Cockatoo, Hyatt Regency Maui, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
Bronze Buddha, Thailand, 19th Century, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
Bodhisattva,Hyatt Regency Maui, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
Main Pool, Hyatt Regency Maui, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
Footpath, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
Free Form Pool, Hyatt Regency Maui, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
Lahina Roads, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
Road to Hana, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
Hookipa Beach, Wind Surfing, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
Kaʻahumanu Church (1876), Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
In 1832, Queen Ka’ahumanu (1768-1832), the Kuhina Nui of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and an early convert into Christianity, visited Maui. She came to the site of the then-new Ka’ahumanu Church and witnessed services being presided by the church’s founding pastor, Reverend Jonathan Smith Green (1796-1878). Upon seeing the congregation, Queen Ka’ahumanu asked the Congregationalist mission to name the permanent church structure after her. The current structure, the fourth on the site, was built in 1876. It was built to honor Queen Ka’ahumanu’s earlier request using native materials in the construction in an adaptation of the New England style of Gothic architecture brought to Hawaii. The building was by Edward Bailey with Wailuku Sugar Company. The bell and three clock faces are from American clock-maker Seth Thomas and brought over in 1884 around Cape Horn. The original congregation, under the leadership of the Rev. Green, came into being in 1832 and held their first worship meetings in a shed.
My entire life I have always enjoyed being around flowers and gardens.
I started taking photographs of them in 2012. With so many other people everywhere, I have always enjoyed visiting and walking among the beautiful fragrances of earth’s bountiful and beautiful flora. Dangling, drooping, shooting straight up, bunches, single stem, of endlessly different shapes, sizes and colors—and places and settings—flowers and gardens embody life, creativity, and beauty. One of my earliest memories of gardens was on a childhood vacation to Jefferson’s Monticello and, in that summer’s heat, being surrounded with the scent of the boxwood shrubs. All these perennials and annuals are definitely worthwhile photographic subjects. To stroll (and bend and scrunch) among nature’s orchestra of leaves, branches, and blooms and photograph them is one of life’s pleasures.
The world of flora contains some of the most distinctive creations on the planet.
Fresh blooms are engaging, shy, forthright and protective. In their season, they exist to proffer their fleeting beauty and fragrance for the spectacular end of reproducing themselves.
I have taken photographs of many other subjects but flowers I return to again and again. It’s because flowers don’t disappoint.
Grace Kelly wrote a book on flowers called My Book of Flowers. “I love walking in the woods, on the trails, along the beaches, ” she said. “I love being part of nature…” This is one of the great things about searching for and finding flora to photograph: whether in the wild, semi-wild, in a nursery, or on the front porch or in the garden, the wonder of their presence leads to an experience of nature in its most vital form.
Grace Kelly became interested in flowers and their arrangements only in the last years of her life. It had been suggested to the American princess in the late 1960’s that as part of the festivities for Monaco’s centennial she might host a flower arranging competition, which she did. Though princess Grace admitted she “was the most ignorant garden president going,” her knowledge of flowers and gardening grew and, if only because of their shared passion for these precious blooms, she met many new friends. I too have found that I have made friends from all over the world because of our mutual love for flowers and the garden. One cannot underestimate flower power!
Most of my photographs of flowers and gardens are shot in the Chicago area.
Annuals, May 2018.
I am more myself in a garden than anywhere else on earth.
Red Chair and Pots, May 2018.
Chicago, Garfield Park Conservatory, December 2017.
Tulips, May 2018.
Lilacia Park, Lombard, Illinois, May 2018.
Henri Lebasque (1865-1937), Le Cannet, Madame Lebasque reading in the garden.
Lilacia Park, Lombard, May 2018.
Flowers lift the spirit & refresh the soul–Martha Lever.
Above: Saratoga Pinwheel, July 2017, and Daffodils, April 2018.
Henri Lebasque (1865-1937), Girl with flowers, 1909.
lilac, May 2018.
near Juneau Park, Milwaukee, June 2017.
From letter of September 1, 1842, published in Letters From New York, volume 1–Lydia Maria Child.
Dianthus, May 2016.
Garden, May 28, 2016.
The flower doesn’t dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes — Mark Nepo.
