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Mt. Holyoke’s Spring Flower Show! March 13, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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Most of March (through next weekend, as I’m posting this) sees Mount Holyoke College’s annual Spring Flower Show at their Botanic Gardens, a sprawling series of greenhouses just east of the campus’ center.

It’s a refreshing departure from Smith College’s staid cattle-call, which is happening concurrently.  Smith’s greenhouses are beautiful, but the elbow-to-elbow death-march through their tightly choreographed presentation makes me want to bleat out loud.

By contrast, Mt. Holyoke is a refreshing walk in the garden, whether it’s white or brown outside the glass.  And the atmosphere is mellow; sure, bring that tripod right in (I didn’t this time,) there’s plenty of time, lots of room.

It was casually inviting enough to coax me in both on Saturday, with my daughter Ursula, and on Sunday with my sweetie Susan.  Both visits kept me rapt and focused on my work, with frequent excited interactions with both of these enthusiastic co-conspirators.

The entry takes one past impressive Amaryllises like this Rilona:

…to a series of greenhouses filled with fragrant beauty:

The weather was unusually mild for March in Massachusetts, and their windows were fully open, allowing lots of honey bees to love their floral hosts:



We in the Northeast are struggling through an epidemic of Colony Collapse Disorder, but there were still quite a few honey bees about to spread the wealth of this beautiful collection of specimens.

The air was filled with the fragrance of thousands of blossoms, and I inhaled deeply of the bounty.  Freesia were abundantly represented:

I have too many shots of these to share, lest I drive you away screaming.

But really, it was the blossoms which I was there for:

I lost that one’s name, and may add it later.

Being Spring, corcuses were well represented:

…and tulips, the mainstay of Spring floweriness:

All this and more characterize this flower show.  More shots will follow, as I’m presently going blind sifting through this stuff.

More From The Bulb show. March 11, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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More shots from he Smith College Spring Bulb Show!

It was crowded during my visit, despite going on a weekday.  A busload of Old Folks came in, followed by one of little kids, their eyes wide with wonder:

The girls were all eyes, the boys all noses, doing face-plants in any flower they could reach.  🙂

I used my tripod in a very compact way, approximating a monopod, but with a bit more stability; despite the apparent brightness, I’ve found that I need longer exposures in this greenhouse, up to several seconds for close-ups of the darker blossoms.

Anyway, with fewer words and more images, here’s some of what I got:

All of these were taken with Ziggy, my 50mm Sigma lens.  I kept my aperture nearly wide open to make the most of the light, and composed these shots with a shallow depth of field in mind.  It’s quite different from my usual fare, wherein landscapes like a much deeper field of sharp focus.

More shots to come, but I think that’s enough for now.

Tulips In Winter! March 10, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
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Yeah, tulips!   Harbingers of Spring, compatriots of the robin, bright islands of color welcoming back the leaves.

And every February, visions of loveliness in the greenhouses of the Lyman Conservatory at the Smith College Spring Bulb Show!

Here are a few shots of bright red tulips to get started –  a group shot:

…and an individual tulip, outside:

…and in:

They’d just watered (I was there at opening time,) so I got some nice droplets on my first shots.

I’ve got lots of photos from my visit, an almost overwhelming number really, so it’ll take me a while to go through them.  Meanwhile, these three are a taste to let you know what’s up here at Little Bang Theory, and to give me a little momentum with this big-ish task.

Later (but not much later,) – TCR.