Here comes the sun as in sunflower

I love the sun for its warmth and sanitation! Particularly when it rises in the mornings and sets in the evenings; the golden glow of the golden hours. But it is so far away.

Sunflower reminds me of the same things. But I can hold it! The bright yellow ray florets (sometime variegated as in ring of fire) arranged around the disc florets always present the unmistakable call saying I am warm, I am genuine. It always lights up wherever you find it. You cannot but notice it. It always puts a smile on my face!

Sunflowers, particularly the young ones, are said to track and follow the sun. Both do have something in common! Entering a sunflower field always creates some frenzy. People want to hug them. They want to stand next to them. They want to play with them. It is always a time for taking pictures.

The fuzziness of the green sepals at the back looks like white hair standing on end! The robust stem is always standing erect allowing the flower to do its thing!

Flip through these photos I have selected and enjoy them.

Corn/Maize; the life of an important produce: Photographic excursion

Corn, some people call it maize, is an important farm produce that is not only used for food but also a source for a variety of other very important items. These items include processed foods such as cereals, popcorn, oil for frying, and starch. In some countries, it is part of the energy that drives the nation in fuel (ethanol) additive to gasoline. It also finds its way into animal feeds, liquor such as whiskey, high fructose corn syrup used in processed foods, soft drinks and medicines, and in bioplastic, glue etc. Corn is also present in cosmetics, soap, paper, chewing gum, crayon and other industrial products.

No wonder it is grown in large quantities all over the world.

This project is a photographic excursion into how corn or maize is produced from preparing the soil to the young plant and the immature corn that serves as food, the mature dry corn used for industrial purposes and what happens to the field after the harvest.

I have tried to showcase the various components of the plant from the young to the old, the stalk, leaves to the tassel, the corn ears, corn husk and silk to the kernel and the cob, and the post-harvest stumps and stalks. I have incorporated the living and storage spaces as well; without them growing corn in large quantity would be a futile effort.

Above all, I have tried to document the pleasantness I feel visiting, driving by and taking in the ambience of these farms. The cycle of life; starting from nothing to the green rolling fields, the brown fields and the final take down at the harvest with residual rubbish.

Watching sunset with the intense colors of the sky over the corn fields gives me a feeling like no other! There could be pleasure in mundane things?

So, enjoy. Let the images speak!

Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge Omaha Nebraska

Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge links two cities, Omaha Nebraska and Council Bluffs Iowa, in two states Nebraska and Iowa in the United States. It is a 3000ft long S shaped cable stayed or suspension foot bridge over the Missouri river from the Omaha Nebraska riverfront to Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Plaza in Council Bluffs Iowa. 

This post can also be seen at https://www.behance.net/gallery/82333769/Bob-Kerrey-Pedestrian-Bridge-Omaha-Nebraska

Street Foods in Lagos Nigeria West Africa

Street foods are popular in most cosmopolitan metropolis. Lagos, the commercial nerve center of Nigeria West Africa, is no exception. Unlike food trucks that exist on the streets of New York City, the roadside food vendors in Lagos operate from makeshift facilities ranging from an open charcoal grill on a small bench or table or a wheelbarrow full of fruits and vegetables to umbrella facilities tucked either directly on the street or on a sidewalk with sizzling grilled meats, vegetables or pastries sending their aroma all over the place.

Most often, these makeshift facilities obstruct not only pedestrian traffic but also vehicular traffic and contribute to some of the notorious traffic problems of Lagos. Street trading is very popular in Lagos. It is said that you could actually buy ‘anything’ you want in traffic or on the streets in Lagos.

These foods however fill a niche in the sense that street foods are cheaper than restaurant foods. They are fast, available on the go, and often affordable. You can make a choice of the size or portion of the food that you want. Restaurants are usually far away from most road traffic or offices and could be time consuming to order and sit down for a prepared meal. Street foods are usually on ‘the go’ and consumed as you walk away or in the car ensnared in traffic!

There is hygiene issue with these foods. They may be covered but most are open to the elements allowing dust, splashed mud and water particularly during the rains, flies and insects to settle on the foods. People touch them to find what they need thereby transferring germs from their hands to the food. Vendors tend to use their bare hands to receive the cash and handle the food simultaneously which forms a real potential for germ transfer. The surroundings are usually dirty.

It is a brisk business and some of the vendors swear about their ‘substantial’ income from these businesses. There is very little or no overhead. They generally transfer their makeshift facilities back to their homes or a nearby storage at the end of the day only to bring them back the following day. Some hawk their wares on their heads and go from store to store to ply their foods. They may carry a small stool allowing them some comfort as they move from station to station. I understand that there is some harassment by local law enforcement and health officials.

Foods sold this way include but not limited to fruits and vegetables such as apples, grapes, cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, Agbalumo (African star apples), bananas, Ube (African or bush pear), Kola Nuts, bitter kola etc, fried foods such as Akara and Dodo, pastries or dessert foods such as the famous ‘puff puff’, donuts or doughnuts, meat and fish pies, fish, eja kika, shawarma, hotdogs or sausages, grilled foods on local grills such as chicken, Bole or roasted plantains, roasted corn or maize, yam, sweet potatoes, Ube (African or bush pear), suya (grilled meat on stick or kebab), fully cooked rice and beans with stew and Ewa Agoyin or local brown beans with stew. These foods are nutritious with careful selections but be suspicious of the hygiene!   

