Sunday, May 23, 2010

Rhododendron Dreaming . . .

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It was over at Clytie's Random Nature page that I saw this weekend some lush and lovely rhododendron blooms apparently near an abandoned church. (Would like to see some shots of the abandoned church too; hint, hint . . . :-) ) And that reminded me that this time of year there is also a place near here where rhododendrons bloom in abundance, if one is lucky enough to know about it and determined enough to get there.
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Back in the 1800's there was a large chateau between Chantilly and Creil, to the north of Paris, which belonged to the Rothschild family. As with most chateaux worth their name, there were acres and acres of land around it. I'm not familiar with all the history, but the chateau was sold and has become a technical school, a large part of the grounds nearest the chateau has become a huge shopping center with multiple car dealers and a variety of large stores. But a stretch of woods remains still undevelopped today, which belonged to the chateau grounds long ago. And on that piece of land an enterprising gardener had planted a grand plot of rhododendrons around a small pond he'd created, the rhododendrons covered an entire hillside. Although totally abandoned for probably at least 75 years, the rhododendron garden is still there, and still blooms every Spring around this time.
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One just has to be willing to travel a ways to get to it. On past excursions I've bicycled there, but today we walked, round trip it was a three hour hike through the woods like this . . .
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But finally one is rewarded for one's efforts with the first towering shrubs, which as you can estimate from the scale of the people here, are perhaps 18 to 20 feet high . . .
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I can remember when I was little my parents would sometimes take us to go see rhododendrons blooming in the woods of the Swarthmore College campus in Pennsylvania. I didn't appreciate them at the time, woods were places for playing out make believe adventure stories, not for looking at boring flowers . . . What an ignorant little sod I was. It took many long years before I started to see the light, but now I'm a believer. A believer in beauty, natural beauty . . . I think the word my father used often was "Glorious", with an exclamation point.
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And speaking of fathers, I would like to draw your attention, if you can read French, to a particularly, stunningly even, beautiful tribute to his father which Jeff just posted today at Life Is Beautiful, after a brief absence. Although men don't typically send flowers to other men, Jeff, these are for you . . . a homage to the lovely photographic work you've been doing with the natural world of late, and to fathers who tried hard to show us some of the beauty around us . . .
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I crawled in underneath one large bush, more a tree than a shrub . . .
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An ancient rhododendron bush, having lived a long life and filled many seasons with luxurious purple blooms had come crashing down. Even in death and dessication a marvellously complex structure . . .
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This next is a slightly cropped detail of a larger image, which follows just after it. I rarely crop photos, or perform any other processing of the original images. Have barely scratched the surface of Photoshop. I guess I'd rather spend my time out looking for the mysteries in this world. Although I have considerable respect for those artists who have mastered the fine arts of enhancing and transforming digital images into magical affairs. I'm thinking of Roxana and Lynne, for example. So these next two are dedicated to you two . . . Blooms about to open . . . drenched in unbelievable violet hues from impossibly natural sources . . .
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60 comments:

ladydi said...

Very impressive photos! I didn't even know rhododendrons could get that big. Ours has about six blossoms on it. :>}

Lily Hydrangea said...

I've never seen Rhododendron bushes that big! I love the close up shot.

ρομπερτ said...

Flowers - natures smile, probably the only force able to lift up and beyond, high into the sky.

Please update your blogrole, as the "barefoot navigation" sadly had to be closed, as words like "jealousy and alike" made it neccessary. Still trying to catch some breath, wishing you a wonderful start into the new week.

daily athens

Catherine said...

what beautiful flower shots - very uplifting...

Owen said...

Hi Di ! Hope all is well in Ohio...

I didn't know rhododendrons got that big either, before I discovered this place, I guess nearly a century of no pruning has given them time to turn into trees nearly...

We are really lucky that almost no one even knows this patch of magic exists... we had it all to ourselves today.

Owen said...

