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These two images certainly have a completely different feel don't they?

You would think that all I photograph are flowers, and you would be right about 60% of the time. If you live in the frozen North it is hard to imagine the tropics. We don't live in the tropics, but almost.

On my way to the museum today I spotted this burst of color along a major highway I take, but because I was running a tiny bit late, I didn't stop. I did stop on the way home however. I walked up to see this beautifully colored dahlia decorating the highway. Because there is finally a cold front coming (about time--it is January after all) rain was just beginning to fall. Nonetheless I shot these two images--one toward the other bushes, the other from underneath which was quite a challenge. I wanted to get the blank, gray sky as my canvas. I waited for traffic to abate a bit, got down on the sidewalk, and here is the result. It really pops against the sky--I can only imagine what it will look like tomorrow when blue skies return.

Back to the flower thing. Today I paid attention to all the flowers in bloom and the array is staggering. In fact, I'm going to try and recall them for you:
Hibiscus in yellow, white, red, pink, and orange. To the best of my knowledge they don't come in purple.
Daisies in yellow, lavendar, pink, and white with deep, bluish-purple center.
Magenta hollyhocks
Bird of Paradise
Roses in every hue
Camellias in white and pink
Pansies in yellow and purple
Azaleas are starting, mostly in pink for now
Tabebuia trees in gorgeous yellow
Pink Nectarine and Peach blossoms
African Iris
Geraniums in pink and red
And that is all I can recall at the moment, not to mention those that I don't know their names. So that is why I take lots of flower pictures, because they are everywhere waiting to show their beauty in an image.

While at the museum I spoke with another volunteer, an older gentleman who works in the gardens. Last week he asked me about my camera and I gave him some advice. Today he came in with a huge bag of tangelos to barter (yeah, more fresh juice!!) for more advice. He described a scene he wanted to photograph, asking what settings to use on his film camera. Of course I didn't really know, but I did the best I could.

Mainly I'm sharing this with you because his story resonated with me. Turns out he was a high powered trauma surgeon for years, and years, before retiring in 2000. He wears hearing aids and says his eyesight is not so good. He described his state of mind after retiring--despondent. He was used to working 70-80 hours a week and didn't know what to do with himself once he retired because he'd had no time to develop interests outside of work. He was driving not only himself crazy, but his wife as well. After talking to a psychiatrist he knew, he started to get going a bit. By a weird fluke he ended up at the Polasek and it has given him a new lease on life. He is beginning to learn all about flowers from Mr. Randy, the horticulturist at the museum, and gaining an appreciation for plant life. He told me he was astonished at the cellular similarities with the human body. I told him how fascinated I am with plant architecture after getting so close to so many different plants. The colors and structures are so diverse--somewhat like we are....

For now I've retired from taking x-rays, and semi-retired from being a mom. I'm glad I've found something that not only brings me immense pleasure, but on some level, others as well.

Listening to: Bird, Andrew - Opposite Day
via FoxyTunes

Listening to: The Rapture - Sister Saviour
via FoxyTunes

Listening to: The Music - Bleed From Within
via FoxyTunes

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