I am so excited. The native plants in my native plant planter are making a show. Soon, they will be covered with flowers, bees and, hopefully, hummingbirds.
Eastern red columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) is a herbaceous perennial plant native to much of eastern North America, from Canada to the southeastern United States.
The eastern red columbine typically grows to a height of 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 cm) and has delicate, lacy foliage that is bluish-green. The plant produces distinctive and showy flowers, with five red petals that curve upwards to form a tube and a cluster of yellow stamens extending from the centre.
I bought my specimen several years ago. At the end of the growing season, I spread the seeds around the planters in my home. I get a big show of flowers each year when the flowers bloom in spring and early summer and are pollinated by hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees.
Sisyrinchium angustifolium, commonly known as narrow-leaved blue-eyed grass, is a herbaceous perennial plant native to much of North America, from Canada to Mexico. I planted it in my patio planter last year and am excited to see it spring to life this week. The plant typically grows to a height of 6 to 20 inches (15 to 50 cm) and has narrow, grass-like leaves that are up to 10 inches (25 cm) long and 1⁄8 inch (3 mm) wide. The leaves are typically green but may have a bluish-grey or purplish tint. The plant produces delicate flowers up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter and has six blue to purple petals with a yellow centre. I am so excited!
Heart-leaved aster (Symphyotrichum cordifolium) is a herbaceous perennial plant native to New Jersey and much of eastern North America. The leaves are typically green but may also have a purple tint. The plant produces clusters of small, daisy-like flowers that are pink to lavender and bloom in late summer and early fall. My specimen gave me a great show of flowers last year. The flowers attract a variety of pollinators, including bees and butterflies. Shaan saw a hummingbird among the aster the previous year.
Today is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to have the same experience I had last year. Last year, the weather was the same, except it was much warmer. It’s cold this morning (5°C) but clear skies and lots of sun and wind (feels like 1°C).
I have only one meeting on my calendar this morning, but I still have some deliverables around one of my thirteen projects. I want to present an image that shows nature at its raw finest. My goal is to get as much done as I can before noon and head out somewhere; just somewhere.
After two years with my Fujifilm X-T2, I have just one lens; the XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR. It’s a solidly built standard zoom with excellent image quality. This morning, it dawned on me that I might be happier with my photography during this time of the year, Spring if I had lenses at the two extremes of focal length. If I had a macro lens, it would help to capture the images of the small flowers that I can now find at my feet. If I had a super-telephoto lens, I could be out capture photos of the migratory birds that can be found in quantity at this time of the year.
The XF80mmF2.8 R WR is an excellent macro lens which I have rented recently. Last year, I went on almost bi-weekly bird photography adventures into the woods of southern New Jersey with wildlife photographer Ray Hennessey. The [Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR] lens, the only superzoom for the Fuji X-mount, was easy to operate even for my beginner attempts at wildlife photography. Both of these lenses are expensive. They are not beyond my budget but spending thousands of dollars on lenses, even used lenses may mean giving up something else.
I am experimenting with creating cinematic look Adobe Lightroom presets.
I manage social media and email for a local open space non-profit. One of the emails that came in today was about a service called Tentrr. Tentrr is like an Airbnb for campers. The idea is simple. Someone sets up a high-end campsite on their private land and then rents it out to campers. I’m not describing it correctly. The concept looks exciting as I considered how Bhavana and I could refresh ourselves if we are still under shelter-in-place and physical distancing recommendations when the weather warms up. I think the Pinelands Getaway and Congress Hill Farm and Camp Lake Grinnell in New Jersey would be great for relaxation.
So, from an isolation standpoint, I’m doing great. That said, the law says I should stay in a 500m radius from my home.
I left that 500m radius probably 5km ago. That’s me breaking the law. I guess I’m a fugitive. I quite like that.
This isolation and the overall situation are slowly grinding me. It probably forced me to accept the fact that I am in fact burning out. I just ignored all the symptoms up until now. So in a sense, I should be grateful for this. At least now I’m aware of that.
At the same time, cabin fever is definitely kicking in. I tried to stay inside as much as possible to help with the current situation, but I guess I reached the limit.Manuel Moreale
I think that, like Manuel Moreale, I may be burning out and near the end of my rope.
For lunch, I grilled a burger made with Impossible Foods plant-based burger "meat" and washed it down with a Brick Farm Tavern Pomegranate Ginger Mule cocktail made with their mix and Sourland Mountain Spirits gin. The gin is produced using sustainable methods. I don't know if eating plant-based meat has significance in reducing my impact on the planet, but I wanted to "do" something for Earth Day. Yes, I am drinking a cocktail at 2 PM.
Around 3 PM, I took a mental health break and went out hiking in the Skyview & Garfi Preserves for the first time. I found lots of spring beauty wildflowers and encountered an elderly couple. It was easy enough to step eight feet into the brush. I got turned around on the loop trail and hit a few dead ends in the. I wasn’t in a rush and slowly made my way back to where I parked, enjoying the cold wind on my face, and the sweet smell of leaves. At least I did until I got a text message asking me to join a meeting.