Xingfu means happy and blessed in Chinese. Even though 2014 has been a busy and, at times, difficult year that is the word I thought of for this space. Mama not because I have many children but because I seem to fall into a caregiving role. Sometimes I feel like Mama to the world.
The name XingfuMama means Happy Mama with undertones of being blessed.
One of the things I’ve had to learn as I explore photography is that there is a difference between being in focus and having a focus for the composition. Often it seems like for the composition to have a clear focus one does well to have part of the picture out of focus. I chose this pair for the Focus theme because they demonstrate the difference between being in focus and having a focus.
Both of these pictures have the same elements but the one that is the header, while it is pretty much in focus, doesn’t really have a focus. I took it to try and capture the overall effect, how much the blooming cherry tree looked like lace.
The second picture doesn’t have as much of the scene in focus, but it has a focus: the white blossoms.
Rose petal is a texture: soft, in a silky way, cool and slightly moist. A bit like charmeuse, but less slippery and a bit more substantial, and the best ones have a slight rose fragrance as well. It’s hard to capture that feeling in a photograph.
This morning I “harvested” my roses. So the dropping petals are my texture for today. By harvesting I mean a combination of dead heading and cutting the flowers and buds, for vases now and, if I stick to my intentions, drying petals for culinary use later. I saw a scrumptious looking recipe for scones that use rose petals and pistachios that I want to try.
I think there is a pretty good chance for a second wave: in Seattle one wouldn’t guess that we’re at the solstice, it’s pretty cool, although the promised rain hasn’t materialized in our part of town. Doesn’t feel much like summer, but it beats the heat wave elsewhere.
Any advice about other ways to cook with rose petals? I use rose water quite a bit but I’ve only seen the one recipe with petals in it.
Our local, wild Nootka Rose is actually a bit of a weed. It doesn’t have the elegance of the carefully cultivated hybrids but it has a simple charm…and a lovely scent. I took these pictures today at the beach. They are just coming to the end of their peak blooming period and rose hips are starting to form.
We visited Peach Blossom Village–a rather lackluster tourist attraction in Yichang, Hubei Province, China–at the end of our cruise through the three gorges in April. It was a drippy, grey day (maybe it wouldn’t have felt so lacking in luster if the weather had been cheerier, and our views of Xiling Gorge had been clearer.
However, the flowers were pretty. The call these peach blossoms but our guide told us that the trees are ornamental and do not produce peaches that one would eat.
The challenge for Thursday’s Special this week was to look at the same scene in landscape and portrait orientation.
This is a pedestrian path leading to the city gate of Qufu, Shandong Province, China.
One of the challenges in getting a sense of China into pictures is how big it is. It is often hard to get the context of vastness and the details that make it interesting both in the same picture. In the portrait view the gate is the thing that most grabs your eye and it gives a better sense of distance. In the landscape orientation the man walking his trike does. I like that one because it managed to get both a sense of distance and the detail of the cyclist. It isn’t necessarily obvious that in the second picture both the cyclist and I were closer to the gate than in the first, I had almost caught up to him.
Strawberry used to be a season around here. The farmer’s market on Sunday had lots of strawberries. Real ones: the little sweet ones that don’t travel well. I always feel strange buying strawberries out of season…and often regret i,t because they just don’t have the flavor of these little, local charmers with their dimples.