It is very cold outside and will they say turn even colder. And there is a Winter Storm Warning. It is to begin gently tomorrow and end as a blizzard on Friday.
We are as prepared as we can be i've pulled out my plumpest down comforter and we still have plenty of chocolate leftover from Christmas and milk, eggs, bread and cheese fixin's for soup and to reward ourselves after shoveling snow we could make lemon mousse or even a little sparkling lemonade while we are still hot and sweaty.
Because, in the cold front room where all the potted plants too tender for our outdoor climate spend the winter we have two Meyer lemon trees.
We've already harvested 5 or 6 from this one
while the other has clearly adopted a different time zone and is once again covered in flowers which fill the room with their sweet fragrance
i do love winter and living in a house with large south facing windows.
i love black and white photography however that love was formed in my youth with film cameras and a darkroom while studying Adams, Steiglitz, Kertesz, Cameron, Atget, and Edward Weston to name a few. And in their prints blacks were so rich you could fall into their depths without fear because they still held light and whites glistened and in between the two a delicious spectrum that made one not crave color.
i spent hours in the darkroom loving silver coated paper. And my mentor at school sent inquiries for black and white printing to me...which, to this day, still astonishes me.
i've made only one or two attempts at a bw digital image and they have all looked like sorry frauds to me and i simply do not think in bw with these digital cameras in my hands.
until today i've not pulled up an image that immediately said, "oh, yes, this wants to be black and white" although the lovely vessels in yesterday's post were a natural almost there all by themselves if it weren't for that tiny bit of bluestone in the one corner.
The color images of these Italian arums at Greenwood growing amidst vinca minor were inspid and the color balance was all wrong and it didn't take long in photoshop for me to realize the problem: they won't look real they cannot shine as they did when viewing them last May until i change palettes...
and so i did and they finally got to sing a little, at least even though these are not the finest renditions being "morphed" as all blogging platforms do to images.
What pleases me most about the whole exercise is that i am so glad to have finally in a way found the rest of my voice with these new tools.
do click on the images to view a larger version
you can just see the tip of the "flower bud" (is it called a spathe at this stage?)
Here is the elegant "flower bud"
Funnily enough my schedule at Greenwood for the past 8 years has never allowed me the pleasure of being there when these "bloom" and, so i share this beautiful illustration (although i believe the spathe ends up being almost pure white) from the public domain where we can see that it looks very much like a lily
Arum italicum, From the Flora Batava of Afbeeldingen en Beschrijving van Nederlandsche Gewassen, XIII. Deel. (1868) The artisit: Christiaan Sepp
the sweet, early lavender tommies (those in the banner) have completed their performance for this spring and their cousins C. tommasinianus 'Ruby Giant' and C. sieberi 'Firefly' are in puddles all about the garden.
these specie crocus seed themselves about and multiply like little spring bunnies!
In this photo, 'Firefly' appears nearly identical to the species (up in the banner), but in life it has much more intense coloration, and those stamens do glow.
"Ruby", yes. "Giant", not! Their cups are larger, but they are hardly giants.
i confess: i was not at my best Wednesday morning "stuff" was getting the best of me. Gratefully, i'd made plans to take a little field trip with a friend and worked hard as we drove together to let go of the dratted gnat-like bothers still buzzing in my head.
Our goal: to visit and ramble through a sunflower maze the largest of its kind on the east coast and just a few miles from our town.
What an absolute surprisingly delightful experience this little morning outing turned into!
i've driven past very happy sunflower fields previous summers and have various types in my garden ever year but i've never before kept such intimate company with literally thousands of them
i could not stop smiling
and admiring the various other visitors that were out with us that day
a pollen drenched soldier beetle
The farmer has sown millions of seeds in succession so that there will be glorious heads to visit for several more weeks and now we can examine them in all their stages from bud to heavy heads laden with ripening seeds
John Parke (who is a project director with Audubon) and his son Aidan