· · Roses (2 fragments)
· End of April, beginning of May, it’s pretty well peak time for flowers. Back in the last millennium, I used to run lots of flower pictures here, but they started blurring together in my mind in a way that made me not want to. But sometimes when the sun’s in just the right place, the flowers insist ...
· It’s spring. I have a garden, a camera, and a blog. What more need be said? ...
Native Mock Orange
· Wikipedia does not list this among the common names of Philadelphus_lewisii but that’s what we call it. At the moment it is a wild eruption of blossoms and perfume, actually managing to outshine the roses, which are in full-on attack mode too ... [1 comment]
· I used to run lots of flower pix; it was almost a trademark for this blog in its early days. Their absence hasn’t been a matter of policy; whatever mental subsystem it is that pulls the camera up to the eye operates several levels below the one where I think about things. But the sun was just right after supper tonight ...
Every Year This Time
· These little guys show up in our front garden, and every year this time I run photos of ’em, not that there’s anything really new or different compared to previous years; but they’re whispering “Spring!” in violet and yellow, so how could I not share? ...
· Two wet rhodos and a tricolor carpet ... [1 comment]
Same Old Sex Organs
· Of plants, I mean, of course. Which is to say, around this time every year I get all deranged about the flowers and inflict loads of pictures of them on you. If this sort of photographic cliché offends or (worse) bores you, stop right now and move on to the next blog ... [2 comments]
· Just a tulip, and mostly out of focus at that ... [3 comments]
· I just realized that just because in 2009 I wrote “I just realized that just because in every previous year I’ve run an excited photo of the spring’s first crocuses, that’s not a reason not to run an excited photo of this spring’s first crocus”, that’s not a reason not to run one in 2011 ... [3 comments]
· We’ve been having one, just as the garden’s citizens have been in maximum-reproductive-frenzy mode, which I’m afraid leads to horrid overindulgence in photographic cliché. But they sure are pretty ... [2 comments]
First Day of Spring
· There’s an offical definition; on the radio someone says “Spring begins Wednesday at 3:18PM” or some such. For me, it’s the first day I can go out in the yard with the kids after supper and shoot flowers while they hit balls and squabble over sideline calls ... [2 comments]
Leaf Compacting With Children
· It’s like this: You’re out in the yard, raking up the leaves that you didn’t get to last fall, piling ’em into the big yard-waste bin, and the 3½-year-old is wandering around pretending to help. Pretty soon the bin will be looking full while there are still lots of dead leaves that need to go in. Here’s what you do: You hoist the child up in the air and announce “You’re a squisher! Straight legs!” Then use the kid like a pile-driver to make room in the bin. Up-down up-down; the leaves compact amazingly and the child is squealing with glee. The only downside is that for the rest of the day, you’ll be hearing “Leaves need squishing again, Daddy?” approximately every 45 seconds. [4 comments]
Royal Sunset Again
· Yes, I run pictures of this one particular plant’s blossoms all the time. I can’t help myself, particularly when the sun goes to work adding drama ...
· The rose is a Mme. Alfred Carrière, the gryphon is just a garden ornament ... [1 comment]
· They’re pretty, but they’re aggressive. Many of those in this picture, taken only a few days ago, are now history, slaughtered to make growing room for something we like better ... [4 comments]
· We planted a bunch a couple of years back, and now you get a chance to look at a few every spring if you want. These two are white and violet with slinky stems ... [1 comment]
· A photo of a three-petaled flower on a plant whose leaves come also in triples ... [1 comment]
· I just realized that just because in every previous year I’ve run an excited photo of the spring’s first crocuses, that’s not a reason not to run an excited photo of this spring’s first crocus ... [2 comments]
· Being three photographs of a lonely old rose. In June of 2004 I said I’ll try again next year, and I did too but this is an elusive target; follow that link to read why. This year, what with the cool spring, it didn’t bloom till September ... [1 comment]
· July was an excellent month, almost all sunshine. My flower-photo mojo had pretty well run dry, but then out walking after a shower, there were all these droplet-laden blossoms and there I was shooting away ... [1 comment]
Wet, with Forget-me-nots
· Tulips, I mean. Our front yard is riot of tulips all shouting “Look at me!” It rained and I thought “wet tulips, mmmm”, and by coincidence three of them had forget-me-nots somewhere in the frame ... [3 comments]
· This will not be of interest to those who are here for the technology; move right along. It will also not be of interest to serious photographers, who scoff at bright pretty pictures of bright pretty flowers ... [3 comments]
The Anticipation of Pleasure
· I plan to re-use that title once each springtime as long as I go on writing this. This year, tulips about to open ... [2 comments]
· I finally got around to unloading the memory card from the pocket cam and gosh, were there ever a lot of garden shots on it. Hey, Spring is happening, which means these pages will be flower-infested for some weeks now. If you like flowers at all, you’ll probably agree that the little Ricoh has a gift for ’em ... [2 comments]
· Three pictures of droplet-studded violet crocuses. Spring sunshine is lovely, but there are things to like about spring rain too. With some camera commentary ... [2 comments]
· “First Crocus of the Year”, I mean to say. For me it’s a major transition when, after the months of grey, our garden starts to have some colour in it. Not the best crocus photo ever, and probably not the best crocuses either. But they’re important to me ... [1 comment]
· We’ve had snow on the ground for days and days and days, which is not how it’s supposed to be in Vancouver in February. Today finally some sun, and signs of Spring even ... [2 comments]
· I’ve photographed this member of the Plant Kingdom any number of times, even wearing snow. Those who feel this happens too often can have their money back ...
