Where Grass is Free to Be and a Poll

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Luckily there are places locally that allow nature some free rein. One thing Niagara State Parks is good at is preserving areas as open meadow. They also plant many ornamental  grasses too, like shown above.

Many of the trails and paths are allowed to grow uninhibited. I am very fond of these natural sites and walk the trails often, passing bikers, joggers and elderly couples hand in hand, walking leisurely along the trails, admiring the scenery.

Much of the time, I am here alone on the trails. In fact, today was busier than normal for visitors.

Coincidentally, I was photographing the meadows with blue fields of wildflowers and a guy comes up from behind me. Mind you, I am in the middle of the field, not on the trail.

I was startled by him, but what he wanted was the same image I was shooting. Below, he is shooting right into the sun with his point and shoot, and I know his photos are going to blow out at this time of day. You can tell by my image of him.  But he did take photos from where I was located at first which was a nice view of the entire field and the bright sun was less of a factor.

He said he would have never thought to take that shot of the blue field since he was focused on the gorge. The images below are what he was shooting until he focused on the meadows.  If he waited another hour, the sunset is pretty across the river into Canada.

The views of the Niagara River are vastly more dramatic and tantalizingly more interesting though, but I am so accustomed to what is right in my backyard.

He said I inspired him to see more of the park than what he was seeing.  I guess that was a nice compliment, and I let him have my vantage point.

Those images of the blue cloud, aster meadow are coming up shortly, but you can see some of the asters and chicory here also. The image above is one remastered in Topaz, a Photoshop plugin. I usually do not use these filters and effects, but I am trying out the app for consideration. It has some really interesting and artistic effects to try, although I can not figure out how to justify it for my work. It is merely a new toy to play with. But notice how the colors that are imaginatively created with the Graduated Color filter, are very similar to the actual color in the image below. Nature is a remarkable thing.

I have no clue what grasses, sedges and grains are growing, but there are also cultivars mixed in along the way. I was just enjoying the day.

Taking 30 minutes of my busy work day to walk the trails near my home is both relaxing and rejuvenating. Time to think. During my walks, there is so much to photograph but the time to do it does not always fit into a perfect lighting schedule. One good thing about it is, I do get to the trails at different times of the day, so I have my meadow shots taken right before sunset. The lighting is sometimes favorable earlier and other times a little bright or flat.

But, it does not stop me from taking a few shots anyway. There is always something to catch my eye. I am going to do a month-long look at Whirlpool State Park. The colors are beautiful at this time of year. The soft pinks, blues, lavender, reds, yellows, and tawny golds are amazing. There are so many different berries to find too.

I have a new magazine coming too, called, i On Niagara. It is a look at all the parks, public and private gardens, seminars, across the border, the City, and local attractions. i On Niagara will have a look at my garden as well.

The bright blue sky is always an inspiration. The blue gradation above is natural. It even surprised me, going from light to dark. This field grass was taller than me and I just pointed the camera skyward.

So many colors and textures are found along the trails.  Here, you can see what I see everyday.

The zebra grasses are seeding now, making little floating stars. I hope you see the park as I see it, and please follow along in the next few weeks, much is in store. The park has garden flowers too, so it will not be all wildflowers and grasses, but the wild parts are my favorite though.

And, please vote for our Word 4 Wednesday word for November 2. They have been submitted by kind bloggers. One of the words was going to be a word I selected if no one submitted, but we have some good ones. In fact, I am voting for one that was newly submitted. If I missed any, or you have a suggestion, let me know and they will be in the next poll. Voting will last one month.

Our next Word 4 Wednesday on October 19 is Evolution. I expanded it to include Evolve too.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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29 Responses to Where Grass is Free to Be and a Poll

  1. Those grasses are beautiful. Love the river shots too. Always take the camera not matter the light. Sometimes, you just need to capture an image for yourself if not to share.

    • I do take photos in poor lighting often when I am out during the sunniest part of the day. I will photo edit them a bit to reduce the contrast if I need to use them to support my story. In fact, getting there first thing in the morning is tough with my work, and late in the day because I have to be home to make dinner for the hubby.

  2. These are wonderful shots, and so nice of you with the man who was shooting with the point and shoot. I always question whether I should mention the sun when I see someone shooting something that I know would be so much better if they just took it from another position. Again, beautiful shots. Just wonderful. 🙂

    • Thank you. He turned out to be a nice fellow, not a nefarious character like in the movies. 😀 I was going to tell him, but I was already down the trail when I turned and saw where he was. I bet he checked his view screen though.

