Spring Flowers, April Showers

One of the best parts about moving into a new house is seeing what happens in the yard over the course of the first year. Sometimes the tree you sort of, kind of don’t really like all that much, breaks out in blossoms, and you’re in love. Sometimes a neglected corner starts to fill in with new growth, and then explodes in riotous blooms. I’ve heard it said that you should live in a house for a year, before tearing out any plants, because you never know what those existing plants may do – and if you tear them out too soon, you may miss some great potential.

I moved last summer, so this is my first spring in this house, and evidently the previous owners were big on flowers – because the yard is full of blooming plants. It’s very cool!

We’ve been told that some of the trees are black walnut, and when I Google them, the leaves do look right – but I didn’t find any images of the blooms that were as magnificent as the ones here. We have pink blooms on one tree, and white blooms on two other trees. They look just like wisteria blossoms – and the leaves look similar to wisteria as well, but the rest of the tree, and the nuts that form later are definitely not wisteria!

ETA: Ooops! I’ve been told that the trees are actually Black Locust, and Googling proves that to be true!

Black Locust // Photo: Cheryl SpeltsBlack Locust // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Black Locust // Photo: Cheryl SpeltsBlack Locust // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Black Locust // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Black Locust with White Blooms

There are lot of different kinds of bulbs and some primroses…

TulipsPurple Flowers


There are probably too many iris in the yard – if that’s possible.

Purple Iris

Purple Iris

During the Victorian Era, they were big lovers of fruit and flowers together – and it’s one of my favorite looks. There’s only one fruit tree in the yard – a lemon tree – but hopefully someday there will also be oranges and tangerines and apricots – all things that grow well in Hemet!

Lemon TreeBlack Tulip

And I’ll end with a black tulip. Have you ever seen a flower that elegant? It’s definitely a statement blossom!

On a technical note, all of these were shot between 4:09 and 4:30PM this afternoon – so a few hours before sunset – and the wind was blowing hard for most of those twenty minutes. I used a 70-200mm lens, at f/4.0, ISO 320, and as high of a shutter setting as was possible. Part of the challenge was in shooting flowers that were blowing and moving – and still trying to get a perfect image, that looks like the world was perfectly still when it was taken. The 70-200mm is my least favorite and least used lens, but sometimes it’s fun to shake things up and force yourself to do things in a slightly different way than you may be used to.

Shaking up your art – especially when you’re doing something as trite as shooting flowers? It’s a good thing! So grab an unfamiliar lens, shoot in a windstorm, whatever! Just shake it up and see what magic happens…

And as I sign off, raindrops are starting to hit the roof again… Hopefully the very last storm this season!

9 Replies to “Spring Flowers, April Showers”

  1. Yay!! You’re back!! I’ve been thinking about you, and hoping you were doing well. What gorgeous things you have in your back yard and I cannot believe you photographed all that in a windstorm. You’re awesome!

  2. Just beautiful! And what a wonderful Springtime surprise. I have a Black Walnut tree (as big as my Oaks) and it doesn’t get any flowers at all. So I’m not sure what you have…

  3. You got it exactly right Elisa, most were shot at 200mm – if I’m going for it, why not go for it fully!

    And thanks Jaime! I bet you’re as ready for Spring as I am!

    And Lisa, I’ve been told it’s a Black Locust, not a Black Walnut – I’ve never seen either kind of tree before – so it’s all new to me!

  4. You’re beyond my photography knowledge, but I thought your final paragraph was cool. More than just beautiful photos, but a bit of technical advice / life advice!

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