"Pay attention to the world." -- Susan Sontag
Two Days with Cherry Blossoms

Two Days with Cherry Blossoms

From “Green River” in Poems by William Cullen Bryant:

Beautiful stream! by the village side;
But windest away from haunts of men,
To quiet valley and shaded glen;
And forest, and meadow, and slope of hill,
Around thee, are lonely, lovely, and still.
Lonely — save when, by thy rippling tides,
From thicket to thicket the angler glides;
Or the simpler comes with basket and book,
For herbs of power on thy banks to look;
Or haply, some idle dreamer, like me,
To wander, and muse, and gaze on thee.
Still — save the chirp of birds that feed
On the river cherry and seedy reed….

From “To Cherry-blossomes” in The Complete Poetry of Robert Herrick by Robert Herrick:

Ye may simper, blush, and smile,
And perfume the aire a-while:
But (sweet things) ye must be gone;
Fruit, ye know, is comming on:
Then, Ah! Then, where is your grace,
When as Cherries come in place?


When you live in an area with cherry trees aplenty, and they insist — as trees often do — on being photographed, it seems like your photoshoots need to include those trees. So this post features cherry blossoms from two of my recent trips to Oakland Cemetery’s gardens, toward the end of March.

I selected the first five photos from a batch I took on a seriously brighteous day. That light was a bit too harsh for my personal taste and led to some washed-out colors, though the pinks in the blossoms held up fairly well. I threw out most of the photos I’d taken from that shoot and went back on a second day when the sun was on a break, using the overcast skies and some slightly underexposed camera settings to capture more saturated colors and the level of texture I like to see.

Thanks for taking a look!


    1. Dale

      Thank you! In the end, they worked out I guess — after a good bit of messing around with some overpowering backgrounds and lots of shadow and texture work on the flowers.

      (P.S. I’m thinking of starting my own dictionary! I have about 20 made-up words right now; I just invented “brighteous” a couple of days ago and was excited to occasion it!)

        1. Dale

          Those are definitely good wordsmithing sources!

          Lately, too, I’ve been inspired by a little old book called “Passing English of the Victorian Era” — which is a hysterical collection of slang words and phrases from the late 1800s. There I learned the meaning of such terms as: Alexandra limp; gospel of the tub; jawkin; pyrotechnic pleasantries; and birdoffreedomsaurin — this last one was a way of making fun of Americans and their obsession with the American eagle.

          Search for “Passing English of the Victorian Era pdf” if you want to take a look; it’s in the public domain so there are a bunch of copies out there. It’s about 300 pages long and filled with all sorts to twisted definitions and words — some of which we still use!

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