Today my wife Carol and I celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary. The last two years and a third year 2 years before that, we have visited the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens as part of our celebration. We love the whole place, but the Children’s Garden, which we saw for the first time last year, is very special. All kinds of the best quality whimsy going! This is Carol in the little reading house in the center of the garden. All cedar on the inside and shingled on the out…with a grass roof. I am certain she wants to take it home and plant it in our backyard as a sanctuary from my untidy habits. You can see it here in the wider view, on the other side of the ornamental pond.
But this is really to celebrate Carol, who for 29 years has been my companion on many such adventures. I am still amazed to find we share so much…that there is so much of the world we can enjoy together. That has to be special.
And here she is braving the rope walk in the tree house beyond the Children’s Garden, getting in practice for next year’s trip to the Canopy Tower in Panama.
Happy Anniversary Carol. I may not have brought you flowers, but I brought you to a garden. And here is an Azalea just for you. All my love.
As I mentioned a few days ago, my wife and I spent a day at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay Maine this week. It is becoming an anniversary tradition, although next year we may try to vary the timing to see the garden in another flowering season. The CMBG always amazes me. It is so unlikely that it is there at all. Boothbay is quaint and touristy, and a bit up-scale for the Maine Coast, but it is hardly a metropolitan hub with resources for something like a world class botanical garden. And yet, there it is.
The light was particularly good this trip, for some reason, or maybe my camera is just that much better at capturing it. This is a white Penstimon from the Hillside Gardens which feature a blend of more natural wild-flower plantings on a relatively steep landscaped slope with many rock ledges. I really like the way the flower is illuminated from inside by the shaft of sun through the overhanging pines.
This is a good example of what the Canon SX40HS can do in 24mm macro (close focus to 0 centimeters) when you also use the 1.5x digital te-converter function. The resulting 32mm field of view and magnification gives a very natural macro, with great depth of field and image scale.
At the other extreme, the Stonecrop that follows was taken at 840mm equivalent field of view, plus 1.5x digital tel-converter for a 1240mm macro effect. Here it is as much about the bokeh as the subject. Shooting at high magnification allows for an intimate approach to followers (bugs, etc) that you could not otherwise approach. This flower was poking up over a ledge behind other plantings 8 feet away.
What follows, still from the hillside gardens, is a mass planting of purple Penstimon, framed at about 50mm equivalent for a natural view…and then a close up of the blooms, again using the wide-angle macro plus digital tel-converter function.
I have lots more flowers, which you will see over the next days.
Canon SX40HS. Program with iContrast and –1/3EV exposure compensation. ISO 125-200.
Processed in Lightroom for intensity, clarity, and sharpness.