Week 12: Seasonal

So I’m pulling another theme from my alternate list this week, because, ya know, I wanna ūüôā ¬†You know I love the chance to talk about all things spring and summer, and since the alternate list has this week’s theme as “seasonal”, I’m all about it!

Going to Florida always gets me a little out of whack weather wise, but I’m happy to report that things have warmed up around here. ¬†We may be looking at a cold front for the rest of the month, allegedly, but I’ll take a cooler spring over two feet of snow any day. ¬†Even with the chillier than normal temperatures, it’s been warm enough for the world to blossom, and I’ve been happy to enjoy it and capture some springy moments.

First, let me start with a little ode to the cherry blossoms…

They’re always some of my favorites. ¬†I wish they would last a little longer, but with the first windy day, they’re gone. ¬†I’m happy to have had a sunny day off where I got to wander around a little and snap some photos. ¬†It was actually one of those windy days while I was photographing these, so it was a little difficult to capture a clear image. ¬†Luckily, I did, and I was also lucky enough to snap a few of the baby bumble bees which were fluttering around the blossoms and fighting the wind. ¬†Poor little things — they would be there one second, happily bouncing from flower to flower, and then woosh! ¬†A huge gust of wind would come, and they’d be gone. ¬†They’re tough though — they made it back ūüôā

As for some of the other flavors of spring, you always get the same first visitors; daffodils, hyacinths, and the cute little “weed” flowers, you know, from the weeds that grow in the grass….not that…I’m not talking about¬†that! ¬†But while I was on vacation a couple weeks ago, and at the Bok Tower Gardens, I took advantage of the garden part of that visit, and took pictures of the gorgeous things they had in bloom there. It was really a fun place to see, and you should check it out if you’re in the area. ¬†According to their website, something is always in bloom, and I wouldn’t doubt it; the weather there is perfect for year-round blooms. ¬†While I was there, I’m pretty sure I was fortunate¬†enough to make it during one of their peak bloom season, and among other things, was able to enjoy their Japanese Magnolias, Camellias, and Nun’s Orchids. ¬†It was a beautiful walk, and smelled amazing! ¬†Even as we were a few minutes away and driving up to the gardens, you could smells the flowers. ¬†So while I’m dreaming of warmer weather on this chilly spring night, enjoy these photos of the little promises that warmer weather is right around the corner!

 

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Week 35: Half & Half

Quite an open theme I had on my hands this week — half & half. ¬†With my coffee? No,¬†thanks, I’m talking something a little bit different. ¬†What I automatically think of is a divide, more like an opposite type of project, but that wasn’t quite checking the “half & half” box in my mind. ¬†So I went out in search of things that could fit the bill, and just so happen to find them in my back yard.

Summer is starting to fade…

It was literally just a few days ago that I was talking about a hot summer day, but with the slight change of the weather, and the fact that I was at the beach more like two weeks ago, things have started to take a turn for the worse already. ¬†It’s also Labor Day weekend —¬†the official end of summer. ¬†While I haven’t received the notice, and have still been enjoying some hot, sunny days, other elements of nature apparently have. ¬†I’m going to hold on to this nice weather for as long as I can, and will try to ignore the things changing around me.

It does prove for an interesting time of year, as well as some unique garden aesthetics. ¬†While some things are in bloom, others have completely died. ¬†Even within the same plant — parts are trying to grow, while others are giving up and conceding¬†to the slowly cooling weather.

I’m enjoying both the literal and figurative expression of this theme. ¬†Literally speaking, these plants are half dead, half living. ¬†Plain and simple; a great example of a single object being split in to something which would be considered “half & half”. ¬†Figuratively speaking, I see these as examples of life and death; new beginnings, closure for old issues.