Hello Lily Hydrangea,
Very surprising how big these have gotten. The only other place I've heard about rhododendrons getting so huge was at an abandoned garden in England, in Cornwall near Falmouth, called Heligan, which has since been renovated and restored to much of it's former glory.

http://www.heligan.com/

Owen said...

Tag Robert,
These took me up through the sky and into the thin air where stars dwell... very high indeed.

But oh dear, what on earth happened to Barefoot Navigation ??? Am going to miss your philosophical meanderings there. Sorry to hear that jealousy and alike, though I can't imagine the context, forced an end to the experiment... Have replaced Barefoot with Athens Daily now in my sidebar... Good to know you aren't disappearing entirely...
Guten nacht...

Owen said...

Hi Catherine,
It's very rare really that I do flower shots, I find it very difficult to photograph flowers and feel like I'm doing anything worthwhile, as all species of flowers have been photographed half to death in every possible light and setting... but these were too good to let go, so I gave it a whirl today. Exceptionally... and if they are uplifting, then that is a surprisingly fine side effect... just be careful of the dosage, don't overdose on all that violet...
:-)

pRiyA said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous...these pics show that there are 'scorching' colours in France too!

French Fancy said...

We are the proud possessor of a rhododendron bush of this same standard, Owen. The thing is that I have been a bit lazy and did not deadhead last years - so there are not so many blooms about to open. I've slapped my own hands though.

the fly in the web said...

Thank you for the wonderful photographs.Well worth the trouble you took to get such results.
We used to visit the gardens in the west of Scotland when I was small..huge rhododenrons of all colours well over my head.
Now the purple one is regarded as a best in Scotland, having broken out of captivity.
Thank you for the direction to Jeff 'life is beautiful'...

...louciao... said...

Oh my goodness! Are we setting sail in this??? Do you have enough life jackets for everyone? Baling buckets? Wet suits? Rum??????????????
Indeed, she looks a bit rum. (do you know that expression? My grandfather used to use it. It just sprang to my mind now, looking at that "boat". Which, in turn, reminds me of that Farley Mowat story, "The Boat Who Wouldn't Float." I think I'll have to reread it for some tips before setting sail here.)

Jessie said...

They're gorgeous aren't they? I love a bit of drama. :o)

...louciao... said...

Okay. I've got my life jacket on and had a big swig of rum and am ready to 'embarque' on today's journey.

Are those stars I see before my eyes? No--they're flowers! What is going on here??? Am I on the right blog ??(no, that would be Steve's blog). No rust, no mournful statuary, no derelict anythings...ah wait, there are some gnarly dead tree roots and someone scrambling around in the underbrush trying to get a photo. Phew! we are out with Mr. Toad after all.

And what's this now? He's offering me a flower? I must say, I am deeply honoured to share it with the talented and beautiful Roxana.

If I was capable of taking exquisite photos and owned a good camera I may be less tempted to play with my images in Photoshop. But I don't really put photography and Photoshopphry in the same boat (esp. not the one at the top of Mr.Toad's blog). Photography is perhaps more about finding/recording worlds, whereas Photoshopping images is to do with creating or enhancing worlds.

Well now, after all that tramping and philosophizing I am parched! I do hope the Sagittarian has brought along her famous flasks.

Roxana said...

you are spoiling me! us! :-)
offering such gorgeous flowers, especially when i know that you rarely take pictures of them (and you have good reasons not to, such a cliche, no? but i cannot resist the temptation, sigh :-)

and rhododendrons blooming - i am fascinated with rhododendrons, such a lovely word at that - perhaps because i learned the word years before seeing the flower, so its image got enveloped in a kind of mystery and longing - i think there are rhododendrons in Roamania, but somewhere in the mountains, i have never seen one to be honest.

such violet and such explosions of light - i love it all!

Roxana said...

we were writing at the same time :-)

Owen said...

