Saturday Hibiscus Photos
Posted on July 18, 2020 Posted by John Scalzi 22 Comments
Because why not? Why not indeed!
As an aside, it’s been delightful spending a couple of hours taking pictures of flowers and then sitting here on the computer, fiddling with the images until they come out in a way that I find aesthetically pleasing, and as something that I want to share with all of you. Hobbies are a good thing, folks, especially these days, when the ability to just disappear inside of one’s head for a bit is becoming something of a rare commodity. If you have a hobby, I hope you’re making time for it, and losing yourself in it when you can. If you don’t have a hobby, now is a very good time to take one up!
I just finished drinking a thing of hibiscus tea, which is a favorite, and thought of your photos.
A bunch of my friends wanted to know why I haven’t sewn any masks in spite of sufficient skills and time and fabric. Answer: because sewing has been one of my better distractions from stuff going on.
Sent via my dumphone. Please excuse spelling errors and laugh out loud at autocorrect insertions….
Today, I watched a comparison of a professional SLR setup against a (high end) cellphone camera. Fotos were indistinguishable. It’s not the hardware anymore but the software in the chips.
Meaning: everyone can take good fotos, there is no excuse.
Learning new things: I learned enough GIMP that I was able to overlay a semi-transparent 1942 aerial image of the rural area where I live (undeveloped and showing a couple trails) atop a Google Maps image of my property. When the weather cools I’ll be out scouring those ghost trails in my front yard with my metal detector.
There are some things for which an SLR (or similar camera) is better; it’s hard to beat big lenses and big sensors. But it’s certainly true that phone cameras these days give everyone a creditable camera in their pocket wherever they go.
That said, there’s also the artistic aspect of it. Some people will take better photos than other people mostly because they’re paying attention to the fact they’re taking a photo.
Snapshot cameras allow one to -not- learn photography basics, like depth of focus, aperture settings etc. Even basic composition. At best many people learn to crop. Results, meh.
People, it’s a rich, and in the days of digital images, an inexpensive hobby, at least at first ;-)
I’m having hibiscus envy. You can keep them alive in Canada, but they need both full sun and shelter from the prevailing winds and weather, so getting the right location is a tall order.
I am glad you are getting some restorative time with your hobby, and I completely agree that it can be very therapeutic to just do a deep dive into something you love as a way to block out other stuff, or to “disappear into your head,” as you put it. Plus as a bonus, you create and share some really gorgeous images, which I appreciate.
The hobby about which I am most passionate (wheel-throwing pottery) is unfortunately no longer open to me due to arthritis, so my wheel sits idle and gathering dust in the basement and it becomes increasingly hard for me to shut out those depressing voices in my head. I would dearly love to spend a therapeutic hour or two throwing pots, but the price I’d pay in pain is just too steep.
Here in Southern California, the hibiscus are rocking it. Jacarandas are done, but crepe myrtles are going strong, and of course, there is always bougainvillea.
I Have decided to take up the bass guitar because I have zero musical skills and no sense of rhythm, so why not? It should be here in two weeks.
Colonel S., thank you for sharing.
Today, Saturday, I spent many hours “not starting” on reading a fiction book. Maybe my inner Puritan is dropping the hobby of fiction reading; I just don’t know.
Years ago I gave away my Game of Thrones books because I won’t have time, even in retirement, to read them again.
Love the modifications of your photos. Regretfully it looks a lot like what my phone does. when i can get the right angle. LED screens are not great in the sun of Floriduh. The big problem with taking photos with the phone is how it focuses on the first straight line it sees.
Still somewhat amazed at Hibiscus in Ohio.
Hobbies are an absolute must during this particular time, enjoy them fully.
@Sean Crawford: yeah, when I retired I thought I’d spend more time reading novels; what I’m discovering is that short fiction can be very satisfying. There’s some good stuff out there. I’m sad that I’ll never have room to work in stained glass again (it needs its own space — those tiny shards get everywhere).
True, there are special cases. And I’m sorry to say: it WAS hard to beat hardware, but that’s 2 years in the past.
Art is also in post processing (as we see in your great fotos) which most smartphone operators won’t do.
Got pix of deer, turkeys, bluebells and sunrise this morning. Beats television ;-)
Not as artistic, but I got the top of a double hung window open this morning. Am changing sash cords, as with the hot weather I need to raise and lower both halves twice a day, blocking out the heat with the storms during the day. I really enjoy the practical results of this work, and my redecoration of my study is also satisfying. Aesthetic practicality. I do like the upped colors on the photos posted.
Hibiscus have a incredible range (climate zones) Shrub varieties (Althea, Rose of Sharon) grow in my neck of the woods (Chicago area) and are hardy even in Ontario. The herbaceous varieties (Rose Mallow) are hardy up to zone 4! (that’s parts of Alaska!) and one could dig up the root bundles after first frost and cellar them, replant in May/June and and grow them north of the arctic circle!
Regarding retirement, arthritis and typing…
fantasy novelist Holly Lisle blogged that she had to give up typing… but then she switched from the standard qwerty keyboard to a Dvorak one, (comes free on my Mac) and added years to her writing career.
A Babylon-5 fan has free learn Dvorak lessons at abcd Dvorak.
I have made the switch without losing my typing speed, and without speeding up either. No need to re-label my keys because for touch typing I get instant feedback from my screen. (Don’t look down!)
(Luckily, I once took touch typing at night school, so I knew in advance that Dvorak typing would not take long to learn)
If you want to start a blog, I think posts of tweet size or greeting card size would be fine: There’s no law we have to write long like our host. Bear in mind that (cyber) “space is vast,” readers are few, but a hobby is fun.
Are you going to take a picture of the comet?
Out in the country you have less light pollution then city.
Great pictures! Thanks for sharing. Whether with a cell phone or a DSLR, the skilled eye behind the camera is necessary for consistently great results.
Achoo!!! (Sorry. Allergies are in high gear right now in NC.)
Coffee is a type of Hibiscus plant.