The Peony

The Peony

We had a mini heat-wave here as the weather was 28-30C and humid.  To sit on the back deck after supper is not desirable as the sun is way too hot but I have a small area beside the garage where there is the shade of a small tree and the flowers from my garden right in front of me. There are some nice paving stones there, so I brought a patio chair down and a small table to enjoy the shade and the slight breeze. I brought out a bag of peanuts as there are usually a chipmunk or two living under the garage and I was hoping to entice one towards my delicious offerings. Of course, I brought the camera, it never is very far from my side.

It must have been 8pm at least, but the day had been so hot, the chipmunk(s) were probably knocked out, asleep in a cool spot beneath the earth. I knew there was  at least one, because I’d been leaving a trail of peanuts out for a few days and they are always carried away. Sometimes a few are opened on the spot and only the shell remains

Anyways, no sign of any chipmunks but the peonies were beautiful and opened and they are possibly one of my favorite flowers. I am partial to either fragile looking or soft and ruffly flowers. They look romantic and feminine and I just love them.  I take pictures of them every year. Most of the peony photos have pretty much been lost last year, when my new hard drive where I moved them all just conked out soon after moving my files, but I have been lucky to retrieve some with a software plugin for lightroom.  Anyways. I took some pictures and if you know me, I’m not as interested in the common garden photo. I often love to bring them in, or take them from an unusual angle. Nothing wrong with flower photos, but I always try to bring how the flower makes me feel, the prettiness, the romance. So I started taking photos and didn’t want to go in, so started taking them quite close up, and I liked what I was getting. I have several that I like, but this one is definitely my favorite. It is exactly as it was taken in the frame of the camera, so will print nicely as a large photo, as I intend to add it to my portfolio. I hope you like it too.

The Peony
Yesterday afternoon, was again another scorcher.  I, once again, went out to see if I could get some photos of a chipmunk. I sat under the tree, and started cracking a few of the shells open, as I thought they might hear it and be curious and I was right. Out came this tiny little critter and looked up at me from below and I caught a fun pic of her snout with her little grubby hands set in fists. So cute. She or he, I’ll say she was very jittery and would take one peanut and then run off as quickly as possible. I started making a small trail and slowly and surely she’d come out and take one more. There is an old wooden bench that is just in front of the flower beds and I put a row of them there, with a little container with water, because it was so hot.

All of a sudden I see 2 chipmunks come out. The tiny one and a bigger one. Maybe mom or dad? There was a bit of a tumble between them.  I tried to capture it, but they were pretty fast ;  I did get the big one on top of the smaller, but you can hardly tell. I usually shoot manual, so the settings were not very good for the dark area they were and the image would not have been that interesting anyways.  The smaller  chipmunk disappeared and the bigger one ran up the wooden bench and stuffed her face and left, swiftly. Back and forth and back and forth. I’d wait for more photos in-between. While waiting, I turned to look at my roses, several who are finding the heat a little too much,  and to my surprise… Whoa! the tiny chipmunk is balancing on a rose branch, like an acrobat from the Cirque du Soleil and munching on a rose-bud. I’d never seen anything like it. I took a few pics, lucky to get one where she’s in focus as the wind was tossing the branches and she was ended up half flipped over and then left.  Although the photo is no piece of art, it certainly is adorable because of the context.

So, a peony and a couple of chipmunks just for you!

and before I forget, I uploaded an interview I did with Jeroen Luijt, a young photographer from the Netherlands. Very different from anything I do, but some interesting and creative work there and if you haven’t read it; maybe you should stop by and take a look: Jeroen Luijt