Posts Tagged With: macro photography

Orchids at Botanic Gardens

orchids SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC

These photos of Orchids were taken at Denver Botanic Gardens. I went to the Gardens on Tuesday to check out their orchid showcase and to get a little shooting in. Once hubby and my friend have their surgeries next week I will be sticking close to home and probably won’t get out much. Winter is a really quiet time for the Gardens. Obviously, not much is blooming in Denver right now and the ponds are frozen! But the greenhouses are perfectly warm and in bloom.

botanic gardens in winter

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Timing is everything.

flower

“Anyone who’s ever missed their shot by a fraction of second understands why timing is so crucial in photography. Today, the Colorado Department of Transportation closed the Mount Evans road, Highway 5, and will not reopen it until spring.”

leaf macro

That was the email I received on Thursday. I was scheduled to be on Mt. Goliath (near Mt. Evans) in a photography workshop. But the workshop was moved to Denver Botanic Gardens. It’s not all bad. Look on the bright side: At least I wouldn’t have to drive 2 hours into the mountains then hike at 11,000 feet elevation.

Okay, I am disappointed. But…Timing is everything.

macro

The workshop, taught by Scott Dressel-Martin, was 5 hours of useful technical tips and creative tricks. Scott is the official Denver Botanic Gardens photographer, so you know he has  insight into shooting at this location.

bark

The night before the workshop the Gardens hosted guest speaker and nature photographer Cedric Pollet. Pollet spent years (like 10 years) traveling the world photographing bark.

Yes, bark.

bark

He was out in the Gardens photographing bark when he was invited to join our workshop for a Q & A session. Oh, he did more than that…he went walking in the Gardens with us, pointing out fascinating bark, showing off his technique and generally speaking in broken English with a French accent.  (I am not complaining about the French accent!)

Timing is everything.

If it had not snowed on Mt. Evans, we wouldn’t have relocated to the Gardens, and we wouldn’t have had the pleasure of meeting this talented nature photographer. It was a rare treat. Even more inspirational is the fact that he is a self-taught photographer. No formal school training here. He has learned it by trial and error.

Remember I asked a while back if I could make a living at photographing bugs? Well, if Pollet can make a living at photographing bark….there is hope for me yet!

Of course, Pollet wasn’t the only talent in our mist. Scott was an awesome speaker and teacher choked full of valuable information. And he could talk for days about photography if we let him. I like the light coming through the inside of the flower. It looks like it is glowing; but I really need to stop being so lazy and use a tripod!

bark

The one draw back of the workshop was there wasn’t as much shooting time as I had hoped for. So, Monday is a free day at the Gardens. I plan to go back and hone my skills using some of the tricks Scott has taught me.

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Sometimes a girl just needs…

Sometimes a girl just needs to buy flowers for herself.

orange sunflowers

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Life happens…

This is what our backyard has looked like since the contractor finished building the garage addition.

Not pretty.

This week, Hector and the guys came by to pour the concrete patio.

Yay! Finally the dogs will (hopefully) stop tracking mud into the house, and on the carpet.

This is the finished patio. We still need to paint the garage addition and put in the landscaping but it looks much better already.  The landscaping may be a spring project though. The guys had cleaned up and were ready to go home, but were in the front yard talking to hubby.

Then, life happened.

Or rather, this sweet looking black lab named Thor happened. He was so excited to see that daddy was home he bulldozed his way through the very large and very heavy plywood board we had up to keep him out of the backyard. There was no stopping him.

He went running through the fresh concrete!

Paw print after paw print after paw print…across the patio and all the way down the walkway! A lot of screaming ensued. Although it wasn’t her fault, Alex almost cried because I just had a conversation with her 5 minutes beforehand about not going down the stairs or moving the board.

The guys were able to kind of fix the mess.

There are a few paw prints the guys missed.

We love Thor anyway.

I found this guy, a katydid, hanging out on my kitchen ceiling this weekend. I caught him in a cup and called the girls to check it out, then we released him back into the urban jungle.