Hi Prya,
I guess there are some "scorching" colors almost anywhere, if one hunts a little, but in some places the concentration is perhaps a little higher than in others, I think India is particularly blessed with rich colors which send powerful messages through the eyes, stimulating pleasure centers in the brain, radiating waves of warmth through the nervous system, making us glow and blush in inadvertant emulation... or am I imagining it all ?
;-)

Owen said...

Dear FF, how lucky you are if you have one right by your home... and I'm curious as to how much care, or dead-heading as you mention, they really need, because the small rhododendron forest we visited yesterday has not been cared for in any way for decades, and yet is blooming in wondrous abundance ! Seems they can thrive with no human help... Maybe we just like to think alot of things need our help, when in fact they don't ?

Owen said...

Dear Fly in Web,
You are very welcome, both for the photos and for the directions to Jeff's place, he's been extraordinarily good company along the blog highway over the past year or so, though I gather he's been taking a bit of break of late... am hoping he'll be back to his previous exuberant levels soon. Though I can appreciate that people step away from blogging from time to time, it can involve a big investment of one's time and energy...

Owen said...

Mad Lynne,
I think we'll have to hoist the rum boat out of the water, load it in a cargo plane, and fly it to New Zealand, to be handed over to the same team of carpenters currently doing the work in our hotel down there... Once they have her ship shape again then we'll be able to take the hotel guests out for a leisurely run around the bay, while sipping our rum punch and watching the dolphins leap around us with twinkles in their eyes... Ah ye of little faith, of course that boat will float ! Just don't eat too much breakfast before stepping in, as the gunwales could go under with just a gram or two over the maximum allowable weight on board !
:-)

Owen said...

Ah Jessie, dramatic indeed, an entire opera could be composed around such gluttonously glorious colors...

Owen said...

Dearest Lynne,
That rum certainly puts a glow in your cheeks (the ones on your face I mean!) and a gleam in your eye, I can see... So buckle up that life vest, and off we go a'sailing, on a round the world tour in the rum boat... first we'll take a little detour down through the Mediterranean and the Aegean across to the straits past Gallipoli (I always wanted to see Gallipoli) and into the Black Sea, from there we can sail up the Danube a ways, until we reach the Jiu, and up the Jiu to the town of Craiova where we can see if Roxana is willing to embark on the barque (if not she could be kidnapped, or shanghaied by the light of the moon) and then off we'll go back down the Jiu, the Danube, around the Black Sea, out into the Mediterranean, through the Suez Cannal, the Red Sea, rowing very fast we will evade all Somalian pirate vessels, and then making a stop at la Réunion to pick up more rum, we will then proceed eastwards to Perth, another place I always wanted to go to, and then around the southern shores of Australia to Tasmania, and on to Christchurch, where the Hotel will be ready for our arrival with sister Saj out front with flasks in hand and Ernie the cat in a window... and more rum punch will flow freely. The entire trip will be animated by the bards and troubadours and poets and scholars we will have picked up in various European ports, along with dancing bears and a few belly dancers hired along the Lebanese and Yemeni coasts... An epic voyage it shall be by all accounts, anterior or posterior...

Where was I ? I think I just got lost in what is commonly known as a "flight of fancy"...
:-)

PS Numerous port calls would of course be made to go looking for mournful statuary and abandoned cars, derelict buildings, and other such traces of man...

Owen said...

Roxana !

Never seen a rhododendron ??? But is this possible ? I think you will have to quickly come to Paris, and we will take you on an urgent emergency rhododendron tour of the abandoned chateau gardens, then a hop across the channel to Heligan in Cornwall, then on up into Scotland where Fly In Web reported there are more, then a quick flight across the pond to Philadelphia where I know of some other rhododendron hideouts... indeed, such a gap in one's life experience as having never seen a rhododendron, should be remedied quickly, especially for such a sorceress of flowerly beauty as yourself. But time is of the essence, before the end of May, as after the bloooms will have wilted, the petals fallen, the colors faded, returned to the earth... until next May.

