Sunday, 23 August 2015

The Wonder of Texture in The Garden

Gentle Reader ~~~ today I'm going to share some pictures that show the diversity of textures in the garden.  Some of them are quite mind opening, and I must warn you that, although there are no images of spiders, there is a very unusual web, so if you are squeamish about such things, well, you have been warned! {it is odd, I do not like spiders at all when they accost me in the house, but in the garden I'm reasonably okay with them ~~~ up to a point!} It is the last image, although other webs do appear earlier, and is just two images below the poppy, so you can stop as you approach the end if you need to ~~~

When I lived in Iceland, in those heady, distant days of 35mm 'real' film {which I miss greatly but find is now impossible to get developed without a great fuss and bother} I took an amazing number of photographs {I guess that was when my camera first became a natural extension of my right arm} which you can see a small handful here on Flickr.  That was when I first became aware of the infinite complexities of texture in nature.  In Iceland, it was mostly the rocks and water in many shapes and forms that captured my attention, but now, in the garden, it is the textures of leaves, stems, barks, and so much more that inspires me.  Texture is everywhere, it just took me a while to realise this.

When I moved into the digital age, two things happened.  First, the sheer size of the SD card capability, how many images this tiny miracle of science could hold, just blew me away {and I continue to be blown away as the capacities just get bigger and bigger}. No longer did I have to carry four or five spare rolls of film.  No longer did I have to worry was I loading a previously exposed roll of film by accident. No longer did I have to fret that I was on a photo shoot and I didn't have film in the camera {I think we have all been there and done that, sometimes the embarrassment and horror is worse than others though, such as the time I climbed a glacier ~ very red faced two hours later when I came to change the film that wasn't in the camera}; and second, the cost.  No longer costing around £10 per film to process and print, but I can peruse my many shots in the computer dark room, eliminating the blurred, out of focus, bad compositions, and any other disappointments, without having to pay to process unwanted frames, printing out only the ones I want to. Brilliant.

So, the more photographs I took, the more I saw, and slowly I suppose I found macro photography, which I now love and is my most favourite form.  I am a great admirer of the work of Georgia O'Keeffe and find her work influences me to look at things from a different angle too, so I spend a lot of time pushing my lens into the thick of things, finding that which can remain unhidden unless you go around with a magnifying glass! Not such a bad idea, actually ~~~

Across the seasons, the textures change, as flowers become seeds, as water freezes, as sun flickers and shadows are formed ~~~ nothing stays the same, and that is why my camera is always ready to capture these changes as often as I can ~~~

Here are just a few images to show the diversity of texture in the garden ~~~ {due to bad weather, and wanting to share as many different textures as possible, some of these are previously published by me} ~~~

Fine ridges and details on the flowers and leaves of a Morning Glory

Silvery, shiny, slippery frost encasing the decaying leaves of Autumn frozen for the Winter 

Fuzzy snow falls, dusting everything with white magical gowns

Feathery Fronds of Ferns Fibonacci and Fractal

A sea of frothy flowers of the Alchemilla mollis 

Fuzzily hairy leaves of the Mullein 

Incredibly fine and wispy hairy interiors of the Foxglove 

Ridges and prickly hairs of a courgette with a perfectly veined flower

Perfectly formed spider web covered in dew

Dew so big that the camera focuses on that, the web remains unseen, crystals magically hang in the air

Textures and colours of the bark of an apple tree

A very hairy and colourful poppy bud

A particular favourite poppy breaking bud is full of many textures

Crystals of dew form on the Alchemilla mollis

Crystal jewels glisten across the garden

Dew snared on grass seeds

A magical and mysterious picture

The same seed head, snared in a web, but taken a day earlier before the rain

A ripe, rosy red, shiny and glossy rose hip

Poppy seed heads ~ now they are plentiful and make great stamps too!

Frost~kissed tips of the Alchemilla mollis in Winter

Frost even enhances the lid of a compost bin!

Multi textured centre of a pollen covered poppy

Snared by a web, a single bloom from a Verbena Bonariensis, with a tiny dew drop

When I found this spider web, it pretty much blew me away. It is like a cellophane, or glassine sheet, wrapped around a spent buddleia spike, and it is pretty much completely waterproof and stretched taught, especially underneath. It is full of spiderlings, and probably the most spectacular texture I've seen in a long time.  Just think that Mamma spider spun a protective waterproof tent for her babies.

