Top 10 pix of 2012

Like Les at Tidewater Gardener who is organizing this best pix meme, I couldn’t keep it to 10.  So here is a baker’s dozen of my favorites in roughly chronological order.  This exercise made me realize that I didn’t take as many pix this year, but spent a lot of time fiddling with pictures and scans.  This year’s resolution is to get the camera out more.

Actually, this is from just before Christmas 2011, but didn’t post until Jan. 2. Early morning sun on a spot where the snow further blurs the border between plantings and the wilds beyond. A close second from the same post was this shot of lettuce ready for harvest on New Year’s.
new year's pix

Snowdrops in Minns Garden, Cornell University, Feb. 2012. The warm, open winter got me out shooting the spring ephemerals earlier than usual.  Sheltered spots like this on campus can be a week or so ahead of my blooms at home.

Time lapse I made of the titan arum flowering at Cornell, March. This was probably the highlight of my year.  More than 10,000 visited in person.  Half a million tuned in via the live feed.  The researchers gave me a couple of seeds a few weeks ago and they are nestled into the most watched pots in the house.  The seed head is even more beautiful than the flower, in my estimation.  You can see it and more pix here.

Crocus, March.  I misssed a lot of the early ephemerals working 24/7 on the titan arum.  Temps went up into the upper 70s that week and they blew by while I was at work, but was able to catch some of the early action.
fast forward spring

Willow, March.  Willows are well-suited to my mostly wet ground.  Yes, they can be rather plain.  But when they flower, I’m in heaven.
fast forward spring

And then scan manipulation mania hit: Nectaroscordum siculum ssp. bulgaricum, Salix integra ‘Hakuro-nishiki’.  Someone on Pinterest grabbed some of my bloom day scans and fiddled around with them, basically just flipping the images vertically and horizontally and piecing them together.  Soon, I started composing the scans with these 4-pane manipulations in mind.
flower mandala

Later on, I found a recipe for making kaleidoscopic images from scans, and piece them together into honeycomb mosaics.  This one is a classic optical illusion — not that that’s what I was shooting for — from a scan of bottlebrush buckeye, if I recall correctly.
july bloom day scans

Canna mosaic.  Am considering making ceramic tiles or fabric from some of these.
summer scans

Joe Pye weed, August.
eupatorium and salva

Frosted dahlia, October.

Grass seedheads, November. This one made a nice kaleidoscope mosaic.
grass seedheads

Florists cyclamen, December. I did this in a little temporary makeshift studio using light from the north window in my office.
florists cyclamen

And I couldn’t resist fiddling with it some more.
florists cyclamen

Gotta go shovel out. Doesn’t look like we got the foot or more that was predicted overnight. But there’s enough to work up a sweat.

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Happy holidays from Ogunquit, Maine

Actually, we’re back in Ithaca, recovering from a holiday family celebration at the Dragonfly Guest House (recently acquired by my brother-in-law Charles and his partner David) in Ogunquit, Maine. I highly recommend the town in general and the guest house in particular. This time of year, the population is about 1,500. During the season, it’s upward of 80,000. So we more or less had the beaches, the trail along the Maine coast and the shops to ourselves. This place is definitely worth checking out.

Here’s a local lobsterman’s Christmas decorations made of lobster traps stacked and decorated as a Christmas tree in his yard. Wish I’d grabbed the camera on my morning walks to watch the sunrise. But you’ll have to visit yourself to have that experience.

lobster pot tree

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