Archive for the 'Virginia' Category



Wildflowers of Citie of Henricus Historical Park

Common Violet above.

Citie of Henricus Historical Park is a reconstructed colonial settlement on the banks of the James River in Chester VA. While it does not compare to the Williamsburg and Jamestown reconstructions in the area, it has its own charm, and is pretty impressive for a county effort. It preserves and celebrates the 2nd successful English settlement in North America, founded in 1611. A resident staff of reinactors play various roles, maintain colonial farming and gardening demonstrations, a carpenter shop, tobacco barns, etc. Henricus has an interesting history, both in Colonial and Revolutionary times, and one that somehow has not made it into any history book I read in school. More info is available here.

As fascinating as the history is, the real draw for me is accessible public land, with extensive marshes in a backwater of the James with lots of birdlife, and a stretch of riverside forest in the Dutch Gap Conservation Area with some rough trails. I visit it in spare moments when I am in Virginia at our corporate offices. I was especially eager this year to photograph the Redbud trees, and to see what spring wildflowers were out.

So what we have today is a random sampling of wildflower close-ups. All were taken with the Canon SX20IS and all but number three (Star Chickweed) and the Common Violet at the end were taken at the wide end of the zoom and macro. The Chickweed was off the trail and only accessible with the 560mm macro of the SX20, and I intentionally backed off, got down to ground level, and framed the Violet with the long macro to isolate it in an out-of-focus background.


Virginia Spring Beauty.

Star Chickweed


Ground Ivy

Common Violet



Irresistible Spring

While you have to look hard yet to find any signs of spring in Maine (or maybe that is just me being impatient), the season is in full cry in Virginia where I have spent the past two work weeks at meetings at the ZEISS offices.

We are in a 15 year old industrial park just off 295 in Chester, and the park landscapers planted the road dividers and margins with flowering trees of several varieties. They are all in full bloom, and it is quite a sight. This tree, not content to burst at every branch tip, was pushing out blossoms in clusters from the trunk itself. I could not resist the contrast of textures and colors here. This is another long tele macro, taken from 5 feet from the trunk. I used the flip out display to hold low, pointed up at the cluster, to get a shot into the blossoms and frame against the bark.

Canon SX20IS at 560mm equivalent and macro. F5.7 @ 1/60th @ ISO 200. Programmed auto.

In Lightroom, a bit of Fill Light and Blackpoint to the right. Added Clarity and just a little Vibrance. Sharpen Landscape preset.

From First Canon VA

And, for the opposite effect…but still expressing the same vigor of spring in Virginia.



Sweet Gum Burrs in Early Morning Light

Low sun on the moss, and these Sweet Gum seed pods. The flip out, rotating LCD on the Canon SX20 works just as well as the flip up display on the Sony H50 for these low angle shots. An articulated display was one of my major requirements in a new camera, and kept me from purchasing cameras that I might otherwise have considered (like the new 30x zoom models coming out in the next month or so). I am addicted to the low view…or at least the possibility of capturing it when I see the potential. As here.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. F2.8 @ 1/320th @ ISO 160. Programmed auto.

Blackpoint slightly right, added Clarity and Vibrance (much less Vibrance than I was in the habit of adding with H50 shots…added Vibrance turns the Canon images yellow very fast). Sharpen landscape preset. Cropped at the bottom to eliminate out of focus foreground.

From First Canon VA.