Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

May 2011 Gardening Gone Wild Picture This Contest

Gardening Gone Wild is running another "Picture This" photo contest this month, focusing on the macro world and light. Last month's contest was about "the importance of seeing and understanding light in your photography." This month's is about applying any lessons learned doing last month's assignment to the world of close-up pictures.

I started out looking through months of macro pictures, trying to find one that applied. I only actually started using the macro setting on my point-and-shoot camera last summer, so I didn't have that many good pictures to work with. Also, here in the Pacific Northwest, with our cloudy, rainy weather, the sun is so seldom seen, it's hard to get dramatic lighting. Fortunately, last week the sun came out, just in time. So I decided to set my camera on macro and see how many new ones I could create.

Japanese maple leaves with the sun behind them. 

Hairy poppy buds with dew on them.

Ladybug on peony foliage

I took a break from the camera to put together some annual pots, and when I turned one of my pots right-side up, I found a ginormous slug (well, as big as my index finger). Out came my camera yet again.

I found some interesting shadows and lunar textures on my ornamental rhubarb leaves.


The unfurling ferns made for some interesting close-ups.

I love the way the fronds are interlaced.

It wasn't until I came back in and loaded the pictures onto the computer that I realized I had taken these pictures of a Sempervivum  that was positively glowing in the afternoon sun.

Someone taking a walk had dropped these rhododendron flowers onto the river rocks at the front of our house.

Aha! I bet I can get some great pictures of the water in my stream!

Bubbles and moss clinging to the rocks.


A sheet of water, frozen by the lens.

Fast-moving bubbles, with many reflections of the seldom-seen Pacific Northwest sun.

What is clinging to this rock in serried rows? Is it marks on the rock? No, I'm pretty sure it's lots of tiny tadpoles, facing into the stream. They've made shadows on the surface of the rock, as well as on the adjacent rock.
This is the one.


  1. I can't pick a favourite, all are very nice shots.

  2. Wonderful pictures, Alison! You have clearly been having a lot of fun getting right up close and's magical how much detail you see this way. I loved ALL of your studies, but feel envious of all those baby tadpoles! You are SO LUCKY to have your own stream and was probably the best addition you've made to your garden!

  3. Wow! What fun--I need to remember to pay attention to the GGW blog more!

  4. The lines on the slug, who'd a thunk? I don't think I've ever gotten close enough to a slug to notice them. And that semp--nice. Actually all the photos are great.

  5. EWWW slugs! But the lines are cool! I like the lady bug on the peony best, the color contrast is very nice :)

  6. You are the only person I know who has been able to raise a slimy slug to an art form. I could not have ever picked just "one" picture to submit. Fabulous photographs all the way around!

    Cathy in MA

  7. wow Alison, would be hard to choose! You have some great shots there. I do like those little tadpoles, nature in action!

  8. Great shots...all of them;-) I love how the photos of the water turned out. I don't think any tadpoles will survive in my pondless waterfall/stream, as it's all constantly moving. They can't 'settle' in one place anywhere. Isn't yours moving, too? I would love it if I could have some here. Wow, that slug is way to huge for my comfort level! Anyway, good luck with your submission, Alison!

  9. What absolutely STUNNING photography, Alison! Best of luck in the contest! Those tadpoles are GREAT!


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