Twenty-Five Thousand…And Counting

IMG_5000ARBC(WM)

July 26, 2014

Five days ago, I reached a milestone, that being the twenty-five thousandth photograph I have shot with my relatively new camera. Because digital cameras (assuming all digital cameras do so) number every photo taken, one always knows exactly how many you have shot. When I was looking to replace my thirty-three year old camera last summer, I was originally looking to buy a used one. However, after considering that I would need to buy a battery and charger, and pay taxes and shipping for both them and the camera, I discovered that I could buy a new one for about the same amount of money. While checking out used cameras, I always wondered how the sellers always knew exactly how many photos were taken.

One might say twenty-five thousand photos, nearly every one that of a flower, just might be a bit obsessive, and if you consider that I did not take a single photo during the winter months, that number appears to be just that (I will admit to having a very serious case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). I received the new camera on June 5th of last summer and shot the last photo of the year on October 18th. I started shooting flowers again this spring on April 9th. As a rough approximation, this works out to more than three thousand photos a month, or slightly more than one hundred photographs every single day, the equivalent of three rolls of film. That number is just an average though, as there are many days that I do not shoot any pictures, because of rain or nothing new in bloom. Since I now shoot in both JPEG and RAW format, thus actually getting two photographs for every one taken, this number becomes even more impressive, or should I say compulsive.

When I am out shooting, I can quickly shoot a couple hundred photos in no time. Back in the old days, that being prior to last year, I would normally shoot about a dozen rolls of film all summer. However, I can now shoot about twenty-five hundred photos per memory card for about the same amount of money that I would spend on a single roll of film and processing. Shooting flowers can be very difficult. Even the slightest breeze will cause a flower to sway mightily back and forth. And the closer you get, the more they appear to sway. I always shoot four or five photos of each shot, changing both the aperture and/or speed each time in the attempt to get one great photograph. I then review each photo, deleting the bad ones. Thus, at most, I might keep seventy-five percent of what I shoot.

And, if truth be told, I have shot an awful lot of incredible photos since finally going digital!

Steven H. Spring

Lilies #162B, 161C, 158C, 154B, 155B, 150B, 149B & 163B

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July 19, 2014

Lilies, whose scientific name is Lilium, has more than one hundred gorgeous species in its family. There are many plants that have lily in their common name; however, not all are true Lilies. Two examples of this misnomer are Day Lilies and Peace Lilies. True Lilies are mostly native throughout the temperate climate regions of the northern hemisphere of planet Earth, although their range can extend into the northern subtropics as well. This range extends across much of Europe, Asia, Japan and the Philippines and across southern Canada and throughout most of the United States.

Lilies are very easy to grow. They are not especially particular about soil neither type nor pH level. Their only requirement is well-drained soil. Lilies grow best in full sun; however, they may thrive in partial sun as well. An interesting fact about this plant is that most Lily bulbs have very thick roots that have the ability to pull the bulb down into the soil at a depth that is most optimum for their continued survival.

If I am fortunate to have you view my photographs and you find the color saturation too much or the color schemes of the mats do not match either themselves or the photograph, please let me know via a comment. Being color-blind, what might look great to me might look like sh*t to everyone else!

Steven H. Spring

The Continuing Saga In The Life And Times Of Miss. Rose

Iris #120D

July 12, 2014

Earlier this summer, I did some yard work for Miss. Rose (for those interested in a little background story relating to her, see my earlier post entitled A Red Rose For Miss. Rose). I came home with a rather large cache of flowers, including two large clumps of irises. Because my garden space is quite limited and the gardens are already quite full, I knew before leaving her house that I was going to give these clumps of irises to two neighbors, both of whom I helped get started with their own gardens this spring. And after all, these were most likely just your typical irises, the basic light blue/dark blue (I’m colorblind, so the typical iris might be light purple/dark purple).

A couple of weeks later, I was walking by one of the neighbor’s yard when I saw that his iris had a single bloom. And when I saw his bloom up close, I realized that I had made a huge mistake in giving him this flower, as it was the most beautiful iris I have ever seen, a gorgeous yellow bloom that seemed more eloquent than the typical iris. When talking to Miss. Rose a few days later, I happened to tell her this story. As soon as I mentioned a yellow iris, she knew immediately what I was talking about, as she told me that she had wondered what had happened to her yellow iris.

