Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

22 April 2008

Still In Flower Mode

Trout lilies are blooming. When I get this close to them, I can see that they do indeed fit into the Liliaceae family. Look, cinnamon speckles in the throat, even!

I'm not sure Fuji still makes the camera I'm taking these with, but they probably offer a similar model. It's the FinePix S700 with 7.1 megapixels, and it was around $250. The contrast with Mr. Snapshot, my old camera, is mind-bending.

I found it so frustrating not to be able to take pictures of individual flowers.

It probably wouldn't have been so bad, except I started out with a Canon AE-1 Program and a set of close-up lenses. I even bought a microscope mount for it.

Switching to a digital camera wasn't that hard: switching to a camera that said "minimum focus distance 30" was!

For example, here are the flower buds of one of my two ailing redbuds, Cercis canadensis, not yet open, growing right out of a big lower branch about two inches or so in diameter. This was not a picture Mr. Snapshot would take.

Redbuds are one of a handful of leguminous, nitrogen-fixing trees. They usually bloom about the same time as dogwoods. They look great with a white dogwood, but personally I think they contrast badly with pink-flowered dogwoods.

Since the flowers grow right out of the live wood, the effect at a distance is like one of those snowy mornings where every branch is limned with new snow -- new snow that happens to be purplish-pink. (And I don't believe I've ever used the word "limned" before. Or heard a live human say it.)

I'll probably be waging my war against the myrtle, Vinca minor, for the foreseeable future. This photo shows why:

Towards the top of the photo are some of my purple and white scented violets. Off to the right is a vinca/myrtle/periwinkle flower. (Usually they have five petals - technically lobes - but this one has four, and sometimes they'll have six.)

The glossy oval leaves in the picture all belong to the myrtle. Violets have a heart-shaped leaf. If you scan around, you can find some violet leaves starting to unfurl near the top right. But you can see that more myrtle leaves show than violet leaves.

I am not one of the Grass People who must have a perfect, smooth, grass-only greensward rolling off into the distance. My philosophy is that it should be short, easy to mow, and reasonably green. The myrtle wouldn't bother me if it didn't choke out other plants: violets, the grass, and trout lilies.

But it does. So I've been fighting a holding action ever since I caught it in the act of strangling a patch of trout lilies.

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Blogger Donna Lee said...

I am with you on the lawn thing. I don't particularly mind what grows as long as we can mow it down to a workable height. (We've been known to grow buckwheat and winter wheat to strengthen the soil). I have those same weed/flowers all over my back yard. We pull them up by the bunches but they always come back. Stubborn little buggers.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Knitting Linguist said...

I'm very amused by your description of periwinkle -- it really does take over, doesn't it! (But, when I was a kid, it was the perfect place to hide when we played hide and go seek. If you found a deep patch and lay down in it and didn't move, no one would find you unless they stepped on you!) The pictures are just wonderful, as was the use of the word "limn" ;)

6:00 PM  
Blogger Bells said...

You're right - the speckles ARE cinnamon! How beautiful. Thanks for both the upclose and the longer shot. It's nice to see it's quite a little flower.

go get that lawn sorted!

6:31 PM  
Blogger Rose Red said...

It's amazing what a difference a good camera can make - we upgraded at Christmas time, and why my old Mr Snapshot could do pretty good closeups, it had practically no zoom. Now I've got whopper zoom! weeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

12:00 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Somehow my myrtle started off around the edges and my violets are towards the middle, so they don't compete much that I notice. I am noticing that the violets are having a tough time competing with the oregano in the side yard, time to start giving away oregano I guess!

1:11 PM  
Blogger Roxie said...

Love the flowers. Trout lillies are cool! Excellent use of "Limned!"

1:33 PM  

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