The term “getting down” was, when I was a much younger man, common slang used to reflect perhaps wild and excessive celebration or other actions by individuals or a group which might be pressing the boundaries of polite or decent behavior. Today, I’m no longer interested in wild or excessive behavior, so when I say “getting down” I am referring to lowering my body closer to the ground. Unfortunately, when I make photos and wish to lower my angle of view my body has a very difficult time “getting down” to the desired level, creaky knee joints and all. But, fortunately I have a camera with a rotating, swivel LCD screen that allows me to simply bend over, hold my camera down to knee level and then rotate the screen to horizontal. Look what I can achieve. I really like this photo and I hope you do too.
Category Archives: Flowers
Besides the obvious enjoyment derived from the “product” of vineyards worldwide, there is much to be gained in the way photo opportunities. The Commonwealth of Virginia and the State of North Carolina are home to many great vineyards, each with their own distinctive type and quality of wine. When the weather gets hot, and summertime flowers begin to bloom, one can find lots of “color” in between the rows of grape vines, and in the surrounding area. Here are several examples I made recently at Autumn Creek Vineyard near Madison, NC.
This spring we’ve had lots of rain in SW Virginia and that made the vegetation green and lush. Now that July has arrived it’s much hotter and dryer, so the green colors may turn to yellow and brown. I hope not. My camera lens loves “green.” I made these images while walking around our neighborhood. The Magnolia blossoms are about gone for the year, and I can’t stop making photos thereof. I love the “color softness” of those flowers!
During the summer we receive some early morning and late afternoon thunderstorms here in SW Virginia, and after they are finished it’s nice to walk about the neighborhood with camera in hand to record what one can see. I like it when I can capture water drops on flowers and such. Colors seem so much brighter too.
It’s not a big backyard garden, and it’s certainly not one free of spring and summertime challenges; but, it’s unique in that it is the focus of our neighbor Al’s passionate work many days during the planting, growing and harvesting seasons. Al has taught high school Algebra and other math related subjects for almost 40 years in Virginia and North Carolina, so during the summer he has lots of time to spend with his garden, and fishing when the mood strikes. He’s from near Richmond, Virginia and is a Hokie (Graduate of Virginia Tech). His wife Nancy holds a degree from the University of Virginia. We could not have a nicer couple as our next door neighbors.
This is Al–bit dirty and sweaty but that’s the way is is with a dedicated backyard gardener. Several years ago he asked me if we had any problem with him plowing up a portion of his yard adjacent to ours in order to make a garden. He said he was concerned that drainage might be a problem when it rained hard. Having spent my professional career in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers I assured Al it would not be a problem. He said “his” garden would be “our” garden in relation to being able to share a portion of the summertime harvest of such things as tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, beans, squash, lettuce, potatoes and mostly Blueberries which grow profusely in a row of large bushes along one side of the garden nearest our house. I helped him and his son put up the wire fence and posts around the garden, in order to keep the local deer herd and other pesky critters from sharing the bounty.
Al’s not afraid to experiment, such as with his grape arbor shown below. He has grapes galore as you can see here, but soon he’ll begin a battle with birds to see who can get the ripe ones first. Same deal with the blueberries. Squirrels are an especially happy customer of Al’s backyard garden.
Besides being passionate about his garden, he spends a lot of time with other handyman backyard yard projects. His bird bath and flower arrangement looks great and he maintains several Blue Bird houses around his yard that are annual home to several loyal residents. Blue Birds can do wonders keeping insect pests under control.
I have to admit to chuckling from time to time during the summer as I watch Al battle weeds, critters, the heat and humidity, plus the need to pick and eat all he grows. I tried my hand several years in our backyard growing simple vegetables, but it did not take long for me to realize that I did not have the same level of “green-thumbness” Al has. Besides, I reasoned, Al offered to share his harvest and on his own could not eat all that was ready to pick. So, Al came over to our yard and helped me remove the fence I had placed around my garden, and I turned it all happily into grass. As I mentioned earlier, we could hardly find better next door neighbors than Al and Nancy. Sitting on my back porch from July through August, with Al’s Blueberries on my morning cereal is one benefit of that arrangement.
It’s Friday here in SW Virginia (and elsewhere for that matter) and I wanted to make some photos on my morning so called “fun” walk, albeit with high humidity today it was not that much fun. But, seeing some nice colorful flowers and busy bees in the neighborhood along my way was definitely enjoyable.
Carrying a camera with you most of the time can be fun when the mood hits you, like it did one day recently when I made these photos which I place in a “perspective” category.
In this photo I got very low to the ground and close to these foot-high backyard plants, so that the scene could make you think you were walking in a jungle with tall vegetation blocking your way.
After I stood up and stretched my creaky legs and joints, I decided to get a bit crazy with perspective. Remember, this is all about having fun.
Later I decided to get up really close with this beautiful flower.
And lastly, I placed my small camera against the base of our backyard flagpole and fired away. I was pretty lucky to get this image because beforehand I did not look up to see those nice clouds and sun location in the sky. It turned out pretty neat in my opinion. So there you go, having fun with perspective views. Try it yourself sometime.