Hawaiian islands abound with lush vegetation and colourful flora. From the thousand-limbed banyan tree to the dreamy fragrance of plumeria, from dense bamboo forests to multi-coloured varieties of hibiscus, from the macadamia plantations to the cone ginger flowers, from the… you get the idea. Today’s first instalment of the Maui Flora: the plumeria, symbol of the “romantic tropics.” Once you’ve allowed the scent of a plumeria to enchant you, you will never forget the experience or the perfume.
Plumeria blooms are found in flowering bushes or on the tips of the branches of a leafless tree. The flower is used extensively in the composition of the Hawaiian lei, and worn as a single bloom in a woman’s hair, behind the ear: the right ear if she’s “taken,” the left if she’s “available.”
The first snowflakes
Hesitate to touch down
And melt on your lips
Flowers, always flowers…
I never tire of photographing flowers.
I can spend hours in the English Gardens, examining every detail, breathing every perfume. Dreaming…
The time of day, the cloud cover, the breeze, the crowds, the insects, the sounds, all contribute to an ever-changing experience.
Proximity, angle, composition, groupings, geometry, shadows, focus, depth of field…
The star of one becomes the supporting cast of another.
Once in the flower’s space—or allowing it to enter my own personal space—a unique bond is created, if only for a few moments. Every detail is exposed for the eye to see; pollen, petals, pistils, stamens, stems, leaves. Every curve, every flaw. Within mere centimetres, I find myself holding my breath, conscious of the stillness of the subject, not wanting to disturb it.
Can the flower feel my presence? Does it sense the intensity of the look, the scrutiny? I think not.
Does it understand the joy it creates, this elation, this sense of wonder?
And when the summer showers can no longer sustain it, and the gardener’s watering can has emptied for one last time, the flower begins its final journey.
A different look: colours waning, petals wilting, leaves shriveling, seeds falling, covering the ground at its feet, melting into the soil for the next generations to come. Or for itself, preparing for a long winter, until the time is right, once again…
I never tire of photographing flowers.
Infinite palette over green canvas
Who could imagine all these patterns
As light and shadows take their turns
To highlight your petals’ softness
If you’re like me, you probably thought this was a bee or a wasp.
In fact, it only looks like a bee or a wasp, for protection.
A brief research quickly cleared things up.
It is a Hoverfly (also referred to as the flower fly, or the syrphid fly).
The hoverfly and I were both attracted by the same beauty: a rose.
An English Tea Rose I believe.
Love at first sight…
The second instalment of my English Gardens collection (Hemerocallis).
An explosion of colours and shapes!
Soft, sensuous, graceful, inviting, enchanting…
Petals appear to float against the sky.
Pleasing contrast of edges, hues, and blues,
Play of light, colours and shadows: beauty.
Each variety its own floral kaleidoscope.
Daily ritual, dance, clockwork, morning to night.
Come rain or shine, cycle of life:
Lonely pistil, sign of what has been
Shrivelled, dark flowers who gave their all
Pollen-coated stamen ripe for the picking
Buds awaiting their turn, sign of what’s to come.
Names evoking faraway places and times:
Casablanca, Scheherazade, Speciosum Rubrum
Ice Caves, Quintessence, Lilium Auratum.
So difficult to leave them. One last look.
Heartened with knowing
They will return next spring…
I treasure my visits to the English Gardens at Assiniboine Park.
From the moment I walk through the gate with trepidation and anticipation, until the very last second when I chance one last, longing look, I find myself in a trance-like state.
I am there but I am not, really.
The colours, the shapes, the movements hypnotize me, take me by the hand and lead me along the many paths. I don’t think; I think of nothing yet my senses are most alert, on edge. My eyes scan every inch, afraid to miss anything.
All this beauty invites, attracts, enthralls.
I look, recognize, compose, shoot, again and again. One last time is never the last time, never ending. It cannot be…
Bathing among the statues in their green, translucent liquid garden, the nenuphars oscillate at the rhythm of the fountain. Their bright colours in stark contrast to the deep greens of the leaves–a frog’s hammock–and the reflections on the surface of the inky pond.
All drink in the sunlight.
Nothing Nature ever does is simply for our viewing pleasure…
Yet we have been given the best seats.
Colours, shapes, sounds, perfumes: perfection.
Can you see?
And the show is free!
Soft rain drops hung to your petals
Like salty tears from her eyelashes
A brief shiver shook all but the last one free
The zephyr had saved it just for me
Wait a minute!
What’s that you say?
Although you whispered,
I heard you.
If you were right beside me
Would you still whisper
And say it again?