Linda Grashoff's Photography Adventures

This and That, Mostly in My Neighborhood

June 19, 2022

Since wandering last week I haven’t been out of the neighborhood with the camera. But I found some things to photograph close to home.

1 These aren’t “amber fields of grain,” but the green “wavin’ wheat sure [looks] sweet.” This is winter wheat, sown in the fall. I’d never seen so many wheat fields as I did last week on my wandering—more even than corn or soybeans. I wondered if this was because of the shortage of wheat coming from the Ukraine until my husband reminded me that Russia hadn’t invaded yet at the time of planting.

2 Wild grasses always appeal to me.

3 Just in front of the grass shown in #2, at first I mistook this sprinkling of white among the green for another variety of grass.

4 A closer look (but, alas, poorer focus) showed me I was wrong. This is Bedstraw (Galium aparine).

5 About a week earlier I caught Cottonwood seeds in a marshy area in my neighborhood.

6 About a week after that, I saw some Anemones making shadows on a sidewalk.

7 Bird’s Foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) is all over the place here.

8 I spent more time in the Courtyard Garden, which my husband is developing. He and a neighbor who works with him in the garden hand feed the three Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta) in the small pond. That’s why this one is so happy to see me. Sorry to disappoint.

9 A little later one of the other three turtles climbed up on the rocks on the other side of the pool.

10 My neighbors are dumbfounded that Prickly Pears (genus Opuntia (family Cactaceae)) will grow in Ohio.

11 Even I was surprised to learn that they can be found as far north as Ontario, Canada.

12 Prickly Pear comes in many colors.

13 This has to be my favorite Prickly Pear color.

23 responses

  1. Beautiful shots, Linda. We saw Prickly Pear growing at the Minnesota Arboretum when we lived there. They were closed in the Winter so maybe they brought them in during that time but I always sought them out whenever we were there.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 19, 2022 at 4:29 PM

    • Thank you, Ken. I’ll bet they did not bring the Prickly Pear indoors for the winter. These survived over the winter, and the ones we had on our property where we lived before moving back to Oberlin also survived the winter—and they were more exposed.


      June 19, 2022 at 6:05 PM

  2. I grew up with a record of Oklahoma in the house, so the second part of your first sentence in caption #1 is familiar. And apropos #4, some bedstraw has been coming up in our yard each spring. Another name for it is cleavers, because of the way it clings to clothing or even skin. You’re right about many people having the misconception that prickly pears only grow in the Southwest (including Texas). They can survive not only desert heat but also northern cold.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 19, 2022 at 5:10 PM

    • I’m guessing that you are also familiar with the song whose lyrics include “amber waves of grain,” Steve. 😉 Thanks for writing.


      June 20, 2022 at 3:31 PM

      • Yes, I grew up knowing “America the Beautiful.” What I didn’t know till a few years ago was the people who wrote the words and composed the music, nor that the familiar lyrics weren’t the original ones:

        Liked by 1 person

        June 20, 2022 at 4:29 PM

        • Thanks, as usual, for the extra information, Steve. I hadn’t realized how many verses there are. In grade school I only learned the first and last.


          June 21, 2022 at 8:43 PM

  3. Wonderful set of photographs.
    I like them all individually but if I had to pick a favourite it would be number six. There is lots to enjoy in this shot not least the lovely composition. The overall image is naturally divided into three with each third having space and interest of its own and then it holds together so well as a whole. The shadows are nice and they give the image a sense of time. A half hour either side of this and you wouldn’t have captured this shot with such complimentary shadows. A real treat for the eyes…
    Great stuff 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    June 19, 2022 at 7:21 PM

    • Thank you, P.C. I especially like what you say about the shadows giving the sixth photograph a sense of time. Did you happen to read the discussion that Lynn (Bluebrightly) and I got into about the photos on last week’s blog post? She talked about “documenting vs. making an artistic image.” In #6 I felt that I was making an artistic image. I’d like to do that more often.

      Liked by 1 person

      June 20, 2022 at 3:29 PM

      • Thank you for your reply and pointing me to the earlier discussion about documenting vs artistic image making.
        It’s interesting to consider how we work in certain situations. I’m sure both inform one another to a greater or lesser degree. Sometimes when documenting something the aesthetics are often more determined by the subject.
        I can remember documenting a fountain of water created by a burst water main and even though I was working fast and moving my POV I couldn’t escape considering many of the thoughts I have when creating more artful images. I think in situation where documenting something is the main purposes I feel happier perhaps to consciously sacrifice the more artistically desirable aspects.
        It’s fascinating when you start to consider all the thoughts at work when taking photographs. From the technical stuff, light, composition, POV etc etc. I think sometimes it’s easy to under estimate quite how much information we process with decisions when taking photographs.
        An exercise I created for myself and have shared with a few photographers which I called ‘9 in 45’ is a way to take a series of images where some of our regularly desired choices (subject, light, environment etc) are taken away from the actual photographs taken and a set of rules impose other considerations in deciding what and how to take a photograph. It is better explained on the blog I set up and I’ll add a link below. Every time I have practiced the exercise I have really enjoyed it and learned something about my photography. It’s a fun thing to do. It also adds to the discussion about documenting vs art and how we make choices in the field. Having mentioned it I realise I haven’t done it for ages and should give it another go soon…!
        I may be rambling a bit because I have really bad hay fever and am over tired with it all! So it’s probably time to leave it here…
        The link to 9 in 45 is :
        Best wishes

        Liked by 1 person

        June 20, 2022 at 4:22 PM

        • I agree that it’s easy to underestimate the amount of information we process when taking photographs—but I don’t think I’d thought about it (I did underestimate!) until you mentioned it. Your exercise sounds like a good one, though I’d have a very hard time not taking photographs between the designated ones. Thanks for adding to the discussion. I’m sure it will come up again. I hope your hay fever has improved, Mr. C.

