Enveloped In Light

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Friends invited me to visit their garden today, to enjoy the beauty of their Mountain Laurel in bloom.


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The garden behind their home is filled with a forest of Mountain Laurel, Kalmia latifolia, which is native to our area. These ancient woody shrubs line the steep banks of the pond we share behind our homes.


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Mountain Laurel grows along the edges of the woods, especially along the banks of the many waterways which snake through our part of coastal Virginia.  Hardly noticeable for most of the year, these evergreen shrubs burst into bloom each May.


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Our friends’ Mountain Laurel shrubs must be quite old, as they reach the second story deck behind their home and form a dense thicket all the way down their bank to the pond.

Their uncountable tiny blooms make the space feel enchanted, especially when illumined by the setting sun.


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 Beautiful orbs of light show up from time to time in my photos.


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One frame will reveal them, while another photo taken seconds later will not.  This beautiful illumination has nothing to do with my lens.

Digital photography simply reveals what is there; often more than the human eye can discern unaided.


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Perhaps they are a trick of the lighting, but I believe they are much more than that.

And I am always happy to find them hovering in my photos.  Our friends’ garden is filled with them, as it is enveloped in living light.


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With appreciation to our friends for inviting me to share the wonder of their garden with them today, and for allowing me to take photos at the peak of its beauty.


The Weekly Photo Challenge:  Enveloped

Woodland Gnome 2015


More on Mountain Laurel

About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

11 responses to “Enveloped In Light

  1. Gorgeous laurels! What a wonderful visit you must have had. A two-story laurel must be a sight to behold. Imagine waking up and looking outside to see the blossoms? They should have an annual party celebrating these lovely plants! 😉

    • I’ll pass on your suggestion, Eliza, and offer a bottle of wine to kick things off 😉 We always have a great time together. They have a stand of Lady Slippers growing in their front yard under the Rhododendrons. You should stand under these amazing Kalmias and look up into their blossoms. It is a Kalmia forest, all growing beneath mature hardwood trees. Just magical… Hope you are enjoying the weekend! ❤ WG

  2. Capturing the quality of the light is quite a challenge. Sometimes it is so magical it takes one’s breath away.
    You also did a fine job of showing us the graphic faces within the Kalmia blossoms.

    • Thank you, Rickii 🙂 Photographing light is an endlessly fascinating challenge. I love sunrise and sunset best for the interesting effects which become possible. Do you have Kalmia on the West Coast? I’ve never noticed…. They remind me of kitten faces for some reason. Happy Saturday, Rickii ❤

  3. farseems

    We had a beautiful one too when I first came, five years ago, and then slowly, bit surely, bit by bit, over the course of two years, it just died, never to return. Still have it’s besutiful stems.

    • That is so sad to hear… and you can rarely find these commercially. I ordered some once, and got tiny rooted sticks. These are so old as they grow very slowly. You may come take cuttings from ours if you’d like to try to root some to replace the one you lost. How lovely they would be on your bank 😉 Did you get a surprise call today??? ❤

  4. They really are lovely, and light up the garden! Great photos!

  5. A lovely interpretation, WG. I wonder if, in addition to the soothing light, you are also enveloped by the fragrance of so many flowers? ❤

    • Great question, Jane- Mountain Laurel has very little fragrance. You have to encounter them as intimately as a bee to even notice. I would love to answer, “yes,” but it was not the case. My friends and I were chatting during that entire photo shoot. The photos were taken very casually. I was simply amazed when I first saw the photos once home. 🙂

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