We’re in the height of rose season – their colors and scents abound. We have a wonderful John Cabot climbing rose that blossoms out in profusion mid-June, becoming engulfed in a riot of color. I’ve had cuttings in almost every room of the house, and yet the bush itself remains full too. The blooms hold for many days and then they drop their petals all around – a reminder of their beauty even as they move past their prime.
Our warm sunny weather turned to mist and clouds yesterday morning, reminding me of my days living in the Pacific Northwest. The dampness of the mist and rain held all the wonderful scents of late spring in the air. I wandered our yard, enjoying the smells of the peonies and roses. As I rounded a corner, I got a hint of orange. Our mock orange bush has been flush with blossoms and is nearing the end of its bloom. Although its colors aren’t as bright and showy as the peonies and roses, the white glimmered amidst the spring green under the gray skies. Its delicate petals will fall for a few more days, and the green leaves will remain until next spring when we can once again marvel at its short burst of white blossoms and delicate smell.
With the warmth of the sun, our magnolia tree burst into bloom this past week. The delicate white petals broke from the catkins that had kept them safe throughout the winter. I spent a delightful evening photographing amongst the blossoms. Not only was it a feast for my eyes, but I was treated to the wonderful sweet smell that they give off. A slight breeze would stir and my senses were filled with the light aroma and the brightness of white surrounding me. Perhaps what makes the magnolias so special to me is the brevity with which they are in full bloom. As the week has passed, the wind and rain have already tossed many of the blossoms to the ground, and those that remain are no longer at their peak. Soon the flowers will all be gone and the tree will be covered in green leaves.
This weekend has been Spring Break for the many photo clubs of the Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Twin Cities area. That means workshops and seminars, and a celebration of all things related to photography. Part of that is an InterClub competition amongst the Twin Cities photographers. Submissions are made in the categories of photographic prints or digital images. As a member of the Minneapolis Photographic Society I chose to submit monochrome and color prints. The competition is inspiring, creative, and impressive with its variety and themes and the amazing images that are submitted. I was honored to have my print “The time of peonies” selected as the first place color print of the year. I love this image for its “painterly” feel, its classic look, and the subject matter of peonies, which are dear to my heart. I was inspired years ago by another photographer from the Tacoma area, Freda Horn, who brought her painting background to her floral photographs; her images became much more than a flower photograph. That was my intent with this photo and print, and I’d like to think that I made Freda proud.
The calendar turns to March, and our wishes turn to spring. The cold and hardness of winter is still around us, but this is when we yearn for the softness of spring – for color, thawing, and green. In Minnesota, the only place to find that now is at the McNeely Conservatory in Como Park – our very own oasis of spring. These daffodils represent the hope and promise of spring to me. The yellow of sunshine, the green of new beginnings, and the softness that starts the season of spring. Soon……