis

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Summer Photo Walk, June 11

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I had high hopes for this morning’s photo walk, but the heat and wind spoiled the venture a bit. The band of temperatures that feel comfortable to me is tightening with each passing year. I’m afraid that by the time I am 50 just one temperature will suit me, likely 60 degrees.

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Pine Street, Lima, Ohio

Whenever I’ve had an appointment with my back surgeon, I drive down Pine Street to reach his office. There’s a lot of economic disparity in my city, but the decline of Rust Belt factories has shifted most of the city’s prospects downward. Over the past 40 years, there has been a slow exodus of the middle class into the suburbs, and the college-educated children of these families tend to move to bigger cities, where there is a better market for their skills.

Now the city itself has such widespread poverty that the entire city school system qualifies for free breakfast and lunch.

When I came home from my appointment, I mentioned to my husband that I wished I could have taken pictures while I was driving to my appointment today. There were lovely ivory silk lilacs lining swathes of the curb lawns on Pine Street, in stark contrast to the crumbling, hundred-year old homes on the street.

So my husband suggested we take a ride so I could get those pictures. It’s so tricky to get good shots from a car. I figure there’s a learning curve that ends in weighing the purchase of a tilt shift lens.

I tried my best with these photos. I’d like to take more photo trips such as this one. There’s an ocean of such sights in this community, and their fragile decay has its own beauty.

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Summer Photo Walk, June 3

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This morning’s photo walk took place at another of my favorite locations, McLean Teddy Bear Park located in Allen County, Ohio. This park has a fantastic forest heavy with sugar maples that makes it a delightful place in the fall, but it also has a prairie wildflower field that blooms six months out of the year. Right now the wildflowers in bloom include trillium and yarrow.

I saw a deer there that did not seem afraid of me. I wish I had tried getting a bit closer to her for a better picture, but I just don’t know enough about wildlife to feel confident in approaching them closely. This doe actually did a bit of a jumping dance that showed off her white tail:

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Summer Photo Walk, June 1

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The solstice is still three weeks away, but summer is here, nonetheless. I like to hold onto this season for as long as possible. For me, it’s here by Memorial Day, and I let it linger until its proper end at the September equinox.

The peonies are nearly spent, and the irises have lost their blooms. Now is when hothouse-born annuals can safely sing their melodies that will be encored ceaselessly until frost silences them in the fall.

Trees and bushes are still flowering. I noticed that dogwood and spirea are in bloom. Milkweed plants are fat with buds which will host a smorgasboard for butterflies near the end of the month.

Smorgasbord . . . this term has grown archaic, hasn’t it? It brings to mind a bizarre Jerry Lewis movie called Cracking Up, wherein he plays a character who tries therapeutic hypnosis. Hearing his trigger word (which happens to be smorgasbord) has unpredictable results. The guy who played Stan on The Golden Girls is his therapist in the movie. This reminds that I should watch that movie again sometime.