I’m sure you all know by now that this has been a pretty interesting year for me, full of many changes and new beginnings of my own. ¬†I’m sure you also know I like to work with opposites, and thoughts of life and death are often projected into my work. ¬†Though I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted for this week, I did go out with a small intention to locate something along these lines. ¬†Over the past few days I’ve started a new job, completed my first week at MICA, and have scheduled to begin my second new job in a few days. ¬†It’s been overwhelming; I’ve been nervous, unsure, self-doubting, uncomfortable, and just plain scarred. ¬†It’s also been the best week that I’ve had in a long time (except for vacation — the beach wins, hands-down, no matter what is going on in my life!). ¬†I’ve also been happy. ¬†Really, truly, eyes watering up, feeling excited, butterflies in my stomach, chills, engaged, inspired, motivated, happy.

For the first time in a long time I feel as if I’m within a group of like-minded individuals, and that I have contributed something of meaning. ¬†I’ve also been able to let go of a lot of old ghosts haunting me by taking these steps in moving on. ¬†It’s truly hard to grasp when I catch myself in the middle of it, but I’m at the begging of a journey that I have been wanting to take for as long as I can remember; a journey which I never though I would embark on. ¬†Though I was unhappy, I fought for a very long time to hold on to the life I used to have. ¬†I was afraid of change, and terrified of failure, both of which kept me in an unhealthy yet comfortable position. ¬†I’ve made some extreme changes, and have taken some chances that even shocked me at times.

So while you may be viewing these pictures as I initially had, as images of the summer beginning to fade, remember that for the blooms to return next year, they have to start over, and let got of the seasons before. ¬†In this case, life will come from death, and things that are half living now will be in full bloom again in a short while. ¬†Letting go of old things will allow for new opportunities. ¬†My life, which was being half-lived, will be in full bloom before I know it, and I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.

Homegrown

I took a little bit of a different path with the homemade theme this week. ¬†Instead or working with a craft or some other creation, I went to a recipe. ¬†Yep, food — what I always think of when I think “homemade”, but never really focus on it as a project or a subject. ¬†I was originally thinking that I would make something that I always make; a family recipe, or some cookies, or cupcakes. ¬†Instead, though it is an easy recipe, I tried something new to me.

Caprese salad — Yum! ¬†This is a dish which I have loved for a long time, but for some reason, I never make it! ¬†I’ll order it, and pretty much any variation of it when I see it on a menu, but have never taken the time to make it for myself. ¬†Not like it’s very complicated or time-consuming, but I suppose it was just one of those special little dishes that I would always eat while treating myself on a night out, or while in a special place or restaurant.

So with my crazy gardening parents, I was in luck when we got back from our family vacation this past weekend. ¬†The tomatoes in the garden have been in full bloom for the last few weeks, so we’ve been enjoying them for some time. ¬†To my surprise, the basil that my mother planted for me had also grown over the week while we were gone. ¬†When she told me she planted it for me, I had dreams of pesto pasta and things like that, but with all these tomatoes around, I couldn’t think of anything better to make. ¬†To be honest, I was actually sick of tomatoes with how many we’ve been eating over the past week. ¬†But what can I say, tomato overload or tomato drought, I love this dish, and will always eat it. ¬†So with a few simple ingredients, I had a great little salad for lunch, and plenty more growing for future meals.

These images were fun to capture, and I enjoyed working with them in different ways. ¬†It was nice taking some very simplistic photographs of each individual part of this salad, then taking some more artistic views of the completed dish. ¬†Using plain white plates, I felt like quite the little food photographer. ¬†So enjoy the photos, because I certainly enjoyed the salad. ūüôā

Around the Garden

Spending more time outdoors this summer is something that I’ve really been trying to do. ¬†I haven’t been super successful, if I’m honest, but at least I’ve gotten out there and tried a few new things. ¬†Babysitting a house which has been under construction for the last two weeks doesn’t really help in this goal, but it’s what I’ve been up to lately. ¬†Luckily for me, my aunt’s house backs up to practically a forest, and my grandmother likes to spend a lot of time outdoors while we’re there, you know, just hanging out in the garden and tidying things up. ¬†She’s forever busy. ¬†I decided to take my camera along for a couple of days to see what I could capture. ¬†It rained, and rained again, and things were busy, so I didn’t get to get out there as much as I wanted.

