Exploratorius Redux

Atelier Aquarell & Fotografie

Tag Archives: Flora

Embrace The Suck — Radiation Therapy Begins

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Orchids
Parrish, Florida — December 2012
Sony NEX-5R + Leica Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH

My journey with prostate cancer continues, for today marks the beginning of daily radiation therapy to kill the remnants of the tumor that were missed during the surgery I had back in late March (earlier posts on the subject can be found here and here).

Each weekday afternoon for the next 7-weeks I’ll show up at the treatment facility, get oriented horizontally with my legs braced in a special foam cast, the radiation technicians will fine-tune the targeting using my three new “dot” tattoos (outside left upper thigh, outside right upper thigh, and lower abdomen), then I’ll wait as the huge linear accelerator weaves its business end all around my pelvic region for 10-15 minutes, then I’ll be finished for the day and return to work.

At least, that’s the plan.

I’ve been told that I should not expect any side effects for the first two weeks or so, but then they will begin to build after the initial grace period.  What will the side effects be?  I’m told that they can vary widely according to the individual.

I’m fond of a quote from Mel Brooks classic dark comedy, Young Frankenstein, where Marty Feldman’s character Igor says, “Could be worse.  Could be raining!”  Only in this case I seem to be catching the rain a lot more than not.

Due to the prep requirements for each daily session, I predict I’ll drop a lot of weight by the time I’m finished, as having to cleanse every morning with Milk of Magnesia will do that.

Let’s hope that this puts an end to the tumor; if it doesn’t, then chemotherapy is the next step.

And I really don’t want to do that.

For My Sweetheart

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Crocuses
Central Maryland — May 2018
Watercolor on 4″x6″ paper

I’m still getting back into the watercolor painting groove, but was pleased with this quick sketch of spring crocuses from earlier in the week. Continue Reading →

Toxic Beauties

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Azaleas in our front yard
Central Maryland — April 2018
Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 24-70/1.8-2.8

Every time I do background checking for a new post, I discover something new and interesting — like azaleas are highly toxic and that bees are deliberately fed on the nectar of azaleas in some parts of Turkey to produce something known as “mad honey“, which has mind-altering properties that are occasionally lethal.

Fruit In 16 Weeks (Or Less!)

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Apple tree blooms
Central Maryland — April 2018
Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 24-70/1.8-2.8

The fruit trees are now blooming and some — like our local peaches — will have edible harvests in just another 8 weeks.  We are normally able to buy our first white peaches of the year around July 4th, so things are beginning to pick up!

Fort Lincoln At Point Lookout

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View from the northwestern side
Point Lookout State Park, Maryland — August 2016
Zeiss Ikon ZM + Zeiss Sonnar 50/1.5 ZM
Eastman Double-X (5222) + Diafine (stock) 3+3

My dad and I were in this exact spot yesterday… I wonder if he’ll recognize this shot?

We dashed down to the tip of southern Maryland to explore the Civil War history of Point Lookout (it was the largest Union prisoner of war camp for Confederate soldiers, holding some 20,000 at one point), and it was his first visit to the area — it’s always a plus for me to take him somewhere he’s never been to before.

More Spring Purples

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Wisteria (Wisteria frutescens) is now blooming
Central Maryland — April 2018
Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 24-70/1.8-2.8

Just down the road from us, there is a stunning display of wisteria.  When I took this photo, the air was humming with hundreds of bumble bees — all eager to enjoy the fresh blooms.

A Cloud Of Flowering Dogwood Blossoms

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Dogwood tree in full bloom
Central Maryland — April 2018
Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 24-70/1.8-2.8

This specific flowering dogwood tree (Cornus florida) is one of my very favorites in late April (yes, I have lots of favorite trees — so what?).  It’s right next to the exit of one of the many buildings where I work, and in the spring becomes just an utter cloud of creamy white blossoms — especially pretty when back-lit by the morning sun.

Each year I eagerly look forward to the day when I can just stand at this spot for many minutes at a time, and absorb the warmth and peaceful beauty that permeates that special area.

The Red Buds Are Blooming

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Redbud (Cercis) tree in full bloom
Great Falls Tavern, Maryland — April 2018
Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 24-70/1.8-2.8

Do you like vibrant pink blossoms?  If so, now is the time to go out and enjoy redbud (Cercis) trees.  Guess what else likes — really really likes — redbud trees?

Beavers!

We once lived on a property that had a small pond which attracted beavers like there was no tomorrow.  There were a large number of redbud trees on the property, including one that was just inches from the house.  Every year the beavers would tear into those redbud trees just as they hit peak color, including the one that was right next to the house.  Eventually the damaged tree became such a safety hazard that we had to cut it down… a sad day to be sure, but the beavers had chomped almost completely through it, and the trunk was in danger of taking out our roof.

So if you’re seeing redbud trees without any damage around the lower trunk area, then there may not be any beavers lingering about.