Mittwoch, 9. April 2014

Easter vacation!

Easter break - breathing pause - pause for reflection

Every now and then there's the need to halt,
to pause to think.

So I decided to slow down for some weeks with blogging and other stuff
to give myself a chance for self-reflection.

Not only to count Easter eggs for a while...

...but rather to allow my thoughts to fly more freely around.

Without too much everyday burden and ballast.

So: all I wanna say to you is:

Enjoy your time, enjoy your live as well as in any way possible.
Hug your loved ones as often as possible and don't forget to tell them that you love them.
There's never a "too much" for this!

                                                *´¨ )
                                                ¸.* ¸.*´¨) ¸.•*¨)                                          
                                                (¸.*´ (¸.•´ (¸.•*´¯`*•->   me.

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Montag, 7. April 2014

In the sweet cherry garden

Cherry trees are really widely spread all over Germany.
Mainly the blackheart / schwarze Herz-Kirsche (Prunus avium subsp. juliana), a cultivated species of Prunus avium, known as wild cherry, sweet cherry, bird cherry, or gean.

Currently you see the cherry trees blossoming at every turn.

Especially in front of dark edges of the wood you see many of our wild or cultivated cherry trees. 

Compared to Asia, notably compared to Japan, we here in good old Germany normally don't generate such an hype around the cherry blossom season. 

Here the cherry tree is just a fruit tree like many other indigenous fruit-bearing trees: apple, pear, plum, mirabelle trees.

This means that with the exception of some 'Japanese style gardens' in some of our town or city parks, the cherry trees can be found in gardens, but most commonly in rural areas just standing on forest or flower meadows like in the photo above. 

In some regions you even find cherry tree plantations.
But not in the region where I am at home.

So last Friday afternoon, right on my way back home from work, 
I took a break eight kilometers away from my hometown.

With my "multi-purpose Red Porsche Killer" I diverted from my primary route to an agricultural road.
There I found the cherry tree meadow with round about 20 trees in full bloom.

This is definitely what we can call "in full bloom" or "full-blown", isn't it??? 


My hot tip to take photos of the blooming trees standing in a row: take a telephoto lens (if possible) and use an open aperture to "shrink" the trees together. 

I hope my "Sea of Blossom" series was not too exhausting for you the last four weeks.
Next time I definitely focus on other topics as well again.

Hopefully. ;-)

Last but not least some close-ups of the blackheart blossoms...

And once again an experiment with some textures...
...but I'm far away from being deeply contended with my result.

Less is more - is still my precept when editing photos!
The better the original material, the less postprocessing a photo needs.

Montag, 31. März 2014

Cherry blossom season 2014 in Germany

The cherry blossom season has started in Germany!!!


Though we've many cherry trees in the spa gardens of our hometown,
only two of them are 'Prunus serrulata', so Japanese Cherry.

Here you see the location of the two Japanese cherry trees.

The Japanese relief stele and Japanese cherry trees are sponsered by Bad Mergentheim's Japanese twin town Fuefuki 笛吹市  in the Yamanashi Prefecture.

Unfortunately the background is not the very best to take great photographs of the cherry trees out of different camera angles - and it's not only the huge and ugly distribution box that frustrates me and my photographic ambitions to capture the cherry blossoms in all directions with a suitable background.

So please conceive your own opinion about my shots of this year's cherry bloom...

Dienstag, 25. März 2014

Magnolia heyday at Lauffen 2014

Lauffen vineyard near the town center beneath Katharinenstrasse,
a blessed place and residential area
and one of my favourite spots in early spring to take the first magnolia blossoms.

Currently the magnolias there are in full bloom.

I captures the scenes last Friday morning, right before I started into my work day.

Regiswindis church at Lauffen, Germany,
predecessor buildings of this church are from the 8th century.
Today's church was rebuilt in 1564 after a fire.

Sometimes it's really difficult to focus the right part of that "sea of blossoms",
you really have to find a suitable structure worth capturing within this huddle.

Or: you just take the whole scene...

At the foot of the vineyard...

...the sloe / blackthorn bushes are full-blown as well.

Freitag, 14. März 2014

First magnolia blossom 2014

Okay, my first magnolia blossom I found and captured 2014 - namely today.

What's your favourite?
The photo with or without texture?

Does a passable photo need a texture?
What do you think?

***   ***   ***   ***   ***

...and my second blooming magnolia blossom I found.  ;-)

Enjoy your weekend!

Montag, 10. März 2014

Almond blossom season 2014 along the Palatinate Wine Route

All photos taken last Saturday, between Landau and Neustadt an der Weinstraße,
Palatinate Wine Route, Germany.

The almond (Prunus dulcis, syn. Prunus amygdalus, Amygdalus communis, Amygdalus dulcis) (or badam in Indian English, from Persian: بادام‎) is a species of tree native to the Middle East and South Asia. "Almond" is also the name of the edible and widely cultivated seed of this tree. 

The Palatinate Wine Route is one of the rare regions in Germany where thousands of this thermophilic tree are cultivated amidst the Palastine vineyards.

Edenkoben, Heilsbruck monastry and Hambach castle in the background

Dienstag, 4. März 2014

The world in purple, yellow and white

Are you prepared for a spring color therapy???

--> Here we go!!!

This beauty in purple is

Crocus tommasinianus (woodland crocus, Tommasini's crocus, early crocus),
often referred to as 'tommies', were named after the botanist Muzio G. Spirito de Tommasini (1794-1879), who was Mayor of the city of Triest.
They are native to Bulgaria, Hungary and former Yugoslavia. 

And to the garden of the botanical institute of Wuerzburg university.

 Crocus tommasinianus is often referred to as early or snow crocuses, but these terms are shared with several other species, although C. tommasinianus is amongst the first to bloom.

I took the photos on Sunday, 23rd February in the garden of the botanical institute of Wuerzburg university. All the crocuses were already fully in bloom.
I can't remember any earlier time of flowering of these harbingers of spring in Germany.
Last year it was the first weekend of March when I took the very first of these crocuses there.

Ok, let's change the color to a bright yellow...

What do you think?
These yellow, even golden crocuses look like "catchers of the sunshine", don't they?
Especially in front of the dark background of their bed.

Now let's change the shade of your yellow color...

... to a more pale version.

This blossom carpet is knotted by Eranthis / winter aconite.

Species in this genus are spring ephemerals, growing on forest floors and using the sunshine available below the canopy of deciduous trees before the leaves come out.

Most of you certainly haven't seen of these spring beauties before, haven't you?

Narcissus romieuxii is an early flowering species of daffodil.

It blooms in mid to late winter. There are many subspecies and cultivars, with flowers in many shades of white and yellow. This narcissus species originated in the Atlas Mountains region of Morocco.

Here I used a texture to rework my photograph of Narcissus romieuxii- but textures only seem to be a girl's [femal photographers] best friend.
I'm absolutely not sure if this photo really needs a texture.
What do you think?

***   ***   ***   ***   ***

Let's reduce the color to the minimum - white is beautifully and delights the eye... ;-)

Spring Snowflake (Leucojum vernum).

The snowflakes are native to central and southern Europe, from the Pyrenées to Romania and western Russia, but they have been introduced and have naturalized in many other areas, including the east coast of North America.

It flowers one or two weeks later than the snowdrops, i.e., from mid-February to March, as soon as the snow melts in its wild habitat.

Last but not least: 

A beautiful group of Helleborus niger, commonly called Christmas rose or black hellebore,

What's up with the springtime flowers in your part of the world?