While inside a few of those days, I had spotted a few adorable bright yellow finches. ¬†Knowing that we weren’t going to be there for much longer,¬†I decided to pop the big lens on and just sit out on the deck for a while, waiting for them to return. ¬†Of course, they didn’t — just my luck. ¬†The bird feeders were empty by then, and my grandmother and I couldn’t find the food, so perhaps it wasn’t completely my luck. ¬†Never the less, the birds were a no-show, and I was picture-less, so I decided to wander around the yard for a bit to see what I could find.

I came into quite a few little surprises, so I suppose I shouldn’t complain about my luck ūüôā . ¬†Flowers which my aunt described as “daisies”, and dead, were still very much alive and actually more orchid like while attracting¬†some interesting little fly-type bugs. ¬†I’m thinking they’re called Gilt Edge Toad Lilies, after doing a little research (these are also the pics that I mentioned in my post about low-key, which were a surprise as a final result, and gave me a little insight of how I should handle the background for those images). ¬†Another part of the garden was filled with bumblebees buzzing around these tiny purple flowers while clinging on to huge chunks of pollen. ¬†While I was just about to go in after my second trip to the garden, since it rained once more, and I was just checking out how things were looking while wet, I spotted the infamous garden visitor; La Tortuga.

My aunt mentioned that she had spotted a turtle one day, but with water nowhere near by, and some pretty thick brush just outside of her fence, we were all a little skeptical. ¬†We kept our eyes open, however, even venturing over to the neighbor’s yard, who said she had spotted it too. ¬†No turtle in sight. ¬†We all assumed it had just moved on, and we would never find it, saying “la tortuga” in that eye-squinted, slowed down¬†whispery type voice every time we mentioned it, like it had bested us. ¬†To my surprise, I turn to walk back inside after snapping a few last shots, and there she was! ¬†Snuggled up by the fence, with her little face tucked under a small plant. ¬†So cute. ¬†I called my grandmother back outside, and we reveled in our small victory. ¬†So as the summer winds down, enjoy a few of these summer creatures and flowers. ¬†Hopefully this won’t be the last I see of these things this year!

Summer to the Rescue

After a busy week of waiting for my dog to act photogenic without any success, I gave up on my previous idea for the “superhero” project. ¬†With time ticking away, I thought I would be at a loss again this week, since I haven’t found anything else¬†to photograph.

Relaxing on a Sunday afternoon without any ideas. ¬†That’s where I was a few hours ago. ¬†Getting ready for a family dinner, after just spending all day out at a not-so-successful craft fair. ¬†I’m a little tired, and a little more sunburned, but I don’t mind. ¬†It was wonderful just being able to spend the whole day outdoors enjoying the warmth and sunshine, even if I got a little too much of it. ¬†While pondering the days events, and hanging out in the back yard with the grill going, that’s when I thought of what could be a great example of a superhero for me: ¬†summer time!

Yes, I know it seems like I can’t get enough of this simple thing, and I talk about it all the time, but I truly love it. ¬†Summer is the time where I feel most adventurous, relaxed, inspired, motivated, and just simply happy. ¬†I literally¬†spend all year looking forward to it, and start missing it the second I realize that it’s leaving, if I’m not already planning on escaping to a place that can give me a temporary taste of summer. ¬†It’s funny when you think of it; summer has no feelings, no intentions, no emotions, no deliberate actions. ¬†It just comes and goes every year. ¬†But it lifts my spirits, and for that I am grateful that this seemingly happenstance of a season occurs every year. ¬†Maybe one day I’ll live in a place that is summer all year round — it’s not like I haven’t started thinking about it.

With everything going on, and running in and out of the house as “grill assistant”, I decided to take advantage of the summer day that we were all enjoying, and capture a few of the simple pleasures in life. ¬†So enjoy my little summer sunday afternoon with the family.