A little nip in the air is all I need to don the sweater and corduroy pants and head out to capture the early stirrings of my favorite and most photographic season the Fall. With Saturday’s temperatures in the high fifties I hopped aboard the Metro North for a quick trip to the Bronx Botanical Gardens for the Japanese Fall Flowers exhibit.

My photo recipe for flower shots is to use my nifty Canon 50mm 1.4 lens. I love this lens because it is light weight, fast, sharp and gives you the best bokeh you’ve ever seen, IMHO and great for indoor shooting without flash.  In post processing I add a soft, glowing blur to all my flower shots, giving a dreamy-fairy-garden look to them.  Since, I don’t use a macro lens for these shots the backgrounds are full of color from surrounding flowers, shrubs and leaves all beautifully blended and blurred.

To kick off this first of the fall photo shoots I walked through the Ross Conifer Arboretum taking shots of the green and brown crusty pine cones and golden brown mossy acorns. We mostly think of a pine tree or any tree for that matter with a vertical standing trunk. I found a few that grew horizontal from the forest floor resembling a giant hand laying palm upwards with the limbs curled like hoary arthritic fingers.  Another tree caught my attention because its trunk resembled a Picasso painting with one large eye to the far right, a big bulbous nose to the left and a wide pair of lips stretched to the right.  It was wild to say the least and one of my favorite shots from this series.

My next stop was at the Nancy Bryan Luce Herb Garden, filled with fragrant and colorful flowers and leaves. I then wandered into the Jane Watson Irwin Perennial Garden, full of brilliant gold, orange, and purple flowers growing in profusion and full of big fat bees bumbling from flower to flower. Really, I have never seen so many busy bees in one place in my life.  In addition there were incredible plants with huge green leaves with multi-colored veins that when viewed with the sun behind them looked like stained glass.  There were bees sitting on these plants also; they must have been taking a break from the rigors of pollinating.

After that I walked into the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory to view the fall flower exhibit (no bees). There was only one room designated for these flowers but it was beautifully packed with delicate little flowers of bright red and orange, tall straight and stiff bamboo and many other delicate but hardy flowering bushes and shrubs. Outside, the conservatory is the lotus pond with white and red lotus flowers sitting atop green lily pads with white and gold koi fish swimming lazily around the plants.  Before I moved onto another outdoor garden I had to go back into the conservatory to take shots of the incredible ferns and mosses that grow there in the atrium of the building and that just blow my mind with the variety, texture and size of these tropical wonders.

Last but not least was the Seasonal Walk and Home Gardening Center just packed with beautiful crape-myrtles, hydrangea, dahlias, butterflybush and hibiscus (I got that from the brochure I was smart enough to put in my back pack so I could at least give you some names of the plants I took photos of) and of course more bees.

The few hours I spent there, the gardens I visited named after people with very long names, and the many bees I became acquainted with were only a tiny part of this 250 acre “garden” and I look forward to returning when the foliage season is in a full riot of color to wander through its 50 acres of  forest having a ball photographing this National Historic Landmark.

Enjoy the photos below and on my website.

Stay in focus,



One thought on “A Tiny Taste of Fall & Lots ‘O Bees

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