· I spent time with the baby in the garden this afternoon, and we both had fun ... [3 comments]
· This is the second ongoing post which more or less just two pictures of Echinacea blossoms. Hope that’s OK ... [3 comments]
· This one is always a midsummer highlight; I’m sure it’ll keep appearing here as long as I live next to it ...
· They’re everywhere. This one is orange (a nasturtium) ... [1 comment]
The Number of the Rose
· The title refers obviously to the Umberto Eco work which anyone who cares about knowledge and its preservation ought to read if only for fun; but the picture refers only to itself. With exegesis from Larry Wall. [Oh, my; give this audience a chance to indulge in linguistic pedantry and, well, you don’t have to ask twice. If you like this kind of stuff, don’t miss the comments.] ... [16 comments]
· The roses keep going for months, some of them into autumn; the irises are here only for a few days. So they have to try harder ... [1 comment]
· I’m programming these days in an environment that makes me grumpy, so I console myself by shooting flowers. These are especially tasty, I think ... [3 comments]
· Two pretty pictures of Western Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera Ciliosa) blossoms, taken with very different lenses; for both camera and flower geeks ... [3 comments]
· Herewith a couple of shots of young, half-formed
Astilbe flowers. [Update:] Oops, I had the wrong end of the stick. These are actually “Native Solomon’s Seal” (Smilacina racemosa). But they grow where the Astilbes do (or actually, where they will, in a couple of months) ... Orange
· Man, I love California poppies. Along with the cheery but intense colour, the petals’ rough-ish textures make me think of Japanese architectural woodwork. [Hmph. It’s been suggested that these are Iceland poppies. Maybe so.] ... [1 comment]
· As I noted yesterday, I was having no luck with pictures of daffodils. The problem is that the outer fringe of petals is so much lighter than the inner trumpet that it’s hard to make the trumpet look good without over-exposing the fringe. I’ve still got some ideas to explore, but I am making progress, I think ... [4 comments]
· The rain let up about three and we got out to do a little pruning and gardening. The daffodils look good but I got something wrong and even under a cloudy sky the yellows were too much for the Pentax. Hmm. The magnolia is maybe a week and a bit from showing blossoms ...
2007 Crocus Crop
· Round about this time every year, photos of little violet blossoms start to show up in this space. I worried that I might be repeating myself, but how can posting spring flowers not be a good thing? ... [2 comments]
‘Waterlily’ Autumn Crocus
· We came back from the Botanical Garden with pictures; along with that Gunnera, there was this dramatic pink flower that I wanted to run but couldn’t remember what it was, so I asked Daniel Mosquin, the main man behind Botany Photo of the Day, and he told me; it has two pretty names, of which one appears above ...
Pale Blue to the Max
· There aren’t that many really great pale blue flowers; the object of the game for the plant is to attract the bugs’ attention, which is tough if you blend with the sky. Hydrangeas are a notable exception. Shot with a new camera setup, too ...
Friday Coding Hint
· I’m sure you know the feeling; an innocent-seeming refactoring causes little waves of disturbance all over your system and all of a sudden lots of your tests are failing, and you can’t seem to to really get a handle on it. So yesterday after a couple of hours of hard slogging with no net gain, I threw up my hands in disgust and mowed the lawn. Halfway through it, I realized the refactoring was subtly wrong at the core, and when I came back in I made one little shift and was able to delete lots of special-case code and the tests passed. Problem is, I hate mowing the lawn.
· These are happy things, perhaps not the world’s most refined flower; modest in size, they come in cheery orange, cheery yellow, and the occasional white ...