A spectacular spider's nest looks like a glassine case of protection
Mamma spider was nervously dancing about, behind a leaf, while I took it. Shudders ~~~

I could have shared a hundred pictures and more, but then, I fear, I would have lost you in the metaphorical mire!  I think you get the idea, though, that we are surrounded by all this wonderful texture, some of it so small we might easily miss it, such as the fine hairs on a stem, or the tiny grains of pollen on an anther.

Until next time ~~~

Sincerely yours,


  1. Thankyou for sharing your lovely pictures, I really must take my camera out more x

    1. I am seldom without mine. I do not use a mobile, so I have to lug a digital bridge around! I always look like a tourist, which can have its advantages.

  2. Simply gorgeous, Deb! Nature is the greatest artist and you have captured her beauty so wonderfully. The dew filled spider's web is just amazing. I'm not afraid of spiders as long as they are not on me. They sure want to come into the house as fall is approaching and I'm not too keen on that.
    Thank you for sharing your O'Keefe style. ♥

    1. Well, I'm terrified of spiders, so even taking the web shots from a distance shakes me up. The BBC just broadcast that the giant house spiders {up to 12 cm across}} are making their annual return indoors. Time to shut the windows!

    2. Well, if I had spiders that large I'd probably be terrified also! Yikes!!! ♥

    3. Lol! Yes, they are big, 12 cm is about 4.5 inches! That is from tip to tip, not body size, thank goodness! Spiders are the one reason I will never visit Australia.

  3. Beautiful pictures, the close ups are stunning.

  4. Wonderful photos, Deb, and yes, easy to overlook. You have such perfect weather conditions for all of this. Thanks for sharing! Jane xo

    1. Thank you Jane ~ yes, when it rains take photographs!

  5. Stunning photography, Deb!! I am speechless... (and that rarely happens!) We both were in awe as we studied the texture in your garden! ♡

  6. Your pictures are so beautiful! You really have an eye for close ups. I so appreciate your photos. Your pictures from Iceland are just as beautiful. We are so blessed by God's creation.

    1. Thank you. Glad you ventured over to Iceland too. A different set of textures entirely with all the volcanic landscape and water in every form from solid to vapour.

  7. I love seeing all your garden photo's Deborah, it is lovely to see all the seasons and what they hold.
    Lovely talking to you on Instagram, our laptop is struggling & also with the children around me I am a little slow getting to see posts, just very busy.
    Fondly Michelle

    1. Thank you Michelle. I struggle some with Instagram. I do not have a smart phone and using it is a fine balance between capturing the image I want from my Facebook account, favourit~ing it on my iPod, and using my iPod to get it on to Instagram. A performance each time! Still, it is fun.
      Of course, you are busy now as it is still summer holidays, but I know you are having a lot of fun.

  8. Such a beautiful grouping! I do not spiders, but those webs are works of art, especially with the dew drops - magical! (I took a short video of a spider running around the inside edge of her web over the weekend - it was amazing to watch.)

  9. Absolutely fantastic pictures. Thanks for sharing and have a blessed day.

  10. Wow! You have such a great eye for capturing beauty out in nature! I also don't mind spiders if they keep to the garden and not my house, with the exception of the dangerous varieties we have around here. I absolutely love beautiful orb webs covered in dew, and I actually enjoy seeing beautiful fall colored harvest spiders in the center of their intricate webs. Wonderful pictures capturing natures textures!! :)

  11. This was a wonderful photo essay, Deb! I must tell you, though, when I looked at your post when it came out I only had time to look at the photos and I was thinking, "Gee, they have snow already in Wales?!" :-)

  12. Deb, I thought you might like this quote by Georgia O'Keefe: "I found myself saying to myself . . . I can't live where I want to . . . I can't go where I want to . . . I can't do what I want to. I can't even say what I want to. I decide I was a very stupid fool not to at least paint as I wanted to . . . that seemed to be the only thing I could do that didn't concern anybody but myself."

  13. Stunningly lovely photo's, an absolute joy to look at and enjoy.

    All the best Jan

  14. Deb: I'm finally learning how to use this Gogle+ thing,so ,of course, I looked you up right away! Breathtaking photos ( not surprised!) Thanks for sharing your talent & friendship with me ! I particularly love the photos with water droppings & (although I HATE Winter) the frosted photos!!


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