Finding Africa close to home

Some homework assignments are more fun than others. Learning to use my new 600 mm lens called for a trip to the Pittsburgh Zoo. I have wanted to “get closer” to wildlife in Florida while photographing birds and alligators. And I definitely want to be ready for puffins I will see in Iceland in July. I know I will get the best results from practice.

Mounted on a sturdy monopod and attached to my Nikon D800, my new lens focused on the African lion and tiger today, and brought home these images for you.

#pittsbughzoo, #zoo, #tiger, #wildlife. #lens, #600mmlens, #nikond800
This images shows the tiger’s markings.
#lion, #zoo, #Pittsburghzoo, #600mmlens, #nikond800, #nature, #wildlife
Sleeping male lion. Peaceful.

More Chihuly at NYBG

It’s true: Art helps you to see the world in a fresh new way. First we are attracted to Art for its shape, its color, its sound, its fascination value or its beauty.

#chihuly, #NYBG, #newyork, #botanical, #glass, #art, #sculpture, #nature, #blue
Chihuly’s blue globe radiates white beams, at the New York Botanical Garden.

Next, we relate it to what we know. Third, we begin to see new relationships.

#palm, #tropical, #rockgarden, #inspiration, #NYBG, #newyork, #botanical, #botanicalgarden, #sony
Was Chihuly inspired by the sun, or perhaps by palm trees like these?

 

Chihuly captures nature

The New York Botanical Garden is currently running a stunning Chihuly glass exhibit, and now is great time to visit.  You will find about a dozen installations while you also admire all the spring flowers in bloom and stroll in the beautiful grounds.

It’s no accident that the gifted glass artist Chihuly chooses botanical gardens like Pittsburgh’s Phipps Conservatory or Fort Lauderdale’s botanical garden to display his work. Chihuly glass pieces often take their inspiration from nature, and mimic plant forms with great success.

#chihuly, #leaves, #NYBG, #newyork, #botanical, #botanicalgarden, #plants, #glass, #art, #artimitatesnature, #green, #greenandblue
How beautifully this Chihuly glass sculpture fits in with these tropical plants.

My daughter and I agreed that this was our favorite piece at the New York Botanical Garden installation.

Uncommon colors for May

Photographing flowers at the New York Botanical Garden with my daughter Erin, I was treated to eye dazzling displays of pink and green, especially in the peony garden. But the rock garden offered some different visual treats. One of them was this delicious juxtaposition of velvety crimson and a frosty green. I loved the way the frosty green ferns framed the spherical peony blossom.

#newyork, #botanical, #peony, #red, #redandgreen, #may, #uncommon, #colors, #shapes, #bronx, #nybotanical, #garden, #sony
A refreshing combination of frosty green ferns frame a deep red peony at the New York Botanical Garden.

 

Vibrant Rhododendron

All year I look forward to that special week in May when the rhododendron bloom around my house, and color my garden shades of pale pink, magenta, lavender and deep purple. Somehow these hearty evergreens survive the bitter cold and snowy winters, and then announce loud and clear in May that they do love the Pennsylvania climate. Oh, if only those delicate blooms could last longer than they do.

#house, #spring, #rhododendron, #rhody, #victorian, #pennsylvania, #sewickley
The rhododendron have bloomed two weeks early this year around my house.

Here is a closer view of the blooms.

#spring, #may, #rhododendron, #nature, #sony
One bouquet of rhododendron, partly opened.
#spring, #may, #Ireland, #pennsylvania, #rhododendron, #bloom, #pink
While these rhododendron are blooming in my garden, I recall seeing lush rhododendron in Ireland, also in May. Who knew?

Fishermen at Sunset

I’m attracted to scenes of fishermen, as well as sunsets, because they are timeless. Fishermen, like farmers, go back to Biblical times — those simple days when one fished to feed the family or to make a living. This scene invites me to imagine a time before cars and highways, let alone today’s industries and the World Wide Web.

A sunset? That’s a scene that has repeated itself since the planets were formed, even before humans walked the Earth.

Perhaps the persistence of the fisherman and the sunset through the ages makes me feel peace when I observe and photograph this quiet scene, in Naples, Florida.

#sunset, #fishermen, #orange, #naples, #florida, #pelicanbay, #peaceful, #orangeandblue
Fishermen in silhouette before the sunset over the Gulf in Naples, Florida.

Whirl of White Dogwood

Fresh white dogwood blossoms against a deep blue sky add up to brilliant Spring day.  This presentation, a photo with intentional camera movement, combines white, blue and green colors as well as the organic shapes in a unique way.

#white, #flowers, #may, #spring, #bluesky, #icm, #unique, #art, #nature
White dogwood in bloom on a perfect Spring day.

I love the painterly ripples around the outside of the swirl. This image is asking to be made into a large metal print. How does it make you feel?