Category Archives: Flowers

Thriving Out Of Spite

With the five-year drought now putting SoCal (and pretty much everything west of the Rockies) on severe water restrictions, the front yard is looking dodgy and brown.

And yet…

Our hero abides. It doesn’t bloom all the time, but every week or two it will pop off another flower just to either:

  1. Flip off the human race for completely screwing up the planet
  2. Give the human race (at least, this member) a shot of inspiration
  3. Both of the above

Hang in there little white weed flower. I might be needing you there more than you can imagine, and that’s only going to get more true by the day I suspect.

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Filed under Climate Change, Flowers, Photography

Bougainvillea

Two months ago these flowers surprised me.

Today I was again pleasantly surprised, but this time I looked up what these are.

They’re bougainvilleas.

No clue why some of the blooms seem to have one of these little white centers while others have two or three.

This is why I got degrees in physics and business, with minors in astrophysics and computer programming.

Biology seems to just bounce off my brain and vanish into the ether.

But I know what I like and what I think is pretty, and this is it. And I know that I like sharing that, so here it is!

Completely lost in real life and the small thumbnail images are the long stamen sticking out of these flowers, but you can see them in these pictures!

They’re almost the same color as the bright magenta petals, just a shade or two more red.

I hope your Monday and the upcoming week are spectacular and fun, but I also know that the world can be “interesting” for so many of us these days, so if “sucks less than average” is an acceptable substitute for “spectacular” and “painless” is good enough to stand in for “fun,” I hope you get those. And if looking at incredibly bright flowers helps, take these!

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Filed under Flowers, Photography

Thriving Amid Adversity

There’s a drought, fourth year. We’ve got some significant watering restrictions outdoors. It’s been hot, pushing into the upper 90’s almost every day for weeks.

The lawn is turning brown. The dirt is hard packed.

Yet my little pal next to the driveway has found a way to thrive. (Assuming I can avoid running him over when I park.)

It’s hard out there for all of us. Politics. The economy. Inflation. Gas prices. COVID. Stress. Uncertainty.

Yet we do have the ability within us to be like this flower, finding a way to get up when the world knocks us down. We can bring the tiniest bit of beauty and joy to the world, even if it sucks. We can still make it better.

Even if you have to fake it. Function follows form.

Be the flower.

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Flowers, Paul, Photography

You & Me, Little Flower

What a rough week! Too many things that are absolutely infuriating and totally out of our control. Frustration, anger, rage, hopelessness. Now, just a Friday afternoon quest to retrieve the trash barrels from the curb before they get hit or stolen or otherwise manage to turn the routine into yet another crisis.

But wait! Do you see it?

The lawn’s already turning brown because of water restrictions, but there! All by itself!

Did no one tell this seed (probably from over on the other side of the yard) that growing and blooming here was stupid and futile? That it’s going to die and probably quickly?

The hard, cruel driveway is right there, the car wheels can roll right over this little dude, the grass is dry and dying. You’ve made a horrible mistake!

Yet there it is, a tiny bit of beauty and grace, as glorious as a dozen roses in its own way, defying the odds with no fucks left to give, trying to grow anyway.

No – no one told that seed that the world’s a horrible, hard, deadly place where it’s almost impossible to even survive, let alone thrive. Not knowing better, it’s putting down roots and doing its absolute best every day. Maybe it doesn’t even survive the night, given the rabbits that roam and prowl the front yard, eating the young, naive, succulent flowers. Maybe the drought will claim it in a few days. Maybe I’ll forget it’s there and roll that right front tire straight over it on Sunday.

Maybe…not.

You’ll only know if you try. And if you’re going to try, why not give it 100% of your being with every effort, the better to improve your odds of actually succeeding.

You and me, little flower. Just doing the best we can.

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Filed under Flowers, Photography

Surprise Flowers

I was taking the recycling bin out to the back yard today and was surprised to see this one big plant covered in these bright, fuscia flowers.

We’ve been in this house for four years, but this is the first time I remember ever seeing this plant flowering.

The flowers all have this tiny little five-part center, which is amazing to look at up close.

I’m thinking if I had seen this previously I would have remembered. But maybe not. Cue that old joke about the advantage to “senioritis” being that you could hide Easter eggs and then find them yourself the next day!

Either way, they were a joy today, and probably tomorrow and the next few days as well. I’ll take it!

Never look a gift pistil in the mouth!

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Filed under Flowers, Photography

Japanese Maple With Issues

Spring is well on its way here with the trees, flowers, birds, and other critters all in their blooming, flitting, mating, and reproducing modes. Except for the little Japanese maple tree out there.

I do remember from previous years that it can be a late bloomer, but this is ridiculous!

It’s the last week in April and this stubborn dude has nary a single bud on it, or even a hint of a bud to come. It’s a collection of sticks!

It’s a not-so-fine line between “stubborn” and “kindling.” If there’s sap flowing, the leaves need to be popping soon or the gardner’s going to take it out!

C’mon, Red! Let’s pop some of those red leaves and get some photosynthesis going! You’re going to have to do it on your own, I don’t know how to do CPR on a deciduous beastie!

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Filed under Castle Willett, Flowers, Photography

Sneezes & Beezes

These plants & bushes are all over the place here, in this case along the fence line between us and our neighbors.

It’s the time of year when they go from nothing to pollen superfactories in a flash. Very pretty, despite the side effects.

Two things come with their spring explosions – sneezes and beezus. It’s good to see the bees. The sneezes, not so much.

The bees were having no paparazzi today, so while they were buzzing all over the place they would bug out to another plant every time I tried to get close with the phone. It’s not like they didn’t have other options.

So huzzah for the buzzing bees, as well as the Cooper’s hawk that I was originally trying to photograph. It was making quite the racket out there, but it nests down in the canyon so it never got up above the trees where I could take its picture, although I could see it thorough the trees.

Tomorrow’s another day.

Best wishes for those of you celebrating various holidays this weekend.

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Filed under Flowers, Photography

Sultry Red Roses

These are smaller, not the huge, softball sized blooms like the others, more like exploded ping-pong sized balls of red.

They’re not clean or pristine, more tattered and battered. But they have that deep, purplish red color in spades.

Worn on the edges, but pollenating like no one’s business.

Come and get some of THIS, bees!

And while the thorns are quite sharp, frequent guests in the stems and leaves are the elusive little wrens that are so loud, so tiny, flittering madly, equally oblivious to the needle-sharp points and the dusky red beauty all around them.

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Filed under Flowers, Photography

Polychromatic Rose

Some roses out there along the driveway are pink, light red, dark red, yellow, white, orange – and then there’s this one.

Mostly pink around the edges, yellow in the middle, bits of red and white… It’s not a “mutt,” it’s a living symbol of the beauty that lies in diversity.

I’m no biologist, I don’t know the mechanics and methods of cross breeding roses, but this one might come from a few generations being out in the middle of all of the rest of them.

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Filed under Flowers, Photography

Pretty Pink Rose

Unlike its neighbor, this pink rose has a deep, vibrant color, and is still just opening, so it’s not full of dirt, debris, and “bee stuff.”

This picture is off-center, but I really liked it that way. The pink contrasts well with the greens.

The wind was blowing a ton when I took these, and especially on these macro shots, focus and composition are a crap shoot.

The photographer’s greatest friend these days is the digital camera! Memory storage is dirt cheap, where film was expensive as hell. If it’s windy, shoot 50-60 pictures, find the two or three that are in focus.

Why rely on skill when you can use statistics?

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Filed under Flowers, Photography