an everyday photo, every day | photography • art • poetry

Posts tagged “garden

Delicate Complications

Delicate Complications photo of grape vine with snow
Delicate Complications photo of grape vine with snow

Delicate Complications

There is beauty in even the most complicated situation, especially when a light snowfall dusts the curves and angles.

(It’s a grape vine twirl with a bit of fresh snow.)

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Burnished

leaves
leaves

Burnished

Burnished by frost and bitter wind, they will hold to the tree in defiance of winter.

This little cluster of leaves hangs at eye level outside my studio window. A reminder, perhaps?

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Almost Missed

wild grapes
wild grapes

Grapes 1

When the tiny green grapes began to turn dusky purple and the leaves to gold, I envisioned an image of them in their contrasting and complementary brilliance, sunny, glowing gold and rich purple. Each day I took more and more photos hoping to find that vision.

wild grapes

Grapes 2

It was not to be. Grape leaves tend to fall before they turn yellow, and are burnished with brown and gray as well. The sun was not going to wash these leaves and grapes at the right angle for the image I wanted. But in the process I took a lot of photos that I didn’t even notice were truly descriptive of the change.

wild grapes

Grapes 3

Transitions, poem in progress

I was looking so hard for what I wanted
I forgot what I was looking for
and found what was there
tiny purple grapes
in dusky skins
amid their glowing autumn foliage,
the natural end
of what I had begun.

wild grapes

Grapes 4

Sometimes I can let go of all my expectations before I begin a creative venture. Perhaps sometimes I need to work my way through my expectations and come out the other end without them.

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Dewy Asters

asters
asters

Asters

“Stars”. We think we know this familiar and simple little flower until we look a little more closely at it.

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Purples

poke berries
poke berries

Purples.

There is no purple like an autumn purple, rich and deep. I let a few volunteers grow in my yard this year where an older section near my deck now gets too much shade to be an herb garden. We are recalculating.

Just beware, pokeberries are highly toxic, all parts of the plant, and while the birds eat them and they are pretty, it’s best not to touch the berries or even stems without gloves. And sadly, though the berries look so lusciously midnight purple, the dye they make is crimson and fades easily, but good enough to coat solar cells to absorb energy. The plants are also an essential element of traditional medicine—as long as you are careful!

poke berries

Pokeberries ripening.

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Saturday Smiles

yellow sunflower
yellow sunflower

Lemon Smile

I encountered the last of a row of exuberant sunflowers on my way back from the post office this morning. I wish I would have had my DSLR to blur out some of those backgrounds and get even more dramatic closeups, but these are fine. Enjoy!

orange sunflower

Orange Smile

Yellow sunflower in shadow

Shy Smile

russet sunflower

Russet Smile, with a little green bee.

four sunflowers

Smiling Quartet

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Diamonds in the Rough

raindrops on leaf
raindrops on leaf

Diamond Dust

Rain fell overnight and into the morning, then as the clouds began to part the mid-morning sun reflected itself on every single tiny drop on the surface of each leaf. The window screen acts like a cross-screen filter to defract the sparkle, though it blurs the overall image just a bit that adds to the soft beauty of such a simple image.

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If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.


Shadows and Light

black and white photo of tub with leaves
black and white photo of tub with leaves

Shadows and Light

As the season begins to color up from the greens of summer to all the colors of autumn, a black and white photo of waning summer sunlight.

It looks so mysterious, but it’s just my round galvanized tub with carrots growing in it and a few leaves around it, shadows, shapes, angles and lines, the wanted and unwanted, expected and unexpected, a new view on a common thing.

This photo is on traditional black and white film, taken with my Pentax K-1000 to capture the huge variety of textures and patterns without the distraction of color. I scanned the print, and someday may scan the negative.

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If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.

 


Something Summery

Petunias

Petunias

Something summery! Petunias in the planters on Main Street.

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All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


Rudbeckia After the Rain

black eyed susans
black eyed susans

Rudbeckia After the Rain

The weather is undecided today; the black-eyed susans just let it happen. What’s really special is when you look in the raindrop hanging from the lowest petal and see a whole crowd of black-eyed susans.

