Today is (observed) Alaska Day. The official Alaska Day is Oct. 18 and recognizes the U.S. flag raising at Fort Sitka on Oct. 18, 1867.
The U.S. flag replaced its Russian counterpart following the purchase of Alaska for roughly $7 million. Alaska Day is being observed a day late this year because it is a paid holiday for state employees.
Since I didn’t post about it yesterday the observance also gives me another opportunity. It’s impossible to find one photo, or even a group, to represent all Alaska has to offer. Instead I chose Alaska’s state flower: the forget-me-not.
The tiny blue and orange flower is hard to spot, and equally difficult to photograph.
Above: Water on whimsical cherry blossoms.
Dreamy is the current Weekly Photo Challenge. To me, dreamy conjures feelings of contrast. Dreams are often simultaneously crisp and cloudy. Things that don’t make sense feel true. Entire dreams can be vague narratives shrouded in mist, except for one hyperreal detail — perhaps a pair of eyes.
In these photographs a shallow depth of field helps create a dreamy and uncertain aesthetic.
Dreamy cherry blossoms 2
Dreamy cherry blossoms 1
Dreamy cherry blossoms
Above: The much smaller wolf spider can be seen in the clasp of an orb weaver.
The weekly photo challenge for Nov. 1 through Nov. 7 is eerie. Of course it was announced just one day after I posted about the Paris Catacombs, which would have fit the bill perfectly. Not uncommon for me to have great ideas ahead of their time.
So for this challenge I’m heading to the archives. In 2010 I was slowly experimenting with digital – and often forgetting to make sure I was shooting RAW files.
I did have some extension tubes to attach to my old Canon Rebel XTi. Extension tubes increase macro capabilities by moving the lens farther away from the sensor. So when I saw a large orb-weaver spider killing a smaller wolf spider I ran to grab my camera.
Spiders are eerie enough when they aren’t cannibalizing other spiders.
Reservations for one.
Securing the prey for later consumption, July 11, 2010.
Above: The odd green color makes romanesco feel even more bizarre.
Continuing the harvest theme from my last post about blueberries, it is fall after all, today includes some vegetables grown in my garden. Few things are more satisfying then a delicious home-cooked meal made with food you grew. Much like the blueberries, it can be difficult to find time to photograph vegetables rather then planting, picking or eating them. So here’s a few photos of some photogenic plants.
Potatoes are my family’s main crop, and come in many varieties. My favorite is probably Irish Reds. They work for many recipes, and look fantastic.
Fresh washed Irish Reds.
One vegetable perhaps more known for its appearance then its use as a food is romanesco, from the cauliflower family. Occasionally called “martian vegetable” for the lime green color and spiraling fractals that form the structure, it can be a very perplexing plant.
I chose black and white to emphasize the plants form.
- Spiraling romanesco – repeating patterns play with the eye.
Above: Handfull and bucket full of berries.
Fall in Alaska brings much more then decreasing temperatures and less daylight. Gorgeous colors fill the hills while harvests fill the pantries. The near total daylight of summer allows great success over the short growing season. The harsher, cooler climate vegetation endure make for sweet and succulent food.
Blueberries are both incredibly tasty and incredibly healthy. Packed with antioxidants, blueberries are often called a brain food for their anti-aging and protection-properties for brain neurons. A 2012 article from Alaska Dispatch describes how antioxidants “pick up loose oxygen-seeking substances that, left to roam, will ultimately find a healthy cell to deplete.” WIld Alaskan berries have repeatedly tested to be much higher then farmed berries in health benefits.
The vibrant colors also fit in nicely with the Weekly Photo Challenge: Saturated.
Berries topped with dew rest on a branch.
A sea of color.
It’s been a long time since I participated in Weekly Photo Post, and what a perfect theme since my return from Washington and Oregon. While Fairbanks has been receiving a mid-April snowstorm, resulting in lots of white, the Washington Park Arboretum had very-vibrant warm, spring hues.
My botanical identification skills are sub-par, and the only plant species I recognize are tulips, which were actually in someone’s front yard. The first three images are of pink flowers. Pink is a subset of red, a warm hue which is known for psychological responses of passion, love, and happines. But also blood and anger and danger. The pink petals with green leafs are also complementary colors.
The final image is a pretty purple, a cool color, which in western culture is asosciated with royalty, luxury and occassionally magic.
Wildflowers are a main attraction to be found on Mt. Rainier. There are obviously many others: great views, unique structures, waterfalls, glaciers and abundant wildlife. I will feature them all in the weeks to come. But it’s Friday, so let us relax, enjoy the beautiful fall and maybe daydream a little. To facilitate those feelings take a look at the pretty purple flowers.
Please click on the image to view full size.