Spring in White on White
· Most people would generally prefer a climate where it’s bright and warm most of the time. But for Canadians and others who live where it’s not, there are compensations, and one is the experience of spring. I have a picture ...
Pink to the Max
· As noted elsewhere today, we visited the UBC Botanical Garden, and only the early rhododendrons and a few magnolias were in bloom. I didn’t get any good rhodo shots, but with magnolias you can’t miss. If extreme densities of the colour pink bother you, please stay away; but these are some awfully great-looking flowers ...
· Regular readers have been putting up with quite a bit of whining about the endless weeks of solid rain. Well, that seems to have blown itself out with a bang, and the sun rose this Sunday morning. It turns out that all that rainy weather was also kind of warm, and the first flowers were more than ready to show their faces ...
· We had a week or two of clear bright cold (well, down to -3°C or so) weather; each morning each leaf was limned frost-white ...
Red Berry Leaves
· In our garden, there is nothing more intense than the color of the blueberry leaves come autumn ...
· Two pictures of dying flowers; I can’t think of a way to say “maybe you really want to check these out” without sounding immodest, but maybe you really do ...
· The name alone should be enough to compel excitement and support; the Flower Mandalas Project (via Botany Photo of the Day) is looking for contributions from you; not of money but of words, and maybe not even your own words. Check it out, and also the botany-photo background write-up is worth reading.
· It’s been far, far too long since I wrapped a fragment round a flower. That’s because our summer, and hence our garden, was generally pretty terrible here this year in Vancouver; the exception being a bumper crop of blueberries. Anyhow, here we have a picture of a yellow rose blossom and a couple of buds, that’s all ...
Oceanspray, Creambush, Ironwood
· These are all names for Holodiscus discolor; it’s a Pacific-Northwest native and the last of the names is a translation of what the aboriginal people called them, apparently the wood is hard enough to make knitting needles and so on. It’s three years since we put it in, and the first year it’s flowered ...
Winner of the Rose Race
· This year, one of the Rugosas out by the back fence was first across the line. There’s magenta and then there’s extreme magenta ...
· Through most of March and the first two weeks of April, Winter was a cold grey dam holding the next season in check; on April 19th or so, the dam broke and we’ve been in a glorious flood of summer since then. One of these pictures is remarkable ...
· There’s this azalea in our front yard (you walk right by it on the way in) and it’s a photographer’s problem because at its peak it vanishes behind a solid mass of red petals, bright red, arguably garish but you have to smile; only no camera, film or digital, has come close. “Beauty is hard” said the poet, and so are extreme reds. Anyhow, here are three shots of its prepubescent phase in very vertical sunlight ...
· What happened was, an unexpected email from Quentin Cronk led us to a feast of flowers, which may spill slightly onto the Net. This gig comes with fringe benefits, you betcha. While over-long, this fragment has a picture of a very beautiful flower that almost nobody’s ever seen ...
The Anticipation of Pleasure
· Last year, I waited till May 2nd to write a piece with this name about the forthcoming flowers. I got a couple of hours gardening in today and the anticipation is sharp ...
· The second half of February was pleasantly bright; but chilly, with the mercury dipping into the frost nearly every evening. A few flowers managed to get their heads above ground, but were kind of stunted and unenthusiastic. This last week’s been warm, alternating sun and rain. If you stand still in the garden, very still, you can almost hear the flowers growing ...
· Those who have been following along here since I launched almost two years ago know that in the spring, There Will Be Pictures of Crocuses. Those who haven’t lived lived above 49°N latitude may have trouble understanding how much these little violet flashes mean to the winter-weary Canadian eye.
· This time of year, weeks yet till the shortest day and still it’s dusk so early, and the weather not helping; only today there was light enough for pictures, albeit dark ...
· Vancouver’s summer was good but ended, more or less, August 10th, so when on this last weekend the Sun manifested, we felt recompensed a little. Herewith some illustrated words on flowers that end in -ia, learning about the world, Jericho, harvesting and fishing ...
My Mother’s Garden
· My mother Jean Bray is an avid gardener who contends mightily with the Saskatchewan climate (zone 2B for aficionados); her space is in summer always a delight to the eyes ...
· Some point each year (well after “midsummer” in late June) comes to feel like the heart of summer; it’s been there a long time, it’s going to be for a while yet, days are still long, the garden has left its spring sprint behind but is still running strong. This year’s midsummer-pictures assemblage features “Gooseneck Loosestrife,” and what a name that is ...
· This year our Yucca has flowered, the first time since we bought the place in 1997. So are all the others in Vancouver ...