(“Black-eyed susan” is a familiar name for rudbeckia hirta, or “rudbeckia”.)

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


Please Don’t Eat the Geraniums

doe with flowers
doe with flowers

Please don’t eat the geraniums…

She did anyway.

This was taken through the screen on my basement door.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


Red Like Summer

red geranium
Red

Red

Nothing says “summer” like a rich red geranium.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


Raindance

raindrops and leaves
raindrops and leaves

Raindance

The rain fell in big showers as the leaves and I danced among the drops.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


Catching the Sun

Spider in web
Spider in web

Colorful Spider

Lots of spiders around! This spider looks as iridescent as its silk. This photo was pretty challenging as there was a slight breeze blowing and the spider had one support for its web attached to my porch swing. On top of that the sunlight only shines here in dapples, so I had to wait for everything to line up: sun dapple and lack of breeze and swing standing still, AND my camera to be focused all at the same time. I took a lot of photos. Glad for digital.

Spider in web

Spider in a Sling

Spider in web

Dramatic Spider

Spider in web

From Above

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


Spider Dance

spider among flowers
spider among flowers

Spider Dance

You just never know what you’ll get in the background of a black and yellow spider on a summer afternoon. The multi-colored octagonal bokeh behind this spider makes me think of a mirror ball. It’s the refractions of pink and white flowers and dappled leaves set against deep shadows.

Spiders don’t “hang” in the most convenient places. This colorful one had built its orb on the lower branches of several plants in a garden leading to a shaded area, a great place to catch insects as they fly through to nesting areas. The spider is hanging underneath its orb, from the center. I could not get in a position close enough to use my 50mm with the 2.5X adapter that would blend the background into a smooth marbled pattern so I had to use the 70-300mm, hanging sideways and upper body slightly lifted off the ground, doing my best to hold that long lens, fully extended, still for a clear photo. I was immediately grateful for years of yoga practice that developed my abdominal muscles to let me hold myself in this awkward position, as the breeze wafted and shook the web, lifting it up and down, waiting between each little gust. To my neighbors I’m sure I looked like I’d passed out on the sidewalk. But they know my ways.

It never really did stop moving so I didn’t get the closeup I’d wanted, but I liked the bokeh so much I could live with that. Hope the spider likes it. I believe it is a black and yellow garden spider.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


It’s Complicated

grapevine
grapevine

It’s Complicated

At a loss for something to twine around, the grapevine hugs itself.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.

 


Cloaking, Clothing and Fireworks

memories of mother, butterfly on phlox

Cloaking, Clothing and Fireworks

When I began this blog I had intended to use it for the occasional essay; well, more than occasional, I had also wanted to encourage myself to write more essays and short stories more frequently, especially as I was in the thick of caring for my mother in her declining years. It was that very caregiving that kept me from taking the time to write. I’ve been drafting articles, and rather than go back the beginning to catch up with issues in the order in which they arose, I am beginning now.

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I was in K-Mart the other day, just a quick run for a fan they had on sale, one item, intentionally going near closing time so I’d be in and out. I walked in the store and stopped to get my bearings, trying to remember the department the fans would be in and the quickest way to get there.

I walked right into the thick of sleeveless summer tops in gingham with white collars, striped tank tops, colorful crinkle cotton capri pants with an elastic waistband in the women’s clothing department right by the front door. Without taking a step toward them I assessed the style, the quality and the size, and my eye wandered over it all, putting outfits together for my mother.

Though she died in 2011, I still catch myself subconsciously shopping for her as I did for most of the decade she lived at home or in personal care after her lung cancer surgery, often too ill or unwilling to go out. I would take her shopping seasonally when she felt well enough, or we would stop at one store or another after a doctor appointment. Most of the time, though I am not a frequent shopper, I would pick up things for her as I saw them in my own shopping trips, like this one to K-Mart, drawn to a rack of clothes tailored a particular way. “Wow,” I’d think to myself, “Mom would love this.”

