MEET MEMBER JOANNE FORTUNATO: LEADING A “BUDDING” CAMERA CLUB

Joanne Fortunato, BOLLI and Photo Club Members
BOLLI Member and Camera Club Leader, Joanne Fortunato

I developed a passion for photography after receiving my first click n’ shoot camera in 2004.  I would spend hours in my backyard and around my neighborhood shooting everything, most especially nature.  In 2007, my husband and I took a trip to South Africa, so I purchased my first DSLR, a Canon Rebel, for the trip.  I was so excited about photographing such a magical place that I took over 5000 photos during a 3 week period.  600 of them were shot in 3 hours as I watched a giraffe giving birth in the wild!  After this adventure, I spent a lot of time trying to learn everything I could about photography.

In the spring of 2016, I entered the world of BOLLI.  The first semester I took only one class, “Memoir Writing” with Jane Kays, and was not sure what to expect.  Since I had spent my career in the world of science, I had decided to take classes in areas that I knew very little about and did not feel not good at.  Writing fell into this category.  After my first class, I wondered if I had made a good decision.  Everyone in the class wrote wonderfully, and I did not feel that I belonged.  In my professional career, I loved challenges and problem solving, so I bit the bullet and decided that I would do my best, even if I was the worst writer in the class!  After all, I was doing this to expand my life experiences.  In the end, this was the best class that I could have chosen as a first.  I am a people person, and as everyone shared their personal experiences, I began to feel bonds with my classmates and BOLLI.  The next semester, I was fortunate enough to get into Arthur Sharenow’s photography class which reignited my interest in photography. I have especially loved all of his photo outings!  My passion for photography has grown, thanks to the photography classes that I have taken, and we now have the BOLLI Photography Group, which I am helping to facilitate.

OUR MOST RECENT PHOTO GROUP OUTING

On Friday morning, March 18th, nine members of the BOLLI Photography Group (Diane Becker, Linda Brooks, Maike Byrd, Bunny Cohen, Linda Dietrich, Rickey Ezrin, Carole Grossman, Sandy Miller-Jacobs, and I) met at the Wellesley College Botanical Gardens Visitor Center and toured the Margaret C. Fergus Greenhouses.

The greenhouses are warm in temperature, so we were able to leave our winter coats in the Visitor Center before we embarked on our walk through the five attached spaces. We spent about two hours meandering through the various houses where we shot lots of photos of unusual cacti and flowers.

Here is a “gallery” of some of the pictures that I took.  (Put your cursor over each image to read its caption.)


Most of us will be going back for another visit to shoot all the amazing plants that we did not have time to get to on our first go-around..

To top off our photo shoot, six of us enjoyed a delicious lunch at Juniper Restaurant on Central Street in Wellesley!

Highlights of the Self-Guided Greenhouse Tour:

  •  Desert House containing desert-dwelling plants from around the world; observation of desert adaptations; exploration of the concept of convergent evolution.
  • Tropic House with several layers of plantings; observation of adaptations to a rainforest environment; exploration of a bromeliad’s habitat.
  • Hydrophyte (Water) House containing pools filled with fish and water-growing plants.
  • Economic plants such as banana, coffee, sugar cane, papyrus; explanation of growth cycles and uses.
  • Tropical Pitcher Plants; discussion of the adaptation of these insect-eating plants to their environment.
  • Misters: being sprayed by the misters in the Fern House and propagation beds is often a highlight for elementary school kids!

The greenhouses are free, open from 8 am to 4 pm daily but closed on weekends during the summer.  Parking in the Grey Lot is also free.

More information about the gardens can be found at http://www.wellesley.edu/wcbg