Two Bunnies in a Canoe and Other Curiosities

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Once again, it’s time to ramble aimlessly through a few images that have caught my eye, but don’t seem to say enough to provoke a gush of prose from me. Just as well. The pictures tell the stories better than I can.

Our next door neighbour got a couple of bunnies some time ago. I think they were dreaming of raising the delicious little furry ones for an occasional treat, but somehow ended up with two males. Though they are useless for producing more bunnies, they are cute. Lately they have been lounging in the hot afternoons in the shade of an old canoe which is turned up on its side:

Two bunnies in a canoe

These bunnies are incredibly docile. I have little experience with rabbits that did not involve putting a bullet through them. Hey, we were hungry. These guys are exceedingly cute. When you hold one, you can feel its heart going thumpity- thump.

Under the heading of strange phenomena, we have this large red flower that popped up in our yard one day, seemingly from nowhere. Juli, our haus meri,   is forever finding interesting plants and bringing them home. She never mentions it, so we never know what to expect. I don’t remember seeing this one anywhere else, but then I haven’t been everywhere, have I?

Strange red flower that appeared from nowhere

The multiple-blossom bloom is about the size of a grapefruit and spectacularly red. The vegetation appears to make it some kind of lily. I’m far too lazy to search for it. If you know what it is, please leave a comment.

Sticking with vegetation, here’s an unremarkable image that somehow gets under my skin:

Three leaves

Tropical plants often produce leaves that change colour radically as they mature. Someday, I’ll have to get a shot of a mango tree when the new leaves are coming out. They are bright red. There are lovely bright green bushes that grow across the front of our yard next to the water (see the leaves in the next image). When the new leaves come out, they are a lovely yellowish-orange colour. I shot these three this morning by the light of the rising sun.

When I had the image above adjusted to my liking, I still wasn’t happy with it. It seemed too . . . clinical, as it it were a specimen shot. I tried a few things to juice it up, but nothing was working. Then I thought of an old darkroom technique called vignetting. It simply means to fade the edges either darker or lighter. In the old days, if we wanted to do it, we’d make a mask to hold over the photographic paper as it was being exposed. Holding the mask a few inches above the paper and waving it around caused areas of the paper to receive more or less light, according to the shape of the mask. Photoshop provides an easy way to vignette an image. In this case it worked a treat. It is a much more dramatic image with the darkened edges to frame the subject.

The last shot is a bit of a puzzle. I have not changed the angle. The water drops are underneath  the leaf. How they got there, I do not know:

Water drops underneath a leaf

I can only speculate that water falling on the leaf below splashed up and stuck to the bottom of the leaf. You can plainly see that the drops are much puffier than usual, because the force of gravity is pulling them away from the leaf instead of pulling them onto it. They are also drooping a little, since the leaf is not horizontal.

Two thoughts are competing in my head for attention. One has something to do with smelling the roses. That works for me, but a quotation from Kurt Vonnegut is nudging in also. He said, “I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.”

The centre is boring.

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4 Responses to “Two Bunnies in a Canoe and Other Curiosities”

  1. Ali Says:

    Hi Jan,
    Your lovely red pom pom lilly originates from South Africa.
    They are called SCADOXUS MULTIFLORUS (Haemanthus grandiflorum), Blood Lily.
    Dave’s mum Peggy, loved them and always called them Pom Pom lilies and had them growing in Madang.
    She brought some of the bulbs down to Australia when PNG was still an Australian Territory and after all these years, they still pop up to remind us of her love for the garden.
    You will get bigger and better blooms and multiple bulbs, if you dig the bulbs out in winter and replant them in spring…so I’m told.

  2. MadDog Says:

    Thanks, again, Ali. I have just the place in my garden to split those up and transplant them. I’ll have to guess that “spring” probably coincides with the beginning of our rainy season. The plant ID is very helpful. I appreciate your assistance. It looks as if you have been digging through the archives.

  3. pvaldes Says:

    mmmh…

    Scadoxus multiflorus (ssp. multiflorus?) could be a good and probable candidate.

    But… you should take a look at these leaves in the same photo… very interesting leaves…

  4. MadDog Says:

    Hey, pvaldes, I Googled that and it looks right to me. Keep those IDs coming. Thanks. – MadDog