          Liked by 1 person

          June 21, 2022 at 8:21 PM

          • It’s great to consider how much goes into creating a good photograph. I know when I have chatted to people about their or my own photographs it becomes clear quite how many things come into play but how many once learned become second nature. Often the mark of an appealing photograph is when all those considerations align.
            I know what you mean about the 9 in 45 exercise about not taking photographs in between and on occasions I have retraced my steps to later take something I saw.
            The exercise imposes a fun discipline and in only taking nine images it concentrates you on the exercise but doesn’t stop you being alert to all around you. If anything I think it might heighten an awareness of surroundings. The whole thing is intended to take you outside of your normal way of being while taking photographs.
            I find that In relinquishing the things we normally take so much control over it can become a more reflective exercise and keeps me focused on the exercise. The nine images then document the walk in a very specific way. Often I might only get three of four images I really like but a little learned in from all nine.
            I have done it a couple of times with a friend so we both end up having fun on the same walk documented but end up with very different images. The conversations which followed about the photographs and the exercise were very interesting.
            Maybe the shared experience with my friend Richard will inspire you to have a go with a fellow photographer.
            Double the fun☀️ 😀📷 + 📷😀☀️=😃😃
            Here is what me and Richard got up to…

            9 | Double ‘A’ Side

            As a self taught photographer I have often come up with ways to help me be more aware of what and why I am doing things with my camera. The 9 in 45 is one I thought worth sharing with others. I hope this doesn’t read like I am doing the hard sell! That is not my intention.
            The pollen count is very high again today so I suspect my hay fever will limit my activities for a few more days. Interestingly I never used to get it as a child.
            I look forward to your next post…
            Best wishes


            June 22, 2022 at 4:08 AM

  4. Just this morning on our dog walk I spotted some bedstraw and was about to id it for you when I saw that you already had. I think I get a bit more delight in finding something close to home, something that had been there all along and I was the one to find its potential.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 20, 2022 at 9:45 AM

    • I was familiar with Bedstraw but not with its flowers. I guess I had never seen it in flower before. So the flowers were a pleasant discovery. Thanks for your comment, Joe.


      June 20, 2022 at 3:30 PM

  5. Linda, thank you once more—your photos (and your comments) are wonderful and bring me joy.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 21, 2022 at 2:51 PM

  6. Thoroughly enjoyable, Linda…the pretty wheat field followed by the narrower view of the grasses under the trees is a nice duet. The pair works smoothly into the Bedstraw with that lovely closeup! A bedstraw we have got my attention a while back on a walk in the woods – I couldn’t figure out what it was until I got home and looked it up. Later I realized the stems have the same backward-facing, rough teeth as the bedstraw I remember from NY (so the stems can cling). The form/habit of the one I see is different from yours but the flowers, even though they’re single instead of in an umbel, are almost the same. Nature always intrigues. And guess what – I think yours and the one I see here are both aliens from Europe. (Oops, I actually have no idea what yours is – just read there are hundreds of Galiums, the genus name).
    But I digress! As always! Love the Cottonwood fluff, thanks for that. At times I’ve seen it in piles like small snowdrifts. 🙂
    The anemone is stunning. Plant, shadow, wall. Thing, hint of thing, absence. Each gets equal space. A photograph that speaks to the mind while it caresses the eyes.
    Great to hear that hubby guy is working on the garden and hand-feeding turtles. What a look on its face!
    The Prickly pear photos are very, very nice. Especially that last one.
    Here’s to ambling around the neighborhood!

    Liked by 1 person

    June 26, 2022 at 9:43 PM

    • Love your digressions, Lynn. So glad you enjoy that anemone photograph. I was particularly pleased with it. But then I always like when I can get a great shadow and the thing itself into a composition. It seems that this is the year I make it up to all the flowers I have been ignoring for so long. Apparently I have ignored the comments on this post a bit (!) too long. I’m sorry for missing yours. Geez, June 26.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 21, 2022 at 12:05 PM

      • Yeah, that anemone is great, the way equal weight is given to object and shadow. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        July 21, 2022 at 1:18 PM

  7. As you might guess, I enjoyed the turtle images the most. But loved seeing your flowers too. How nice that you will have your own pond to enjoy and photograph.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 27, 2022 at 3:20 PM

    • Good to know you enjoyed the turtle images, Steve. You are the master of pond creatures. The pond and its surrounding garden are not my own, however, but belong to our community. They are about two blocks away, though, so the are almost my own. My apologies to you for not responding sooner.


      July 21, 2022 at 12:10 PM

      • I have to drive a few or several miles to get to my ponds so yours is “almost” in your backyard.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 21, 2022 at 3:31 PM

        • This pond is just a tiny artificial one in a groomed garden. But our complex was built on near-wetlands, so we have six named ponds and some smaller puddley areas. Lucky me, they’re all easy walking distances.

          Liked by 1 person

          July 22, 2022 at 12:24 PM

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