Wildflower Wednesdays: Louseworts Aren’t Lousy

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The name louseworts share really isn’t deserved.

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Wildflower Wednesdays: Forget Me the Flowers

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Ne m’oubilez pas?

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Wildflower Wednesdays: Blowin’ in the Wind

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Everyone knows dandelions, known scientifically as Taraxacum officinale.

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Wildflower Wednesdays: Anemones in the Air

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For this week’s Wildflower Wednesday, I present: a flower of whose identity I am not at all certain.

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Wildflower Wednesdays: Clusters of Color

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Ladies and gentlemen, I present you the clustered rhodiola.

It isn’t the standard wildflower: hasn’t got a visible pollen center, not strictly defined petals. It survives all year round, favoring rock crevices, where it can grow easily, but flowers from June till August.

This one was spotted at Tarsar Pass, overlooking the beautiful blue Tarsar lake and after nearly an hour of hard trekking up a slope far too steep to look back down. The red is striking in a world of grey and blue and green, a little clump of fire at the top of the world.

Wildflower Wednesdays

Our hike in the Himalayas last August was not defined by its birds, surprisingly enough. Rather, it was defined by its flowers.

I tend to avoid flowers, except when as an attraction for butterflies, as a photography subject: stationary plants seem too easy, too facile. But the sheer range we saw in the mountains made me a convert, at least for the duration of the trip. The sheer range! The colors! The fields upon fields of them! (The fact I had no birds to distract me only helped matters.) And I found myself taking my camera out more and more in an endeavor to capture them. Over the next few weeks(? Months? Years? Centuries?) I’m going to be sharing my photographs with you every other Wednesday.

First up: the Cutleaf Buttercup. Not having access to a field guide (or the Internet) for that week, however, made us have to make up our own names. Thus, we named this, instead, the Kashmir Sun-glory. It’s a much better name, I think. 😛

Considering the amount we saw it, we needed a name for it. Meadows were blanketed with them – endless stretches of yellow, forever and ever, brushing the horizon, varnishing the slopes in gold. They brought a humanity to the vistas we confronted every step we took – took it down to the level of a single bee, humming its way from plant to plant; formed the ranges in the microcosm of a single petal drifting to the ground.

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The Blossoming

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I have some very, very exciting news to share, but that will have to wait till Tuesday, unfortunately.

Till then, have some details of what I am tentatively labelling apple blossoms, spotted at the ever-fruitful (I AM FUNNY AND NO ONE CAN TELL ME OTHERWISE) Llobregat Delta.

Instragramming

So here’s a fact: cameras are not the most portable of items. Especially mine, which weighs a good two kilograms when complemented with my long lens for bird photography. And therefore it is inconvenient, as much as I would like to, to carry it around with me everywhere.

Enter the smartphone, portable camera extraordinaire, whose photographs, while maybe not that great, are something, at least. With the help of a couple of manual camera apps and editors, I have braved the world of social media and forged my way into that most dreaded of places – Instagram.

It’s constaining and freeing at the same time, smartphone cameras. On one hand they pretty much die in low lighting, on the other hand that provides greater room for experimentation with adjusting exposure compensation, etc. Editing the photographs, too, often becomes much heavier than anything I do to my other photographs on this blog, and allows me to transform them beyond just a picture into what I’d like to imagine is art, however horrible.

I’ve put a collection of some of my photographs on Instagram below; if you’d like to see more do visit me (@crazynaturetype). What are your thoughts on smartphone photography? Let me know in the comments!

Blossom

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Kullu, Himachal Pradesh is famous for its apples. It being fall when we went, all the trees were bare, but here and there an occasional blossom lingered: intimations of what was to come.

Eclipse – Black and White Challenge Day 2

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Day two of the black and white challenge is here, and with it, a romp through the photo archives.

I missed the famed lunar eclipse by simple virtue of forgetting about it but caught a brilliantly red moon the next day. However, my lens proved too short to capture it properly (as expected). Rather than a boring shot of the (almost) full moon, I decided to try for an ‘eclipse’ of my own with a bit of bokeh. The flowers of the plumeria tree proved willing subjects and after finally figuring out how to manipulate my tripod to point upwards rather than forwards, I got this.