I was telling this tale to the other neighbor, and he ask if Rose wanted the iris back. I told him, f*ck Rose, I wanted it back. My neighbor has offered to give back his iris to Rose, but a gift is a gift. Besides, he lives right next door, so it’s not as if I cannot photograph it next year when it blooms again. And, as I told him, if he ever moves, that iris will be mine, once again.

This iris was planted about two feet away from the front wall of my apartment building, underneath the overhanging roof, which hangs over the wall by a couple of feet. Because of the design of the building and the angle in which it sits, at that time of the year (this photo was shot on May 25th), the garden area did not receive any sun until later in the day, which made photographing the flower somewhat difficult. Making it even more complicated was the fact that the bloom was only about one foot off the ground, which resulted in the photographs being somewhat dark. However, thanks to modern technology, and with a little tweaking of the color and brightness levels, I think this photo turned out pretty good.

I did learn a very valuable lesson, that being never give away any flower unless I know exactly what it is!

Steven H. Spring

Lilies #130B, 133B, 126C, 128C, 125C & 134C

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July 5, 2014

Lilies, whose scientific name is Lilium, has more than one hundred gorgeous species in its family. There are many plants that have lily in their common name; however, not all are true Lilies. Two examples of this misnomer are Day Lilies and Peace Lilies. True Lilies are mostly native throughout the temperate climate regions of the northern hemisphere of planet Earth, although their range can extend into the northern subtropics as well. This range extends across much of Europe, Asia, Japan and the Philippines and across southern Canada and throughout most of the United States.

Lilies are very easy to grow. They are not especially particular about soil neither type nor pH level. Their only requirement is well-drained soil. Lilies grow best in full sun; however, they may thrive in partial sun as well. An interesting fact about this plant is that most Lily bulbs have very thick roots that have the ability to pull the bulb down into the soil at a depth that is most optimum for their continued survival.

If I am fortunate to have you view my photographs and you find the color saturation too much or the color schemes of the mats do not match either themselves or the photograph, please let me know via a comment. Being color-blind, what might look great to me might look like sh*t to everyone else!

Steven H. Spring

Lilies #119B, 121B, 124B, 123B, 122B & 120C

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June 28, 2014

Lilies, whose scientific name is Lilium, has more than one hundred gorgeous species in its family. There are many plants that have lily in their common name; however, not all are true Lilies. Two examples of this misnomer are Day Lilies and Peace Lilies. True Lilies are mostly native throughout the temperate climate regions of the northern hemisphere of planet Earth, although their range can extend into the northern subtropics as well. This range extends across much of Europe, Asia, Japan and the Philippines and across southern Canada and throughout most of the United States.

Lilies are very easy to grow. They are not especially particular about soil neither type nor pH level. Their only requirement is well-drained soil. Lilies grow best in full sun; however, they may thrive in partial sun as well. An interesting fact about this plant is that most Lily bulbs have very thick roots that have the ability to pull the bulb down into the soil at a depth that is most optimum for their continued survival.

If I am fortunate to have you view my photographs and you find the color saturation too much or the color schemes of the mats do not match either themselves or the photograph, please let me know via a comment. Being color-blind, what might look great to me might look like sh*t to everyone else!

Steven H. Spring

Dahlias #61B, 67B, 53B, 58B, 70C, 72B, 64C & 63B

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June 21, 2014

Dahlias are a genus of bushy, tuberous perennial flowering plants that are native primarily to Mexico but also extending further down into Central America and Columbia. Spaniards discovered the flower in Mexico in 1525, where the indigenous population used the plant not only as a source for food, but also as medicine. With at least thirty-six known species, and thousands of different varieties, Dahlias, which is also its scientific name, are a member of the Asteraceae plant family, which includes related genera such as Cone Flowers, Daisies, Chrysanthemums, Marigolds, Sunflowers and Zinnias. Like other flowers in the Asteraceae family, Dahlias appear to be a single bloom, but in reality are made up of many individual flowers. Although this plant produces a gorgeous flower, its bloom does not generate a scent, thus it relies on its stunning colors to attract the insects required for pollination. Dahlias bloom from mid-summer up until your region’s first frost in the fall.

