Petal Explosion

Every year I eagerly look forward to the summer for a variety of reason, blueberry picking, hikes in French Park, bike rides with Antoine, etc.  But I also really look forward to summertime because it is when our Rose of Sharon tree erupts with flowers.  Sometime in April the leaves begin to grow, then in late May the buds start to form.  Then usually by the end of June or the beginning of July the buds start to blossom with big, pale pink flowers.  It's a petal explosion and I love it!  And so do the bees (which just makes me love it even more!).  What I love most about the tree is that it flowers pretty much all summer!  New blossoms just keep blooming throughout July and August!  It's a constantly source of beauty and pollen.  We even say a hummingbird feeding on the tree the other day, which I had never seen before!

I also took a quick detour to our back porch to snap some photos of our pretty lavender we have growing in a pot...

Late in the day is usually when the bees really come out...and we know how I like taking pictures of flowers and bees!  What can I say, it makes me happy for some reason.
A beetle joining in on the fun.

I was also looking forward to sharing these photos because they were all shot manually.  I have a bad habit of shooting in automatic or one of the preset modes out of convenience, but I'm really trying to get away from that and expand my skills.  Since I'm self-taught it's been a constant struggle with that lazy part of myself  to branch out and experiment...but I know it'll make me better in the long run, even if it takes more time and energy.  I still think there are times when automatic is the way to go and I will admit that I will almost always have my lens on auto-focus, because I don't trust my eyes and it takes me forever.  But in times like these when it's the weekend and I'm just playing around...why not!  Well, except that I look like a crazy person standing in my front yard in front of a tree for 45 minutes taking pictures of flowers.  The neighbors will just have to get used to it! 

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