I’m pleased to announce that two of my images are currently part of the iPhotofest 2015 online exhibit by COCA (Council on Culture & Arts). Trees figure prominently in both photos, “Winter Trees” and “Old Pecan Tree.” I’m especially honored that “Winter Trees” won First Place.
The exhibit displays photos taken and edited exclusively on smart phones. Photographers Tom Jacoby and Stewart Nelson selected the photos for the exhibit based on a number of criteria, including craftsmanship, uniqueness, and aesthetics.
In the iPhotofest gallery, clicking on an image brings up a slideshow of the exhibit. I suggest looking through the whole slideshow, as it’s full of interesting images. My photos are 10th and 11th in the queue.
Wrapping up the series of photos from our Oregon trip two years ago, here’s a view of the Cascade Mountains from Mt. Hood. The sky’s haziness made the color version a bit dull for my taste. If you’ve been following my last few posts, you probably know what’s coming next – yep, I kicked it up a notch with the wet plate effect in Analog Efex Pro. In fact, I think this image may have been the first one I tried out in that program. And now I’m in love with both!
Miss any previous posts in this series? Check them out:
Following our visit to Ashland, we drove up to Crater Lake National Park. Crater Lake is the kind of place you have to see to believe. The water owes its incredible blue color and clarity to its purity and chemical composition. As you may have guessed from its name, Crater Lake formed from a major geologic event – a volcanic explosion about 7,700 years ago. After the eruption, the mountain collapsed in on itself, creating the caldera now known as Crater Lake.
Following up from yesterday, another non-native plant in our garden is hydrangea. The color of some hydrangeas depends on the acidity of the soil they’re growing in. Ours range from blue to purple, as our soil is more acid. More alkaline soils will produce pink flowers. White hydrangeas aren’t affected by soil acidity. These perennial garden favorites are native to southern and eastern Asia.
Recently, as I walked along the side of our house, I was happy to see our walking irises (Neomarica gracilis) blooming. Although I prefer using native plants in landscaping, these were already here, and they’re so pretty. Each bloom only lasts one day. After the bloom dies, the stalk bends down to the ground and takes root. In this way, the plant seems to “walk” across the landscape. Hence, the name walking iris. Other names for this beautiful plant include fan iris, apostle plant, and poor man’s orchid. Walking iris grows natively in Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America.
Here’s another buoy, this time floating in the water with a tern sitting on top of it. It appears to be a Least tern, which is a common shore bird along much of the U.S. and Mexican coastline in the warmer months. The view looks out on the Gulf of Mexico from St. Teresa beach. I had some fun with Snapseed on this one, and I think the watercolor effect really kicks the beachy feel up a notch.
Here in Florida it’s perfect beach weather, and I’m excited about my upcoming long weekend at the beach with friends. So it seemed fitting to share a few photos I took on a previous trip. I took all of this week’s photos on my iPhone, which usually yields less-than-stellar results for me. Sometimes I get a good shot with it, though, like this buoy I found in the sand along the path from our house to the beach.
Here’s the final in this week’s series of native plants from last year that are now returning to my garden. This unique flower, Indian Pink (Spigelia marilandica), may be my favorite. I love the star-shaped flowers topping off red trumpets.
One of the best features of Indian Pink is that it grows well in shade, unlike many flowering plants. We’ve got a lot of shade in our yard, so I’m always happy to find flowers that will thrive in it. I’m especially excited that the Indian Pink has spread a little since last year.
If you live in the Tallahassee area, you can buy Indian Pink at Native Nurseries. Head over there soon to see a huge patch of it in all its glory. (Mine is just about to start blooming.)
Indian Pink’s native range covers the Southeastern U.S., a few states in the Midwest, and Texas. For more info, take a look at this summary from the Forest Service.
Continuing on with my successful native plants, here’s a powderpuff flower. Scientifically known as Mimosa strigillosa, its other common names include sunshine mimosa and sensitive plant. It’s called sensitive plant because when you touch its fern-like leaves, they fold up.
I initially planted it in a hanging bucket because it spreads easily, which is why it’s most often used as a ground cover. It needed water pretty much every day, though, so I transplanted it to a spot in the front yard. Since it actually hasn’t spread at all, I’ve decided that I’m going to harvest a few seeds this year and grow a few more. I love the idea of having a patch of powderpuffs.
Mimosa strigillosa grows natively through much of Florida, almost all of Louisiana, and a handful of counties in Georgia, Mississippi, and Arkansas. It’s also native to Mexico.
If you want to find out more about growing it, the University of Florida’s IFAS extension has an excellent publication about it. (You’ll also find lots of good photos in it, too.)