... blog post:


There I was, camera in hand, making close-ups of some fabulous rhododendron blooms when a woman came and stood directly behind me (I mean bugger Covid and all that) and proclaimed in a booming voice, "Is there anybody in there?", indicating the flower I was snapping... eh?

I could feel her breath on the back of my neck; disturbing! She then repeated the question and started laughing like a drain while a crowd of her friends standing nearby joined in. She tried it twice, but when I failed to turn round and respond, then she and her mates lost interest and strolled off giggling. I guess this is what passed for wit in these parts? Later it puzzled me in a metaphysical way just who she thought could possibly exist within the confines of a single rhododendron bloom and why I might be looking to photograph them? Weird!

Later still, it occurred to me that perhaps the "joke" amongst her and her friends was for her to get physically really, really close to me and verbalise any old rubbish to make sure her presence was known, simply to make me feel very uncomfortable or menaced in these Covid sensitive times? There are some very nasty people about these days. There again maybe it was just some dumb-ass and I was just being paranoid, but learning to live with Covid really has changed everything including photo walkabouts, sadly.

Soon the incident was forgotten and it was back to zen shutter clicking, lost in the world of colourful and fragrant flowers. Time as always sped by unnoticed once again in peace and harmony and indeed my faith in my mostly well mannered fellow travellers along the way was restored.

Now as for the shrubs, hardy hybrid rhododendrons such as ‘Sappho’ and ‘Gomer Waterer’ can grow up to 20 metres across and provide spectacular floral displays, though I mostly like to focus on individual flowers or groups of blooms for their impact.

The rhododendrons this time of year are lush but catch them while you can as they are soon gone. All photos made with my OMS Olympus OM-1 and my M.Zuiko 8-25mm f4 Pro with its exemplary close focusing distance of 23cm.

✧ Jokul Frosti ✧

A space containing the thoughts, experiences, photos and collected curiosities of a walkabout photographer with a snapshot style.