Clivia miniata (Natal lily, bush lily) is a species of flowering plant in the genus Clivia of the family Amaryllidaceae, native to South Africa. It is a popular plant for shaded areas, which grows into large clumps; it doesn’t need much water andis normally cultivated as a houseplant.
Clivia miniata flowers are red, orange or yellow and they stay in bloom longer than most flowers. They can be used as cut flowers as well. Just keep in mind that they contain small amounts of lycorine, making it poisonous.
These beautiful Clivia miniata flowers bloomed the past few days in our garden. I pass by them everyday but somehow I didn’t have the urge to photograph them. After a long consideration, I decided that I should take some photos for my portfolio. And I’m glad I did. The results were really rewarding!
This rock was my subject. Not that interesting? If you go closer you may reconsider.
When I was shooting that rock people were looking at me a little weird. It was located in front of the shopping mall Central in Bratislava, so you can imagine that there were a lot of people passing through. At one point, a man approached me and tried to see what I was shooting at with so much interest and passion. After a moment of concentration and study he told me that it looked like a meteorite.
Close up photography is very fascinating and creative. By moving in closer you see the subject from a different perspective. The subject is isolated, the background is out of focus, new details appear and the result is magical and unique.
Capturing a close up shot from the plants on the rock above was a great and rewarding result.
On a warm Summer day, this purple flower bud, which you can see in the photo below, began to bloom in my mom’s garden. As always, I didn’t know the name of the flower, so I made a little search!
Here is what I found out
The flower is called ‘Agapanthus’ which means flower of love, from the Greek agape, meaning love, and anthos, meaning flower.
Agapanthus is also commonly known as Lily of the Nile, African Blue Lily, and African Lily. It origins from South Africa. There are now more varieties of this genus than ever before. Agapanthus flowers bloom in large, round clusters or umbels of blue, white or violet-blue.
It is built to withstand even the toughest summer conditions. It is a common garden plant, easily grown even in coastal areas – especially if the plant is well watered and it flowers in summer.
I spent a lot of time shooting the agapanthus flowers. I started capturing their progression from when they were small buds and I continued shooting them as they grew. These flowers have a slow and steady blooming progress, so it took me a few days to fully seize their evolve to their fullest.
On Easter time we were invited by family friends to a village called Melini, in Cyprus, that is close to the forest. The house is built on a hill and the nature there is beautiful, so I went for a walk around the house and I found a lot of things to shoot. Something that attracted my attention was a wasp trying to get into his nest. So I spent a lot of time there taking as many shots as I could from different angles. As soon as I got home I searched the web for more information.
Some information from Wikipedia
Paper wasps are 1.8 to 2.5 cm long wasps that gather fiber from dead wood and plant stem, which they mix with saliva, and use to construct water-resistant nests made of gray or brown papery material. Paper wasps are also sometimes called umbrella wasps, due to the distinctive design of their nests.
Unlike other wasp species, which can be very aggressive, paper wasps will generally only attack if they themselves or their nest are threatened. But if they attack their stings are quite painful and can produce a potentially fatal anaphylactic reaction in some individual.
Most wasps are beneficial in their natural habitat, and are critically important in natural biocontrol. Paper wasps feed on nectar and other insects, including caterpillars, flies, and beetle larvae. Because they are a known pollinator and feed on known garden pests, paper wasps are often considered to be beneficial by gardeners.
In my effort to get better shots I had to get closer. I am so glad that the paper wasp didn’t think of me as a threat, or else I would have been stung!