I discovered Annie Spratt's work a while ago through Unsplash, one of my favourite free stock photography sites, and was taken with her story and her beautiful travel photography. Just recently I was reminded of her work once again and found myself mesmerised by a set of moody floral shots. She called it her 'brooding blossoms' phase. The combination of the dark background with the flower in close-up focus in the foreground makes a striking and whimsical image. And I love how the flowers don't look at all staged or styled. I can't be sure of this, but I suspect she took these in the wild.
We should really have discovered the Ramsgate Ramble years ago, but the sad truth is that we didn't. And I have no idea how that didn't happen. Any outing where my sister is involved must necessarily include flowers, hiking, photography, and silliness - not necessarily in that order.
I recently went foraging for wild flowers, berries and plants to use in my first ever eco-dyeing experiment. My previous blog post shows the details of what I found and how I prepared the bundles. To be honest I was rather disappointed with the way the colours came out, but having given it some thought I realise that perhaps my expectations were a little unrealistic. Just because the plant itself is really bright, doesn't mean the colour will transfer to the fabric in the steaming process. I clearly have a lot to learn.
A friend sent me a super inspirational short film about eco dyeing the other day, so I decided to go foraging for bright blossoms and plants to give it a go. Armed with a pair of kitchen scissors and a bag I went out in the rain and returned with cassia, succulents, thistle blossoms, eucalyptus bark, coral flowers, hibiscus buds, bougainvillea leaves, mulberries, pepper berries...
As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Earth laughs in flowers." I think I might just agree. Here are some of the spectacular blossoms I have captured, from wild bulbs above Smitswinkel bay, to proteas in the Cape Point, hydrangeas in the Overberg, Iceberg roses in my back garden, and watsonias blooming along Contantia Nek contour path.