Yellow Expanse – 1st Place Flowers, Ventura County Fair 2010

Yellow Expanse

I agonized over entering a flower into the Fair competition. Flowers and landscapes are by far the most entered categories (and Sunrise / Sunset I suppose). Also, a couple of years ago I made the now very famous statement to my friends “I don’t do flowers”.

One of my first flowers March 4, 2009. This one taken on January 31, 2010 for a square crop assignment on the Martin Bailey Photography forum.

Remembering the Spring of 2010

Magical Suspension, originally uploaded by I Nancy.

Today is Memorial Day, the official start of summer and the weather has cooperated with the warmest temps of the year so far. Although Yahoo Weather says high of 75 and partly cloudy, I’m pretty sure it was a little warmer and there was definitely not a cloud in the sky.

Spring in southern California comes in April. By May the hills are beginning to dry out. On this May 31st, after an unseasonably wet winter, the hills are already clad in their summer browns.

This shot was taken during my flurry of wildflower shooting in April. Remember spring 2010. It may be another 5 years before we get another great set of wildflower blooms.

Just Weeds

Just Weeds, originally uploaded by I Nancy.

The cool spring this year has been keeping the wildflower active and alive. This from an outing to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve outside of Lancaster California. You would not believe the acres of bright orange poppies. Not only at the Reserve but also leading in and out.

Seeing all the poppies I was thinking that I wanted to showcase some of the other wildflowers with the poppies as their backdrop. These little purple flowers are just the blooms of a weed which seed into these little twisty stickers. I remember playing with these as a kid. They are very common. Here they get first billing with a nice contrast of orange and purple. I also really like the hints of in focus poppies on the left side of the image.

I’ll be posting more from the Poppy Reserve.

Visiting a Giant Coreopsis

Visiting a Giant Coreopsis

Visiting a Giant Coreopsis, originally uploaded by I Nancy.

It’s like visiting the land of Dr. Seuss to see these giant coreopsis plants on Santa Cruz Island. Their base stands 3 to 4 feet tall with an additional foot of fronds which look like dill or fennel. This is topped with yellow daisy like flowers which bloom for only a month during spring.

Here the top of a giant coreopsis is bathed in sunlight with denser growth behind. A bee buzzes in for a visit.

California Poppies and Guest

California Poppies and Guest

California Poppies and Guest, originally uploaded by I Nancy.

Today I took my day off to head to the Conejo Valley Botanic Garden at 8am to see what I could see. I met one of the garden volunteers and she was telling me about different things blooming in the garden. When we turned the corner I saw the field of poppies. I’m quite sure that she was probably disappointed at my excitement. Although this is the state flower, and they bloom only during a short time in spring, they are quite common. She had hoped I would be more interested in the exotics. She didn’t know that I was looking for layers and textures and ended up shooting mostly what she might consider “the weeds”. Never-the-less, I am quite happy with my poppies for this year.

I’ve been experimenting practicing with different layers of focus. Been getting some interesting shots. I use a friend, who has a very classical eye, to judge how I am doing. He hasn’t liked many, but this one caught his attention.