I knew my mother’s taste, very different from my own flowered skirts and bright colors and my inability to wear white or even solid colors for they’d quickly have some art materials or house paint or grass stains. My mother could wear all white without a spot, and preferred pants and more fitted and somewhat tailored clothes, kind of a business casual, sometimes with a bright accent color thrown in for effect. Even with fewer choices while living in personal care, her outfit would be just so, the hem on her capris rolled into a tiny cuff, the white collar on her orange and white gingham top standing up just a bit, and a white cardigan sweater draped just casually her shoulders, arms swinging free.

But when I visited she would not be wearing the outfit I had purchased, often in more than one size in case the first choice didn’t fit. There was always something wrong with the clothes I chose and took to her with such excitement. “Mom, look what I found!”

Instead, I returned the things I’d bought, capris, tops, cardigans, socks, underwear, there was always something just not right about them. Or she would accept an item, then later tell me it wasn’t right, after I’d taken off all the tags and written her name inside the collar or waistband so that it would be identified in the laundry, and couldn’t be returned. Yet I would often find her in a similar outfit that someone else had kindly purchased for her, one of the care workers who especially liked her.

Whatever, at least she had new clothes, and I would do my best to reimburse the person who’d bought them. I had ideas but never figured this out, and I don’t think my mother did either, though I think we both knew it didn’t have much to do with the clothes themselves. I tried to give my mother more than clothes, and she didn’t readily accept that either, yet I was the one she had turned to, even when I was a child. Through the years, the only gift I found that suited her was to purchase a flat of flowers and plant them for her for Mother’s Day each year.

Where the clothes were concerned, even though I knew she would likely decide the clothes didn’t suit her, I still bought them, and we would go through the same little drama each time. I simply could not go without making the effort; at the time I whined whenever I got the chance, but now, for the most part, I’ve forgotten the drama and only remember the excitement of finding something I thought she would like.

And here I am today, still putting outfits together for her. Still trying to please my mother? I think it had just become a habit, and somehow, even though she rarely accepted any of these findings from me, I knew underneath her difficult exterior she liked what I’d bought but found things hard to accept. As time went on and her eyesight gave in to macular degeneration and she could not see the stains and wear on her favorite clothes, she still dressed the same, or thought she did. The aides at the places she lived made sure to cajole her to wear something else when they knew we were going out.

My mother would have been 89 years old today, July 7, 2014. We often celebrated her birthday when we celebrated July 4, with a big cookout on her beloved in-ground gas grill and later watch the fireworks. We lived at the top of a hill and could see not only our own municipal fireworks from the park below but also other displays from many other communities around us. People would often come to our street to watch the fireworks, and cars would stop on the interstate on the other side of the valley to watch the display as well, and each year we would remark on how many cars we could see pulled over onto the berm to watch and how unfair it was as cars with flashing red and blue lights would move in and make them disperse.

On my way home from K-Mart, I drove that stretch of interstate and saw the fireworks display in progress, and I was one of those cars who pulled over. I’m not so interested in fireworks, but they added a grand finale to a day of memories.

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I posted on July 4 a photo from my garden of a female Tiger Swallowtail butterfly in her black form. This dark cloaking mimics the poisonous Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly, and predators have adapted to avoid them, so the black form female Tiger Swallowtail keeps herself safe though she is not at all dangerous.

The day was quiet and for some reason full of memories and contemplation as I worked in my garden and yard, and seeing a butterfly, which I’ve always associated with the spirits of loved ones, was not a surprise in those circumstances. Continuing the day to the clothing and the fireworks, I realized the butterfly, at least to me, represented my mother, who wore a cloak of personality to protect herself from perceived dangers, including me. I have my ideas why, but I am glad she is finally where she doesn’t need to protect herself anymore.


Pale Phlox

white phlox
white phlox

Phlox

This is common garden phlox, but its coloring is palest blush pink with a ring of magenta veins around the cup for the stamens—so the pollinators know where to go.

Phlox is typically a shade of pink or lilac, or sometimes white, but this variation must have created itself. I have plenty of pink and lilac phlox which seem to shade themselves according to where in the yard they grow. This is a clump I dug up from the back yard to move to the front when I created a new garden bed at the end of my driveway, and perhaps the move changed it as well.

This precious phlox is the tall variety that blooms summer into fall, is fragrant and invites nearly every insect and bird to come and share its nectar and nourishment. It was given to me by an elderly neighbor in another neighborhood years ago, whose mother had given it to her when she married and bought the house she lived in, and the phlox had been given to her mother by another mother, and so on, generations back. I want to make an old-fashioned flower print fabric from it.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.

