One of the plants I photographed frequently, if not regularly, this spring, was Rhododendron faithiae. Last year I was smitten with the new growth, and even got an encore when it decided to put on another round of new growth. An encore may or may not happen this year, but I did form a collection of images following the progression of the new growth this year. It's not the smooth, regular progression I meant to show, but it'll do.
The first photo was taken around April 13th and the last one around June 3rd.
|I did some hand-modeling in some of these shots for scale.|
|Eruption! The leaves finally burst from the bud scales.|
|At its best and deepest color.|
|The expanding leaves start lightening towards copper-pink.|
The new growth has since matured to green. I have several little plants with big leaves like this one that make me laugh. Like a puppy that's all feet and ears, these plants are all big floppy leaves. One burst of growth doubles the size of the entire plant. My three Magnolia 'Silk Road' x insignis are finally tall enough that not all of their big leaves brush the ground. Rhododendron rex was the last rhododendron to push new growth. I'm trying to make a collection of shots for it like I did with R. faithiae, but I've been rather lax. We'll see how it turns out.
One benefit of this heat was that it's been much quieter this past week than it normally is. Usually, fireworks and bottle rockets start a few days before the 4th. This year, silence held until darkness fell on the night of the 4th, and even then it was rather tame compared to past years (what I could hear of it through the windows that stayed closed because it was too hot to open them and switch off the A/C). Maybe I'm being an unpatriotic curmudgeon, but I enjoyed the quiet.