Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Merlin’s Hollow, Red Poppy A Flower Of Comfort

"I am a 20th-century woman, but I will see what I can do," she replied.

Another great visit to Merlin’s Hollow on July 2nd, 2011. The first thing I noticed were the red poppies in the Winter garden at the entrance. The petals of the poppy flower before blooming are crumpled in the bud, which is often why you may see them wrinkled.

They are such beautiful and delicate flowers, and if you are from Europe, you will know a lot about them. Some flowers have meanings behind them, and the red poppy symbolizes consolation, in other words, relief and comfort.

Red Poppy

During my first visit, I mentioned to Dierdre Tomlinson that I would post my photos from the garden on my blog. “I am a 20th-century woman, but I will see what I can do,” she replied and slipped my card into her blouse. Well, she sees her garden every day, so she does not need that trouble. I developed some photos from my last visit and gave them to her on that day.

Yellow wild flower

I cannot emphasize how nice of a lady she is. She actually remembered us. She always has little interesting snippets of information or a story to tell. She was very thankful for the photos, and she told me a story about their mailbox which she noticed in one of the photographs she was looking at.

The mailbox was custom-made, a gift for David. If I remember correctly, it was for their 25th anniversary. She wanted a special design – a sculpture of a skunk sitting on the mailbox, with the skunk’s tail up so it looked like he was ready to spray. I tell you, that is one fun gift to get.

The challenge was that the artist had difficulty visualizing it, so somehow he was able to get a roadkill skunk and use that as his model. The result – he made a really realistic looking skunk. “Did you know that we did not get any mail for one week in our mailbox, because the mailman thought the skunk was real?” she said. And speaking of skunks, did you know that if you pick up a skunk by two hands up in the air, he will not be able to spray? Skunks need ground support to charge up.

Red Poppy

We have a lot of great photographers in Aurora, and one of them is James, whose gallery I visit on a regular basis. He has also been very helpful and provided me with useful photography tips. His nature photographs are surreal, and I encourage everyone to visit James’s flickr gallery. Now, you may wonder why I am focusing on James today in my post. Well, I met James on Saturday. He approached me and introduced himself. We had a nice little chat.

I don’t know how he was able to recognize me from the small picture, but I think my long lens gave it away. Additionally, the nice thing about blogging locally is that you not only get to know people virtually, but you also get to know them outside of the blogging world.

Another yellow flower

The light wasn’t so perfect. When the sun is at its highest point, the light is very bright and harsh, but I often work with exposures and look for a nice background to shoot against. New flowers were blooming, and there were some still blooming which I remembered from our last visit. It was a kind of rushed visit on our part, but I was able to get a few nice flowers again. I also got a nice photo of David Tomlinson sitting on the bench and reading a book about birds. Aha, my favourite subject too.

David Tomlinson

I happened to notice that Tomlinson’s also grows tree seedlings for our local Aurora Community Arboretum.


James said: July 4, 2011 at 18:05

Hi Anna. Great write-up. You set the photos along with your narrative so well. The skunk mailbox story is really interesting and unique. Dierdre Tomlinson has also remembered me from previous visits. I think last summer I spent two hours one day taking shots around their garden. It’s incredibly generous of them to open the garden up to the public. You used to have a photo of yourself on one of your blogs. I think it was myonlyphoto and it may have been some time ago. I don’t think I would have recognized you otherwise. Except for maybe the 100-400L – haha! Nice to meet and chat with you on Saturday and thank you for the kind words and pointer to my flickr site. James

Anna Lozyk Romeo said: July 5, 2011 at 02:15

Hi James, thank you. Wow two hours, she has to remember you, lol, and yes it is very nice of them. They are such a nice people. Oh I remember, yes myonlyphoto does reveals some pictures, lol, but lens is usually give away. Thanks James again, and thanks for the tips. I know someone who likes to use flash in the outdoors to get the crisp images. However, I tried it myself and I found that you can see the flash a bit, looks little unnatural. I will try your ISO400 tip then.


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