Massive Live Oak Trees

Live oak with people looking very small beside it

This Southern live oak tree (Quercus virginiana) seemed almost too big to fit on the camera screen, silly as that seems. I had planned to crop out the people, but rethought the shot because they give a sense of scale. Their placement doesn’t comply with the rule of thirds (rule of thirty-thirds, perhaps) but then my pictures rarely do.  Continue reading

Weekly photo challenge: Atop

Garden silhouette

In the valleys of North West England, blue skies are elusive. When one does deign to grace us, it inevitably arrives with an entourage of fluffy clouds. So, for me, an unbroken expanse of blue sky is always something of a miracle.

That may be what motivated me to try a few experimental shots of trees and their canopies as dusk was falling at the wonderful San Diego Botanic Garden. If only this was a technique I could practice back at home! If there’s such a thing as blue sky envy, I’ve got it.

Sunset at San Diego Botanic Garden

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Spanish moss at Magnolia Plantation, Charleston

Lake and skyline with Spanish moss

Sky is reflected in the lake around dawn at one of America’s largest romantic gardens. I’m at Magnolia Plantation with a group of garden writers: one of the best surviving examples of the romantic style of gardening. The idea is that gardeners should co-operate with nature, rather than try to control it. It’s a delicate balance.

The Spanish moss tumbling from the trees catches my eye – a Gothic plant if there ever was one. Ann Radcliffe would have approved.

Spanish moss at Magnolia Plantation

For more interpretations of this week’s theme, visit the Daily Post’s photo challenge.