Reader Stories: The magic of roses

by Guest Contributor

posted Sunday, March 6, 2016 at 4:35 PM EDT


By IR Reader John Tranter

Ages ago my daughter and her husband gave my wife and me a little old rose bush which we planted in our side garden. It grew and grew, though droughts in the beach-and-bushfire season (summer, which is January in Australia) and tropical downpours just about any time, and decades later it still flowers. To the right of the rose you can see some leaves of the herb Sage: the beautiful and the tasty, in the one garden.

The flowers are special: they start out golden, as we all do, then mature into peach-tinted glory, then fade to white (with a blue and purple tint) as we old people tend to do, then die away. Meanwhile my daughter has had children and migrated to California.

The rose still grows: this photo, taken on a Fuji camera I bought in Singapore (where my daughter was born, some years ago) shows four roses, which in my mind stand for my daughter and son-in-law, and their two boys Henry and Max.


I have been taking photos and developing the (black and white) film in a plastic container of chemicals, usually in a darkroom, with some difficulty, for years and years. Now all my work is in color ('Colour' as we spell it in Sydney) and the darkroom is easy to use, digital and very clean.

And the roses are more beautiful than they ever have been. The most recent bloom is a single flower, and I have called it 'Max’.

-- John Tranter, Balmain, Sydney, Australia

[See more from John Tranter by clicking here!]

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Canon 7D with EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II
(25 seconds / f/2.8 / 16mm / ISO 250 / manual exposure)