Black Jack And Friends

april-21-2009-208-2Being in the garden at this time of year is intoxicating. If there was a purpose in mind when the doorway was crossed, it is lost once the sights and smells swirl around the cinnaberry topped cerebrum.april-21-2009-207-2Carrying the camera and pointing and shooting is easy and fun, most of the time.april-19-2009-028-2Aha! The little Arisaema, Jack in the pulpit from a friend’s mountainside has sent up a bloom.april-21-2009-094-2Pardon me, Mister Jack, may I lift your hood and snap your portrait?april-21-2009-093-2Without clumsy gardener fingers spoiling the the shot?april-21-2009-097-2Here’s another way to do it, slide the camera under the flower, click and hope for the best. Be sure and listen for the little whirring sound that the Canon makes when the focus has been put into gear.april-17-2009-088-2It is so much easier to just crouch and shoot.april-21-2009-016-2With one knee resting on the ground to steady a wobbly body.april-17-2009-037-2Trying to get the shot without laying flat out.april-21-2009-109-2Easiest of all is looking eye to eye. Simply spread your legs, bend your knees, take a deep breath, hold it and click.april-21-2009-098-2There is wisdom in planting taller flowers.april-19-2009-025-2Did I mention that the azaleas are blooming?
Plants in photos: Acer palmatum dissectum ‘Garnet’, Hosta ‘White Feather’, Arisaema tryphyllum species, Trillium catesbaei, Aquilegia, Athyrium niponicum ‘Pictum’, Leucojum aestivum ‘Gravetye Giant’, Clematis ‘Josephine’, Iris germanica ‘Champagne Elegance’, Rhododendron aromi ‘High Tide’.

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49 Responses to Black Jack And Friends

  1. Oooooo your Jack is quite hansome. Mine didn’t come up this year. I hate that. I wonder what happened to them?? Your garden looks so lively now. It is such fun to walk about with you to see everything blooming.

    Hi Lisa, thanks, he is quite a looker. My jacks just this week showed themselves, so maybe yours will pop up any day now. I see a vole hole right next to where another type of Jack was planted, and no Jack in sight. Bad voles. The blooming outside makes staying inside very difficult!

  2. Phillip (UK) says:

    Wow – what a great start to the year.

    Hi Phillip, thanks so much. It is looking good so far. This is really my favorite time, those azaleas you know. πŸ™‚

  3. Joy says:

    Now there is another “Jack” that I so want in my garden Frances .. those were wonderful pictures .. I will try to follow your directions on the picture squat pose ? LOL .. I know it works girl !! : )

    Hi Joy, thanks. Thighs of steel, Joy, thighs of steel. HA The rest of me is pudding however. πŸ™‚

  4. tina says:

    Those azaleas are very pretty. It is so intoxicating in the garden this spring for sure. What wonderful flowers you have there. I’ll try to remember your instructions for squating but really love the ‘cinnaberry topped cerebrum’:))

    Hi Tina, thanks for noticing. I wish you could see them in real life. The pictures never capture the magic. Did you notice I have changed brands? No more Garnier no. 56! HA

  5. kerri says:

    I know just the feeling you’re describing, Frances, and I can’t wait until our gardens are full of blooming and growing plants again. We have a wonderful show of daffodils at the moment, with hyacinths just opening and tulips coming (a few kaufmannianas blooming), but the other plants are just waking up.
    I’m picturing you contorting your body trying to get just the right shot. Sometimes it’s not easy, is it? πŸ™‚
    The Whitefeather is so beautifully photogenic, especially with the lovely leaves of the J. maple.
    You have some wonderful blooms in your spring garden! Is that 2 different ‘Jacks’, or does he start out the darker color and change to the red?
    Thanks for the lovely morning stroll. It’s a perfect way to begin the day πŸ™‚

    Hi Kerri, thanks. I am so glad spring has found you. I know your garden is just splendid! It is the same Jack, one shot in shade, the other with the early morning sun backlighting him. He is quite tiny actually, about the size of my thumb.

  6. Darla says:

    It is wonderful outside this time of the year isn’t it? Although it was 90 degrees here yesterday! Your gardens get more beautiful everyday, if that’s possible. Oh and I wonder what my neighbors think when they see me flat on the ground snapping photos!

    Hi Darla, it certainly is. I can barely stand to be in the house at all. Near 90 for us today by late afternoon too. Thanks for the nice words, I do wish I could photograph how wonderful the garden is to my own eyes. I try and not take photos in the front yard for that same reason. πŸ™‚

  7. Randy says:

    Every where you look there is magic in your garden!

    Hi Randy, thanks so much. I wish you could see it for real. It is looking so fresh and alive.

  8. ourfriendben says:

    Aaaaahhhh, how refreshing!!!!

    Hi OFB, thanks. Is this comment where I keep getting the word refreshing? Funny how the mind works. πŸ™‚

  9. wiseacre says:

    Very cool Arisaema. I’ve been searching but haven’t found Jack yet.

    As usual great photos. I find taking them is a great excuse to get up close and personal. Hope you find getting back up easier than I do πŸ™‚

    Hi Wiseacre, thanks. Our Jack just now showed himself this week. And you have nailed it about getting up. I make some strange noises, good thing nobody is around to see and hear me. πŸ™‚

  10. James says:

    “Cinnaberry topped cerebrum” is a great phrase. It would probably make a good ice cream flavour as well.

    Hi James, thanks. Funny, did you know we own an ice cream shop in Asheville, North Carolina? We are always looking for new flavors! I will pass the word along to the ice cream maker, my daughter in law. Maybe leave out the cerebrum though. πŸ™‚

  11. Hi Frances, love your jacks!!! “Being in the garden at this time of year is intoxicating.”–funny, that’s a very similar theme to a post I’m working on (but need to wait another day or two to get the photos). Now, however, you put “Do it Again” (“You go back, Jack, and do it again, wheels turning round and round…” in my head, but that’s not a bad thing. And because I was crazy into 80s music, the Falco version is in my head (I didn’t even realize it was originally by Steely Dan until years later!)

    HA Monica, good one. I will look forward to your intoxicating post! Your musical taste is interesting. πŸ™‚

  12. Tatyana says:

    Good morning Frances. Wonderful pictures, and it sounds like you had a good work out taking them!

    Hi Tatyana, thanks and good afternoon to you. I have been working outside the last few days, trying to get those last minute chores done before our weather turns hot and dry. I may be too late already, but a work out it is! πŸ™‚

  13. Dave says:

    The Japanese Maple and the waterfall scene is beautiful! I wish our slope had enough shade to do something similar.

    Hi Dave, thanks so much. The slope here was a blank slate and in full sun when I began. The waterfall is just now getting shady, too shady for the waterlilies to bloom now. Make your own shade, that’s what I did. πŸ™‚

  14. Carol says:

    Good Morning Frances,

    Lovely shots… the iris and azalea my favorites … champagne elegance and high tide beautiful and certainly things i love in other forms… intoxicating your garden is! Amazing what we can do without a tripod! Kneepads are helpful.

    Hi Carol, thanks. Isn’t that iris name wonderful, Champagne Elegance, it conjures a divine picture. The tripod is just too cumbersome for me and a steep hilly garden isn’t the right platform for it anyway. I can’t be bothered with the kneepads either. I am a shoot and run kind of photographer. HA

  15. Gail says:

    Frances, Black Jack is a treasure…at first I was sure you had found an exotic from Japan or China! But he is our own beauty and doesn’t he look fantastic in his closeup. All of the flowers look stellar today…Who needs the gym when we can do photo squats in the garden! I am going to head back outside, but I did want you to know how much I enjoyed your post. Have a sweet weekend…gail

    Hi Gail, you are so sweet, thanks. This Jack is the real deal, straight from the mountains of North Carolina. I could not find a photo that matched him, other than Christopher’s blog of course. Hope you have fun outside, it is HOT!

  16. Frances, well yes. Interesting. I always thought of it as eclectic. I mean, who else (besides possibly my nephew) has broader taste? For example, I love Cher, Sex Pistols, John Mellencamp, Frank Sinatra, Falco, Eminem, The Doors, Donna Summer, and a lot of that current stuff too! πŸ™‚

    Hi Monica, yes, that is pretty broad. What no classical or country? Not even Garth Brooks or Beethoven? I could go on, but will wait until we meet in person to continue this conversation. Can’t wait! πŸ™‚

  17. Tyra says:

    ‘Simply spread your legs, bend your knees, take a deep breath, hold it and click.’ So true Frances, you are a funny girl. It is also true that it is intoxicating in the garden now…and I love being intoxicated πŸ™‚

    Take Care/ Tyra

    HA Tyra, thanks, but it is you that is the funny one! I wish you could be in the midst of the garden, like the finest wine. πŸ™‚

  18. cheryl says:

    Beautiful Frances ! I’ve never seen Jacks that colour. Around here they are very rare and soft green. Your garden is sooooo lush giving me the “ahhhhhh there will be life in mine soon.” πŸ™‚

    Hi Cheryl, thanks. That is a special Jack from Christopher of Outside Clyde’s mountain side garden of native delights. He is very dapper, though quite small. May your own garden be giving you oohs and aaahs very soon. πŸ™‚

  19. Barbara says:

    Amazing! So much colour and beauty. Was thinking along the same lines taking closeups – pretending I was a famous biathlon (silliest sport on the planet) athlete – and trying to fire between heart beats. Gave up – grabbed an old wire plant stake tag, rested my camera & all was well.

    Hi Barbara, thanks. What a funny story, firing between heart beats. My camera is not that rapid between shots. It has to reload every time. HA

  20. I’m in love – with that ‘Black Jack’! I’m ready to dump the other ‘Black Jack,’ the Sedum. He’s tall, dark & handsome. I had to laugh at your photography technique. I’d rather sit on the ground than do deep kneebends to get a shot.

    Hi MMD, thanks. That sedum is a pure D for Dud, but this Jack is gorgeous. He is anything but tall, maybe two inches at the most, that’s with his hood standing straight up, he is a tiny guy, but you know what they say. Good things come in small packages. πŸ™‚ My goal with the camera is to not get dirty, barely touching my knee to the ground. I have it refined to an artform. HA

  21. easygardener says:

    Then there is the other problem – all set to take a shot and the wind blows…and blows…and blows… and my thighs give out. Obviously mine are not steely enough πŸ™‚
    Your garden is looking lovely at the moment.

    Hi EG, thanks. Usually at first light there is no wind. One of many reasons most of my photos are taken then. Later in the day, for the afternoon golden light, the wind is nearly always blowing. I also garden in that same squatting position, always have, so it is not a difficult pose for me to hold. Now standing back up is sometimes nearly impossible as the years have sailed by. πŸ™‚

  22. Frances,
    Sounds like you’ve invented some new exercise moves to photo your plants! The plants are lovely and we appreciate your efforts to get so close and personal with your camera.

    Another beautiful day! I think I have to fix dinner inside now! Charm is getting impatient with me being outside so much and not tending to her every greyhound need and whim.

    BTW, The Musician was so thrilled this morning… he was sitting on the waterfall patio when Lord Banks came up within a few feet of him and enjoyed the feeder and flowers. He even calls the little hummingbird by his name, too! πŸ™‚


  23. Kathleen says:

    ha. I’m so familiar with all these shooting techniques! Your garden is intoxicating Frances. I can see why you lose track of your original purpose.

  24. Yes those Jacks are tiny and very shy. A steady hand is needed or an assistant to open the hood. I have seen some quite large so I think it should increase in size over time. And I was happy to guess the trillium before the list at the end. Those big stamens made me wonder, but those macro shots reveal more than the eye can often see.

  25. Catherine says:

    I would love to add Jack in the Pulpit to my garden, I just love them. It’s pretty funny sometimes what we do to get a good picture isn’t it? Holding my breath is one I do a lot.

  26. Indeed, being in the garden this time of the year is wonderful, especially one so beautiful like yours. What a nice weather we are having! I love your Jack, it is one of the cutest plant!

  27. Racquel says:

    Jack is a handsome fellow and he has some beautiful friends in your garden. Have a nice weekend Frances, I know where you’ll be… πŸ™‚

  28. marmee says:

    you have the most interesting blooms in your beautiful garden. i read the post before too love your new lady and the sedums. i can just imagine once you got home getting that big girl into place, bravo!

  29. Chandramouli.S says:

    Love the cobra flower! They’re so unique and interesting with a beautiful shape! You and your camera work so well together, Frances that the result is magic!

  30. Les says:

    Great photos. You stumped me with the trillium.

