Category Archives: Flowers

iPhone 13 Macro Camera Test

(There’s a theme here the last few days. Yeah, back in “Deadline Days” and there’s not a lot of time, so as I do my “walk around the back yard for two minutes because my watch is yelling at me to step away from the desk” breaks, I’m playing with the new iPhone to see what it can do on the fly with zero prep or planning.)

I’ve heard so many good things about the iPhone 13 macro (close-up) lens – oooh, look, those flowers are blooming again!

Not bad! The camera is probably 1/2 inch or so away from the flower. How close can I get? A bee’s eye view?

Um, okay, that’s pretty amazing. Add to the list to try and play more with this with an actual tripod and planning…

I’m really liking this phone/camera, a lot!

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Purple & Pink

Something related to morning glories, but they’re usually a little more blue.

These have always been more of a lavender color and a much brighter, more vivid shade of purple.

And “morning” glory or not, these prefer the middle of the afternoon to explode with color.

One thing that amazes me is how the blossom colors will vary so widely, even on the same stem or with flowers right next to each other.

They’re also a great draw for the hummingbirds.

It’s amazing what you can see if you keep your eyes open and be open to the experiences around you, even if you’re just dragging the empty trash barrels up from the street!

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Long Valley Flowers

Last Saturday we were in Palm Springs. One of the things that I love to do but don’t do nearly often enough is hiking out in the woods and getting out into the wild a bit.

Outside of Palm Springs is the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which goes from the desert floor (at about 2,600′ elevation and 110ºF+) to the top of San Jacinto Peak (at about 8,500′ elevation and 65ºF). At the station on the top there’s a fairly steep ramp that goes down about 100′ to the floor of Long Valley where there are a couple of short (0.75 miles and 1.50 miles) day hike trails. I took the longer, “Desert View Loop” trail.

Along the way I saw these flowers.

They really stand out!

No clue what they are. A Google image search found a lot of African flowers that are bright red and growing out of pine needle ground cover, but the closest I found for a southwest US setting was captioned “scarlet gilia, also called skyrocket.” That ‘s probably not quite correct, but it might be close.

Anyway, when I eventually go out on what I thought was going to be a 30 minute day hike over flat ground and instead spend two hours going 2.5 miles at 8,415 feet including two fairly steep trails going up a couple hundred feet and thin air with (STUPIDLY!! 🤨 Yes, I do know better 😫 ) no water at my age thinking in my poor, pathetic brain that I’m still 25 instead of 65, when that day comes and it finally kills me (I hope that day will be far in the future, but…), plant some of these on my grave. 😁

 

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Nice Depth Of Field

The color saturation’s pretty good too. Some days it’s better to be lucky than good.

FYI, things seem to be heating up a bit so far as the schedule is concerned, so you might be seeing more of these “one picture, one caption” posts for a while.

We’ll see.

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How Are The Roses Doing?

We’ve seen a couple of them, but almost all of them are blooming at some point or the other. Maybe I’ll get back to this year’s crop, but for now we’re hip deep in new birds and various critters…

So I played a bit with focus and depth of field.

Best compromise for an elongated, vertical field.

Foreground…

Middle of the depth of field…

Distant field of view…

Next thing you know, folks will think that I know what I’m doing!

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Flowers – Evening Primrose

A week or so ago I talked about a new patch of flowers that I had found around the corner of the house, partially hidden from normal view, a surprise after three years of living here.

The little daisy-like flowers on the right-hand side were featured in that earlier post.

Over on the left were more of these – a LOT more.

There are a couple of them down by the mailbox, but I didn’t know what they were. And there are literally just five or six flowers down there. Here there are dozens of them.

I’m not as good with flowers as I am with birds, so I finally dug around today and found a nice online site for ID’s my photography subjects.

These apparently are “evening primrose.”

I suspect if I put a time lapse camera they would be pointing the opposite direction about 10:00 when the sun pops over that fence to their east, and over the course of the day they would move to track the sun.

At the interface between the little, tiny daisies and the evening primrose.

Tucked way in the back are two baby palm trees. I’m pretty certain they weren’t planted here deliberately – more likely to be the spawn of some of those huge palms across the street that you see in every astrophotography picture of the western horizon. Give it twenty or thirty years and they’ll be fifty feet tall, just like their parents. (And destroying that fence behind them.)

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Flowers – May 04th

Coming up on three years next week that we’ve been renting this house and there are still surprises.

Around the corner of the front yard where I rarely go unless a circuit breaker has tripped or I’m putting up Christmas lights, I’ve found this huge patch of flowers.

I’ve never seen the flowers blooming like this, or even at all over in this somewhat hidden corner. There’s a  big patch of bare dirt over here, and I always thought this area was just some sort of ground cover.

I don’t know what sort of flowers these are, although I might guess that the white and yellow ones are some sort of daisy? I don’t know about the smaller reddish and yellow ones.

These are partially hidden from the sidewalk as well, especially for a short dude such as myself. The house and yard are up on an embankment from the sidewalk and I might or might not see them from the street. The flowers might be in bloom for a very short period. Or I might simply be going full Charlie Gordon in my old age.

But they were pretty this weekend!

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Flowers – April 25th

Yesterday I showed that the pink roses were back. In addition to the one that had fully bloomed there was a bud just starting to open.

I don’t know if this one, on the same bosh, will get a chance to display it’s whole rosy goodness. There’s a little rain coming through tonight (which we desperately need) which might mess with it, but more to the point, there’s some strong winds coming through.

That cold front in general and the winds in particular will not only potentially mess with this young rose, but is likely to cause a weather delay in tomorrow’s Atlas V rocket launch out of Vandenberg up the California coast about 150 miles.

I had hoped to go up to see that launch, but given the weather, the way I’m feeling after this weekend (which is a good thing, mind you, but still), the odds of a scrub and delay, my workload this week, my appointments for the rest of the week – it’s a lot, so I’m thinking the smart move might be to skip seeing another launch.

Someday…

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Flowers – April 24th

The pink roses have joined the party.

I wish I could look at these in the infrared – aren’t there patterns or markings in the IR that bees see that we don’t?

The bees rule the front yard flowers. Nothing out here for the hummingbirds.

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Flowers – April 20th

Lavender Trumpet Vine

These vines are climbing the support posts on the outside patio and it’s time for them to be blooming. At least some of them are.

A big section was torn down by the idiot squirrels  as they climbed the vines and support posts in quest of the bird feeders. The squirrels are NOT my friends.

The hummingbirds on the other hand love these. The feeder is right near them but sometimes gets defended by a particularly aggressive male, so these are excellent alternative feeding sites.

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