Dahlias should be planted around the middle of April through May, again depending on the region, when the threat of frost is no longer prevalent. The ground temperature should be at least sixty degrees. In much of the United States, these plants do not survive the winter, thus the tubers (fleshy roots similar to bulbs) need to be dug up every fall, and replanted each spring. Before the first frost of fall, these plants should be cut back to six inches. After digging up the tubers, shake off any soil, and then store in a frost-free place. Generally, forty to forty-five degrees is best suited for the tubers.

This plant requires eight to ten hours of direct or somewhat filtered sunlight each day, but especially love the morning sun. Less sun results in taller plants and less blooms. They thrive best in a cool, moist climate, while doing poorly in hot, humid weather. If your summer temperatures routinely exceed ninety degrees, these flowers should be planted in an area that receives some shade during the hottest part of the day. The flower thrives best in a rich, well-drained, slightly acidic, sandy soil. If your soil is too heavy or clayish, sand and/or peat moss can be added to lighten it. Dahlias are considered deer-resistant, though no plant is, in truth resistant to hungry deer. Dahlias are, however vulnerable to slug and snail damage.

With so many different varieties of Dahlias, the plant varies greatly not only in height, but also in the color, shape and size of the blooms. These flowers range in height from miniature six-inch plants to tree Dahlias that can grow more than fifteen feet tall. Larger plants will requiring staking. Colors range from white, yellow, orange, bronze, lavender and pink to red and purple, as well as dark red and dark purple. Blooms range in size from two inches up to twelve inches in diameter. Mature plants are as wide as they are tall. The large variety of blooms are due to the flowers being octoploid, meaning they have eight sets of homologous chromosomes, whereas most other plants have only two.

The tubers should be planted horizontally four to six inches deep, spaced roughly two feet apart. After covering with soil, the tubers should not be watered, as it can lead to rotting. Do not water until the tubers start to spout. In addition, tubers should not be mulched, as mulching does not allow the soil to warm enough for the tubers to spout. Mulch can be applied once the tubers do spout. Young plants do not require much water, again too much watering leads to rotting. Mature plants should be watered only if rainfall is less than one inch a week. If you are like me, and live in a region with freezing temperatures during the winter months, Dahlias can be grown in containers, however these plants only do well in large containers, generally they need pots at least twelve inches in diameter per tuber. Dwarf Dahlias are best suited when using containers. You should use two parts top soil along with one part of potting soil that has not been chemically treated for weeds.

If I am fortunate to have you view my photographs and you find the color saturation too much or the color schemes of the mats do not match either themselves or the photograph, please let me know via a comment. Being color-blind, what might look great to me might look like sh*t to everyone else!

Steven H. Spring

Lilies #104C, 103C, 110B, 111B, 106B, 101B & 109B

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June 14, 2014

Lilies, whose scientific name is Lilium, has more than one hundred gorgeous species in its family. There are many plants that have lily in their common name; however, not all are true Lilies. Two examples of this misnomer are Day Lilies and Peace Lilies. True Lilies are mostly native throughout the temperate climate regions of the northern hemisphere of planet Earth, although their range can extend into the northern subtropics as well. This range extends across much of Europe, Asia, Japan and the Philippines and across southern Canada and throughout most of the United States.

Lilies are very easy to grow. They are not especially particular about soil neither type nor pH level. Their only requirement is well-drained soil. Lilies grow best in full sun; however, they may thrive in partial sun as well. An interesting fact about this plant is that most Lily bulbs have very thick roots that have the ability to pull the bulb down into the soil at a depth that is most optimum for their continued survival.

If I am fortunate to have you view my photographs and you find the color saturation too much or the color schemes of the mats do not match either themselves or the photograph, please let me know via a comment. Being color-blind, what might look great to me might look like sh*t to everyone else!

Steven H. Spring