Pink from a garden

Near to where I live is a 7 acre semi-public garden that is only open to the public a few times a year. It contains a number of unusual trees, a former orchard and some flower beds. This year the open days have been extended to Saturdays during the spring season, so I visited it for the first time yesterday and spent a little time there with my camera. The garden is secluded behind hedges and one gets a sense of being far removed from the outside world. The garden is currently undergoing improvements, and the small water feature I’d hoped to photograph was under reconstruction and off limits. Still, it was a nice opportunity for me to get some shots of spring flowers other than rhodos, tulips, daffodils, etc.

The main attractions yesterday were the rhodos and woodland flowers, but I did find a beautiful soft pink camellia hiding in a corner, as well as several magnolia trees. I will process the flowers for later posts, today I’ll feature the camellia and magnolia with a couple of images that I processed on my iPad because my iOS apps offer me different artistic options, particularly watercolor effects, that I’m continuing to play around with to test their capabilities.

More dandelions…

…to brighten a cool, breezy, wet day. I forgot I had these images so I’m posting them while I’m still thinking about dandelions.

Spring means dandelions

I know so many people who detest dandelions, but I love them. And of course, the bees love them, too. They’re one of the first bursts of color in the spring, and seeing a field of sunny yellow faces can really lift my spirits between the bouts of heavy rain at this time of year. Not only are they such a glorious shade of yellow, but their flowers have those wonderful little curlicues among the larger petals, tho you don’t see that if you don’t take the time for a close up look. I find they are always a very rewarding flower if I spend a little extra time on post-processing.

iPad – Grape hyacinths

Haven’t been in the mood for WordPress lately. Haven’t been doing much in the way of photography either. But it’s getting to be time for some more iPad processing, so here’s one image of some grape hyacinths that received 3 different treatments via iPad apps. In order of appearance, the primary app I processed them in: Tangled FX, Brushstroke, Waterlogue.

Pond for two

Two Canada geese on small pond
I saw this pair of Canada geese as I was driving by the field where they were checking out this little pond located in a low spot. Maybe they were thinking it would be a good place to raise a family. I liked the tree growing in the middle of the pond. It was perfect timing for capturing the image as the pair moved onto the bank a few seconds later.

Respecting others’ space…

Click images for larger view.

I went out to the migratory bird sanctuary yesterday. The day started overcast and dreary with a stiff breeze but altho it was overcast at the coast too, within an hour it had cleared off for a beautiful sunny day, even though I could see dark clouds hanging over the mountains and in the general direction of home. There were quite a few Canada geese being very territorial, the usual hoardes of mallards, northern Shovelers around every corner. I only saw 3 Sandhill cranes, one solo and one pair, and no sign of my crossbilled friend. No waders yet, but I saw a hummingbird flitting between newly opened hot pink salmonberry blossoms, and I was surprised to see tree swallows have already arrived, swooping around catching flies!

I must have been channelling my best bird energy yesterday because at one point I found myself between a gander aggressively chasing off a pair of would-be squatters, and the gander’s mate. The female that was being chased passed right beside me, and for a moment I wondered if the pursuing gander might turn his ire towards me, but when he reached me he stopped, shook himself, made eye contact almost apologetically then stood beside me for a few moments before meandering back to his mate. Later, in another part of the sanctuary, I threw a handful of grain on the ground for the ducks floating nearby and a pair of geese strolled over for a share too. The grain didn’t last long and everyone went back to what they’d been doing and I captured a few images. Then I sat down on a bench to soak up some sun and watch the territorial disputes that seemed to be going on all around me. The geese had settled down some distance away, and when I sat down the gander got up, walked over to where I was sitting and settled himself down at my feet, looking off in the same direction I was… Very unexpected. It was so tempting to reach down and stroke him, but that would have violated the trust he was extending to me. He stayed there until I moved on.

On my way back to the car I stopped in an observation area to watch a group of herons in a tree. A mallard hen landed on the railing while I was photographing, and when I looked up from my camera I found she was standing mere inches away from my face looking at me. No subtlety there whatsoever, lol! I got out some grain and she was eating out of my hand when a male redwing blackbird arrived and started harassing the mallard, trying to get her to leave. I had to laugh – she ignored him, focusing on the grain, so the blackbird became super-agitated, frantically pecking the mallard all over, but still with no success. I had some finch food in one of my pockets, so I offered the blackbird that seed in my other hand, thinking he wouldn’t eat directly from it. He was a little nervous at first, but he really wanted that seed, so eventually I was hand feeding both the mallard and the blackbird at the same time. Until a mallard drake landed on the railing, pretty much on top of the blackbird. Initially the blackbird flew away, then tried to return but the drake wouldn’t let him near. So I invited the blackbird to fly to my hand. It was clear he understood my intent, but he was quite anxious, made a couple of fly pasts, touched down briefly a couple of times, then landed on my finger and hung on for dear life while he finished the seeds. I really miss having animals at home so it was especially lovely having wild birds interact with me like that…