One of our favorite activity is walking. Melisa walks every day and, whenever I am home, I happily join her. Our typical walk is four to four and a half miles, usually with something like a 300 to 400 feet elevation change. One of our routes includes an area that was slated to be a subdivision, but got caught in the housing crash and now sits blocked off from auto traffic. Locals regularly walk their dogs there, and use it as a pedestrian area.
Plants are slowly reclaiming the road that cuts through the site, and I always thought it offered a good photo opportunity. In late July I dedicated a few hours to photo-walking a quarter mile stretch of the place. The following are the result.
That’s Pikes Peak in the distance. The Peak is visible from multiple places along our walk. Those are Common Mullein plants, and invasive species common in these parts. I always thought they were milkweed plants. I looked them up for this post, and I now stand . . . er . . . sit corrected.
I don’t think they are common at all; they have amazing flowers (more later). However, this particular setting was a bit . . . blah, so I played around with it.
Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s a forgery. I think the guy died a while back. But, I was impressed with how cultured the graffiti artist around these parts are. Bravo!
I had planned on many wonderful shots of grass and grass seeds. Unfortunately, the wind picked up just as I made it to the area in question.
By the way, astute viewers (especially in SmugMug) might notice small editing signs. A rare thing for me, I had neglected to clean my camera, and a number of black spots marred every picture. Blending them out added to my edit time, and served to ingrain a valuable lesson; take care of your equipment. And right after that, take care of your camera and lenses.
One other thing which I wanted to work on during this walk was the use of low-angle shots. I have this articulating tripod that lets me set the camera very low to the ground, and still be angled upward. I can then fire the camera remotely. My knees appreciate it greatly.
Pretty disgusting-looking, really. It’s a Gumweed Plant. And you can’t hardly snap a picture without some bug being in the shot. I spent nearly forty minutes just photographing this plant.
That little spider was very animated, and not only because of my lens a few inches away from him. He seemed to be trying to get comfortable. And yes, I also shot movies, but did I mention it was windy? Really, it’s not something you want to watch if prone to motion sickness.
This particular guy was adamant about occupying this flower. Do you remember the Sweat bee?
The thing is, there were many, many flowers. I could not figure out why that particular flower was in high demand. Then again, I am not a bug. Yes, I know I bug people; it’s not the same.
I almost touched the stuff, but seeing as I handle multiple expensive lenses and an expensive camera, I thought it best to let it be.
After I had more shots than I could use, I moved on to the thistle. In this particular instance, it was Wavyleafed Thistle. I never knew there were so many different thistle . . . until I started looking.
There were a number of different grasses, but as I said above, they were a-swaying in the breeze. Did manage a few when they momentarily stopped.
Aside all the thriving weeds, there are also remnants of weeds from seasons past, or maybe earlier in the year.
It was difficult to pick a favorite flower, but if pressed I would have to go with the Bull Thistle.
But first, let’s look at the common sunflower plant.
Wait . . . we interrupt the sunflower plant for a developing situation on a bull thistle.
They are a close second to the thistle as far as beauty. They look magnificent, especially when viewed close-up.
I will once again take the opportunity to suggest a visit to SmugMug might be in order. All these pictures will show much better there than here. Just click HERE. There are 124 photographs in the gallery.
Anyway, back to the sunflower . . .
I had to shoot the above with one hand as I steadied the plant with the other. The wind was blowing it around pretty good.
As the sun rose higher, the heat became more than I wanted to tolerate. I called Melisa to come and pick me up, and snapped this last photo while I waited.
I thank you for letting me share my photo-walk with you, and stay tuned for the Hummers of Summer.
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.