And of course you deserve to be spoiled with violent violet explosions of light as often as such therapeutic treatment is needed. Perhaps I shall send you the original image in larger version, then if you wished to print it, you could, or if you wished to subject it to a magical transformation, the likes of which only you know the secrets, you could do that also, and return the thus transformed creation by channels either public or private... ?

And I'm wondering if you intentionally wrote "Roamania", as in : one cannot help but feel the wanderlust growing, gnawing, as one imagines the mysteries to be delved into while roaming in Roamania... in the mountains where perhaps some ancient rhododendrons yet lurk, with blooms bathed in indigo inks... a deeper hue yet than the blue blood that flows in the veins, setting vampires to dreaming...

Thanks for the smiles today...
:-)

jeff said...

C'est pas Bob Marley en dessous suspendu par les cheveux ?...

Nevine said...

Oh my God, Owen... Every single photo is just stunning and I'm just speechless at the beauty and the color. You know, I've always appreciated b&w photos more than color, but I think that just since I've started following your blog I'm beginning to enjoy color photos more and more. When there is art to be appreciated, after all, one cannot help but appreciate it, right? Thank you for taking that hike and walking for hours so we can enjoy the lovely photos you took on your day out!

Nevine

...louciao... said...

Aargh! Ahoy matey!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMbCjghEjvE

Oh my friend, you've got sailor's eyes!God bless your sailor's eyes.

(this was the best video I could find of a song that I like by a musician I listen to a lot).

Stickup Artist said...

Such a gorgeous explosion of color. I especially love the middle one with the two clusters. The lighting is so soft and lovely.

Your father sounds like a great guy...

Love your new header pic too.

Owen said...

Jeff, ah Jeff,
Et oui, c'est même écrit en haut à gauche "Bob Marley"... mais de toutes les personnes qui ont regardé cette image de Bob, image d'une image d'ailleurs, tu es la première à remarqué la chaine et le fait qu'il a l'air d'être suspendu... curieux, n'est-ce pas, comment ce reflet s'est marié avec la rue derrière, le pot de fleurs suspendu par cette chaine qui disparait, laissant la chaine s'attacher à la tête de Bob, et la main du photographe qui vient froler la main de Bob sans faire exprès... oui, étrange...

Mais comment vas-tu, ça fait un petit moment, tu nous manquais...

Et les rhododendrons... ? As-tu vu des rhododendrons quelque part ? Elles étaient là toute à l'heure, ces fleurs, tu ne les as pas vu sortir par l'escalier derrière ?

A+...

Owen said...

Nevine,
Perhaps one can find a balance between black & white and colors ? For years and years I shot only b&w, consciously choosing the stark images and contrasts that b&w allow... it is only in these later years that color and I have tried to come to terms, for better or worse...
;-)

And I would walk a long way on a scorching hot day under a blazing sun, which was the case, if by doing so, the treasures thus unearthed might bring a smile to your eyes... After a long cool Spring it suddenly went fast forward straight to the middle of Summer overnight... two hot days in a row here...

PS and still the oil flows in those cold depths of the Gulf... how long will it take them to shut down the flow, these sorcerer's apprentices ?

@eloh said...

Beautiful, just beautiful.

Owen said...

Hey Lynne,
Mmmmm, that fellow's good ! How is it we've never heard of him over here on this side of the pond ??? Good thing you're there to help keep us up to speed with what's going on in contemporary music in Canada or elsewhere... Maybe you've seen him play live ?

Yeah, got a bad case of those sailor's eyes, and a sailor's heart, always wanting to be roaming off, there's something good waiting, just beyond the horizon... thanks for the link, will be listening to some more of him, for sure... While sipping some haitian rum, for sure... a grog perhaps...

Owen said...

