Mimosa Anyone?

For those of us who appreciate an excuse to drink champagne for breakfast, a mimosa is a tasty beverage that someone invented most likely because they spent too much money on a bad bottle of champagne (my apologies to any French readers, I really mean sparkling white wine that may or may not be from the Champagne region of France) and didn’t want to waste it.  Sweetening up sparkling wine with orange juice was a stroke of genius in my opinion.

But it does not explain how it got its name.  For that, I am forced to google.  Apparently, I have never had a mimosa that was made correctly–they are supposed to have a foamy head that resembles the flower on the mimosa tree.

In Ohio, the crabapple trees bloom fantastically in the early spring.  But I can’t remember ever being over powered by their smell.  And they burst into blossoms that seem to disappear within a week.

This is my first spring where mimosa’s are common.  In Ohio, you might discover this strange tree tucked into a protected corner of someone’s garden, but I can’t recall ever seeing one in the wild.  Here in Tennessee, they start a sneak attack with their sweet scent.  I walked through the park smelling the perfume in the air for days before I finally figured out what it was.  That was at least 2 weeks ago–they are still blooming like mad.

Unlike the crabapples, the mimosa trees tend to be tall, keeping their blooms out of reach.  This makes them a bit of a photographic challenge.  And, as you may know by now, I seem to gravitate towards challenges.  But it’s not the challenge of capturing them from a distance that attracts me, it’s the way the light hits them in the evening, suddenly spotlighting their pink foam flowers in golden light.

I may have to get a ladder and go back for some close-ups.  I wonder what the maintenance crew would do if they saw me carrying a step ladder?

I spotted a small mimosa tree down by the river.  The best time to shoot it would be around 8AM when the sun is still low but high enough above the Eastern horizon to send a few rays over the steep bank above the tree.  But, I decided evening would be a good time to experiment with my flash outdoors.

I set up my flash on a stand so I could put it as close to the tree as possible while I shot further back and to the side enough to keep the flash out of my frame.  However, if there is any light on the mimosa, it’s because I lightened it in post-processing, not because the flash threw so much as a single random shiny spot on it.  A disappointing experiment.

The good news is that the mimosas seem to just keep on blooming.  Maybe I’ll get a chance for that close up over the weekend.