Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chasing the Sun




A civilian (defined here as a non-gardener) once asked me why I would bother to grow daylilies, whose flowers last a single day. To her it seemed like a lot of effort to go through for a bloom that had a 24 hour lifespan. 

How could I really respond? You can point out the beauty of a flower to someone, but you can't teach them to appreciate it.



Donna of Garden Walk, Garden Talk has started a regular Word for Wednesday linking party which is an "exploration of words through pictures, where a word relates to the story in photos." 

This week's word is "ephemeral" which is defined as "lasting for a short time, transitory, fleeting or momentary." 

When I sat down to think about how I might interpret the word "ephemeral" in pictures, daylilies and their fleeting blooms immediately sprang to mind. 


It would have been easy to expand this idea out to other flowers that make a fleeting appearance each summer. My peonies, for instance, only bloom for a little over a week.

I felt however, that I wanted to dig deeper into the meaning of the word "ephemeral" and look for something that that has a bigger impact on my garden than the brief appearance of its flowers. 

The seasons certainly come and go.



My garden in its seasonal transition as I write. The leaves are all turning color. Flowers are setting seed.

Still, I was not satisfied. I wanted to focus in on something more personal, something that was not only ephemeral, but was ironically a constant factor in each season and on every day of the year. 


So what did I come up with? 

Sunlight! 

Sunlight changes constantly throughout the day, as the sun rises in the sky. It can fade as the sun passes behind a cloud and it disappears altogether each night. 


In my open front garden, I can grow just about anything I want. In the backyard however, the amount of sunlight that passes through the tree tops severely limits what I can grow. 


Through trial and error, I have discovered which plants will tolerate the limited sunlight that passes through the dense leafy canopy.


Sunlight not only as an impact on my garden; it has a huge influence on my photography as well.


I court the sun with my camera.


I often wait impatiently, toe tapping, for the sun the pass out from behind a cloud.


The sun lights reds on fire...



and it sets yellows a glow.


It adds more drama than any actor ever could.




For me then, the sunlight perfectly defines the word ephemeral.

To see other interesting interpretations of the word "Ephemeral"
 hop on over to GardenWalk, Garden Talk by clicking the link.

32 comments:

  1. Oczywiście, że od słońca wszystko zależy : życie, kwiaty, zdjęcia... . Słoneczko Ci sprzyjało przy ich robieniu :-). Pozdrawiam

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  2. It looks like it was a lovely sunny day when you took the photos - autumn personified.

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  3. Beautiful photos.What about the spring ephemerals amenone vestal, dodecathon, erythronium to name a few. Wonderful plants for a shaded area because they bloom before the trees leaf out and then disappear until the next spring. You usually must stoop to admire these tiny treasures but they leave a lasting inprint on your heart.

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  4. Wow, Jennifer ! That's amazing - ephemeral sun ... I would never think like this, before reading your post. Love the light in all the pictures !!!

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  5. I too never would have thought of the sun to be ephemeral in so many ways. You captured the sun in all your images, knowing how short a moment there was to get those photos. I liked how you looked deeper to find a different way to express and illustrate the word. Many thanks to you, Jennifer.

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  6. Jennifer, your photos are stunning! I know you think of yourself as a photographer but you are also a very good writer. You should consider joining the writing organizations also.

    Eileen

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  7. Great post! I thought of day lilies, but not the sun! And you are so right - it can make things so dramatic. And when it's not light enough for the camera, and the flash goes off, it just doesn't light things up right like the sun does.

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  8. What a beautiful post, and your photos are incredible. Many thanks for your kind remarks, love Linda x

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  9. Jennifer, these are just gorgeous.
    The detail you have captured in so many of them is wonderful.

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  10. Wonderful thoughts on the word ephameral, I wouldn't have thought about the sun but you have a great point about waiting for the sun to hit in certain ways to capture it on film. When it does it's so short and then the moment passes.

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  11. As usual I enjoyed your post and photos.
    Incredible shots.

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  12. The joy of having that little piece of sunlight hit the petals in such a way that you'll never ever see again other than in the photo you've taken. There's nothing like it. Truly ephemeral.

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  13. Perfect! We had a similar thought in mind. My post is more of a humorous take on fading daylight, though. And your photos are absolutely stunning!

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  14. I really enjoyed your post and your exploration of "ephemeral" lighting in your garden. Thank you!

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  15. I loved this post on the word ephemeral. How very true, the sun is the most fleeting of all, especially on these autumn days. What a difference a ray of sun makes in a photo. Love every image you have shared here.

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  16. Lovely photos - love them all! :-)

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  17. How true love your take on word on Wed..

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  18. Yep, couldn't agree more! You've said it perfectly, courting the sun! I do the same...chasing the moments for a photograph and always amazed at how quickly the moment can pass.

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  19. Just gorgeous shots in this posting. We need the sun and color as gardening comes to an end and the flowers are disappearing.These sun lite blooms are so beautiful.
    Though some flowers only last for a day as our daylilies I find the effort well worth the beauty of the blooms they give. I find that digging a hole is well worth the time for summers of beauty.

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  20. Thank you for your comments everyone. I am looking forward to seeing everyone's interpretation of Donna's theme. I will reply to a few of the more pointed comments.
    Donna/GardenWalkGardenTalk Thanks for hosting!
    Eileen/Gatsby Gardens, Thanks for the kind words about my writing. The pictures come easily. The words do not. I appreciate the encouragement.
    Anonymous, Thank you for your many plant suggestions for shade. It is a great idea to include early bloomers that flower before the trees leaf-out.

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  21. Gorgeous photos. I think each plants has a special place reserve for it in the garden. For shade-lover and sun-lover plants give us gardener the opportunity to enjoy growing at every corner of the garden depending on the light that bestow on it.

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  22. And indeed sunlight does, Jennifer! A lovely creative well thought out A+ post.

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  23. I've been visiting for a while this morning and am truly inspired, your gardens are beautiful! Perhaps there is hope for my old farmhouse yet. I'm certainly not lacking space, just the know how! I look forward to visiting more and I'm sure your future flock of chickens will be quite happy at your place. : )

    ~Andrea

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  24. Sun-courting seems like fun! Your photos are so beautiful and present some of the reasons I garden as well. Even though some blooms may last only a day, their beauty is worth it!

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  25. You always use sunlight to such great effect in your photos. My especial favorite is the one with the yellow primroses or sundrops.

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  26. Absolutely beautiful pictures showing ephemeral in so many ways...I loved the sunny yellows accentuated by the sun...I have been known to chase the sun as well...

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  27. aloha,

    yes i agree, sunlight changes daily and has an ephemeral effect...especially with your amazing photos that are backlit...beautiful!

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  28. wow these photographs are absolutely stunning and what a great blog you have, really interesting.

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  29. What a beautiful post and fabulous photos. I love the play of the light on the leaves and petals, and that you show the full gamut of a bloom's life from petalled perfection to the sparse elegance of the skeletonised hydrangea.

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