Hey Stickup, well, Dad was the one who dragged us all out to California too, and into Cucamonga Canyon, and up Mount Morgan, and the bristlecone pines, and all over the damn place. Sure wish I had the photos from those trips. The carousels of color slides are still sitting in a closet at my parents place, I hope the colors are not fading away into nothingness, I feel like there are keys to the early part of my life locked up there, if I could just get my hands on them, I might learn something about the past, something that's missing... a piece of the puzzle.

So you and Roxana saw these as explosions of colors... yeah, sort of like fireworks blooming in the night sky on the fourth of July...

Yep, getting into that season where a pizza from Apollo's and a pitcher of beer would really hit the spot right about now...

Owen said...

Hi @eloh !

Many thanks...

Funny, I just watched the movie tonight, from which a limerick was copied into your comment box a couple of posts back there... and I can confirm, in the movie he definitely says "arse".
:-)

PS My negatives are still not ready to get picked up from the lab, it is just dragging on, I'll have to go in there and talk to them about prints regardless of the negatives in progress... not forgotten...

Bill Evertson said...

How timely; my wife and I were just out pruning some rhododendrons before they got to be 18' Great series as usual Owen!!

Owen said...

Hey Bill, very timely then... but they're fun when they get into the 15 to 20 foot range ! Veritable giants among rhododendrons... Many thanks !

Amy said...

Whoa, look at those flowers. The story behind it is sad and beautiful; I'm glad some green and wild is left in the land. It looks quite like a fairytale setting now, as do very many of the wonderful places you bring to us. Thank you for the lovely photos and words.

The Pliers said...

I wouldn't know a rhodowhatsits if it walked up and introduced itself. However, I couldn't help but be hypnotized by the beauty of both the day and your walk through the mysterious garden. Of course, my fav is the one with the human beings being watched over by the riot of purple blossoms!

K'line Bloom said...

De belles fleurs très colorées mais toxiques :(
Savais-tu que dans l'antiquité certains en consommèrent le miel et devinrent fous ?
D'autres, assez fous peut-être pour écrire :

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe ;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe. [...]

;-)
Bises

K'line Bloom said...

...et bravo pour ta nouvelle bannière !
Cette barque pleine de vécu est magnifique. Sans doute pour visiter plus aisément le pont flottant et y emmener de nouveaux amateurs :)

...louciao... said...

Hey Sailor Toad!
Glad you like Joel Plaskett; he hails from Nova Scotia and is just getting his national rep established. My daughter turned me on to his music. She took Pierre to a concert where Joel's dad was also playing with the band but, alas, I wasn't along on that trip to Montreal. JP has a great triple album called, appropriately, "Three" if you ever get a chance to get it, I highly recommend it.

I forgot to mention that there are some mighty rhodo trees and bushes out in Vancouver, too. My neighbours from the east coast once visited me when I was out west and were amazed how they could drive down the parkway and reach UP through their van windows to touch the flowers. Here in the east they only manage to get about waist high (depending how tall you are). We have one just about to bloom. Maybe I'll take a picture when it does. And Photoshop it, of course.

I also meant to say that if I had taken that photo that you so shamelessly cropped I would have considered it already too beautiful to have to adjust in Photoshop...but the challenge has been issued so I may well see if I'm up to it.
:-)

Clytie said...

Ohmigosh, i'm gone for a day and look what happens - you totally pone my rhododendrons!!! :=} I thank you for the mention, though! It's true I find most of my inspiration at the abandoned mega-church ... all 92 acres!

But never in my life have I seen rhodies as tall as these. Those gnarly massive trunks are beautiful in and of themselves, and your macro shots are superb!

I also take my pictures straight out of the camera - can't afford Photoshop for one ... I do crop some, and re-size (limited computer storage space). Everything else is as I catch it. Not necessarily as I SEE it. :=}

I hope you have a wonderful week. I am re-inspired to go for a walk in the rain and find some good flower pictures! Or something.

Beth Niquette said...