I have been trimming up the overgrown bushes and lavender in the backyard. It’s not trimming season but it needs to be done now because it already looks like a jungle. This tri-colored bee was begging to have his picture taken too. Also known as an Orange Belted Bumble Bee for obvious reasons.

A sunny sunflower in the backyard “garden”. It’s really just a small spot that we planted some seeds in to see what would grow. The pumpkins are coming along. I hope we have a few for Halloween.

I received a canning lesson from my dear friends this weekend. Dill pickles (spicy and regular), dill green beans, carrots, beets, squash and zucchini. Over 60 jars in all. I hear canning is making a come back these days. It’s a lot of work. So, why the canning lesson? I want to make jam from all the  Bing cherries I pitted then froze last month. I am thinking about making honey butter too and give both as Christmas gifts, along with homemade bread. Ok, bread machine bread, but still better than store bought.

Life happens everyday.

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Vail, Colorado

We’re back from the Vail Invitational. Alex competed in two skate events, compulsory and free skate. The whole experience left me with a somewhat sour taste in my mouth. Not from how Alex preformed, because I couldn’t be more proud at how she handled herself, but from how so many skate-parents behaved.

ice skating

A catch

Let me start with the good stuff. We stayed at the Evergreen Lodge because it is conveniently adjacent to the ice area. There is no A/C but they do supply a very noisy box fan with each room. The beds are hard as rocks and there was a stained ottoman at the foot of the bed (yuk). The hotel is old and in need of a serious remodel. I did say “the good stuff” right? Well, here it is: what the hotel lacked in ambiances it made up for with their great staff. The Evergreen staff was extremely helpful and friendly, always offering a smile.Because of Alex’s competition schedule, they so kindly allowed us to check out at 2 p.m. rather than at the 11 a.m. check out time. It was “no problem”. When you have such a courteous staff at a hotel you are more willing to overlook the downside.

It was a good thing the staff was so pleasant, because I couldn’t say the same about the rest of our experience.

ice skater

A lunge

Dealing with the skate-parents was a test in patience. Sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut rather than start a skate-parent-brawl that will be uploaded to YouTube. I debated whether to discuss the rudeness we experienced by skate-parents at the rink. After sleeping on it, I have come to the realization that there are a lot of self-entitled people out there and my complaints would only fall on deaf ears.

Instead, I will share some common sense manners that I live by. At least, they should be common sense. When I am in someone’s house or, in this case, the hosting Skate Club’s house, I remember that I am their guest. I will say “please” and “thank you” with a smile, not with an attitude of entitlement because adding those words to something rude doesn’t make it polite.

I will clean up after myself. I will respect their things, and the things of other competing skaters. I will be courteous to their other guests, and I will demand that my children do the same. I will wait my turn in line, not cut in front of fellow skate-parents because I am in a hurry. {sigh}

The trip wasn’t all bad, I mean, once I got out of the ice rink…

botanical gardens

The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens was a highlight.

Saturday we stopped by the Gardens late in the afternoon and preceded to get drenched by rain. Then on Sunday, in between programs, we headed back over for a second look.

vail parks

I have to say that Vail has some of the best playgrounds I have ever seen! Its very unique and creative playground equipment made it difficult to pull the kids (and the big kid) away from. And scenic walking trails…they are everywhere. Kudos, Vail.

The garden stays in bloom so long because of the altitude and cool evenings the mountains provide. There was a hummingbird (or maybe more than one) that I was stalking to get his picture…but he wasn’t in the mood. I want hummingbirds in backyard now!

mountain flowers

And I need some Lupine in the backyard too.

colorado state flower

Columbine is Colorado’s state flower.

macro photography

This little bee was very cooperative to hold still.

Sunday night we headed home. Normally Vail is two hours from Denver, but (there’s always a but) it took us over 4 hours to get home. Why? I have no idea. There was no accident that we could see. CDOT stopped traffic at Eisenhower Tunnel in 20 minute intervals, so that traffic wouldn’t gridlock inside. And it was stop and go from there to Hwy 40. {ugh}

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Now Showing: Daylilies

Daylilies in my  garden.

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