One of my favorite parts of summer is my daily sunrise yoga practice at Lake Harriet. Friday morning was particularly glorious: a cool, late summer breeze, pink-tinged clouds, the lonely screech of sea gulls and clank of sailboat moorings. It was all so beautiful I had to pull out my iPhone to take a picture. I’m so glad I did. I want to remember that August morning long after the snow flies.
As if the wealth of sun-ripened berries and full rainbow of farm-fresh veggies weren’t enough – the farmer’s market is now bursting with blooms in such exuberantly colorful & random bouquets that is almost feels like too much. Almost.
This gorgeous blossom is undergoing a rebranding effort in the name of monarch survival. Commonly referred to as Swamp Milkweed, the plant is one of the essential natives for monarch caterpillars. In an effort to encourage more gardeners to embrace this beneficial plant, the new moniker lends a more delicate, desirable image. This is no swamp plant: it’s Rose Milkweed (thank you very much).
I frequently zero in on the magnificence of a single flower and I do enjoy that kind of intimate study of a particular color and form. But often the beauty comes in the combination of elements – the layering and the contrasts. Sometimes I have to remind myself to step back and take it ALL in.
Most of the time, the way I work is comically antithetical to any standard or recommended way of taking photographs. Images are usually composed roughly in my head as I bring the viewfinder to my eye. There is never a tripod involved.
This image is an extreme example of my haphazard style. A single shot, snapped on my iPhone, while holding the leash of our very rambunctious (75 lb) puppy, Rocco. Kids in tow. Feet planted for a single second of stillness.
While I was out photographing the prescribed shoreline burn at Lake Nokomis, the little prairie garden near my house was cooking up its own surprises. I did a double take when I spotted the little magenta buds of prairie smoke. And I was glad to see a heartening display of green shoots poking out from the charred spots. The fresh colors seem so especially vibrant this time of year.