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.