Friday Flower – A bright star Allium

A bright star Allium – Photograph by Laura Lecce

This sharply pointed, geometric flower belongs to the Allium genus. A spring flowering bulb related to garlic, onion and chives that comes in varieties of pink, whites and purples and different sized flowers. The flowers cluster on the top of a single long stem and once opened, they appear as a bright firework of color. Many of them also have a glittery shimmer on the petals, catching the light and adding to their stunning beauty. This flower is a wonderful addition to any garden since purple flowers against a backdrop of green always looks so impressive. Its great to be back, have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Friday Flower – A sunny Dahlia is irresistible to bees

The sunniest dahlia – Photograph by Laura Lecce

A bright sunny dahlia such as this is absolutely irresistible to bees…. and to myself. Bees (as am I) are mostly attracted to bright colored flowers, which is why wearing a brightly colored shirt may also attract bees, and also why beekeeper suits are white. Bees also have favorite colors which are yellow, blue and violet and dislike red which they actually see as black. They can also see the ultraviolet part of the spectrum which human eyes cannot detect. The world must look very different in the eyes of a bee, but despite this, we share a common appreciation of bright sunny dahlias. Happy weekend everyone!

For other beautiful dahlias please click here.

Silent stairs with softer water

Silent stairs with soft water – Photograph by Laura Lecce

If only photographs could capture sound (although I guess there is always video). This soft, tranquil and serene looking photo is actually of a thundering dam located in the Ken Lockwood Gorge. Along this gorge there is a lovely hiking trail called the Columbia Trail which is located in New Jersey, and an easy day trip to get away from bustling Manhattan. This damn was a great way for me to practice taking photographs with longer exposure times resulting in soft, cascading water. The stairs provided an interesting surface to catch wisps of water which trickled down them. This was indeed a very fun and interesting photographic experience.

Friday Flower – The adorable aquilegia

Aquilegia (columbine) – Photograph by Laura Lecce

This beautiful flower which belongs to the adorable aquilegia plant was staring up at me, proud to be the first to open, surrounded by slower growing, unopened flower buds in various stages of development. The name aquilegia comes from the Latin word for eagle because the petal spurs look like an eagles claw, although you might know this plant by the more common name of columbine. The nectar filled spurs attract moths, butterflies or hummingbirds to pollenate the opened flowers and different species of this plant have adapted the spur length to attract certain pollinators over others.  The flowers of some aquilegia species are edible in moderation, however the roots and seeds are incredibly toxic and can cause severe gastroenteritis, heart palpitations and even death. Despite it’s ominous nature, this plant stuns passers by with so many different varieties of colorful, bright and attractive flowers.

Good at spotting balls of fluff (commonly known as raccoons)

Ball of fluff – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Isn’t this the cutest face you’ve ever seen?!

I always keep an eye out for raccoons whenever I am walking through Central Park in New York. I have become very adept in spotting them after I learned a few simple things. They are mostly in the trees and not on the ground. I had no idea that raccoons slept in trees, so look for round bundles of fur tucked into the fork of trees where the large branches leave the trunk. The hour before sunset is when these little fuzz balls are waking up and they start moving which makes them easier to see. You will find them stretching, grooming and coming down from the trees to rummage through the parks trash cans. This little youngster was quite unsure of me and so had all of its fur on end – clearly a grumpy morning person (or evening raccoon).

The rock waves of Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon rock formations – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Antelope Canyon is an amazing rock sculpture that has been beautifully designed by Mother Nature herself. These canyons have been formed by many years of flash flooding, which brings fast running water carrying abrasive sand and rocks through the canyon, continually eroding and sculpting the sandstone walls. The narrow, twisting walls of slot canyons create photos with multi-layered depth, different shades of rich color and interesting compositions. Antelope Canyon is located in Arizona, east of Page and has two separate segments called Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon and is well worth a visit.

Friday Flower – Yellow magnolia

Yellow magnolia – Photograph by Laura Lecce

It is indeed cherry blossom season in New York and the Annual Cherry Blossom Festival is on this Saturday at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens…. Which is why I went to the gardens LAST weekend. The cherry blossoms were very beautiful, but while everyone was taking photos of the blossoms, with the blossoms, in front of the blossoms, around the blossoms, I was taking photos of this glorious yellow magnolia. This giant tree was covered in large, golden, sunny flowers, but could not compete with rows and rows of pink fluffy cherry blossoms. However, I concluded that it was well worth my attention, and the photos certainly brightened up my day. Have a golden weekend everyone!!!

For some pink magnolias please click here.