I was driving down to the lake yesterday when I saw a group of pink flowers in what was either a construction site or a dump. I pulled in to take a closer look when a guy in a pickup truck rolled down the gravel path in a cloud of dust and parked behind me.
He walked up to my window and asked if I had a problem. Maybe it was because I was parked in front of a locked gate with a huge private property sign, or maybe he was actually interested in my problems.
For some reason, rather than tell him I wanted to take photos of the flowers I told him I was checking my voicemail. That seemed to satisfy him and he left me with the poppies and several yellow finches that appreciate this kind of thing as much as I do.
Later I realized I could have said something witty like “The difficult problems in life always start off being simple,” by Lao Tzu. But I didn’t want to take a chance on pissing him off with all those flowers and birds waiting for me.
I was experimenting with my new Sony A6000 and ended up at a scout camp with a beautiful pond. I saw that the water lilies had started to bloom and rushed over to take a few photos.
They were only three or four feet from shore, but with my kit lens I just couldn’t get close enough. Then I heard a high pitched voice and realized it was the dragonfly hovering around the flower.
He said: “Get in the water you wimp!” I really didn’t want to take a chance on drowning my brand new camera but for some reason I listened. I rolled up my jeans, waded in and prayed the tripod wouldn’t sink into the mud.
After a while I figured I should quit while I was ahead, and got out when he spoke again. This time he said: “Now get your other camera, its better for close ups.” He was right and we both knew it, so I did.
I took about sixty more photos and was ready to call it a day when he started again. He rambled on about ISO, metering, composition and exposure and made some good points, but soon he started to sound really annoying in that whiny fly voice so I left.
Note: if you meet the teacher at the pond, think twice about blindly following his advice, especially if he’s a bug.
So I went to my favorite garden, in the rain, to photograph some flowers and call the post April showers. The problem with that is you really have to wait for the rain to stop.
I read the N.Y Post from cover to cover, drank a cup of coffee, smoked two cigarettes and it was still pouring. Patience is a virtue I thought, just relax and wait it out. But patience is not my strong suit, so I grabbed my camera and mini tripod, pulled up my hood and walked the path.
The rain was finally slowing down when I saw something amazing, fiddlehead ferns. They were trying to hide under a dripping bush, and I knew it would be easier tomorrow morning in better light, but I was already there.
The sun’ll come out tomorrow, so you gotta hang on ‘til tomorrow popped into my head, and I said screw that. I figured I can at least take a few shots to practice my composition, so I did.
According to the weather channel Annie was right, and maybe I can do better tomorrow, maybe not. Then I remembered what Alice discovered; “The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday—but never jam to-day.” Words to live by.
Yesterday I found these yellow columbines at Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse. The light was perfect, I had a tripod, and it was as calm as a virgin who never told a lie. But for some reason I ignored all that, I was indecisive and hungry so I left.
This afternoon I went back and it was cloudy and windy. I stayed for an hour in the hope that everything would change, it didn’t, the decisive moment was yesterday.
Henri Cartier-Bresson once said: “Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.”
These are Virginia Bluebells, also known as Virginia cowslips for some reason. I wonder if every time a bell rings, a cow gets a new slip. I’d ask the local farmers but they may not want to talk about it.
The rain had just stopped as dawn broke over the Haines Shoe House in York, Pennsylvania yesterday, and I remembered a song I heard years ago working on a much larger house in Southampton.
The lead carpenter was a former lawyer who found that chopping wood was more rewarding then Jurisprudence, and he listened to county music all day long.
The song was All Mama’s Children by Carl Perkins and it went like this:
“There was an old woman that lived in a shoe, had so many children, she didn’t know what to do. They were doin all right, til she took em to town, the kids started pickin em up and putting em down.
Now all your children wanna rock, mama, all your children want to roll. They wanna roll, wanna rock, wanna bop til they pop. All your children want to rock.”
The Haines Shoe House is now open for guided tours and they serve gourmet hand-dipped ice cream and Mellie’s Makery treats (it’s not just a bakery it’s a makery). Rocking and bopping are encouraged but only outside.
Euphorbia myrsinites, also known as myrtle euphorbia or donkeytail spurge, is one of the most useful and highly ornamental plants to grow in the garden.
Now for the bad news: the milky white sap has been known to cause extreme allergic reactions that in some cases can lead to anaphylactic shock, and visits to the emergency room are frequently reported.
Charles Bukowski wrote a book called The People Look Like Flowers At Last. This flower looks like the pretty college girl next door who works as an escort on weekends. Approach both with caution and use protection.