Regular Random: five minutes with cavolo nero flower buds

Close up shot looking down onto pale yellow cavolo nero flower buds radiating from stem.  Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Cavolo nero flower buds. Image; Su Leslie, 2017

This year is the first I’ve grown cavolo nero in my garden, so I had no idea what to expect when the plants started to go to seed. Certainly not the mass of beautiful and delicate yellow flowers radiating from a slender stem.

And because there is something quite ethereal about the flowers, I couldn’t resist editing a few shots in aged b&w.

Five Minutes of Random (the #RegularRandom challenge) is hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist. 

If you’d like to join in:

  • choose a subject or a scene
  • spend five minutes photographing it – no more!
  • try to see it from many angles, look through something at it, change the light that’s hitting it
  • tag your post #regularrandom and ping back to Desley’s post
  • have fun!
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Regular Random: five minutes getting up close with clematis

Close up colour shot looking into clematis flower with radiating stamen filling the shot. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Clematis stamen. Image; Su Leslie, 2017

The neighbour’s clematis is in full flower, cascading over our shared fence and providing a beautiful burst of colour and texture.

Close up shot of clematis flower, focusing on yellow stamen. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Clematis. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

I’ve photographed the flowers and buds before, but was particularly taken this time with clustering and texture of the vivid yellow stamen.

Five Minutes of Random (the #RegularRandom challenge) is hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist. 

If you’d like to join in:

  • choose a subject or a scene
  • spend five minutes photographing it – no more!
  • try to see it from many angles, look through something at it, change the light that’s hitting it
  • tag your post #regularrandom and ping back to Desley’s post
  • have fun!

The Changing Seasons: September 2017

Close up colour shot of water droplet hanging from white plum blossom petal. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Water droplet hanging from plum blossom. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

I really like the way that writing a monthly Changing Seasons post makes me look back over the photos I’ve taken, trying to find a theme that captures some sense of the month that’s gone. On occasion, there’s a single image that pops out at me and says “I’m the one.”

And so it is for September. A month of darling buds and constant rain; of birthdays and high politics. A month of uncertainties and an ever-shifting “normal.”

There is a sense that life, in many ways, hangs like the water droplet. Falling is inevitable — the question only is will the drop fall in a place where it does good, or harm? But unlike water droplets, we have some ability to choose where we land.

The Changing Seasons  is a blogging challenge hosted by Cardinal Guzman with two versions: the original (V1) which is purely photographic and the new version (V2) where you can allow yourself to be more artistic and post a painting, a recipe, a digital manipulation, or simply just one photo that you think represents the month.

These are the rules, but they’re not written in stone – you can always improvise, mix & match to suit your own liking:

The Changing Seasons V1:

Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery.
Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.

The Changing Seasons V2:

Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
Each month, post one photo (recipe, painting, drawing, whatever) that represents your interpretation of the month.
Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!

On birthdays, bugs and being grateful

Close-up shot of orange lily stamen coated in pollen. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Lily stamen. Image: Su Leslie, 2017. Shot with Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 IS USM macro lens

Well the election gods haven’t (so far — hung parliament) come through with the new government I wanted for my birthday, AND I’ve managed to spend the last 36 hours feeling utterly miserable from a gastro-bug-thingy , BUT …

… the Big T floored me with a particularly thoughtful and wonderful birthday gift.

I’ve been dithering for ages about buying a macro lens, and now I am the ecstatic owner of a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 IS USM macro lens. I’m a bit hopeless with technical terminology, but even from my first experiments, I can tell this lens is seriously cool.

Unknown micro-plant with slender stem and large overhanging oval seed heads or flowers. Seen growing in ponga logs, Waitakere Ranges, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

I have no idea what these are, but I found them growing out of punga (silver tree fern) logs in the Waitakere Ranges. The tallest stem was about 5cm. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Unknown micro-plant with slender stem and large overhanging oval seed heads or flowers. Seen growing in punga logs, Waitakere Ranges, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Otherworldly. Unknown micro-plant found growing in punga logs, Waitakere Ranges, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

As my interest in photography has grown, I’m turning my lens more and more on nature, and particularly on the tiny details. In a world that I find increasingly — well, scary — I am comforted and sustained by the beauty and resilience of the smallest life forms.

And by the love of the good people like the Big T. And not just for the awesome gift — I’m even more grateful for his thoughtful compassion and nursing skills — especially at 3am when I’m sick and grumpy and, frankly, stink.