How absolutely incredible. Sissy says your blog is one of her favorites. Clytie is right--these photos are better than marvelous, they fill my eyes, which is the greatest compliment I can give.

Owen said...

Hi Amy, Well, yeah, perhaps a little sadness there, a bit of nostalgia, like a Brideshead Revisited sort of feeling, lost worlds, but I guess the bright side is that we are lucky so far that this area has not been plowed up and paved over with a parking lot or some such monstrosity... I will keep going back each year as long as I live around here and have the breath to carry me there... and many thanks... you know, did I ever say, for a geeky girl, you're not half bad...
:-)
(well, also, anyone who knows what heliotropes are is ok in my book!)

Owen said...

Dear Pliers,
A rhodowhatsits ! That is a less common variety of the rhododendron, not to be confused of course with the rhodorooter, which was an American variety known for its penetration root systems...

Ah, so you enjoyed the humans ? It is true, it is fairly rare that there are humans in my images... I wonder what that says about me ? Well, not too important. One was la Grenouille, and the other is a specialist in restoring very old paintings... very good company... and quite a good sport about being dragged out for a walk that turned out to be much longer than planned...

Owen said...

Chère K'line,
Tu me combles avec ton érudition, qui pourrait savoir que dans l'antiquité il y a au moins deux cas bien documenté par des historiens sérieux qui avancent la notion que le miel produit par des abeilles qui fréquentaient des plantations de rhododendrons aurait provoqué des graves intoxications ressemblantes à l'ivresse ou pire. Mais au bout de trois ou quatre jours les gens retrouvaient leur forme... intéressante, cette plante. Si je comprends bien les feuilles sont très efficace pour entrainer des violents vomissements.... mais bon, je n'ai pas voulu tester ni le miel ni les feuilles moi même... mais juste le fait d'avoir bien renifler l'odeur de ces fleurs abondantes et plus que tentantes, j'ai bien plané sur tout le chemin de retour. Et je pensais que c'était juste les endorphins générés par la marche vigoureux pour y aller.
:-)
Oui, tu me combles avec ta gentillesse et ton intelligence extraordinaire... deux qualités rares...

Et je suis plus que content que qqn aime bien ma barque... a real dream boat, which slithied and gyred and gimbled on the waves... en passant sous un pont flottant...

Owen said...

Ah Ms. Louciao,
Merci for all these most bouteous of visions and thoughts you share so generously, you are a sheer delight...

I wonder why they should grow so high in Vancouver and so short at the other end of that vast nation ? In Pennsylvania, they are quite capable of attaining good sizes... is the climate or the soil so different just that much farther south ? Well, I'll be on the edge of my seat to see what your sparkling imagination will come up with... but don't forget to sleep and eat breakfast and groom for the flood of visitors...
:-)

Owen said...

Hi Clytie... wow, 92 acres of abandoned church grounds ?!? Sounds like my kind of place ! But is the church still there? Or just the soul of nature trying to take over again ?

Umm, I've been away from the US for a while, and it may be a regional thing too, but what on earth does "pone" mean... the only thing my dictionary says is "a cornmeal patty without eggs"... ???

Am very happy then if this contributes to inspiring you to take a walk in the rain, but then I'm guessing you might have been doing that anyway.

But really, if I hadn't seen your rhododendron, I might have forgotten to make our pilrgrimage to that place, so really, I do thank you for reminding me... and funny, I looke more closely than I ever had before, and noticed things I'd never seen, like the dead one, or going in underneath... having the blog in mind does inspire one to really look for the interesting angle on things... sometimes...
:-)

Owen said...

Hi Beth,
If your eyes have been filled here, then I am smiling at that, a very lovely analogy or expression. Once we got a little deeper into the rhodo patch, I hardly knew where to look my eyes were so filled by all the scorching color around. A rare privilege to know about the spot, and to be able to share it with you all...
Thanks !

