A TOUCH OF GREEN FOR SAINT PATRICK

Have you ever wondered how the shamrock symbol is related to Saint Patrick's Day? In case there's anyone who hasn't heard the reason before now, I'd like to share a story one of the tour guides in Ireland told us about Saint Patrick reaching down, plucking a clover leaf, to use as a visual aid to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity. This just struck me as such quick thinking, as well as a practical and visual way to explain a sometimes difficult concept. The lovely little shamrock symbols are plentiful in Ireland, and you can even find them atop the Dublin street lamp posts. Oh Ireland (SIGH inserted here). I'm coming back to visit some day. But, until I do, this one day in March will have to suffice.

In honor of Saint Patrick's Day, here's an Irish Blessing for you, my friends.

Everything's Comin' Up Clover, Digital Photography, © 2011 SuZan Alexander

Everything's Comin' Up Clover, Digital Photography, © 2011 SuZan Alexander

May the road rise to meet you,
may the wind be ever at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of his hand.
— Irish Blessing

A WONDERFUL QUOTE FOR WEDNESDAY

 
Two Pink Tulips, Digital Photography © 2013 SuZan Alexander

Two Pink Tulips, Digital Photography © 2013 SuZan Alexander

“Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. Make all your friends feel there is something special in them. Look at the sunny side of everything. Think only the best, be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give everyone a smile. Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others. Be too big for worry and too noble for anger.”
— Norman Vincent Peale

APRIL IRISES

 
Spring Irises, Digital Photography © 2013 SuZan Alexander

Spring Irises, Digital Photography © 2013 SuZan Alexander

This weekend I stopped by the log cabins because they have a lot of white irises, commonly referred to as “White Cemetery Iris”, in bloom. These lovely white beauties last a short time in the spring, so you can’t procrastinate. How do I know this? Because that is precisely what I did last year and missed getting any photos. Anyway, there were these two purple irises that really stood out, so I of course I tried to capture them (see the white ones in the background). I really didn’t think much about it until I got home and uploaded my photos. As I was adding keywords, I did a quick search to make sure I was correctly identifying the flowers and found this on the Aggie Horticulture site:

“An often-repeated gardeners’ tale about White Cemetery iris is that they “take over” patches of purple iris until very quickly the purple blooms are gone for good. Even though this should not happen if iris don’t set seed, there are plenty of people who swear they have seen individual plants which began with purple flowers, then with purple and white, until finally only white remained.”

Could this patch be in the midst of a “take-over”? Have you seen any other “take-overs” in your area? Well, that’s it for useless trivia for now. Enjoy the irises because they don’t last long.

FLOWERS

 
Tulip Photo Collage, Digital Photography, © 2013 SuZan Alexander

Tulip Photo Collage, Digital Photography, © 2013 SuZan Alexander

I’ve been having fun practicing my macro photo skills lately. It has become a good excuse to buy myself flowers every now and then.

I plan to compose some more creative shots, but the flowers aren’t lasting, and I haven’t taken the time to pull out all of my props to set up a more pleasing composition. I’m also trying to experiment with some high key looks, so that has taken priority over the staging. It shouldn’t be that hard but, I was trained back in the high-contrast world of black and white film photography, so it’s been a struggle to figure out the best way to achieve the look I have in mind. I think I’m having trouble achieving the high-key look, mostly because it all seems counter-intuitive to me. Added to the learning curve is the fact that I tend to research the research and, days later, I’m afraid I’m no further along in the knowledge/skills area. (Oh, if only “Grasshopper” had a personal photography mentor with all the answers …) The good news is that when it “clicks” for me, I’m going to OWN the knowledge and not just guess or hit a preset button. So, I’m considering these my warm-up exercises for those beautiful spring flowers that should be, hopefully, peeping out any day now.