The Secret Life of Clematis

Clematis.  A flower, a vine, a celebration of spring and summer that on the face of it seems lovely, and pure, and innocent.  Little do you know…

Sure, wander around the neighborhood at the right time of the year and it’s front and center, showing its public face with blossoms of various hues.

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But each has that center, that collection of tentacles, all waiting for their chance to be free and party.

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But secretly, it’s scheming, hiding a darker side.

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It’s like a teenager, with thoughts of plant sex, or maybe waiting for the cover of night to light its hidden lamp and explode into full-on Goth mode.

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Shocked? Surprised? It gets worse.

After all the public displays of affection and floral fooling around are done, some note that those odd human critters aren’t paying attention anymore.  Now it’s time for them to really let their “hair” down.

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And what happens when they grow that hair and turn hippy?  Drugs, man.

It starts innocently enough. A nice warm buzz, painting the world in the soft fuzzy glow of pastels.

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But then they graduate to the hard stuff.  The edges get sharper, and they give the impression of getting lit.

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For some, that’s enough. But for the truly hardcore, they’re not done getting lit until they’ve put Las Vegas to shame.

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(For a much better look at the rise and debauchery of the clematis, click on any picture.)

Talk about an acid trip.

So the next time you wander about and see a prim, pristine clematis spreading its arms and looking innocent, beware…

52 thoughts on “The Secret Life of Clematis

    1. I’m not surprised you liked the monochrome. It was almost an afterthought – what seemed like a good picture just seemed to lack pop. I looked at some presets for ideas and one said, “hey, try this!”, and I tweaked it from there.

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    1. I ended up having more fun with this than I expected when I decided to do a macro set on clematis. I ended up going different directions with both edit and story. (Initially, I didn’t think there’d even be a story…)

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    1. Thanks, Peter. I actually had the seed head of a clematis as the feature shot a few posts back without realizing what it was – I just knew it was spectacular. When I saw these a few weeks ago I knew I had to take advantage. (And I had a new flash to play with 😉 )

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  1. Haha! Very weird and funny take on the licentious life of flowers, yes, pretty shocking.
    But these are wonderful pictures, great lighting. All the Vegas dancers will be after you to do their portraits.
    They also reminded me of those “feather stars” in the ocean, I’ve seen on nature channels.

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    1. 🙂 Who knew, right? Amazing what kind of story stumbles out of a photo edit session. I didn’t see it coming either – my muse must have been amused that day.

      The seed-head shots are due in part from me finally breaking down and buying a proper flash. I took a couple pics and focus stacked them for the first shot, then used a tool called Topaz to administer the drugs. And if the DEA shows up, I’ll deny it all.

      They remind me of feather stars too. (Crinoids, technically). Whatever you call them, they’re pretty cool.

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  2. pinklightsabre

    And hey Dave looks like I’m going to be in Portland this weekend. If you got time and interest join me for a pint at NW IPA in Woodstock Friday afternoon around 3 or 4? I’m at 425-241-1502. Bill

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    1. Can I take a rain check? At this point I’m planning on brewing a batch of Scottish Ale on Friday afternoon. Brewing is fairly labor intensive (lots of cleaning) and I won’t free up until 7 or 8.

      BTW, if you’re on Woodstock I’ve got two words for you: Otto’s Sausage.

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    1. The last three were created with a tool called Topaz, which while it can be used for basic editing, I just go to for playing around with more extreme effects. More “fine” art than photography I suppose, with the caveat that, as you suggest, what one person calls fine might leave another cold.

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  3. The clematis growing on my back fence will never seem the same again. Long ago, when I came to plant it in a shady corner of the garden, I relied on an old gardening tip: clematis likes cool feet and a hot head. I thought that meant it would shoot up to reach the sun. Well, it did, but now I know the gardening lore meant so much more…

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