Brick, Dusty, Creamy, Silky
· There’s an old rose in our front yard that we inherited with the place; it’s slender and spindly and not very tall, and produces only one or two flowers each year; its colour has, every year since 1997, defeated my photographic wiles. This year we have a partial victory ...
· Herewith two lilies and an emerging hydrangea. The latter, in particular, deserves a visit ...
· It was bright today, very bright, and I did a Nasturtium follow-up but spent time too with some journeyman roses ...
· There’s a hanging pot on the back porch with a thriving nasturtium. I had a close look ...
· A typically crappy cross-country trip following on two days’ East Coast insomnia has left me feeling pretty grungy, like the old campfire song has it: “My head hurts, my feet smell, and I don’t love Jesus...” But hey, I stumbled by the camera shop where the expensive repair job on the S50 was finished (not covered by warranty, mechanical failure due to external impact, sigh) and there are compensations, namely Maggie the Magnolia, often photographed in this space but really at her best this afternoon ...
· Vancouver is a very garden-centric city, so when I say that Murray’s is the best nursery in town, that’s a strong claim. To get there, get on Balaclava Street and go way, way South through the horse territory by the river until you see signs ...
Violet Secrets and Pearblossoms
· The light in spring isn’t like any other time of year; maybe it’s just our winter-starved eyes all atingle, or maybe it’s the crowding flowers tossing the new sun around in a positive-feedback loop ...
Red to White
· I walked by this tree this afternoon; it’s mostly still mostly-red buds, but the flowers are mostly not red at all ...
· Here in Vancouver we have multitudes of flowering trees. At this time of year they delight the eye, but are a challenge to the photographer. A bit of progress on that front, with a note on infused vodka ...
Spring Again, with Blood
· We had rare Pacific-Northwest February sunshine today, and girded our loins for some serious pruning and cleaning. I took pictures and was editing them and thought “decent, but I had pictures of spring flowers (some of the same ones) this time last year.” Then I realized that was stupid; do I not look at this year’s flowers because I saw last year’s? And there are people who are living in places where winter is probably starting to wear ’em down again who might be cheered by a preview of what they’ll be seeing in a few weeks. So herewith the same old crocuses and daffodils, but this story has a pretty severe barb to it. [Update: Identified the mystery flower, worth checking out.] ...
White Pink Red Blue
· This is just another bunch of garden shots, some of the autumn colours are remarkable. In which context I want to send a long deep tip of the hat to Doc Searls, his shots from the Foo camp put me completely to shame. No flower is as interesting as a human face; I look into my heart and realize that up till now I just haven’t been brave enough to point my camera at people and focus in hard. Mind you, to Doc’s further credit, I’ve heard a few voices saying “When did he take that? I had no idea!” So I guess you have to be brave and sneaky, too ...
· Our endless golden summer ended, the grass is a happier green but the bike-ride to work is getting chilly. Vancouver’s at fifty degrees north latitude, and when the sun is out it’s coming sideways a lot of the time, which is photographer-friendly. There are still lots of flowers, but autumnal blossoms have to be twice as good as spring’s offerings to get half the impact, and they’re not. Still, they photograph well ...
· The pear tree is showing early signs of autumn. It’s old and tattered and unpredictable, the fruit prolific but lousy some years, scanty and excellent others, I can’t spot the pattern. This year is lean but good—the best pears I’ve ever tasted in fact—but we need a visit from the tree doctor, the leaves are going too early and showing signs of disease. But the symptoms are not unpleasing to the eye ...
· They say midsummer’s June 21 but that’s silly, midsummer is right now, the endless hot slant of afternoon sun pulls pictures out pretty well anywhere you look, here we have not just flowers but wildlife and a little illustrated family story ...
The Island Rose Trip: Day One
· What happened was, we have a house-guest from Australia who’s already seen a bit of BC, and we also have an Internet-retail relationship with the Old Rose Nursery, which is found on Hornby Island, a speck in the ocean between the mainland and (the very large) Vancouver Island. We wanted to visit the Nursery in the flesh, and they say Hornby’s pretty nice, and not only Sally but we had never been there, so I took Friday off in honour of the USA and we went. (This part of the world ain’t real wired, thus ongoing has been silent. Not thinking about work and syndication technology was a refreshing change. But this is addictive you know; I really missed posting to ongoing.) ...
The End of Innocence
· I’m sorry, this has just gone way, way too far. Words written in public become deeds, and some deeds are inexcusable and I see no point in excusing the inexcusable. There are those who may not be able to forgive me for veering over the edge of politeness, but nobody can claim I’m the first to go there, and I just don’t care. (Update: extra fact-finding.) ...
