Monday, April 30, 2007

White Rhododendron

We bought this white Rhododendron at a American Rhododendron Society sale. It was off to the side of the main selling area and was unnamed, only described as white in color. It turned out to be quite a beautiful white rhodie with the barest hint of pink. Even though it was in an exposed location it managed to survive the constant winter winds without dessication. The rabbit also survived the winter intact.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Spring comes on with a vengance! More scanography.


Fruit peach. Don't know what kind, only that it is a freestone.

Japanese quince.

Japanese quince and peach.

And all together now.

With the recent spate of warm weather, the forsythias were quickly going from full bloom to past prime. Other trees rapidly followed so I had to work fast to capture the flowers.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Gifts from our 'bad boy' cat

The vole and mouse were left on our front doormat by our grateful cat. I wish he wouldn't be so appreciative. Or it could be from a wild cat we feed called 'little guy' which is more likely. I just hope baby rabbits don't show up like a couple of years ago. I didn't know voles had such yellow teeth!

P.S. I added another scanograph of the vole. I used a 1 watt led flashlight to illuminate the vole from the side, as the scanner bar was moving to see if the subject would be better lit. It worked. Compare this image with the one on top.

P.P.S. I found another mouse on the front steps this morning 3/01/07 but blogger won't let me post it. I guess it's just as well as some people are grossed out by the carnage anyway.

Ah it worked. Just a momentary glitch. The mice look so cute but I'm glad the cats are keeping the population down as mice are hosts for deer ticks and I sure don't want to get Lyme's disease.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mostly wordless Wednesday


Japanese Quince

Lovely dark pink tulips.

Love those lupine leaves with red-purple stems.

Virginia bluebells

Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost'

Magnolia 'Jane'

Wild viola

And the tiny bluet.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Homage to the Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis

Also called 'puccoon-root and red indian paint'* the bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis, has a single rolled leaf that wraps the flower stalk when it first emerges. The leaf, silver blue-green in color on the underside, slowly unfurls revealing a multi-lobed structure of interesting form. The flower is short lived even compared with other ephemerals. Puccoon, pronounced puh-coon is of Algonquin origins and the word describes plants of the genus Lithospermum. Litho = stone, spermum = seed. I guess the seed are hard as stone though I can't confirm that.

I don't know why I have a special interest in these wild spring flowers but I do. It may have something to do with the peek-a-boo briefness of bloom. A glimpse of something very precious.

Here's and interesting site which has information on the medicinal uses of bloodroot.

*Wildflowers in Color, Arthur Stupka, 1965

Let's see how closely you examine flowers!

Ok, here's a plant ID quiz. This is going to be a difficult one because you would have had to look very closely at flowers to know what they are. An appreciation of the minute.

If you enlarge the photo the header will tell you what it is.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Magnolia "Butterflies" Yellow flowers

Our yellow Magnolia "Butterflies" waited for the warm weather to bloom and therefore suffered very little damage. We went from the mid to high 40's to about a sweltering 80F this weekend. I believe this is the richest yellow colored magnolia and it is a very beautiful and unusual tree. The flowers also have a light scent and has a very nice perfume when you walk by the tree. It is a hybrid magnolia resulting from a cross between M. acuminata and M. denudata.

This is only the second year it is blooming and it's been in the ground for 5 years. The plant was about 2 feet tall when purchased and was mislabeled as Magnolia seiboldii, a beautiful white Magnolia with a red center. I wasn't disappointed when it turned out to be a M. butterflies as the one I planted in the front yard died when it was placed in too wet a spot. I still would like to get a M. seiboldii but I think we've just about run out of space. As it is everything in packed in tight without room to grow. An empty space was thought to be a bad thing.

P.S. The petals of the 'butterflies' are already falling thanks to the unseasonably warm weather. It was over 80 today. The Yoshino cherries bloomed fully in a day and so did the peach and service berries. Petals are littering the lawn.

Friday, April 20, 2007

More Flower Scans and information

Using a combination of flowers creates a fuller scan which seems to be more effective than of single species, essentially creating a bouquet or flower arrangement.

Here's an interesting explanation of how scanners work and why scans shouldn't be considered a photograph.

I Googled scanning flowers to see how many people were doing scans and was lead to several sites. I've listed them below and you can click on each link to see examples of their work.

Sonia, Leaves of Grass blog scans of flowers, Portugal

A bit of history on Katinka Matson's scanner art.

And more scans by Katinka Matson with a photo of her
Click on pages at the site map.
scanner photography by patri feher

Dick Hilker

Roger Johnson


Dawn Campbell

Ellis Hollow

Even HP has a website with 3D scanning instructions

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Scanning flowers

Thanks to Kathy Purdy of Cold Climate Gardening and her post on Katinka Matson's scans, I decided to try my hand at scanning flowers. Here are the results. Magnolias, daffodils, Camellia and I think apple which I picked on the dog walk.

The scanner is a really cheap one I bought for $10 brand new. It was one of those come on, loss leader sales on Black Friday at Best Buy. It's about 10 years old, a Microtek Scanmaker V310. It's so old I had to hook it up to my old computer with Win98SE OS because they don't have newer drivers for it.

I first did a quick scan of pens and pencils which worked ok but I noticed a lot of dust on the glass and black cover material. After dusting the glass I did another scan of M&M peanuts but noticed more dust and smudges on the glass. I had to take apart the top to get at the inside face of the glass, cleaned both surfaces and dusted the glass again but there are still specks of dust visible. I guess you can Photoshop it out if you were to print it for framing. I did the scans with the cover off.

I was surprised it worked quite well and I'm pleased with the results. This was an easy project requiring only a bit of time to set it all up. I love how the lighting gives the flowers an ethereal quality.

As always, click on the photos to enlarge.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Aftermath of the Nor'easter

After raining all night we awoke to the sound of sleet hitting the windows. The winds also picked up. It's probably blowing at about 30 mph with gusts of 40-50 mph.

The winter hazel managed to survive all the freezing cold mornings during the past week and even did ok in the rain and wind. An appropriately named shrub for the nasty spring we've suffered through.

That's not a pond but a low spot in our yard.

The red tulip, uva-vulpis and pink stellatas surpringsly seem to have escaped without too much damage.

And a new white Chinodoxa, with the apt 'Glory of the snow' common name actually bloomed yesterday in all the rain!
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Location: Zone 6, New Jersey, United States

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