Daily Archives: January 22, 2012

Garden Figures

Garden Figurines. Nikon D200. AF-S DX Nikkor 35 mm f/1.8. 35 mm (Equiv 52 mm). ISO 400. 1/250 sec at f/7. Copyright Joanne Mason 2012.

These utterly charming figurines adorn the back cottage garden at the Descanso Gardens. From the lad lifting his lassie’s skirt to the priceless looks on both of there faces, everything about these figures is wonderful. One can make such terrific discoveries while exploring an English cottage garden.

Early Spring Yellow Iris

Yellow Iris. Nikon D200. AF-S VR DX Micro-Nikkor 105 mm f/2.8. 105 mm (Equiv 157 mm). ISO 400. 1/125 sec at f/29. Copyright Joanne Mason 2012.

The yellow bearded iris is one of the earliest flowers of spring. Even so, it was startling to see a solitary plant with two stalks of flowers in the gardens today. The day started cold and gloomy, but the sun came out and the afternoon demanded a walk in the gardens. It’s been unseasonably mild of late; perhaps it will be an early spring. This iris appears to think so.

Woodland Ferns

Fern. Nikon D200. AF-S VR DX Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8. 105 mm (Equiv 157mm). ISO 400. 1/200 sec at f/3. Copyright Joanne Mason 2012.

Fern. Nikon D200. AF-S VR DX Micro-Nikkor 105 mm f/2.8. 105 mm (Equiv 157 mm). ISO 400. 1/200 sec at f/7. Copyright Joanne Mason 2012.

For whatever reason, whether as a single frond or as masses of green, ferns of all kinds are fascinating plants. These ferns we find in the woods are especially appealing. Perhaps it is because we see them as somewhat dainty and delicate, and yet we know their delicate lacy appearance disguises the fact that woodland ferns are incredibly robust and hardy long-lived plants.

Ferns. Nikon D200. AF-S VR DX Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8. 105 mm (Equiv 157 mm). ISO 400. 1/200 sec at f/4. Copyright Joanne Mason 2012.

Perhaps it’s also the fact that masses of the freshest vibrant green ferns, thickly coated with spores, are a sure sign of the arrival of spring. Strength tempered by gentleness, beauty, fertility – all the things we want in life – are typified in the ferns.