· In the remotest, least-favored spot of our property stands a clump of poppies; Lauren thinks the label on the packet said “California Poppies,” but I’ve grown those before and I don’t recall the out-of-this world colour shadings. Really remarkable, and they’re also highlighting a problem I’m having with the new camera ...
Mastering the Art
· Back home, I took a million pictures of roses yesterday in the slanting afternooon sun, and very few came out. I think this magicamera will provide the ideal combo of quick-shoot and good-pix, but I’m going to have to invest some real effort in learning all its ins and outs. Herewith one more rose photo, skip if you’re tired of ’em (but it’s a good one) ...
· Some hours were profitably whiled away this past weekend in the garden, I think more high-tech fly-wired types ought to devote an hour or six thusly, net sanity would benefit. Faunality, you ask? I suggest, by etymological analogy, sexual feelings in a gardening context, mind you this time of year in the Pacific Northwest when the women, mad with sunshine, discard the sweaters and slickers and boots for, well, much less, those feelings are On The Agenda anyhow, but check the magnolia out and see if you think I have a point ...
· Well, the rhyme with “showers” predicts the flowers in May, but we've got 'em now, here's the evidence ...
Perfect Tool: Dandelion Killer
· Herewith I begin an occasional repeating feature under the rubric “Perfect Tools”. Our species is arguably defined by tool use, and everyone knows the joy of a hard job made easy by the perfect tool. So from time to time I'll write up an example of a tool that comes close to the Platonic ideal: it does what it does as well as what it does can be done. I'll use a very inclusive definition of “tool”: hardware, software, you name it. Suggestions are welcome. Today we start with the humble Dandelion Killer ...
Spring: Floristruck, Birdwillowmoon, etc.
· Up here north of 49°, the evenings are already getting longer, and after dinner, the sun came out, and drew us poor mossy rain victims with it. Some nature treats for the light-starved Pacific Northwest eye. (Warning: six big pix, modemistas beware.) ...
· This is not a War story. Aside from a scattering of yellow-on-gold daffodils, the showoffs right now in the garden are all white. It's been raining a lot the last couple of weeks, so the homo sapiens are generally kind of grumpy and distressed, but the fauna are digging it. I managed to outwit the camera I love to hate and grab a passable shot of the evergreen Clematis. I can't say enough good things about this plant ...
Nasty Spring Day, with Pictures
· It's a nasty March day. Nasty because despite occasional sunshine, it's cold and blustery here in Vancouver, really unpleasant to be outside. Nasty because on the other side of the world, men, women, and children are suffering and dying in the service of, or in resistance to, geopolitical strategy. So this weekend, I'm writing about binary search and gardens ...
· Windy (very), grey, sky threatening, but warm, warm! It's a treat to be alive and have a garden to revive, just set the hat firmly on the head against the wind. The now-two-year-old antique roses can be unbound and the canes woven behind the trellis, the witch hazel needs many of last years' leaves pulled off, and some pretty severe raking-up of winter debris is done. Daffodils are up, they are crying out for sun but still a treat for the winter-deadened eye ...
· This bee was sexing it up something fierce with the crocuses, and while my current camera is not quite up to capturing something that fast with really sharp edges, between the flowers, the bee, and the sunshine, some pretty serious fun was being had here ...
· The garden shots so far this year are distinctly crocus-dominated, but everything else is getting ready to bust out, so stand by. I'm not sure why this pair is veiny instead of solid, I'll keep an eye on them.
· It's compost time; all the plants are showing signs of waking up and getting into the Spring thing. The real urgency, though, is because the compost bin is full of a winter's leavings and there's no room for any more. Here's some decent-looking spring compost ...
· This picture is here by way of foreshadowing; it's a close-up of the azalea's foliage, which looks pretty nice year around; later in the spring this will become the garden's number-one showpiece, vanishing behind a mass of astounding red brilliance. I've never managed to come close to capturing it with a digicam though; maybe this year ...
Shattered in Spring
· I was up on the ladder ripping the climbing jasmine out from between the shingles where once a year it tries to burrow. The garden, to be honest, looks terrible this time of year, the sprinkle of crocuses and the happy moss notwithstanding; shattered and beaten-up under a steel-grey sky ...
The Crocuses are Up
· The first crocuses are there, splashes of violet and yellow (the yellow within the violet) in the deep green glow of the moss, which is enjoying winter after our last terribly dry summer. I can't put a picture in because Fujifilm has had my digicam in for service for the last 6 weeks (grrrrrrrrrrrrrr) ...
By Tim Bray
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