Abstracts in the Garden

Yesterday afternoon I joined some friends in Cleveland where we attended the Orchid Mania exhibit at the Cleveland Botanical Garden.  While there, I kept in mind Scott’s Assignment 18:  Abstract Photography.  If you’d like to participate, click on the link I just provided for the rundown on what, how, and when.  The deadline to submit your photo (or photos) is on or before midnight (your time zone), March 21, 2012.  Have fun!

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195: Butterfly and orchids

I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.

~ Chuang Tzu

This photo was taken at the Cleveland Botanical Garden during their Orchid Mania exhibit.  I still have quite a few photos from that exhibit that I haven’t yet posted on the blog.  They will come in handy on busy days (such as today) when I need to put up a quick post.

I’m not sure what caused it to come out this way.  I think it was camera shake, giving it the soft, blurry effect.  It makes it seem like you can almost see through the orchid to the far right.

Today’s Outdoor Adventures

Nothing much to report.  It has been raining off and on throughout the day.  I poked my nose outside in between the rain showers, mostly accomplishing a few chores out there and checking up on the birds.  I did not take the camera outside with me today.  We needed a break from each other.

177: Purple Reign

Lady butterfly
Perfumes wings by floating
Over the orchid.

~ Basho (Translation by Peter Beilenson)

Purple Reign is the theme for this year’s Orchid Mania at the Cleveland Botanical Garden.  Guess where I took my camera yesterday?

The photographer/blogger in purple. A self-portrait.

I am now in possession of 134 new photos of orchids to add to my already extensive collection of photographs of orchids.  Yikes.  What will I do with them all??

I will share some of them with you, of course.  Aren’t you glad you stopped today?  (As always, you can view the slightly larger version of the photos by clicking on them.)

The exhibit truly is a feast for the senses.  The colors and scents are amazing.  It was the perfect pick-me-up after a winter of whites, blues, and grays.

To be honest, 134 photos is a pretty modest amount.  I would have more except for the batteries.  It appears it’s time for me to invest in new batteries for the camera.  Even the back-up set don’t last long these days.

When visiting orchid exhibits, I do more than look at and photograph the flowers.  I take the time to lean in and smell them as well.  Orchids are known as the “king of the fragrant plants.”  It is a well-deserved title.  Orchid fragrances range from subtle to strong, and from pleasant to putrid, and everything in between.  I didn’t come across any of the unpleasantly scented orchids.  I’m not sure if there were any there or not.  It’s possible I missed them.

In general, the orchids pollinated by bees and moths tend to have pleasant scents whereas those pollinated by flies and other carrion-feeding insects are, to put it gently, not so pleasant (putrid and fecal scents, to put it not so gently, although some are more earthy and mimic fungal scents).

I found the line of orchids above interesting.  It reminds me of fish bones.  Someone else said they thought it looked like  a mustache.

I might have a few more orchid photos to share another day, after I’ve finished sorting through them.  That means it might be next year, at the rate I’m going.  Would you believe I still haven’t finished going through my photos from our trip to Colorado last August?  It’s true.  We keep traveling to other places or doing other things before I have a chance to catch up with myself.  Usually I manage to play catch-up  during the winter months, but this past winter was unusual in that I was spending time outside every day, taking photos while I was out there, and then blogging about it every day.  I may take a year off from blogging once this over.

Today’s Outdoor Adventures

M and I had originally planned to attend part of the 2011 Maple Tour here in northeast Ohio.  I thought it might be interesting to see (and photograph) how maple sugar is made.

Today's view of the pond

But it was such a gorgeous day that we decided to skip the maple syrup, as yummy as it sounds, and go for a walk around Wingfoot Lake State Park.

The park is not far from where we live, and we had never been there before today.  The north shore of Wingfoot Lake was originally developed for corporate retreats and employee outings by the Goodyear Company (located in Akron, not far from Wingfoot Lake).  You might be familiar with Goodyear.  They manufacture tires.  You might also know them by their blimps, one of which (Spirit of Goodyear) is based at the Goodyear Wingfoot Lake Airship facility just across the lake from the park.

Goodyear blimp and the air dock

The park was privately owned by Goodyear up until 2009 when the land and the lake were purchased by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, and is now open to the public.

We timed our visit to Wingfoot Lake State Park unexpectedly well.  The blimp folks were taking advantage of the nice weather too, by practicing their touch-and-go’s.  I’ll bring you some photos of that tomorrow.

Paved path to the lake

We had a nice walk around the park.  It is sunny, clear, windy, and a little chilly today with highs in the upper 40s.  Once you get moving, it doesn’t feel too bad.

Old cherry tree

There are a lot of beautiful, old trees in the park.  There are also plenty of recreational opportunities, or will be when the weather warms up and the facilities are opened.  There are tennis courts, badminton and volleyball courts, playgrounds, plenty of picnic shelters, a barbecue pit, horseshoe pits and bocce ball courts, an 18-hole mini-golf course, and (something I’m really excited about) an 18-hole disc golf course (yes!).  It’s been a while since M and I played disc golf.  We decided to take the discs with us the next time we visit Wingfoot Lake State Park.

Fishing Wingfoot Lake

You can also go fishing and boating.  We noticed that they do have boat rentals (paddle boats, kayaks, etc.) available (but not yet open for the season).

We had a nice walk.  The trails are all paved and there are not a lot of them, but it was enough for us for today.  We’re going to have to start doing some long hikes soon, to get in shape for some of our summer plans.

