Saturday, September 26, 2009

Frelinguysen Arboretum

Visiting gardens and arboretums with non-gardeners can be trying so I jumped at the chance to re-visit Frelinghuysen Arboretum today, this time with volunteers from Rutgers Gardens.
First, I give you the Photo of the Day:

As usual, this was one of those “oh, that’s nice, let me get a quick shot of it”. At the time, I was concentrating on finding an artsy way to photograph the architectural details of the accompanying house. Which did not come out as well. When will I ever learn?

There is a rose garden at Frelinghuysen, but my favorite garden is the veggie garden.

I don’t even grow veggies, but if I did, I would want to do it in a garden just like this.

About a decade ago, someone had the bright idea to use the runoff from the parking lot to create a “marsh/meadow garden”.

Today we would call it a “rain garden”. No matter what you call it, it’s still beautiful.

You can see more photos of my visit to Frelinghuysen Arboretum on Flickr.

Morris County Farms

Thankfully, for my wallet’s sake, there are no nurseries like this near me.

I’ve seen heron fountains and frog fountains, but I’ve never seen an otter fountain. Have you?

Not all of the greenhouses were filled with plants. Some had aisles and aisles of holiday d├ęcor, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas.

This was taken with my cell phone but it still looks good. It was even better in person. I have a terrible weakness for glass Christmas ornaments. I promised myself that I would only make a purchase if I found something really, really unusual. What were the chances, right?

Two words: Big Ben

And, of course, every greenhouse needs a cat.

This one was named “Oz”.

You can see more photos of my visit to Morris County Farms on Flickr

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Got Milk?

After purchasing my first digital camera, I became a real shutterbug. I read about photography, took classes, studied other photographers’ work. I even managed to take a few good photos. As long as I stick to gardens, wild places, inanimate objects, insects, and the occasional butterfly, I’m golden.

No people, though. Not only do they not interest me as subjects, when I do try to take pictures of them, the results look like they were taken by a child. I am also incapable of taking pictures of my cats. Again and again, when they do something cute, I run for my camera only to be disappointed with the outcome. Those cute poses don’t look nearly as cute in my photos.

Today I had an opportunity to shoot some cows. Cows are good subjects. They’re cute and they don’t move around much, right? Well, no.

These were the skinniest, boniest cows I’ve ever seen. Probably not surprising since they were dairy cows and valued for their milk production, not their meat production. And they were terribly muddy. Black and white and muddy and covered with flies. Not terribly attractive.

They also moved around a lot. Every time I had a picture framed and focused, something would move. A head. A tail. An entire cow. It was very frustrating. I did manage one nice shot of a cow peacefully grazing against a great background of fence and trees which was totally ruined by another cow’s bony butt in the foreground.

I thought that I had enough of the offending rear end out of the frame that I could crop the rest out afterwards. No such luck.

So let’s sum up, shall we?

Plants yes, people no
Butterflies yes, cats no
Spiders yes, cows no

The take away here is that I should steer clear of anything warm-blooded.

You can see photos of my visit to Hageman Farm as well as more of my pathetic attempts to photograph cows on Flickr

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Where's Waldo (Feline Edition)

Can you spot the cat in this picture?