Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Challenger’s Choice-Portrait (of a Pitcher Plant)

23 January 2017


Pitcher Plant Flower, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Pitcher Plant Flower, Longwood Gardens; Copyright © 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Click onto image to enlarge. Let me know what you think about my photograph. Prints are available upon request.


Longwood Gardens is a ritual. I’ve been taking my grandchildren there for their entire existence. The most recent trip was with my grandson who becomes at one with the ambience of the gardens as well as his camera.

We waited until the beginning of the month, because we wanted to stroll through the winter holiday displays sans crowds. Our arrival in the Conservatory was a few days before the exhibition’s last hurrah. We were in horticultural heaven, especially content and grateful in the throes of wintry weather.

My grandson is drawn to the unusual, and certainly the family of Pitcher Plants fits his visual sensibilities. As a youngster, he was enamored with the Venus Flytrap. Even today it pulls him into its charm.

But the true treat during this visit was the flowering Sarracenia sp. of the Pitchers with their slippery leaves. This species is found in the Southeast of North America, and their colorful performance made it doubly hard to dislodge our attention.

These eloquent flowers seemed to be peeling away their inner secrets, and the grey day emphasized their dramatic appearance. The display had them in the usual trays, and these tropical plants were backlit by the melancholy afternoon. It gave the blooms a greater appeal, and kept us spying longer than we’ve ever spent at that permanent grouping.

Every experience–inside or out–there reminds me of the way nature and human nature shore each other’s presence. Descriptors abound such as longevity, resilience, stamina, strength in the face of odds for and against continuance.

Our experience is a clear indication of why repeat visits to the gardens always unveils new discoveries. Longwood Gardens is a true year-round national treasure, and fortunately for us just a forty-five journey north.

Tip of the Week:

The Orchid Extravaganza at Longwood Gardens began this weekend. Each year the exhibition has varieties that stir the senses and brighten the moodiness brought by winter’s bare landscape. I’ll make it my destination this month, just waiting for the crowds to lessen. Here’s a peek from their site: “As one of the first plant collections at Longwood, orchids have held a place of distinction since 1922. Our talented horticulturists celebrate the beauty and variety of orchids with an artful display that includes a towering 12-foot-tall archway made up of pink Phalaenopsis orchids, giant orbs of orchids, our spectacular purple and white orchid curtain, and more than 200 colorful Vanda hanging from above in our Silver Garden.”

If you are on the East Coast of the USA between now and 31 March, please try to visit this world-renown horticultural treasure. It always perks the spirits and inspires the heart. And keeps me hungry for Spring to arrive.

Paphiopedilum Hsinying Magic Voodoo Orchid, Longwood Gardens; © 2012 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Paphiopedilum Hsinying, Magic Voodoo Orchid, Longwood Gardens; © 2012 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

View other entries for this week’s challenge:


As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.

****If you would like to buy a print of any of my photographs or have any questions, please view the Contact Information found on the masthead. Thank you.

If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming challenges:

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Panorama, Portraiture, Photomontage, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.

This entry was posted in Digital Art, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Challenger’s Choice-Portrait (of a Pitcher Plant)

  1. A most unusual flower, Sally. Beautifully photographed. 😃

  2. So simple and so beautiful. What more can I say…

  3. Maria F. says:

    Very nice! This subject isolation is a favorite of mine. If I don’t get it in the camera, I get it with Photoshop and layers.

  4. prior.. says:

    Good idea to visit the gardens when the crowd thins…
    and I love your pitcher plant flower- beautiful.

  5. Su Leslie says:

    I love the dancing swirls of colour in this shot. Perfect against a pure white background.

  6. simply beautiful. A very unusual flower!

  7. Beautiful, Sally. At first glance, the colourful curves reminded me of apple peel spirals. The flower is stunning against the white background.

  8. Virginia Duran says:

    I wish I was in that side of the world. Love horticulture and enjoyed reading about the experience with your grandchildren. This is going to sound funny given that I’ve know your blog for a long time now but I always thought you were in your 20s. Congratulations on your fresh take on the blog!

  9. elisa ruland says:

    I have so many wonderful memories of Longwood Gardens, Sally. I’m happy you brought me back there. Lovely photograph.

  10. The pitcher plant looks like it’s made of plastic or other materials, as if a modern piece of art.

  11. Nato says:

    Glorious shot! It is so dramatic. I love that you have that special time and place with your grandson. I look forward to making memories like that with my future grandkids:)

  12. Beautiful, Sally. How nice to enjoy a beautiful garden and your flower in the middle of winter. 🙂

  13. Angeline M says:

    This is an intriguing flower, so intricate yet simple. You’ve photographed it so well.
    How delightful to have your grandson join you on these excursions.
    Have a wonderful week.

  14. Such an unusual plant and you’ve captured it beautifully. Longwood Gardens sounds like a wonderful place, Sally.

  15. pattimoed says:

    Lovely shot, Sally. It’s wonderful that you and your grandchildren can share this experience. So, your grandson likes photography too. Wonderful! Have a great week.

  16. That is a very different looking pitcher plant to me. I’m sure there are many. It almost looks mechanical the edges are so sharp. Fabulous capture of the wily plant.

  17. Allan G. Smorra says:

    I like your high-key approach to photographing this flower, Sally. I don’t remember seeing one before and found your post quite informative.

    • Allan, the Pitchers are filled with charm. Hope that you can see them up close. They are intriguing. Longwood Gardens has them outside in the warm weather. These are small, but different varieties can grow rather large. I appreciate your response. Thanks.

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