A last view of the lake as we left the park

I’ll be outside tonight, too.  I’m sure about a billion other photographers who have clear skies tonight will be out with their tripods and cameras, taking a shot at capturing a good photo of the “Supermoon.”

Earth Day

One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, ‘What if I had never seen this before?  What if I knew I would never see it again?’

~ Rachel Carson

M and I watched the documentary Food, Inc. on PBS last night.  It was a good reminder of why we have been changing the way we eat as well as how and where we buy our food.  If you haven’t seen it, you can watch it at pbs.org until April 28th.

Garden notes:  This afternoon I planted a row of mixed lettuces.  I finished out the row with a few spinach seeds.  Harvested a whooping 6 (lol!) asparagus spears.  It’s a start.

A day in Cleveland

Yesterday M and I spent a fun-filled day in Cleveland.  We have decided to start spending more time in and around Cleveland, doing some of the touristy things we haven’t done yet.  We’ve been in this area for ten years now.  It’s about time we got to know Cleveland a little better.

We began our trip with a stop for lunch on the way up.  We had Reuben sandwiches at Corky and Lenny’s which, although not in Cleveland, is known as a Cleveland tradition.  The place was packed and lively, as usual.  The sandwiches were delicious, as usual.  And big enough that we’ll each be getting two lunches for the price of one.

After lunch we made our way to the Cleveland Botanical Garden for Orchid Mania.  I now have about a thousand more photos of orchids, something I probably didn’t need but couldn’t resist.  I find the variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and scents of orchids fascinating.

Most of the orchids were in the Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse.  There is a variety of wildlife to be seen in there too, if you pay close attention.

I could spend hours in there, just watching the butterflies flitting around.  I will get the opportunity to do so, too, since M and I decided on a membership while we were there.  That will give us the excuse to go back on regular basis.

We left the Garden around mid-afternoon to head over to the Tower City Center for the Cleveland International Film Festival.  I had hoped to get up early enough in the morning to see Out of Place, but that didn’t happen.  I think I’m still suffering from time change lag or something.  Getting up early hasn’t been happening for me lately.

Tickets for the movie we decided to see, Accident, were listed as standby only.  That meant it was a good thing we showed up early.  The original plan was to buy the tickets and then go off and find something else to do while waiting for the movie to start.  We ended up waiting in the stand by line instead.  Stand by tickets go on sale one hour before the film starts.  We were in line about 90 minutes before the start time and it wasn’t long before the line stretched out pretty far behind us.

The tickets are numbered so you’re better off being at the front of the line if the film is on stand by status.  Pass holders and ticket holders are seated 15 minutes before the start time.  Whatever seats are left go to those holding stand by tickets.  As it turned out, Accident was a pretty popular film and I don’t think too many of the stand by ticket holders got in.  M and I had ticket numbers 3 and 4.  We got in but had to sit in the 4th row which can be a little hard on the neck.

We both enjoyed the movie.  It wasn’t as suspenseful as I thought it might be.  Still, it was entertaining and went fast.  Having recently watched a terrible movie which shall remain nameless for now, the length of time it seems to take is one way to judge the enjoyment factor.  The terrible movie dragged on for what seemed like an eternity.  Accident, on the other hand, seemed to speed by.  The reason we picked this movie was because of a discussion we had a few weeks ago.  I had mentioned to M that we hadn’t seen a good psychological thriller lately.  While looking over the festival films, M found Accident pretty much right away (makes sense since they’re listed alphabetically) which is described as “a psychological brain-twister.”

To cap off our day, we had dinner at Johnny Mango World Cafe & Bar.  This was our first visit.  I’m pretty sure we’ll go back again.  It’s a casual, relaxing, friendly kind of place with plenty of vegetarian options on the menu.  M and I don’t eat much meat and after the piled-high-with-corned-beef sandwich at lunch, a vegetarian option was just the thing.  I had a grilled veggie burrito big plate.  “Big plate” means it comes with salsa, Happy Beans (or beans of the day which were curried black-eyed peas), the grain of the day (jasmine rice), Yucatan slaw, and a grilled banana.  Yummy, yummy, yummy.  And very filling.

That’s about it from the Bogs for now.  We have a busy week ahead so I’m sure I’ll be back with a few more posts about our comings and goings.  Plus I have plenty of orchid photos to share.  It’s nice to be able to look at all this color while things are still a bit brown outside.

For your viewing pleasure

More orchids. Enjoy and have a nice weekend!

A hint about viewing the photos:  This template I’m using still cuts off a little on the right side.  I tried to get around that in my last post by shrinking them, but I can’t seem to get the right combination of dimensions and so, it leaves the photos looking slightly distorted.  Rather than do that this time, I put the full photo up.  If you right click on the photo (assuming you’re using a PC; you’re on your own with a Mac as it’s been a long time since I’ve used a Mac) you’ll see an option “view image.”  Click on that.  That will bring up the full image on your screen.  I know some of you are computer savy enough to know how to do that, but I also know that some of you aren’t.


These are for CB, who should be reading the blog. If not, she’s missing out on what I hear are her favorite flowers. Orchids.

Longwood Gardens had a special display of orchids last week. I don’t really know what to say about it other than: Beautiful! The photos will say it better than I can. And in case it needs to be said, all photos were taken by me.

(A blanket of orchids hanging over one of the conservatory doorways.)

(Nestled in the ferns.)

A little about the mythology surrounding orchids:

(I hope that’s readable.)

We’re going away for the weekend.  I might get another post in tomorrow morning.  Otherwise, see you next week!