Saturday, June 19, 2010
This is a closeup image of a Hydrangea blossom next to the house. I was amazed when I examined it closely, and saw all the overlapping pedals of different sizes. It feels like an abstract painting - a beautiful one. I love the color blue that you see here. But here is the secret... this blossom is not blue! It is purple. Purple is the color you get if you don't use enough iron in the soil. I was amazed to hear a gardener describe to me how she found some old iron railroad spikes on an abandoned right-of-way and buried them next to her Hydrangeas to make them blue. So these are purple, because there is no iron. But why do they LOOK blue? It seems that the sensor in digital cameras sees reflected infrared light from the blossom, and that affects how the sensor records color, so the purple ends up looking blue. I have also seen this with morning glories, and other purple blossoms, and with film, in the old days, as well as digital.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:15 PM