Not what it seems…

Spanish moss adds mood o the scene. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

It is a prolific plant in Florida. Visitors are told that Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides) is an invasive, choking pest, harming trees and other plants that it inhabits. Its dense clusters do seem to cover its hosts. The strange truth is that it is a member of the pineapple family; with tiny flowers that I have yet to see because to see them requires a microscope. I have tried zooming in on the photographs I’ve taken but have yet to find any flower; so perhaps my timing was off, and I did not capture them during their bloom time.

Truth is that Spanish Moss, aka Grandpa’s Beard, is an air plant getting its food and water from the atmosphere. Its host plants provide only a resting place though it has been known to be so dense that the host plant does not enough sunlight and therefore suffers. Folklore is that the plant, “The Meanest Man That Ever Lived”, was from an old man’s hair that grew very, very long and caught on the trees. Things are often not what they seem. But the stories are fun.

Grandpa’s Beard?! Coyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Beautiful and eerie. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Close-up Spanish Moss. Copyright 2018, Pamela Breitberg

Tree enveloped by Spanish Moss. Copyright 2018, Pamela Breitberg

Freshly fallen…

Still lovely, as it’s freshly fallen off the stem. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Multiple stages of life appear on this perennial. Flowering averages three weeks on summer perennials. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg

Today there was an abundance of fallen flowers. What surprised me was the falling of complete flowers; usually petals fall one at a time. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

To edit or not to edit…

I do not usually alter my photographs. But I’m trying a new program that can easily make amazing changes to a landscape image. The first image is the original image; the second is the altered image. Which do you like best? Why? PLEASE let me know your thoughts!! Thanks.

Original image of Chicago and Lake Michigan. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Manipulated image. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Portrait of Chicago…

These Allium are ornamental yet apropos to be a statement in Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo. These Allium are a variety of onion. Chicago means “wild onion”, so fitting they are among the wild animals.

The single bright bloom is complemented by the just-past-prime flowers surrounding it, keeping attention on itself.

Essence in a portrait…

Lotus portrait. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Lotus portrait. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

One’s appearance changes as one’s point of view shifts. This is true for persons as well as other objects observed. Photographic portraits seem, by the nature of being a photograph, to depict the subject in an unbiased, impartial manner. Other, non-photographic portraits are mere “likenesses”, “representations”, “portrayals”, or “depictions”. The latter portraits may not be seen as exact and true. All portraits can be insightful into the essence of a being (animal or plant).

The images here show different characteristics of this Lotus. The overall image provides background information; it tells where the flower is in relation to its setting. The closer images show details of this species. Most portraits are straightforward in pose; a back view tells yet another story of this same flower. Which image is most demonstrative is always dependent on the viewer.

Rear view. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Rear view. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Closeup portrait. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Closeup portrait. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Lotus in the water pond. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Lotus in the water pond. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Deceptive image…

True, unaltered image. But untruthful representation of a prairie. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

True, unaltered image. But untruthful representation of a prairie. Copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

The prairie is a favorite hangout for me. Grasses are the dominant species of the Midwest prairie. Blue skies and accompanying white fluffy Cumulus clouds are prime background to show off the vastness of the prairie. A prairie in the midst of suburban Chicago offers a treasured environs of solace. Maidengrass (Miscanthus sinensis) is not to found however, in a native prairie. This Eurasian import is a perennial in this climate, and it found only in human-created landscapes.

This patch of Maidengrass occupies only about nine square feet at the parking lot curb entrance to my doctor’s office. This morning they caught my attention because of their gentle swaying against the bright autumn sky. It was a tiny piece of non-native wilds that brightened my morning.

Portrait of a friend or foe…

What does this spring beauty stir in your mind? Regards, new life, unrequited love, or egoism? There seem to be as many meanings associated with Daffodils are there are peoples who have enjoyed its beauty. And I know this lovely brings negative thoughts for those that suffer allergic ills when too close.

Late afternoon sun lit the daffodil in these portraits. Digital images have the ability to capture details and texture under high contrast light that film was never able to render.

For more confusion on what the name “Daffodil” means:  http://thedaffodilsociety.com/wordpress/miscellany/daffodilsthe-language-of-flowers/

Sunlit portrait of Daffodil, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Sunlit portrait of Daffodil, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Portrait 2, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Portrait 2, copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Straight forward portrait of Daffodil, copyright 2015, Pamela Breitberg

Straight forward portrait of Daffodil, copyright 2015, Pamela Breitberg

After the first impression…

Wildlife setting at edge of forest, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Wildlife setting at edge of forest, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

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Closer portrait of perennial’s fall stage of life; copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

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Seed head with seed under already-gone seed pod; copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Close up of fuzzy, detail full, seed head; copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Close up of fuzzy, detail full, seed head; copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

At first glance what is seen is past-its-prime dead weeds in front of the colorful fall foliage. Getting closer shows dried leaves and seed heads standing tall, contrasting with the still alive tree leaves. Still closer shows evidence that the “life cycle” progression of the season varies even on one the single stalk of one perennial. The closest image shows the intricate details of nature.

I am unsure of the exact species shown in these images; the location must be returned to next year during summer’s mid-season for better identification. Such is the fun of being an aspiring naturalist.

Sunlit colors…

Always interesting to see how the sun’s light changes by the moment, creating different moods and coloring on one scene. These images were taken within five minutes of each other. I did change the direction that the camera was facing in relation to the sunlight, which is one reason for color shifts.

Backlit Snowball in morning light, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Backlit Snowball in morning light, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Snowball Bush in morning light, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Snowball Bush in morning light, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Front lit Snowball Bush in morning light; copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Front lit Snowball Bush in morning light; copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg