Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Leather and Lace

I remember the first time I ever noticed Leathervine. I was somewhere in the Savannah River National Wildlife Refuge taking pictures with my Minolta SRT-201 (rugged, reliable) and my Minolta x-700 (delicate,unreliable). It was 1984.
It never crossed my mind back then as I dug around in my Columbia photographer's vest, switched lenses, screwed on 3 different macro thingies, and banged away with Kodachrome 64 (which I would mail off to Rochester, NY for developing ... lag time 2 weeks) ... um, where was I going with this?

Oh yeah, ... it never crossed my mind back then that I would someday walk into the woods with only a single camera and 4 extra rechargeable AA batteries in my pocket while my tres cool photographer's vest hung lonely in the closet along with pounds of unused lenses.
If you had told me in 1984 that someday I would instantly review each shot on a 3 inch TV screen on the back of my camera and take pictures without my beloved Kodachrome ... well, I would have snorted and shook my head at your little fantasy.
Yet, here we are.

I'm telling you folks, living right now is like being on "The Jetsons".

Leathervine's blossom is a walkstopper. You can't glance down, notice this beauty, and then just keep walking.
You have to stop and make sure it's real and then, you just have to ...

... bend down and gently tilt it up to see what she's hiding.

Nearby, the blue flags were waving in the breeze, vying for my attention.

I only took her picture to avoid being rude.


Hurricane Teen said...

mmmm I love those flowers. I haven't seen any Blueflags here yet this year. But the Pinxter Azaleas are EVERYWHERE in my favorite, secret hiking spot :-D
Amazing photos, as usual!

threecollie said...

Oooh, it is always so pleasantly satisfying to stop by here and see what you have for the day. Lovely, lovely flowers.
I so agree the digital is the greatest thing since that early leaf photo that came out in the news this week. Since we got the first little digital camera I have never even taken the Canon AE1 Program we bought for our honeymoon out of its case. Not once. But I have taken thousands of photos.

Anonymous said...

After all that, I'm actually quite surprised that you did remember the first time you ever noticed Leathervine. Ha!

Just so ya know, bending down and gently tilting it up to see what she's hiding and taking a picture of it is something I would never dare. I mean with the amount of poison oak, thistles, bad mushrooms and other rash inducing plants here, they are best left untouched.

Love the macros! Amazing stuff that we often miss because we're so focused on getting from here to there.

Isn't Jetson's life great?

robin andrea said...

I've never seen a leathervine. That flower is quite a beauty. Oh yes, we are definitely living in the Jetson's future. I just wish I had their means of transportation.

Danielle Says Hello said...

I absolutely love visiting here!! I've never seen a leathervine either.

valown said...

Your picture taking skills seem to be improving. Not that they needed improvement, but the shots seem to be getting crisper.

Lynn said...

What camera do you use? I visit your blog while at work (makes the day much better:) and just marvel at the photos.

kathy a. said...

oh, gorgeous!

my dad was a photo nut. he worked as a private investigator, and when i was young, he turned the garage into a huge photo lab and workshop. he could do 30 x 40 blowups, and made his own developing trays to accomodate them. he was thrilled when the cibachrome system came out, and he could make brilliant color prints from slides without an expensive retrofit of the darkroom. when he died, his collection included 3 arial cameras, 3 enlargers, 3 tons of other assorted equipment, and several dozen boxes of film in a refrigerator.

dad just missed the digital revolution -- he got sick in 2000, and died in 2003. the only digital camera he had was this silly tiny spy-camera thing that took bad photos. he would have been so thrilled with all these new gadgets that he never got to know.

amarkonmywall said...

I had to brace myself for the Chewie at the fair post that I knew would be here after the Popeye post. And there it is. She didn't look that heavy...I was hoping she would come in under and you would be stuck with a smart cookie-loving, garden watering pig.

So, now that I avoided the place for a few days (like you avoiding the empty pen), I'm back and the rest of these post are wonderful. Your gnat catcher and now this beautiful leatherflower (never saw that before) are very fine.

I moved some bromeliads out of the garden two days ago because of the standing water/mosquito problem. That was when I noticed the grasshopper problem...

Rurality said...

Nice one! I've only seen leatherflower once, at my sister's old house (growing wild). I think it was a different subspecies though because it looked a little different.

Glad you weren't rude to Iris. ;)

Jane said...

What beautiful colours. Our spring flowers are in full bloom at the moment. It's so great to see some colour after the winter. Where would we be without digital cameras? Jane

Floridacracker said...

The iris are filling the roadside ditches with blue lately.

I have 4 35mm SLR's just collecting dust in the closet.

It is good to be a Jetson.

Yes, that would be too excellent.

Love it when you visit. You will probably come across it sometime. Look down, it seems to be a low grower.

Some are crisp, some are crispwannabes. I try to use natural light mostly rather than flash, sometimes I pay the price in sharpness.

It's a two year old Sony Cybershot DSC-H5 and it's wonderful. Thanks for the encouragement!

Kathy A,
His skill level and knowledge had to be much higher than what we need today when the camera does so much.
Sounds like he was a neat guy.

Welcome to bug world.
I saw Chewie for the last time today as Junior stood in front of the auctioneer at the fair.
About 7.5 months till the new pig.

This was growing in the median next to a creek overpass.
I don't know how many varieties their might be.

Loved your badger and foxes. What a garden you must have!

Deb said...

I winder if the leather vine is related to leatherleaf, which is a very common bog plant around here.

Our blue flags have at least a month and a half to go, but then they'll be lovely. And I'll be working more than I want to.

Anonymous said...

Chivalry is not dead, it is alive and well, imagine considering the sensitive feelings of Madame Iris. Delighted to see her image, it will be mid-may before she makes her appearance in our neck of the woods.
Caroline in South Dakota

Floridacracker said...

Deb and Caroline,
Wow, from your comments, it's obvious that this is a native with a really broad distribution.
Our temperatures may be different, but we have this in common!

And yes, the South is the last bastion of chivalry, maam.

Doug Taron said...

Hmm, the camera trash talk is really flying here and at the Band Aid. Very nice pictures of the leather vine. We have 2 native clematis here in northeast Illinois. Clematis virginiana, or virgin's bower has sprays of small white flowers in autumn. C. pitcheri, or leather flower looks a lot like what you photographed. Do you know the scientific name of yours? Nice photo. C. pitcheri is extremely rare in the Chicago area.

SophieMae said...

My first leather flower siting was in GA. If memory serves, it was Clematis crispa. Was yours showing her carpels? Those make her one of my favourites.

Thunder Dave said...

Hey man do I need to do another "Time Travel" post? Afterall I am currently living 12 hours in your future!
However, my response time evens us up I think! ;-)

Anonymous said...

It would appear that the leathervine blossom was hiding... A GIANT BRIDGE.

Doug - you're funny. Because we all know it's not the tools, it's the mechanic. Good tools help, but they aren't the whole show.

Example - lend me all of your cheese-making gear and watch me totally explode my kitchen while also making something the cats wouldn't eat.

But we all know this.

Sharon said...

Beautiful :)

lej619 said...

some really great pictures
I have a Sony Cybershot DSC-H1
and I have loved it up intill this week or so. The picutes taking button is trying to give up the ghost. But don't fear I am not giving up on it. well maybe I am going to go find either a h5 or h9 to replace it. It's been a great camera.
Love the picutes!!

Floridacracker said...

Not really trash talk, just amazement at what the Sony nerds are capable of producing and an appreciation for increased photographic freedom.
I haven't looked this vine up to check the species yet.

She is a lovely thing.

Time travel post?

Ahhh, you noticed that? I thought it wouldn't show,... dang it!
I could screw up cheese making too by the way and do it with less bowls.

Kinda balances the bugs and snakes doncha think?

Go for the H9. It sounds amazing.
I want one.

Alan said...

I for one am gratefull you decided not to be rude to the blue flags - one of my favorites.