 

 


Daylily Time

orange daylilies
orange daylilies

Three friends.

The good old-fashioned daylilies are blooming all along the front of my yard.

orange daylilies

Four daylilies in a row.

I look forward to them each year as the stems suddenly appear one day and grow so quickly, up to three feet long, then the flower buds that look like little bananas open one by one until all are gone. Because the flowers only last a day, hence their name, the display is different each day.

orange daylilies

The front of the yard.

And here’s a little bit of pink to go with it.

geraniums

A little bit of pink.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


Garden Visitor

Harvestman Spider
Harvestman Spider

Harvestman Spider

“My leaf,” as the harvestman spider always seems to say as it spread its characteristic loooong legs over leaves and flowers and is often called a daddy long legs. They have eyes but cannot form images and so explore their world with these long legs. They are arachnids but not truly spiders, and where spiders spin and weave webs and generally hunt and eat live or fresh killed prey, harvestmen are generally scavengers or catchers of insects that don’t move too fast, and even eat decomposing plant material. Despite their somewhat threatening appearance, they are the good ones to have around as they tend to clean up, eat pesty insects, and are not at all venemous. And yes, if you pick them up by one of their legs it usually will fall off as a defense mechanism to evade predators. Please don’t try it, though.

The geranium leaf is well suited to the harvestman’s long legs reaching out in all directions. Read more about the difference between harvestmen and other similar species called a daddy long legs that really is a spider, and a flying insect that resembles them both.

Harvestman Spider

This is my leaf.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


Colored Lights

buttercups and forget me nots
buttercups and forget me nots

Colored Lights

They are just about gone, but I couldn’t pass up one last photo of my favorite combination in my back yard each spring, the buttercups and forget-me-nots.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


Azaleas

Crimson Azalea
Crimson Azalea

Crimson Azalea

Of course, everything is blooming, and my neighbor has the most spectacular collection of colorful azaleas—six all together, from nearly white to standard pink to violet, and these two, the crimson, above, which is just as astonishing as it looks as you go down the street, and the apricot, below. The others had already finished blooming but these were just about in their prime.

Apricot Azalea

Apricot Azalea

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


Raspberries in the Bloom

Raspberry in the Bloom
Raspberry in the Bloom

Raspberry in the Bloom

This is a raspberry long before you find it on the stem. Just opened this morning some of its features may look like another common flower, the rose, the family to which the raspberry belongs. It has a ring of five tiny petals but that puffy center and the unopened bud next along with the leaves, though larger bearing the same compound structure with tiny sawtooth edges, and those thorns.

A raspberry is a compound fruit like a blackberry, raspberry, mulberry and many other berries which are clusters of “drupes”, which sounds like an insult but simply refers to a seed with a fleshy outer covering. Looking at that center part, that ring of stamens around the outside has to get in touch with the fluff of pistils in the center in order for each drupe to be pollinated so you find that perfect hemisphere of juicy blobs that, all clustered together, make up a raspberry. The plant itself can take care of some of this, but not all, and if you’ve ever seen a raspberry with a few blobs missing, this is why.

raspberries

Ready to Eat

What’s all this talk about bees lately? Apparently the Little Green Bee is a specialist pollinating raspberries. Didn’t see any about this morning, but I do know they visit here pretty regularly. Possibly that’s why, though I don’t have too many raspberry plants, the berries are very successful.

little green bee on blue vervain

Little Green Bee

Personally, I can already taste the raspberries some morning soon, still cool from overnight.

More black raspberries in a vintage cup.

Berries in a Cup

 

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


Bowl of Sunlight

Buttercup in the Sun
Buttercup in the Sun

Bowl of Sunlight

This buttercup looks like a bowl of sunlight.

My little smartphone camera isn’t terribly sophisticated and has no shade around the lens for when the sun shines toward the lens. Playing around getting macros of buttercups in my back ayrd I thought I’d intentionally capture those sun flares.

Here’s another.

Buttercup in the Sun

Buttercup in the Sun

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.