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Tag Archives: Flora

Flowering Dogwoods Taking Their Bow

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Flowering dogwood (cornus florida) blooms
Central Maryland (April 2017)
Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 24-70/1.8-2.8

Flowering dogwoods are another of my favorite springtime trees, along with flowering cherry trees and red buds.  And maples.  And magnolias.  And…  And… And…

Aw, shoot; let’s be honest here — if it blooms and is even remotely attractive to look at, it’s in my list of favorites.

I used to think that spring was my single-most favorite time of the year, but the truth is that I like them all… I enjoy the constant, subtle changes and transitions that we go through during the course of 12 months.

But… getting back to spring, I always associate flowering dogwoods with Easter.  Why?  Because that’s when I formally noticed them for the first time. Continue Reading →

Relief Valve

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Some variety of cherry(?) blossoms
Central Maryland (March 2017)
Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 24-70/1.8-2.8

I can’t speak for others, but going outside for a noontime photowalk and getting a nature fix is my best antidote to dealing with the heavy pressures of the office.  Far more than anything else, getting the opportunity to meander around with a camera, taking snippets of what I like and enjoy, helps immensely. Continue Reading →

Mixed Emotions

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Blue hyacinths in the snow
Central Maryland (March 2017)
Sony a6300 + Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5 ZM

Our latest winter storm blew through late this past Monday night, and the image above — taken the day before yesterday — is what it looks like after a lot of the snow has already melted.  The dichotomy is striking, but the damage to the blooms and buds in our area from the wintry mix of ice and snow — plus the unseasonably cold temperatures — is going to go deep this year.

Below is what this same plant looked like on March 5th last year.  Oh, and don’t think we couldn’t have more wintry weather yet this season; you can see more snowy images in the posts I shared of a very late winter storm back on March 30, 2014, both here and here.

Blue hyacinth on my way into work
Central Maryland (March 2016)
Sony RX1R II + Zeiss Sonnar 35/2.0

Continue Reading →

Two Founders

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The Washington and Jefferson Memorials
The Tidal Basin, Washington, DC (March 2017)
Sony a6300 + Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5 ZM

Washington, DC, is filled with many dozens — if not hundreds — of monuments and architectural wonders that you could spend years fully exploring… or so it is with me.  I observe a new detail every time that I go down there for a business meeting or personal visit, and this instance was no different. Continue Reading →

Cue the Music… Here Come the Cherry Blossoms!

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Blooms on the indicator tree
Tidal Basin, Washington, DC (March 2017)
Sony a6300 + Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5 ZM

I’ve heard since at least last week that the cherry blossoms in DC are on a tear and are already popping.  Uh… sorta yes and a lotta no. Continue Reading →

Winter Panoramas

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Looking south-southwest toward Kentucky and VirginiaSpruce Knob, West Virginia (February 2017)Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

Looking south-southwest toward Kentucky and Virginia
Spruce Knob, West Virginia (February 2017)
Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

Last weekend we drove to West Virginia for a nature fix — our term for some rest and relaxation in the wilds.  First we tried the east entrance to Dolly Sods (closed), then the south entrance to Dolly Sods (closed), then the front entrance to Seneca Rocks (closed), the Seneca Rocks visitor center (closed), local national forest campground (closed), and finally the entrance to Spruce Knob, the highest point in the state.

It was open.  Yay! Continue Reading →

The New Normal?

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Daffodils are popping outCentral Maryland (February 2017)Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

Daffodils are popping out
Central Maryland (February 2017)
Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

The weather here in central Maryland has been out of the ordinary this winter… not much in the way of cold temperatures; no measurable accumulations of snow (yet); hardly any ice (the local ponds skimmed over for only a couple of days so far); the birds haven’t cleaned us out of seed; etc.

Definitely not “normal”. Continue Reading →

Video Link: Seasons of Norway

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Imminent Color

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Daffodils about to bloomCentral Maryland (February 2017)Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

Daffodils about to bloom
Central Maryland (February 2017)
Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

I don’t know how many degrees above normal our region has been during this winter, but we normally don’t see daffodils at this stage of growth for another month and a half at least.

My Kind of Sundowner

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Watching the sunsetCentral Maryland (December 2016)Sony RX100 III + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

Watching the sunset
Central Maryland (December 2016)
Sony RX100 III + Zeiss Sonnar 1.8-2.8/24-70mm

We live near Washington, DC… but most people don’t realize that this region isn’t yet a megalopolis like other major urban centers; i.e., New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, etc.  The really dense areas of the DC region are generally contained within the 20-mile diameter of the Washington Beltway, although urban blight has slowly been creeping out to the suburbs and rural areas beyond since the mid-1970’s.  The small community where we live is in the middle of a designated agricultural zone, part of which you see in this image.

Will it remain this way forever?  Sadly, no. Continue Reading →