Petunia “Black Magic,” May 2016.
Garden, Oak Park, Illinois, July 2013.
Alcea (Hollyhock), July 2013.
There are always flowers for those who want to see them–Henri Matisse.
Double Late Tulip “Dream Touch,” Lombard, Illinois, 2018.
“Frederick Douglass,” multi-petaled cultivar named for Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), American slave, abolitionist leader and author. Developed in 1972 by Richard Americo Fenicchia.
A flower blossoms for its own joy– Oscar Wilde.
Wheaton, Illinois, March 2018.
Like wildflowers; You must allow yourself to grow in all the places people though you never would–E.V.
gardener, Glen Ellyn, Illinois, May 2019.
Downers Grove, Illinois, May 2020.
Hans Duivenvoorden, FlowerPower II.
To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow–Audrey Hepburn.
tree in bloom, May 2018.
garden pathway, May 2018.
peony and cicada, home garden, June 2020.
impatiens, home garden, May 2018.
Little things seem nothing, but they give peace, like those meadow flowers which individually seem odorless but all together perfume the air–Georges Bernanos.
Pot of flowers at the Fox River, West Dundee, Illinois, August 2014.
Orchids, May 2018.
Flowerbed under prairie-style window in a house designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright, 1917, Chicago. Photograph July 2015.
Henri Lebasque, Woman reading with flower bouquet in a glass vase.
Maple tree, Western Springs, Illinois, October 2017.
Millennium Park (near Chase Promenade), Chicago, November 2017.
Henri Lebasque, By the tree.
All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today–Chinese proverb.
waterfall, Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford, Illinois, July 31, 2017.
Prairie CoreopsisCoreopsis palmata, Aster family Asteraceae, Woodridge, Illinois, July 2013.
Purple CornflowerEchinacea purpurea, West Chicago Prairie, West Chicago, Illinois, August 4. 2013.
Flowers are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays, “Gifts” (Second Series, 1844).
Orange sulphur butterfly with wild clover, August 12, 2013, Water Fall Glen, Lemont, Illinois.
Ellwood House, DeKalb, Illinois, September 18, 2016.
Richmond, Illinois, August 29, 2016.
You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming. Pablo Neruda.
“Nobody lies about her lodestone any more. She burned and destroyed the whole park! Killed people too – what a pity! Only scientists are out there now. What’s there to see, dear? Isn’t it all in ruins?”
The Mount St. Helens eruption, May 18, 1980. This image is in the public domain in the United States because it only contains materials that originally came from the USGS.
This is what the lady innkeeper told me in Portland, Oregon, before I set out in the car one early morning in July 1991 to visit the crater.
“It’s a pity she blew. It was such a pretty mountain before. WAS, I say. The kids loved camping at its base. It was so easy for them to get in and out. Then she blew and changed everything.”
I waved my good-byes and started the two-hour drive.
As seen from Spirit Lake, Mount St. Helens in 1980 BEFORE the eruption on May 18, 1980. United States Forest Service (USFS) photo by Jim Nieland. USGS/Public domain.
Earthquakes, avalanches and a ten-minute eruption on May 18, 1980 toppled nearly 4,000 feet from the mountain summit. Author’s collection.
In April 1980 a bulge developed on the north side of Mt. St. Helens as magma pushed up inside it. View from the northeast. Photo by Peter Lipman. USGS/Public domain.
Phreatic or steam-blast eruption from the summit crater of Mount St. Helens on April 6, 1980. Aerial view to the southwest. The ash-laden cloud surrounds and obscures a finger-like ash column with an upper white cloud formed by atmospheric condensation of water vapor. USGS/Public domain.
At 8:32 a.m. on Sunday, May 18, 1980, an earthquake followed by a landslide and near simultaneous volcanic blast changed forever – and in less than 10 minutes – a Cascades landscape of 230 square miles. Months before the unexpected blast, volcano watchers had camped near the mountain, including scientists and photographers, who were interested to gauge its recent unusual seismic and geological activity and capture what the mountain may do. Local property owners pressured authorities to be let back into their homes during this uncertain and, as it turned out, critically dangerous waiting period. Especially good weather brought out an extra contingent of weekend campers, backpackers and curiosity seekers to the mountain, many from Portland only 70 miles away.
