Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday Flowers: Whites

White can be a most challenging colour to capture on a camera. Reflected light can quickly overexpose the object obliterating detail and shadow. Over the past couple of weeks I have purposefully looked for white and here are a few of the images.

Have you ever seen a moon garden? These gardens are designed to be enjoyed in the dim light of dusk and night time. White flowers are ideal for moon gardens. Popular annuals like petunias, impatiens and sweet alyssum can be used in borders or in pots. Many shrubs and perennial have white flowers that bloom at various times in the growing season. Some flowers close when the sun sets but night blooming flowers are often fragrant in order to attract moths and other insects.

There are many white wildflowers, the most abundant in our area being Queen Anne's Lace. It blooms throughout the summer months and attracts a variety of insects and butterflies.

The most common butterfly in local fields and gardens is the Cabbage White. It never stays in one place for long as it flits from flower to flower.

The mute swan was swimming in the waters of Lake Ontario. This bird often symbolizes purity, goodness and transformation in stories and folklore.

The following poem was written by a contemporary Indian writer from Bombay, John P. Matthew. His work is reproduced here through a creative commons license.
Is White a Color?
White, pristine, unblemished
They say it is not a color
I love white mists, clouds
Lingering on blue mountains.

White, no shades
No off white, cream
Pure as snow on shimmering peaks
Is my favorite sight.

Nurses, priests, politicians
Are bound, chained to white
White nebulous clouds
evoke deep nostalgic thoughts.

They swaddled my father in white
As he lay in the black coffin
His best shirt was white
His loin cloth was white.

The paper I write is white
White is holy, pure
They say light is white
Because it combines all colors.

So white is the mother of all colors
The churning of all yellow, blue, green
Colors sacrifice their egos
To the eternal white.

They say they are "white"
The purest of all races
I think they aren't white
But pink, beige and red.

Why can't colors of people
Merge and become white
Would people called "white"
Allow their color to merge?

Is white a color?
The matriarch of all colors
The fountain of all extent colors
Yes, king white reigns supreme!

John Matthew


  1. That first picture took my breath away - all of them are beautiful.

  2. Ruth, your pictures have always been beautiful but lately they have moved into the "exceptional" category. These are truly lovely and I liked the poem too!

  3. Anonymous8:03 am GMT-4

    I did that for a while, photographed whites. And I read about moon gardens, but I've never planted one completely; I just try to add some white flowers, so they will glow at night.

    All your white photos are wonderful.

  4. This is a lovely series of photos. I've akways had trouble taking pictures of whit objects. I need more practice!!

  5. Lovely photographs. I do like seeing moon gardens, but I have never desired to have one. To me, white flowers complement other ones. By themselves, they remind me too much of funerals.

    I love your photos and capturing white things.

  6. Anonymous6:36 pm GMT-4

    Your pictures of white flowers and butterfly are lovely. Interesting poem too.

    I have not seen a moon garden, so now I will be on the look out for one.
    I'm with NCMW; white flowers complement other ones, but I do think a single white rose, or a carnation or a gerbera daisy is nice and certainly wouldn't turn one away.

    I always look forward to your Friday Flower Post.

  7. Always a lovely walk through nature to stroll through your blog. Thanks!

  8. Whites are so very difficult, and you've captured them so beautifully Ruth.

  9. Ruth..I gave you an award on my blog..

  10. Your photographs are stunning....white is my favourite 'colour'....I have white blooms all over my garden.......the words at the end of your post are beautiful and say everything and more I feel about white........

  11. Jean- The first picture is from the hospital rose garden. I walk by it as frequently as possible.

    Beth- Thanks. Digital cameras allow me to take 10 pictures to get that special one. I throw away a lot of garbage.

    Leora- Thanks for visiting and commenting. Personally I have never tried a moon garden. Mosquitoes keep us indoors at night ;-)

    Lynne- It helped when I read the camera guidebook, lol. I have many features I do not use.

    NCMW- I love colour and would not want an all white garden either. I have never associated white flowers with funerals...just gladiolas.

    Cheryl D- A single white flower can be striking and daisy type blooms are so cheerful. I have read about moon gardens but have never seen one myself.

    FD- Thanks! You deal with nature too, but maybe not on the same scale of beauty.

    Jayne- Your photography skills have been an inspiration to me.

    RW- Thanks a lot! Much appreciated.

    Hi Lin- Thanks for vising.

    Cheryl- I am glad you liked the poem. I like the use of simple words and images. I am enjoying becoming acquainted with your garden.

  12. You did a wonderful job with whites. I've tried Gardenias with no luck. White is the purest of all colors - lovely tribute.

  13. What an interesting article on Moon Gardens. Thank you - I have read about moon gardens, but didn't quite "get it". How can one plant a garden that requires moonlight to grow? That was my thinking.

    I loved your poem. It really rang true.
    Beautiful pics - especially the swans.

  14. I had never heard of a moon garden.. How unique. Love your photos of white...

  15. Mary- Keep trying the whites, especially with your new camera. I am sure your gardenia shots will be successful.(Fiddle with the white balance)

    Wendy- Thanks for dropping by and commenting!

    RW- Thanks for your kind comments.


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