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today i was exploring the colors of the marshgrasses as they turn this fall...



i'm thinking now that these are some type of thistle.  the buds are very small, less than an inch in length, and they do appear to develop into a thistle-like flower, as you can see is just beginning to show.  this caught my eye because they are at such different stages...and the stems are turning all sorts of nice fall colors too!



as i suspected, that overcast pre-storm light did nice things for the glasswort :)

the intriguing thing with this type of light is the way the glasswort glows with subtle changes in the light.  the best way to follow the light is to stare through the viewfinder waiting for some light action, shutter finger at the ready - the moment can be fleeting!  and with the right background the colors really stand out...



it is amazing to me how many plants are blossoming in the fall!  this was taken in the late day overcast the afternoon before the big rains.  i got home from work early enough to take advantage of this lovely light, and this was one of several i found in pristine condition.  i'll be curious to see what's left of them now that several inches of tropical rain have been dumped onto them!



i had hopes for a colorful sunrise yesterday morning since two tropical rain storms that are going to give us 2 or more days of solid rain would be bringing in much cloud cover...unfortunately, i also had to leave for work right around sunrise, so i thought that temptations to shoot would be distracting me.  and indeed they did!  i was able to grab my tripod though and run out for a few minutes so i was happy to capture this...



i do love being down on ground level :) the view from there is extraordinary, in the old sense of the word, extra-ordinary...the light gets broken up by all the surrounding vegetation, and there is plenty of it.  definitely otherworldly.  the spotlight effect of the prisming light shafts always intrigues me, and late afternoon when the sun is low the colors i can find down there amaze me!  there is only one way to see the shot and do it, and that is to get down there with it!  using an anglefinder on the viewfinder helps, but only by a few inches...



this is from late last week, a few days before the official start of fall - today!

how quickly the sea lavender turned to this...a couple of weeks ago this was a purple flowering plant, and now definitely past, but still colorful!  i did not fully appreciate the intensity of all this color until i was processing this.  my eye was drawn to the angle of the light, the way it comes from the side and gives depth and shape and substance to the front.  and slightly overcast and diffuse :)

and i'm still addicted to shallow depth of field...i think my lens aperture is frozen wide open!



this is for those of you who didn't want to google glasswort and don't have a clue what they look like :)  this is a fairly decent specimen of one of the main varieties, common glasswort.  isolating one of these plants is a task as they are usually buried amongst the grasses. and finding a good depth of field to separate the plant from the grasses but still have the whole plant in focus can be a matter of moving an inch or two in the world of macro...this one is about 6" high, about average size.  in the summer they are green and a lot harder to see - carmen here is in her full fall regalia which makes her a lot easier to spot!



earlier this month the sea lavender was still in fine bloom.  my favorite flower of the marsh, also known to some as marsh heather because of the purple flowers.  the challenge for me photographically is line up a good composition because there are so many bloom on each plant!  some might find this image too filled and busy, and would prefer a nice simple image of the sea lavender, but for me one of the enjoyments of the plant is the sheer overwhelming quantity of the tiny flowers...

i shot this in the overcast diffuse light and humidity of the late afternoon as we waited for tropical storm hannah to fly by.  the photographer in me could not resist that light opportunity!



while i am now engrossed in glasswort (!!), i usually spend mid to late summer addicted to sea lavender.  i am constantly amazed that such a tiny beautiful flower can survive twice a day flooding by salt water and thrive!  an evening flood high tide is the perfect time to admire them...

this was shot at about 7:20pm late in august, right at sunset.  the shadows of the nearby woods have long since come over these lavenders, but the dark blue of evening is behind them and the wind and the water are still...



back to the colorful world of glasswort in the fall!

grasswort is green all summer, and then during august it starts to turn, yellow, orange, pink, red, blue, purple - all sorts of colors!  they probably all mean something but i haven't got a clue...this was one of my first shots yesterday when i went out in the late afternoon.  "low tide sunset" and "marshgrass sunset" were both shot later in that same session.  for a lot of these glasswort images, and most certainly this one, i install my ballhead in a ground pod, a large circular tray that can sit in the damp grass and be moved around easily.  unfortunately for the photographer, using the ground pod requires the photographer being, well, on the ground, or, in this case, lying flat out stomach down on the damp marsh grass/mud.  brings out the child in me :)

i certainly do get dirty but this ground level view of glasswort world is amazingly colorful!!



i went out late this afternoon to frolic among the colorful fall glasswort, :) but the low tide kept calling me...i bent into my glasswort labors - and that does really describe what is necessary to get up close with those plants! - but was easily distracted.  i wandered over to the waterline, hung out, and watched the crabs bury themselves as the tide came in over them...i went back to the glassworts.  totally absorbed in my macro work, i suddenly realized the light all around me was marvelously pink - hey, sunset!!  and me with my macro lens :( but never fear, that lens can tackle any task!  back to the waterline to catch the clouds reflecting on the incoming tide...



a bonus day...i couldn't decide which of these two to go with...i love the colors in the pink one but also wanted to show the contrast with the evening shot...so, both!

sunrise the following morning...

and as it happens, i also took, a bit later than this one, the same shot - more or less - that i took the evening before...



...or 30 minutes after sunset to be more accurate...

i had been out amongst the glasswort as it caught the last direct light of the day.  i had hoped, despite clouds, that some sweet diffused shafts would break through but instead the whole event turned out to have much softer lighting than i thought.  i struggled with the glasswort, grousing to myself about the rather boring light.  i finally gave up and looked around.  i watched the moonrise instead :)  the moon led my eye to the marshgrasses swaying in the breeze with evening blue water behind, spiced with moonlight...

Spartina alterniflora, cordgrass.



sometimes i do actually raise my head up out of the glasswort and look around!  and i thought i should show something different from my macro obsession :)

this is what greeted me the other morning and drew me out with my camera in the first place...i love the light and shadows with the shapes of the marsh grass formed by the constant tides, plus the color of sunrise.  this marsh isn't very big but it has it all!



...not that i will be going through the entire thing here, but i thought it might be neat to see the first of what turned out to be many attempts with this particular composition.  i went back to this plant again the next day, and i certainly will be checking it out next time i'm in the area...so i suspect i'll have some more images to share of this over time!  looking through my shots yesterday it occurred to me that this was the first of them all, and sometimes you never do better than that first one!  i think i did do better down the line, but i thought it might be amusing to keep this one in mind.  so i'm posting it :)

this was what first caught my eye and my imagination...



yesterday morning right after sunrise was a good time for more glasswort exploration.  i didn't think so at first light, but the clouds had me thinking there might be intriguing light so down to the shore i went.  at first i wandered around doing handheld shots, but light wasn't there and it was a while before sunlight began making a dent through the clouds...and when it did, i grabbed my ground pod for camera support and threw myself into the marsh!

i am still fascinated and exploring with shallow depth of field...


Distichlis spicata

known by me as spike grass.  the sea lavender and the spike grass blossom together in august, and though by now the sea lavender is mostly past peak the spike grass is still with us.

i went out yesterday just after the direct sun went below the woods to the west of the marsh but with still a while until actual sunset.  i had meant to get out a bit earlier, but, well, life has a way of happening...and as a reward some substantive and sculpted clouds were rolling in for some sweet light!

and i think i've been spending so much time with the glassworts that my sense of color has locked in!


birthday candles

i have to start somewhere.  and this seems a propitious day for it...

currently i seem to be in a "glasswort" phase - i love this plant!!  when the light makes it glow i go insane!

and i am also exploring shallow depth of field...so this is as wide open as that lens can go...

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