September 22, 2016 at 10:21 AM EDT (7:21 AM PDT) is the exact moment of this year's Autumn Equinox.
Here on Raven Ridge, the leaves have been turning hues of orange, yellow and red for a number of weeks. I don't know if that portends a cold, rainy winter or a cold, dry winter. But, if the balmy evening we had last night, where we were able to stay out on the deck in shirt sleeves until well past 8:30 (almost unheard of on this foggy coast of northern California), is any indication, we probably won't see rain anytime soon.
Depicted here is a Viburnum trilobum, or American Cranberry Bush. It happily grows outside my office window.
Check out this link on The Farmers Almanac web site for fall equinox information. And don't be thrown off by the year in the link, it is really for 2016.
I'm having a love affair with the tuberous begonias that I've planted in hanging baskets on the back deck. They receive about 4 hours of full sun this time of year and when that sun hits them about an hour before setting, the results are magical. This plant is a Picotee hybrid named Calypso. Some of the blooms are 4-inches across.
A beach walk last March revealed many large pieces of trees and roots, and smaller pieces of drift wood that had washed ashore during the winter storms. I found this one to be quite dramatic with the frothy Pacific Ocean behind it, and I couldn't pass up capturing the contrasts between all the elements.
Another exercise in lighting contrast, I placed this Miltoniopsis orchid in a translucent gauze-covered west window during a bright afternoon, adjusting the exposure so I was able to photograph the orchid while the background became almost white. You would never know that there are shrubs just outside the window.
The image just above is not a crop of the larger one on top even though it looks like it could be. I was intrigued by the deeper colors created by petal overlap as the bright light shone through them and wanted a closer look.
I'm not sure where these exercises are leading me, if they are leading me at all, but I am enjoying the ride.
These two photos were taken as an exercise in lighting. I stepped behind the flower, which was growing very near to a large clematis, and shot into bright sunlight.
I kind of like the washed out, over-exposed look of the background ferns and plants in contrast to the deep purple-black of the foreground iris petals, along with the bright light coming through and illuminating the veins of those petals further away from the camera.