Eruption Of Mt. St. Helens From Portland, ending 123 years of dormancy.
Everybody I talked to during my 1991 visit remembered 83-year-old Harry Randall Truman who lived by the mountain for over half his life and refused to leave in the days and weeks before the May 18, 1980 eruption. Not sure whether the mountain would blow or not, Truman, who served in the U.S. military in Europe in World War One, resigned himself to the mountain’s fiery whims. When the 1000-story high burbling volcano finally did blow, the avalanche and blast buried Mr.Truman, as it did Spirit Lake, in 350,000 acre-feet of fire and ash debris. Mr. Truman’s body was never recovered nor did he represent the only loss of human life in the eruption.
Harry Randall Truman (1896-1980) lived by Mount St. Helens for 54 years. Truman died in the eruption after he refused to evacuate.
Reid Blackburn, 27, a photographer at The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Washington, was killed in the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. Blackburn got caught in the blast at Coldwater Camp. While his car and body were recovered four days later, his camera only resurfaced after a week.
The day before the blast – in this May 17, 1980 photo – 30-year-old volcanologist David Johnston is shown in the evening at his camp near what is now known as Johnston Ridge near Mount St. Helens. A principal scientist on the monitoring team, Johnston perished while manning an observation post 6 miles away on the morning of May 18, 1980. Johnston was the first to report the eruption, transmitting “Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!” before he was swept away by the lateral blast. Johnston’s remains were never found, but state highway workers discovered remnants of his USGS trailer in 1993. Photo by Harry Glicken on May 17, 1980 at 19:00, 13 1/2 hours before the 1980 eruption. USGS/Public domain.
On Sunday, May 18, 1980 at 8:32 a.m., the bulging north flank of Mount St. Helens slid away in a massive landslide — the largest in recorded history. Seconds later, the uncorked volcano exploded and blasted rocks northward across forest ridges and valleys, destroying everything in its path within minutes. USGS/Public domain.
This camper contains two victims of the Mount St. Helens eruption in a gray landscape about eight miles from the mountain, May 20, 1980. USGS/Public domain.
View downstream of the North Fork Toutle River valley choked by a debris avalanche deposit from the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. USGS/Public domain.
Streets of Yakima, Washington, May 18, 1980.
Only a few months before my July 1991 visit the authorities had re-opened Mount St. Helens for the first time in more than a decade. It was named a National Volcanic Monument and deemed safe again for visitors. After Bear Meadow I followed the prolonged twisting road to past Ghost Lake, Meta Lake and Norway Pass until I reached Independence Pass. From its overlook I saw for the first time the ashen slough that had been Spirit Lake. For years prior to May 1980 several camps inhabited the shore around the lake’s perimeter. There had also been various lodges around the oblong-shaped lake including the one Mr. Truman lived in. On May 18, 1980 Spirit Lake met the full impact of the volcano’s lateral blast. The sheer force of the blast lifted the lake out of its bed and propelled it about 85 stories into the air to splash onto adjacent mountain slopes. Despite the weeks of warnings about a potential eruption of Mount St. Helens, the sole film records of the actual event are in photographs.
Spirit Lake a few days after the eruption on May 18, 1980. USGS/Public domain.
Mount St. Helens erupts at 8:32 a.m. on May 18, 1980. First in a series of photographs by Willard Pennell.
Mt. St. Helens eruption: second in a series of photographs by Willard Pennell.
Third in a series of photographs by Willard Pennell.
Fifth in a series of photographs by Willard Pennell.
Sixth in a series of photographs by Willard Pennell.
Taken from a rest area near Lewiston, Idaho, on May 18, 1980, Mammatus clouds caused by volcanic ash hover over the Palouse of southeastern Washington, north central Idaho and northeast Oregon. Photograph by Betty Ehr.
At 8:32 a.m. on May 18, 1980 a 5.2-magnitude earthquake triggered the bulging north slope of Mount St. Helens to slice and fall away into the biggest debris avalanche in recorded history. This landslide was rapidly succeeded by the powerful lateral blast that sent scorching hot ash and rock hurtling out of the mountain at approximately 300 miles per hour, toppling and incinerating everything in its northward path. Fifteen miles away from the mountain temperatures reached Fahrenheit 572 degrees.
