Magic Camera Monday: June 20, 2011

Oleander Bloom

Oleander bloom

I love Oleander. The colors are always amazing and this plant can bloom even in the worst conditions. I cut the bush down to the root last year, so it is a little late in showing off its color. I LOVE the range of color shown in each flower cluster. Just look at all those pinks!

Oleander Buds

Here’s a shot of the Oleander before it blooms. The leaf structure is beautiful all by itself. The veining of the leaf is really dynamic as well. The smaller veining runs perpendicular to the central vein, instead of on an angle. This detail combined with the leaf shape makes for a very graphic looking plant.

Gazing Ball

Gazing ball

I thought the color and translucency of the gazing ball was very interesting. I love how the condensation looks on the surface of the ball. It adds an extra layer of depth and interest to this very simple shot. I really LOVE seeing the reflection of the house next door. It’s a great angular element amidst all the circles and organic shapes in the photo. I was focusing on capturing the circles, so this was pleasant surprise.

Mexican Petunia

Mexican Petunia

It may look delicate, but the Mexican Petunia is one tough little flower.  It’s used as a ground cover in my area of Texas.

Tree Moss

Tree moss

Isn’t this cool? I tried to take another photograph of the Crepe Myrtle, but failed. I’m still not capturing what I’m seeing. When I realized the Crepe shot wasn’t working, I decided to shoot something else. That’s when I noticed the moss on the Crepe Myrtle’s trunk and decided to shoot it. I think this stuff looks amazing, even if it’s kinda hard on the tree.

Sago Palm

Sago Palm

I think Sago Palms are beautiful to look at. They seem soft and fern-like, but if you have a Sago, you know this is just an illusion. Sagos are tough and unyielding. I guess that’s why they have been around since the dinosaurs. I really love how they look— in spite of rough exterior.



This bit of clover is growing next to the base of the Sago. I need to get rid of it, but not today. I love the contrast between the soft, round clover and the rough and angular Sago.

Mexican Heather

Mexican Heather

This delicate little plant is one of my favorites. Mexican Heather is a profuse bloomer and requires NO maintenance. Yea!



This is my Rosemary tree. I got it as a Christmas gift last year. I love the shape and color of this herb. The architecture of the plant is really interesting. I don’t cook that much, but I enjoy the plant daily. One of my favorite things to do with this herb is pet it. If you have Rosemary, you know what I’m talking about. There is just nothing like that smell. It’s kinda like catnip for people.



I just love the leaf structure on the Schefflera. It’s commonly called an Umbrella tree/plant. You can’t see why it’s called that in this shot, but click on the link and you will see why. This photo was about layering and depth. I love how the focal leaves layer on top of each other as they come into the frame from different angles. It’s looks as if the larger leaf is leaning down to lift the other one up, so you can see it better.

So . . . how did I do? Do you like today’s post? Lemme know.


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24 Responses to “Magic Camera Monday: June 20, 2011”

  1. Kathy Colvin Says:

    Hi Tom:

    I see you’ve spent some time in the garden and love your camera shots. I too, have a need to pet the rosemary bush/plant. I love the smell it leaves on your hands. I’m learning new plant names too! My time in your garden this morning was very peaceful. Thanks.

    • Tom Says:

      Hi there, Thanks for checking out my latest foray into photography. I’ve shot about all there is to shoot outside, so I’ll be moving inside for my next Magic Camera Monday.

  2. Jeff Strang Says:

    Great shots Tom love the gazing ball! Careful before you know it you will be the most published photographer in Texas! LOL!


    • Tom Says:

      Well, hey there. I thought the gazing ball turned out pretty well too. I may have to try shooting it again, just to see what may show up. I seriously doubt I’ll ever bee the most published photographer in Texas, but I’ll keep at it.

      Maybe one day I’ll be like you and have a camera at the ready, at all times. 🙂

  3. Lynn Kelly Says:

    You and your Magic Camera are getting well acquainted! I enjoy your enjoyment of the little things around you – as I walk in my garden, I appreciate some of the same things! I wish you could see and photo my Turk’s Cap as it is so radiantly happy in my semi-shaded back yard. It has been a challenge to find something colorful that can be happy here with my shade. Yes, I have Ruella (Mexican Petunia) and some impatients, an iris or two, many ferns, a volunteer wild dewberry that actually produced blooms and dried up berries this year now that I’m encouraging it a bit, some Peacock Ginger, and many others — but the brilliant red and unique formation of the Turk’s Cap with its boldly large leaves…..just delights my eye!

    • Tom Says:

      Hi Lynn, Yes, me and my camera are getting along well so far, but i haven’t really pushed it or myself. Shooting outside isn’t that hard, if you shoot during the right time of day.

      I love shooting tight shots. I find it more interesting than shooting wide shots. I love details and micro photography is perfect for that. When you shoot really close up, you learn to appreciate all the tiny details in your world.

      You threw out a few plant names I hadn’t heard of before, so I had to check them out. The Turk’s Cap looks a little like a Hibiscus before it fully opens, just on a much smaller scale. The color is AMAZING. I don’t have much shade in my yard, so I couldn’t grow it, but it’s a beautiful plant. The Peacock Ginger is looks similar to the Mexican Petunia, but a softer lavender. Another very pretty plant for a shady spot.

      Have you considered Hosta for you shady area? I love Hosta because of the amazing foliage. They have been hybridizing it so there are a ton of options in color and leaf shape. It’s one of my favorite plants.

      I really enjoyed checking out the flowers you have mentioned. It was a fun search and I appreciate your comments.

