Sweet Morning Smells

Honeysuckle Flower
“Honeysuckle growing on a honeysuckle vine”, Bill Haley

Last night was not good for sleep; It was not due to pain.  I couldn’t sleep more than 45 minutes at a time.  Every 45 minutes I would awaken, look at the clock, lie awake for 30 minutes and then sleep for another 45.  Finally, at 4:30 AM, I arose, took a shower, shaved, drank a cup of “Taster’s Choice”, and drove to Walgreen’s to pick up some Q-Tips and coffee filters.

Back home I brewed a pot of coffee and ate a banana while thinking about what I was going to do this early in the morning.  When the coffee was finished brewing and I had poured myself a cup, I went out into the backyard to hear the birds and enjoy my fresh brew.  It was already light but it would be about 30 minutes before sunrise:  not enough time to get anywhere for a sunrise photo.  As I sat enjoying the cool morning air, I caught the scent of something sweet and fresh.  I turned and spied the source, my honeysuckle vine in full bloom.  The closer I got to it the stronger the wonderful aroma became.  Standing beside this vine profuse with whiter and yellow flowers, my nose leading the way, I lowered my head into the thickness of the flowers and inhaled deeply:  pure heaven.

I hadn’t tried the Manfrotto XPRO Geared 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head so I went back in the house to gather equipment to photograph this beautiful flower.  For a lens I chose the Sigma 105mm EX 2.8 Macro.  This is an old lens I’ve had for many years.  It is not the newer DG model.  With Sony Alpha a7r and tripod in hand, I sat up just inches away.  Maneuvering to get just the composition I wanted was easy using the XPRO Geared Head.  It was very responsive and smooth.  I expecially like the fact it has three leveling bubbles.  Added to the leveling bubble on the Manfrotto 55XPRO3 tripod, keeping everything in line was a breeze.  When I began, the air was perfectly still and keeping focus was simple.  However, this being Oklahoma, it wasn’t but a few minutes after sunrise before the air began to stir and the vines began to sway.  A few more shots and I was done.

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