Clytie said...

okay my kids said I misspelled pone, though it is pronounced pone. It actually is pwn which is younger-generation-computerese for "powerfully own". In other words, you powerfully own the rhody wars! Anyone who will walk through dense brush for 3 hours to photograph these beauties deserves it!

Please see my concession speech at http://clytie-randomhearts.blogspot.com/2010/05/rusty-heart-for-owen.html

The Sagittarian said...

Sorry I'm late, I'd have been here sooner but its been raining so hard I decided to wait out the gate incase you all floated past! I see you and Big Sis are planning a visit, will hurry the builders along and start freezing the ice cubes for our afternoon soirees. Ernie has offered to be butler....
Love these rhodos. We have several rhodo plants here, so bring your camera with you!

Peter said...

If I see correctly from your photos, it seems that the young generation in your family appreciates the beauty of these flowers more than you did at the same age! A nice walk you had there, with less of crowds than on the Champs Elysées this weekend! I have spotted some nice rhododendrons also in the Paris parks, but to discover treasures like this is definitely more exiting!

Alberto Oliver said...

Very impressive how a leaving creature can raise and shine when having the proper weather and conditions. I think it would be impossible to see those huge plants raising that high two or three months ago for instance. And this lead me to think on people and how the very same apply on them, no gift will raise and blossom without the proper soil and weather. Oh Owen, and i love your new header image!! =)

Virginia said...

Owen,
Lovely lovely photos. We don't have rhododendrons this far south, but when I"ve traveled a little farther north I love finding them in the woods! Love the macro shots as well!
V

Catherine said...

Tu nous transmets donc "la lumière".....Et c'est tellement plus facile pour qui connait un petit coin de Paradis sur terre, caché et intacte, où la lumière éclaire à profusion, épanouie et livrée à elle même.
Et les seigneurs de lieux, les arbres, t'ont laissé franchir leur enchevêtrement pour l'atteindre. D'où l'expression "gagner sa place au paradis" :-)

Vagabonde said...

You know I was looking at your rhododendrons and kept thinking in the back of my mind that a long time ago I saw many bushes like that, but where? I did not think it was in Georgia where I now live, but where? I could not remember until you mentioned Swarthmore. We lived for 2 years in Ardmore, on the main line out of Philadelphia (near Bryn Mawr and 10 miles from Swarthmore) and that is where there were so many beautiful rhododendrons. I used to give French private lessons while my husband attended the University of PA and drove along many roads in that area. Too far to go and take pictures though. Your spot is enchanting, the rhododendrons are so big now.

the watercats said...

them things are a scourge round here, the mountain is covered in them and my dad (who is a gardener/caretaker) is constantly having to cut and burn the things down.. saying that, I kind of like their over the top colours and silly blousy flowers :-)
great pics!

Nathalie said...

Quelle balade exceptionnelle et magnifique ! Et un bel hommage à Jeff et aux pères, bien justifié dans les deux cas.

Tu n'es pas le premier à retrouver à l'âge adulte des joies que tu négligeais ado quand tes parents essayaient de t'y contraindre.

J'ai un beau-frère qui enfant a été traîné dans les musées par ses parents. Sur le moment il trouvait ça bien barbant. Aujourd'hui c'est un plaisir pour lui de passer ses dimanches au musée et il y emmène volontiers ses enfants.

Nathalie said...

Si j'ai bien compris il n'y a pas besoin de payer l'entrée dans les jardins du chateau, ce sont des bois ouverts au public ?
Quel site incroyable !

Tes photos, générales et gros plans, donnent vraiment envie d'y aller l'année prochaine avec vous. Comment avez-vous découvert ce coin ?

Owen said...

Hi Nathalie, non, pas besoin de payer, ce ne sont plus sur le terrain du chateau, c'est un bois publique, mais peu fréquenté...

Anonymous said...

J'ai appris des choses interessantes grace a vous, et vous m'avez aide a resoudre un probleme, merci.

- Daniel