Entering the “Restricted Zone” of Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument in July 1991. About eight miles away, the collapsed north face of the mountain looms in the distance. Mount St. Helens was partially destroyed by a series of earthquakes followed by the largest debris avalanche in history and a blast and pyroclastic flow that flattened everything in its path over 230 square miles. Author collection.
While in 2016 plant and animal life continue to recover and augment as it has for decades now, my boots in 1991 crunched into a gray, dusty moon-like surface. From Spirit Lake to Windy Ridge I was confronted by trees flattened like toothpicks as far as the eye could see, and a cauldron emitting wispy white smoke. The base of the mountain is four miles wide. The journey had taken me from civilization and delightful wilderness into mile upon mile of badlands. My bodily presence was miniature in an immense, silent, and deserted landscape, the scene only a decade earlier of the most powerful natural event in the Continental United States in over one thousand years. While I heard some people talk about this volcanic eruption as comparable in its destructive power to that of a detonated atom bomb, I know that sort of comparison is ludicrous. For all its destructive force, this is not a disaster as it contains, if one requires patience to believe it, a natural benignity – or what scientists call a natural disturbance on a grand scale which allows mankind to study the natural cycle of death and life in a landscape. An atom bomb provides none of that -it only bestows extinction and contamination.
A gray, dusty moon-like surface with trees flattened like toothpicks as far as the eye could see. At Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, July 1991. Photo John P. Walsh.
Ash and gas, accompanied by lightning, ascended 15 miles into the air at the speed of a mile a minute. In a blast that killed 57 people – many of whom were there to study and record its possible eventuality – it also decimated approximately 7,000 large animals and 12 million salmon. No trees of dense forest were left standing within 6 miles of the summit. Rescue operations continued for days with varied success.
Army National Guard helicopter pilot Harold Kolb rescues two men and their sons from the eruption of May 18, 1980. USGS/Public domain.
Horse rescuers give up their efforts as they fled for their lives before flood waters from the Toutle River. USGS/Public domain.
Mudflow deposits cover State Highway 504 near of Toutle, to a depth of over six feet. Photo by USGS R.L. Schuster. Public Domain.
This aerial view shown May 23, 1980 from a search and rescue helicopter. USGS/Public domain.
SGS Photograph taken on May 18, 1980, by Austin Post. Public Domain.
Encountering a washed-out road to the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center in late summer 1980.
Over 350 miles away from the eruption in Moscow, Idaho, May 18, 1980.
July 1980 aerial view of pyroclastic flow from Mt. St. Helens. USGS Photo July 22, 1980, by Harry Glicken. USGS/Public domain.
A helicopter stirs up ash while trying to land in the devastated area on August 22, 1980. Photo by Lyn Topinka United States Geological Service. USGS/Public domain.
An eruption from Mount St. Helens on March 8, 2005. In 2016 the volcano is showing increased signs of significant seismic activity. AP Photo/USGS Matt Logan. USGS/Public domain.
Fireweed on the slopes of Spirit Lake only four years after the eruption (September 1984). Public Domain.
In 2016 in nature it is survival of the fittest – while woody plants are beginning to appear with the promise of a forest, the boll weevil is eating the wood. Photo credit: Michael Hynes.
Below: Mount St. Helens. The volcano was particularly restless in the mid19th century, when it was notably active off and on for a 26-year span from 1831 to 1857. Canadian artist Paul Kane (1810–1871) painted Mount St Helens Erupting At Night in 1847 (Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto). Though considered once dormant, the volcano has been continually active in degrees over the centuries as this nineteenth century painting attests, and remains so today after the major 1980 blast. Public Domain.
This photo of an erupting Mount St. Helens has been published and viewed widely on television over the years since the eruption. Photo credit: Richard “Dick” Lasher.
Pyroclastic flow during August 7, 1980, Mount St. Helens eruption. The view is from Johnston Ridge, located 8 km (5 mi) north of Mount St. Helens. Photo: Peter Lipman. Public Domain.
Alan Hovhaness (1911-2001), Symphony Number 50, “Mount St Helens” (1982), Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz.