The “Peace” Rose

It is a Hybrid Tea Rose and many millions of plants have been sold since it burst onto the world stage in 1945. It was developed by the French rose breeder, Francis Meilland, between 1935 and 1939 who, when he saw that war with Germany was inevitable, sent cuttings to friends in Italy, Turkey, Germany and the USA. History tells that it was on the very last flight before the German invasion of France. In the USA, the rose breeders Conrad Pyle Co., successfully grew it and thereby kept it safe.

However, because the various recipients of these precious cuttings could not communicate with each other for the duration of the war, it was given several different names. France called it ‘Madame A. Meilland’ after Meilland’s mother. Italy called it ‘Goia’ (Joy). Germany named it ‘Glory Dei’ (glory to God) and the USA called it ‘Peace’.

The Dying Embers of a Rose

There’s as 16mm 1.4 lens that you can get for the Fuji X system that, in my opinion, is absolutely magic. Part of the lens’ beauty is that it can focus very closely. It’s not a macro for sure but you’d never believe how close it can get.

Take a hard look at this photo. The subject is a rather nondescript rose on its last legs. But when I shot it very closely and let Lightroom do some alchemy, the rose became another creature altogether.

The Actor and The Rose

This story begins as I am walking across the Boston Garden on my way to pick up some soup at the Shaw’s Supermarket at the Prudential Center. As usual I have my camera with me. Almost to the Boylston gate I spy this lovely pink rose peaking up from a garden bed that appeared to already be put to bed for winter. It was an unusual site so I stopped to take some pictures of it.


As I was working, a voice behind me said, “That’s my rose. I put it there. It’s a fake.”

Behind me was a guy with his camera set up on a tripod, who introduced himself as an independent movie maker and an actor. We chatted for a while about him and his work and as I prepared to go, I asked if I could take his portrait. He had a great face and was dressed in a way that looked like he had just come from some kind of acting job.

Here he is.


Without Color It’s An Entirely Different Thing


I always find it extraordinary how our emotional perceptions can change with the removal of an object’s color. This rose, before its black and white transformation, was a deep soft pink and all one really saw of it was it’s lovely hue.

Take away that and the folds of the flower’s petals take center stage. The emphasis shifts to a symphony of sensual curves that in some ways is even more arresting  than its color.

Poverty, and Roses by The River



Petaluma, California was once a very active commercial river town. In fact at one time in this city’s history there was more money in the banks here than anywhere else in the state. Nowadays things have changed and this little city’s waterfront is no longer the center of its economic activity. The river is badly in need of dredging and poverty is settling in along some of its edges.




Yet even here among the hardscrabble homes, where free roaming chickens peck at overgrown front yards, the roses bloom and their sweet smell heralds better times.

That’s my hope anyway.