  4. Sharie - Moss Bluff Says:

    Gorgeous pictures……….It has been so dry in the Lake Charles area the foliage is suffering. We should have a break this week, it is suppose to rain everyday. We just had a “passing cloud” and it poured. Hooray……..

    • Tom Says:

      Hi Sharie, Everything is suffering here too. If you will notice, I have only shot closeups. I have very little blooming and the sprinkler system only keeps things alive, not flourishing.

      I hope you are right. I would love for it to rain. We seriously need a thorough soaking rain.

      Thanks for your comments. Hopefully you’ll drop by again soon.

  5. Gari Says:

    Mmmmm, cat nip….. 😉 Ya know what else I like? Picking a leaf from the orange tree and crumpling it in my hand…… Now if someone could identify the week I spent the biggest part of yesterday fighting…. little booger wore me out! Your pics are lovely!!! Thanks for sharing!

    • Tom Says:

      Hi Gari, An orange tree sounds really nice too. I could smell it as soon as I read your comment. Hmmm, not sure what weed you are talking about.

      Sorry the weeds. I wish they would learn to stay out of flower beds. I try to keep my beds clean, but it’s amazing how quickly a weed can grow in a short time.

      I also wish the grass would grow as well in the yard as it does in my flower bed.

  6. Nikki Brackin Says:

    beautiful flowers – you must have a great garden – but why would I be surprised about that – wasn’t gardening one of the first ideas you tried out as the legacy subject? And you gave it up because they die in the winter? Was that before or after the food………. so glad you kept looking!!

    • Tom Says:

      Hi there, No, I don’t have a great garden. Maybe one day. I have lots of ideas, but haven’t spent the time to bring them to fruition. Yes, gardening was going to be my legacy, then I switched to cooking, then to quilting.

      I really enjoy the other two interests, but quilting is definitely my passion. I’m glad I kept looking too. You are one of the reasons why I am happy my search continued.

  7. Carol Anderson Says:

    Love your flowers. Isn’t it amazing how many quilters are also gardeners? I think it must have something to do with color and texture.

    • Tom Says:

      Hi Carol, I agree. There are several quilters who are gardeners, but I’m not really a gardener. I play one sometimes on TV, but I don’t have the natural instinct for taking care of plants.

      The color, texture and variety get me every time. I love going to nurseries. It’s almost like going to a quilt store for me. I can spend hours there, just imaging how wonderful that plant would be in my home.

  8. Brenda Wall Says:

    The artist in you comes out in your pictures and your words. Thank you for sharing your garden.

    • Tom Says:

      Hi Brenda, I’m glad you think so. Taking a decent photograph is harder than it looks. I didn’t share all my photos because most are just snapshots. You have to shoot several pictures to get a decent photograph.

      The links I provided have some amazing photographs in them. Hopefully if I keep shooting, my photography will get closer to that level.

  9. jayardi Says:

    • • • Phooey, I forgot about Magic Camera Monday. Good thing I check in no matter what. Awesome foliage. Any possibility you’ll be branching out in your photographic journey? 😉

    • Tom Says:

      HEY! I’m just getting started . . .of course there will be other subject matter. I just have to work up to it. Shooting flowers outside is fairly easy. The light is bright and the subject is beautiful. All I have to do is, try not mess the shot up.

      I have lots more on my list to shoot, so stay tuned.

  10. Margaret Says:

    Your pictures are great – thanks for sharing the “eye candy”. I also take photos, have a garden, do lots of embroidery, paint and quilt – all compelling visual pursuits. Have you ever considered embroidery?

    • Tom Says:

      Hi Margaret, Glad you enjoyed the photographs. I’m trying to make these posts interesting and useful. Besides learning about my camera, the photos are great reference for quilting patterns and design ideas.

      I pursue almost everything you do, except painting. I love to watch painters work, but have never been comfortable painting. I LOVE LOVE LOVE embroidery and incorporate it into all of my pieces.

      I have two pieces I am currently working on that rely heavily on embroidery. If you keep coming back to visit you will see them in progress.

      I could go on an on about embroidery and how wonderful and interesting I think it is in all its forms, but to keep my response brief, the answer is a BIG YES!

  11. Thearica Burroughs Says:

    A very nice ending to an awesome day!

  12. Sue, a Florida Farm Girl Says:

    Glad you finally got around to mentioning all those “pattern and design” possibilities that just jump out from your pictures!! That was the first thing I thought about. Guess all of us across the south are just hanging on these days, praying for rain. Learning how to use a camera isn’t as easy as one would think. I’ve got a digital DSLR that is giving me fits. But then, I don’t spend the time with it that I ought, either, so I have only myself to blame! Stay cool and do a rain dance every day.

    • Tom Says:

      Hi Sue, We got rain yesterday. I think lasted a whole 3 minutes. It was such a surprise I thought the sprinkler system had exploded. I always have tons of ideas for patterns, but there is only so much time in the day and I REALLY love to make quilts more than patterns.

      Don’t be disheartened though, I’m still working on patterns, they are just a little slower to get out.

      It does take time and effort to learn a camera, that’s why I’ve forced myself into the situation of having to take photos. So far, I’ve only spent about an hour a week, usually on Sunday, because I have to post Monday. As time goes by, I think I’ll spend a lot more time with the camera. I’ve learned a lot so far, but still have a ways to go.

      I’ve read the manual from cover to cover, but I am still not understanding how to access all the features. I think I have it figured out, then it still doesn’t work the way I hoped. Oh well, I’ll keep trying.

      Thanks for stopping in.

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