June 17, 2018  •  4 Comments

My desk companion - the Concise Oxford English Dictionary - indicates the meaning of "normal" as "conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected...the normal state or condition."  In both the world of nature as well as the human-created world, very little seems to be "normal" these days.  Due to a lack of moisture in our landscape, all the creatures are doing strange or "abnormal" things.  Not only are more species of birds visiting the water basins, they seem to be having some struggles.  The Say's Phoebe (member of the Tyrant flycatcher family) has thus far built five nests, all of which have been destroyed by the scrub jays looking for eggs.  The jays, along with most of the other birds, are not getting enough to eat to support and feed their own young. The red-shafted flickers are regularly destroying the big ant hills to consume one of their favorite foods.  We may not have been paying attention before, but we have never seen that.  Raven chicks, usually squawking up a storm, are A.W.O.L, at least here.  By this time, the water basins are full of all sorts of disgusting things being soaked by the adult ravens to feed their raven chicks. Not one shred of entrail has shown up.  You probably didn't need that piece of information. And the climate is, in scientific terms, way out of whack. The human-created world is impacting the natural world, and our government is impacting people in gut-wrenching ways.  Many days I think my purpose is to do more serious, photo-journalistic and documentary photography.  But in the chaos, there is still nature's beauty to photograph, and there is certainly room for both.

Working with the second big spray of orchid blossoms this year, on a tiny plant given to us some years ago, I changed backgrounds and times of day for different effect.  Always in the improvisation mode when it comes to backdrops, I used a grey wool vest for the first image.

orchids grey backgroundorchids grey background

The second shot, made with indirect natural light, has a gallery white matte background. 

orchids white backgroundorchids white background

The third is against a flat, black fabric.

orchids black backgroundorchids black background


As soon as the midday shower ended, I headed outside to capture the first daylily blooms of the season.  

day lilyday lily

The flowers are big enough to act as rain collection devices, in the area where the stamens and petals meet.

day lily detailday lily detail


day lily 2day lily 2

Nature will do what it will and perhaps that is one of the "normal" things in this world.

until next Monday,


a passion for the [email protected]






Beautiful! Did you know day lilies are edible?
Wayne Gesterfield(non-registered)
Very nice. For FWIW I don't care for the grey background. I'm drawn to the background trying to figure out what it is.
The one with the white background is nice and airy and friendly.
The black background has the most drama and impact. It really makes you look at the orchids. They jump out and say look at me.

Love the close up of the Daylily, my kind of flower picture.
Steve Immel(non-registered)
Lovely! I always enjoy seeing your carefully designed still lifes as well as flowers in their natural element. The lillies are delicate and graceful and change with the background color. They really pop with the darker background and are more subtle against the lighter one. The close-up of the daylily that reveals the drops of rain is special.

Here's to more rain.
Gorgeous orchid and photographs. Think I like the spray against the black. Really sets off how colorful they are.
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