13 January 2014
Let me know which you prefer and why.
Remember the tradition: “he loves me, he loves me not” said aloud or silently as a petal is plucked. Well, Gerber daisy is a perfect candidate for that ritual (albeit lots of slim petals) where the act is supposed to predict deep affection. I can easily see someone scattering discarded parts of the Gerber to reach the desired outcome.
Over the winter holidays I searched through the refrigerator of my favorite florist for flowers to remind me of spring and summer blooms. When I spied a bucket of luscious pink Gerber daisies, it was an easy choice.
These beauties can be bold and boisterous in deep reds, sunlit yellows and orangey oranges, which can be flamboyantly eye-catching. But I am drawn to the softer pinks and subtle whites, because seen against their dark centers, their flowerheads become soulfully-stunning.
This multi-petaled ornamental (Gerbera jamesonii, discovered in South Africa in 1844) hails from the aster and sunflower family. They’re symbolic of friendship, innocence and purity. They dare you to be sad around them.
Since I live in planting zone 7, I grow them as a summer annual; they make a great partner to geraniums and zinnias. I was pleased to learn that they’re the fifth most celebrated flower (along with carnation, chrysanthemum, rose, and tulip). While they are gorgeous to behold, they are also long blooming and make any floral arrangement sumptuous.
After a few weeks of filling my kitchen with cheer, I noticed their slow demise and decided to keep them as they entered their “spent” phase.
As they dried in vases, I was thoroughly entranced as they clung to the edges of the glass. Little by little that evolved into fainter beauties, but beauties nevertheless.
In the Lens section are three examples. The first two are earlier versions. The last shows one that began to turn yellow. Their appeal continued even in the final stages of their existence.
I found great comfort in their willingness to perk my attention for days and days. As each flower lost its original luster, my love of drying nature’s beauties (what most will toss) was reenforced.
Even as flowers become less than they were, they emerge with a re-definition in coloration and form. This reminds me that the life cycle may take from us, but it also gives back. It returns the notion that nature offer new vistas that we might not imagine or perceive. Our vigilance (seeing the small, even macro, picture of life) is required to appreciate her wisdom.
Tip of the Week: During the gray of winter it’s soul-pumping to view Nikon’s Small World. As their Website explains: “Small World is regarded as the leading forum for showcasing the beauty and complexity of life as seen through the light microscope. The Photomicrography Competition is open to anyone with an interest in microscopy and photography. The video competition, entitled Small World In Motion encompasses any movie or digital time-lapse photography taken through the microscope.” The images are breathtaking and ultra-inspirational. They show the wonders of microscopic photography and its ability to connect us with nature’s majesty. Click here to view Nikon’s Small World; it’s definitely worth it.
View other entries for today’s challenge:
Note: As always I welcome any comment about this post or any part of my blog.
If you’d like to join the fun, please click here for details. If you have any questions about the Phoneography Challenge, please contact me.
Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming Phoneography Challenges:
1st Monday: Nature
2nd Monday: Macro
3rd Monday: Black and White
4th and 5th Mondays: Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).