  31. commonweeder says:

    Frances, I’ve only seen jacks in the pulpit in the woods. What a great idea for a woodland or woodland-ish garden. I appreciate the photography lesson and realize I am going to need good leg muscles, and patience. Brath holding.

  32. Janet says:

    Once again you have gorgeous photos Frances!! Don’t you feel like a contortionist when you want to get some shots of those nodding blooms? I will read back throug your other posts that I missed this week, sure missed seeing all the spring bloom posts from everyone.

  33. The jack is so striking, but what I really love in your garden at the moment is the Iris germanica β€˜Champagne Elegance’ – it looks as delicious as a butterscotch and vanilla ice-cream.

  34. Brenda Kula says:

    I can’t say how many times I’ve found myself practically laying on the ground to get a decent photo. I crouch, kneel (oh, hard to get up anymore!), sway to the side, lean. The list goes on. Your photos are remarkably beautiful, Frances. Oh, I know. What we go through to try and capture them!

  35. Hiya Frances

    Just beautiful, simple as that.

    I love the fact I’m looking at a Tennessee garden here in France. Bless the Wibbly,wobbly,web!

  36. Rose says:

    Bending the knees is easy; it’s the getting back up that’s the hard part:) But you’re right that getting on eye-level with the plants results in the best photos. Yours are gorgeous, and thanks for identifying them all at the end as well–I love that iris! I agree the garden is intoxicating right now; I’ve spent half the day working outside, and the other half recuperating on the couch:)

  37. eliz says:

    That trillium is simply astounding. I have only seen the plain wildflowers. I had no idea that could look like that.

  38. VP says:

    Hi Frances – I don’t mind your fingers in the way when you have such lovely blooms to show off. I tend to wobble a bit too when taking photos πŸ˜‰

    A little bird tells me it’s your birthday today πŸ™‚ Have a wonderful day and when you’ve got some time, my post today is for you – quite by coincidence, but what a happy one!

  39. gittan says:

    Goodmorning Frances! Atleast it’s morning here, and a beautiful one. You probably still sleeping. I can’t help smiling reading this post. Everyday when I’m out ther with my Canon I smile a bit since I can emagine what my neighbours are thinking “LOL” about “that crazy woman” next door. But we have to do our best to get that great shot of the flowers, don’t we? I’m so happy since my Canon have a display that I’m abel to turn in all directions. Then I don’t have to shoot “blindshots”. You pictuers are allways outstanding! Jack’s a beuti and that ‘Josephine’… Hope you’ll have a great day / your friend gittan

    I’ve awnserd your qestion abou the link at my gardenblogg. Hope it helps =)

  40. gittan says:

    Happy birthday my dear friend! I hope it’ll be a real good one / gittan

  41. A little Blotanical told me it’s your birthday! Have a happy one!

  42. Kim says:

    Today’s offering was magic, Frances. I love to visit your garden. Although I’m late commenting on this post, I think I’m right on time for my visit. That’s because I came to wish you a beautiful day and a happy birthday. Enjoy!

  43. Rose says:

    I’m back to wish you a Happy Birthday, Frances! I hope you are out enjoying the day with your family.

  44. Wishing you all the best on your birthday, Frances. Have a wonderful day!

  45. Joanne says:

    Hello Francis. Yor photography is stunning. Having just recently started a blog on Joanne’s cottage garden I am already wanting to improve my photography partly my skills but also the detail and clarity I know eventually I will have to find a better camera to do the plants justice.

  46. layanee says:

    Happy birthday, Frances!

  47. fairegarden says:

    Hello to all of you, my dear dear friends! We just returned from a weekend trip of visiting the offspring for some birthday fun and what a delightful surprise was waiting on the blog and at Blotanical with so many well wishes. Each and every word fills my heart with joy and happiness. Thanks to you all for making this an unforgettable birthday!

  48. linda says:

    Good morning Frances, Jack is stunning, as are all his friends. Your garden is so gorgeous!

    Glad you had a wonderful birthday!

  49. Siria says:

    Hi Frances ~ HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!!! I had little access to my computer last week, and am just catching up on what I missed. Your post is wonderful. I can’t believe how gorgeous your garden is looking. Enjoy the beautiful weather and your gorgeous blooms!

    Hi Siria, thanks so much. Being away from the computer really can put you behind! We just have to look forward, not enough time to go back it seems. πŸ™‚

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