Weekly Photo Challenge: Orange

Alliums grow wild along the Colonial Parkway near Yorktown.

Alliums  and native grasses grow wild along the Colonial Parkway near Yorktown.

Challenge is the operative word this week.

“Jennifer’s Weekly Photo Challenge”  inspires all sorts of weird and wonderful photos.  Everyone who participates may interpret it in their own way, and Jennifer is unfailing gracious to all of us who participate.

I was particularly touched by the lengths to which Jennifer herself went last week to create an interesting photo for Glow In The Dark.

Just a wonderful bit of photo-wizardry.  And I realized that she is putting tremendous effort into the little worlds she creates as her own entries.

Asclepias incarnata just coming into bloom.  Do you think the yellow orange on the bee might count as orange?

Asclepias syriaca just coming into bloom. Do you think the yellow orange on the bee might count as orange?

But I play by my own set of rules for this challenge. 

Since “Forest Garden” is about things green and growing, I prefer to meet Jennifer’s challenge with garden-themed photos.

Dandelions somehow seem a little to yellow to count for orange....

Dandelions somehow seem a little to yellow to count for orange….

And, I prefer to use fresh photos, taken within the last few days.  No stale photos here, thank you very much!

But  June is not a very good time of year for taking photos of  “orange” in the garden.

Had Jennifer offered up her “orange” challenge in October, it would have been simpler.

But here is “orange” in the first week of June, before we even have decent day lilies to photograph!

These wild daisies have "almost orange" centers....

These wild daisies have “almost orange” centers….

So my partner and I went in search of  “orange” this evening.

And we found such wildflowers as one dreams of in January- only in shades of plum and cream, yellow and pink.

White Achillea just coming into bloom among the daisies and purple milk vetch.

White Achillea just coming into bloom among the daisies and purple milk vetch.

I had hoped the Milkweed plants I had seen growing by the pond would be open in beautiful orange blossoms this evening.

But when we arrived, I realized the Asclepias was A. syriaca, not A. tuberosa as I had hoped.

June 3, 2014 Parkway 004

That means these lovely flowers were pink, not orange.

The Monarchs are happy with either plant.

And so the search continued up and down the Colonial Parkway, and finally into the village at Yorktown.

These lovely lilies grow in someone's yard in the historic area of Yorktown.  I hope they don't mind that I took photos with out first explaining our quest for orange....

These lovely lilies grow in someone’s yard in the historic area of Yorktown. I hope they don’t mind that I took photos with out first explaining our quest for orange….

He spotted the orange Oriental lilies growing in someone’s yard.  I realized that was the closest we would get, and quickly snapped the photo.

Still, it felt a bit like cheating…

On the way back we stopped by Indian Field Creek, where there is a safe place to park beside the York River.

June 3, 2014 Parkway 053

We had noticed Egrets there on the drive to Yorktown. 

June 3, 2014 Parkway 054

The Egrets have returned to Williamsburg, and we were delighted to spot several this evening, both flying and wading.

As I turned to leave, finally driven away from the beach by biting flies, there it was.

The perfect photo for Jennifer’s “Orange”  challenge.

June 3, 2014 Parkway 070

We had been spotting orange highway signs all evening.  And I had refused to photograph them because they aren’t anything to do with gardens or wildlife.

But somehow, this one seemed OK, rising majestically from a sea of lovely Alliums and native grasses, here beside the York River.

June 3, 2014 Parkway 037


All Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

14 responses to “Weekly Photo Challenge: Orange

  1. Pingback: One Word Photo Challenge: Eggplant | Jennifer Nichole Wells

  2. To be fair, orange is more of an autumn color. I loved all your photos anyway and I’m sure the search was half the fun. 🙂

    • The journey is the goal, as they say. We had a great time searching, and then went for some frozen yogurt. Thank you for the kind words. I’ve been so happy to see all the wonderful “orange” photos others have come up with for Jennifer’s challenge 😉 WG

  3. I love the alliums going off into the distance – all the colors work so well in this photo. Just a minor correction, your photos of milkweed are Asclepias syriaca, not A. incarnata, which has narrower leaves and a flatter flower.
    I love that you have so much wild land for great photo opps!

    • Dear Eliza,

      Thank you so much for correcting the cultivar on the Milkweed. I’ve made the correction of the identification of the plant on both posts. I really appreciate your help in making this accurate. We have miles of park land within easy reach, and it is our pleasure to be able to enjoy it. My husband loves the photos of the Alliums “dropping out of the sky.” He calls them “aliens.” Best wishes, WG

      • Glad you weren’t offended. I try to tread lightly, but with the internet I’ve noticed that errors get perpetuated, so I agree, accuracy is important. I like your husband’s assessment of alliums as ‘aliens’, they kind of do look like space pods!

        • He has had great fun with those photos 😉 They look like a live invasion to us 😉
          Eliza, I appreciate that you saved me so quickly from publishing an error. I had checked my photos against references I could find online, and still made the mistake. Since you’ve worked with these plants, you know the difference. I haven’t had the opportunity to grow them yet, so I appreciate your assistance. I’m a retired middle school teacher, and getting the information “right” means a lot to me. In case you’re wondering- we’ve returned to the spot with the milkweed several times now, but have only spotted a single Monarch on two of those occasions. I am concerned with how few butterflies and hummingbirds we are spotting around here so far this season. Best wishes, WG

          • I share your concern. I wonder if the monarchs you saw laid eggs? The eggs hatch in 4 days, the caterpillar becomes an adult in 2 weeks and the chrysalis hatches in 10-14 days. So if you see any caterpillars or chrysalis, it will be good news!

            • Dear Eliza,

              As you can see in the photos, those leaves are pristine. No munching, and no signs of eggs or larvae. Now I didn’t wade down into the growth to really look closely for evidence of eggs. That area is also grown through with a healthy crop of poison ivy, and I stayed on mowed areas to take the photos. I will keep an eye out for signs of the next generation. And yes, it will be good news!

  4. Such beautiful photos! I’m sorry orange isn’t the best color for this time of year, and also very impressed by your hunt for fresh orange pictures. I’m willing to wager that even the brown and yellow tones in your photos all have a bit of orange in them, but you’re right, the highway sign works perfectly.

    Thank you for sharing and thank you for your kind words about me and my challenge 🙂

  5. Love seeing the Alliums grow wild! Wow, you have lilies already blooming in your area, we are probably 3 weeks behind you guys on the lilies. The egrets are cool birds, they are all over Hilton Head. I have a bunch of pictures to post on the egrets form our last trip. I hope all is well at your place and you guys are doing good!! Only a few weeks away til summer starts 🙂 and the hot weather 😦

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