I have chosen to present a few of these street foods so that you can have an idea of what goes on, on the streets of Lagos.

Each of these foods are appropriately labeled on my dreamstime site https://www.dreamstime.com/mfomojola_info under street foods lagos. Enjoy!   

Five Cowries Creek Lagos Nigeria

 The Five Cowries Creek (FCC) is a sliver of water, perhaps can be described as a distributary of the Lagos lagoon which separates Lagos Island and Ikoyi from Victoria Island (VI) along the South Western Coast of Nigeria, West Africa.

FCC joins the Lagos lagoon in the west along the Lagos Marina and in the East around Lekki Phase 1 Estates in Lekki peninsula with VI to the South abutting the Atlantic Ocean. There are three bridges on the FCC; the link bridges from Lagos Marina and third Mainland Bridge to Ahmadu Bello Way VI, Falomo Bridge from Alfred Rewane Road Ikoyi to Akin Adesola Street in VI and the Lekki Ikoyi link bridge connecting Alexander Road Ikoyi to Admiralty Way in Lekki Phase 1. It is about 10 km long.

Major commercial streets abut the creek on both Ikoyi end and VI end. On the Ikoyi side of the creek are Awolowo Road, Falomo roundabout, Bourdillon Road and Alexander Road with the smaller Queens and Oyinkan Abayomi drives. On the VI side are Ahmadu Bello way, Walter Carrington Crescent, Ozumba Mbadiwe and Maroko Roads, Lekki-Epe expressway extending to Admiralty Way in Lekki Phase 1.

Major clubs, entertainment outfits, restaurants, hotels, churches and commercial and financial establishments are present along these roads. Smaller residential streets are also present. Boats of various sizes are plentiful on this creek and add to the attractions. A major ferry terminal, Five Cowries Terminal, is on the Ikoyi side adjacent to Falomo Bridge. Lagos motor boat club is on Awolowo way. The boat waves on the creek could be very fascinating. These roads and the creek are a beehive of activities at night and a sight to behold when the full power of night light is unleashed.

I have spent some time photographing the major attractions on this creek both during the day, at the blue hour and at night. These streets are more beautiful at night hence the emphasis in this photo blog is on the night along the FCC!

Photos featured here include those of the Marina Ahmadu Bello way link bridge, the Westwood hotel, Lagos Motor Boat Club, Walter Carrington drive, Wings Office Complex Oando PLC headquarters, lagoon restaurant, Radisson Blue hotel, Five Cowries Terminal, the Civic Center, Civic center Towers, Nigeria Law School Lagos, Caverton heliport, 1004 flats, Falomo bridge, Ikoyi Lekki suspension bridge, the Oriental Hotel with lots of other hotels and banking facilities on Maroko and Ozumba roads.

Feed your eyes and enjoy the photos.

My Expanding Butterfly World

Recently I had the opportunity to enjoy my passion for butterflies. I had to revisit one of my old gardens, the Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale Arizona AZ. I also visited, for the first time, the Butterfly World, Coconut Creek Florida FL. Both facilities are in the Southern United States US; one in the Arid hot Arizona AZ desert and the other in the semi tropical Florida FL.

The Coconut Creek facility happens to be different from many other butterfly facilities I had visited. It has a mesh wire enclosure both on the sides and in the roof thus allowing natural ventilation and open to direct sunshine and rain. The facilities I had visited previously had been glass or Perspex enclosure and air-conditioned. One of them, in particular, was so humid that it took my camera about fifteen minutes to acclimatize to allow the fog on the lens and the LCD to clear before I could begin to use my camera.

The Coconut Creek Florida FL Butterfly World was airy and naturally well ventilated. It is the largest facility that I have visited; it actually says in the official guide that it is the largest butterfly park in the world! Apart from the butterfly section, there are several aviaries that hold a variety of birds, a number of large gardens for flowers with a variety of Passiflora and many more species of flowers including roses. There is a lake with a walk-on “Tinalandia Suspension Bridge”, a plant nursery and shop, a gift shop and a cafe. There are several other facilities for research and farming of butterflies and plants. I did not have time to visit the museum.

I have included in this blog some of the butterflies and plants that I photographed in these two facilities for your pleasure and enjoyment. I have not attempted to identify them by name in this blog. Some of these are also on my Dreamstime site https://www.dreamstime.com/mfomojola_info where they are well described. You could even buy high resolution images of some of these beautiful ‘things’ on my Dreamstime site.

(https://www.dreamstime.com/mfomojola_info where other photographs can be purchased; most of the photos on this website and more are also available for purchase at this site).

Feed your eyes and have fun.

If there are some specific things or ones you need, please don’t hesitate to contact me at octavephotographers@gmail.com or through the contact site of this website.