  3. Shawn says:

    These are beautiful shots! The shots of the Niagara River draw you in.

  4. These are just stunningly beautiful images. I have to think about which shot is my next desktop background image. I’d like to know more about your photography background. Where did you learn your craft?

    • Hi Patrick. I am just a long time amateur but did have two semesters of photography courses with my art and architecture degrees. It was more lab work and compositional learning though. As much as I like the technical aspect of computers, for some reason when it came to the camera I was tentative in my interest. I also managed the photo lab for a short time in Architecture school. Our lab was for archival documentation, so I did a lot of studio work under the guidance of a pro. You can see my interest is really in the editing area though, but I have been making a great effort to relearn better camera technique and use. I use Photoshop more for the graphics and illustrative aspects of the program, rather than the photography.

  5. Jennifer says:

    It must be nice to have such a beautiful place to walk everyday. The rushing water must create a nice relaxing soundtrack. The sunsetting over the water is just beautiful.

  6. NHGarden says:

    Enjoyed your post! Loved the river shots – prefer the one with the sun! Also loved the first picture and the third one – the grass is a great contrast with the blue of the river behind it!

  7. Indie says:

    Wow, the river shots are gorgeous! The shot of the grass going to seed is really interesting as well. Okay, I’m off to look up a couple words in the dictionary…

  8. Andrea says:

    The wilder the meadow gets, the more i love it too. You are so prolific with your work, it looks like you don’t stop at all. If i were the man there, i will follow you more and get more advice, LOL. Your area is indeed very rich in colors and textures, and a lot more! I wish to roam those patches too.

  9. Nice photos, especially of the many grasses. It looks like a very worthwhile park to be spending your time in

  10. 7aces/Darla says:

    You have a great eye for photography!

  11. Donna says:

    I know I have said it many times but it bears repeating…you live in such a beautiful part of NYS. The park in autumn with the late grasses and wildflowers is stunning. I do like the new app…cool pic…looking forward to the upcoming posts!!

  12. Christina says:

    You are very lucky to live in such a beautiful place. It’s also great that the area is manages so thoughtfully. I love all the grasses. Great post Christina

  13. Ah, if I take my camera with me, I may feel less guilty about taking my half-hour exercise break during the day! Great photos, as always.

  14. linniew says:

    The other photographer added another dimension to your walk and your thoughts. Beautiful pictures, and I enjoyed your perspective on his efforts as well.

  15. One says:

    The first image reminds me of ‘Fill the Frame’. Remember. Love the images you shared today.

  16. Grace says:

    Beautiful photographs. I would have been a little unnerved having someone walk up behind me but nature has a way of bonding strangers, doesn’t it? The blue gradation in that sky/grass photo is outstanding. What a delightful day it must have been.

  17. Cathy says:

    All the images are wonderful – the grasses look so much more beautiful at the end of your lens than in my garden (as weeds LOL). You’re so fortunate to live near such a fantastic natural resource!

  18. Barbie says:

    I am enchanted by your grasses . So gorgeous!!

  19. b-a-g says:

    I’ve voted. You’re making us work hard Donna!
    Your energy is inspirational. I like the way you’ve expanded your blog to the surrounding area where you live. Good luck with the new magazine.

  20. HolleyGarden says:

    Love the grasses shots, and the sunset on the gorge is beautiful. I can’t wait to see your new magazine! Such a pretty area, and one I may never visit in person. I’m so glad to be able to visit it through your eyes.

  21. Donna, The natural wonders around where you live never cease to amaze me. You couldn’t post too many times on them as far as I am concerned. Carolyn

  22. Mac_fromAustralia says:

    Beautiful photos.

  23. Les says:

    As much as I love the woods and the shore, I am as equally happy in a meadow, especially this time of year as the color is changing and fruits, seeds and pods are drying.

  24. Enchanting shots Donna, I love the meadows. I was also really struck by the clarity of the blue of the water in the gorge shots. Hard to see anything else when that is in front of you, that man was lucky to have you there to remind him to look more broadly. The sky + grass shot is beautiful, you don’t often get to see that gradation in colour so clearly. I’ve put a postit on my monitor to remind me about W4W next week…

  25. Thanks for the great shots of the meadows and the river. When you took that picture of the guy taking the picture, HE became part of nature, a “Homo Sapiens Meadow Snapper.”

    –John: TheDailyGraff.com

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