Early Sign of Spring or Just Random Dash of Color & Beauty?

On my walkabout in the Gardens, I glimpsed a splash of color,  looked into a thicket and saw an individual flower seemingly attached to a small tree. The flower was the size of a quarter and probably would  not normally have been visible but the weather was bleak, the bushes and trees all around were mostly bare, and the sun was hidden by rain clouds. Voile! Color. A surprising sparkle. A metaphor? Sigh…yes, lots of them. But for me, I stopped, I smiled, I snapped, I published. Now, that’s magic.

Winter Flower

Winter Flower

Chris - February 25, 2012 - 5:09 pm

How extraordinary!!! It looks a bit like a dogwood flower but maybe too pink for that. Who knows……but it’s just lovely and leave it to you to find it!! 🙂

Winter? Hmmm, maybe. But right now, just cold rain.

I went out in the rain to take a couple of shots. Actually the weather is very nice compared to normal winters. We’ve got temps in the upper 30s and 40s and just a gentle drizzle. If the temp was low, we’d have lots of snow but it’s not and so we don’t. Did a short walk about in the County Gardens at Greesprings today. The flowers were beginning to bloom. There were a couple that fascinated me. But then, I fascinate easily.

Splash of Color

Splash of Color

Bat Flowers or whatever. They Look like bats

Bat Flowers or whatever. They Look like bats

Chris - February 25, 2012 - 5:11 pm

A Camellia bud about to open! I wish I could grow them here but I don’t have a shady spot & they need one! I HAVE to know what that strange “bat” flower is! That’s the strangest thing I ever saw!!! I feel an online search coming on!! Beautiful pix!!

National Cathedral At Night

While I was wandering about downtown, I walked about the grounds of The National Cathedral. I didn’t know that the grounds were closed. Really! I entered a little door labeled “Bishops Garden” and walked about. I left through another door and saw the sign “Closed at Dark.” Oh well. Sorry. The garden took me around the backside of the Cathedral. I guess that’s where most of the earthquake damage is located. There was a very high chain link fence between the garden and the building so I could not get close. Notice the scaffolding. There is probably the possibility of falling “stuff” and that’s why the fence  There was a pathway to a set of doors but the doors were clearly closed. I took some shots of the building looking up. This one was taken at ISO4000, 18mm, f.2,8, 1/60. Hand held. I had to undistort a little since my angle was weird from having to stand in a certain place because of the fence. The lights were some sort of uber-bright halogen or something. Much like daylight in parts of the church but the shadows take on a different cast. At sometime during my stroll, I wondered how safe I was in a closed park, at night. Hmmmmm.

National Cathedral

National Cathedral

Chris - February 25, 2012 - 5:27 pm

Fixing the quake damage? Thank goodness it wasn’t any worse than it was. It’s a beautiful building. Nice shot!

Memorial Bridge – Washington D.C.

Last night I was downtown and tried to get back in the groove. I think I am gaining some momentum–I made lots of mistakes, rookie mistakes, like forgetting to adjust my settings for the bright background of the memorials. I need more practice…more time with my camera. I know that the next generation just came out but I know that’s not the secret. Doesn’t make any difference at this point, I need to gain back my “knack.” This is a bit of a delay shot, I got about .8 second on this which is why there’s the ‘blur.’

Memorial Bridge

Memorial Bridge

Chris - February 25, 2012 - 5:30 pm

I LOVE the blur!!! What a unique shot!!! The statues on the left came out…..one gold, one green-ish and the bases are gray & aqua! Love it!!!

Winter? I think not.

I have been missing in action for a while. Must be the winter doldrums…but no, there’s been almost no bad weather and certainly nothing that has kept us indoors. Just a couple of days ago the temperature was over 70F!!! (That’s more than 21C for the two of you in Europe who come by once in a while) The holidays went quickly, the five in the family melted back to four and the quick pace began anew. We took Kyle to winter camp in the hills again in mid-January. On the way back I stopped at the top of a hill to get this picture of the county-side. I liked the fence maze. I took it at ISO2500, f/8.0, 1/3200 with a 105mm. High noon. I am still trying the high ISO thing but will probably back off because there is certainly pixelation here and that isn’t what the result I was shooting for in the landscape.  After I took this, I sent my camera in to have the sensor cleaned. I read all about how to clean myself but for me…the risk is too high. The sensor was dirty and I was photoshopping specks out of each shot, no matter the lens. I have the camera back now and will be out shooting this weekend. The world is back the way intended. The second photo is from about the same position but I did not take out the spot, instead, I’ve drawn an arrow so you can see what caused my angst.

Winter Farm

Winter Farm

Spotted Farm

Chris - February 25, 2012 - 5:37 pm

You have beautiful countryside back there!! Not beautiful enough to cause me to move there but nice to look at in your gorgeous pictures! The second pic in this sequence never loaded. Got the little circle thing going round & round for over 20 minutes now. Meanwhile, I’ll stay on my crazy desert! Thanks for the look at something different! Enjoy!

M o r e   i n f o