A Blossom, a Bug, Water, and the Sky: Black and White Photography

Black and white and gobs of gray. I haven’t spent much time with black and white photography, but I thought I would take a shot at Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Black and White Photos. I took these shots with my phone with the help of a couple of special lenses. I decided to let the photos speak for themselves this time, so no quirky captions.

Flower Droplets

 

Beetle Feasting

 

Running Water

 

Sky View

 

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Macro iPhoneography

Just having a little fun using my iPhone macro lens. Don’t mind me, I’ve gone a little magnify crazy. Enjoy the startlingly close-up scenery!

To the Sunset of 2013…and the Dawn of 2014

My blogging holiday hiatus is almost finished, and all I can say is, “Whew! Glad that’s over!” I feel like I’ve neglected my faithful followers for the last few weeks. For that, I apologize and hope you all understand. I’ll be back soon. So in the meantime, enjoy a few iPhone photos I took using a nifty little clip-on macro lens that my wonderful husband gave me for Christmas.

May the new year find you in fine fettle and be filled with good fortune. Cheers!

White Flower Macro iPhone

Light Bulbs, The Sun and Some Flowers

The weekly photo challenge for The Daily Post is to show saturated. Here are my photos saturated with color. Please enjoy in moderation or with tinted lenses.

Festival of Flowers: Colorful Weeds

A wild flower, a weed blossom, a menacing bloom…

Purple Weed

No matter how you feel about a weed, there is no denying that some of them are as pretty as their cultivated and coveted counterparts, especially these little hidden gems. You just have to get down to their level and look close. There is beauty in everything.

These poor little weeds. They’re basically thought of as the plant black plague. The trash flower of the neighborhood. Scattered around the yard like discarded appliances, furniture and rusty cars left for dead. What’s that? You say you don’t live in the neighborhood of misfit yard junk? Well, you get my drift. We cringe when we see them, ostracize them from the community and hope they might magically disappear without intervention.

Daisy-like Weed

Well, I like to think we are all weeds trying to push through the impenetrable lawn of life. Trying to avoid getting uprooted or smashed under the heavy hand of the bureaucratic gardener. Hoping someday to become an accepted member of society and be loved. I know, a little corny, but I said it anyway.

Now, with that, I am off to eradicate weeds. They’re taking over my yard like zombies in a post-apocalyptic world. You know, the fast zombies, not those lethargic ones. Call me hypocritical, but I gave them a temporary home, and they’ve overstayed their welcome. They are memorialized in photographs for all the world to enjoy. So I hope you enjoyed them.

This is Festival of Flowers: Week 15.

I would like to thank Jackie for sponsoring the Festival of Flowers this summer. This is the last week to participate until next March, so visit her website to join or just admire all the other lovely flowers.

Festival of Flowers: Canna Lily

An untamed canna lily infiltrates the garden…

This fiery canna lily (though it’s not a true lily) popped up along the fence, an escapee from the neighbor’s yard. Although the placement is very haphazard, I don’t have the heart to remove it. The flowers are far too beautiful.

I find the fruit charming. The outside is covered in a spiky pulp that turns a purplish brown as it ripens. I took a photo of the green fruit split open with the seeds exposed. They will eventually turn black. The seeds are sometimes used as beads in jewelry and, in Zimbabwe, they’re used in gourd rattles, called Hosho.

Canna plants are quite the robust over-achiever. The smoke from burning Canna leaves is said to have insecticidal qualities. Maybe I should try burning them to ward off those pesky bugs that love me so much. The plants also have a high tolerance to contaminants, so they’re used to extract pollutants in wetland environments. [source]

Click here, Festival of Flowers: Week 14, if you would like to share a flower photo or even if you just want to see some of the other spectacular blossoms for this week. Time is running out for this year. The Festival goes on a seasonal hiatus in only 12 more days, September 27th.

Festival of Flowers: Hibiscus

A burgeoning hibiscus bud unfurls overnight into a beauty…

For this week’s Festival of Flowers, I chose the lovely state flower of Hawaii and the national flower of South Korea, Republic of Haiti and Malaysia.

With over 10,000 species, it is not only extraordinarily beautiful, it’s edible, practical and medicinal. Some hibiscus species are used in herbal teas, as a vegetable, as a natural alternative for food coloring and for paper-making. It’s also said to be a natural diuretic and may help lower blood pressure. [source]

I took the bud photos in the evening and the opened flower the next morning. I don’t know the exact species of my hibiscus, so I probably won’t eat or drink it. I’ll just enjoy watching it grow.

You can check out the other contributions and link up here: Festival of Flowers: Week 13. Be sure and thank Jackie for sponsoring this flowery weekly challenge.

Festival of Flowers: Week 12, Bromeliad

A lovely billbergia bromeliad flower…

They bloom in the fall and often in the spring here in Florida. I think they get confused by our weather patterns. I have masses of them growing under and climbing the trunks of several large live oak in my yard.

If you would like to join the Festival of Flowers: Week 12, please visit and link up.

Flower Friday: Pink Purslane

Pink Purslane…

Succulent creeping tendrils and stunning rosy blooms.

This is my contribution to Flower Friday. If you would like to join the fun, visit Festival of Flowers to link up.

This plant is more than just an exotic weed that invades your groomed lawn and sprouts up through cracked sidewalks. It’s a hearty, edible flowering plant that makes a delicious accompaniment to salads, soups, stews and even omelets. It contains surprising amounts of beta-carotene and Omega-3 fatty acids. After I took the photograph this morning, I nibbled on a leaf. It has a lemony sour taste with a hint of saltiness.

It’s usually found in milder, warmer regions, hence the reason it’s so prevalent in my neck of the world, Southern Florida. It grows like a wildflower, if given the chance.

“Part of the reason for its evolutionary success is that a single plant can produce up to 52,300 seeds. What’s more, purslane seeds can survive for up to 30 years in undisturbed soil.” Source

Beautiful! Edible! Tolerant! What else? It has medicinal properties. European cultures have used it to relieve arthritis and inflammation, and Chinese herbalist reaped the benefits of improved circulatory and respiratory function. Research has shown it can aid in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

It’s a magical plant! So, the next time you see one, don’t just toss it in the mulch pile or ignore it. Eat it!

Weekly Photo Challenge: One Shot, Two Ways (Aloha Lily)

Here is another attempt at the weekly photo challenge from The Daily Post. A landscape and portrait shot of the same subject.

This is an aloha lily leia with a perfectly posed water droplet. Beautiful pineapple shaped spikes teeming with tiny, pink flowers. It’s one of my favorites.