An article in Digital Photography School, titled How To Always Keep A Gray Card At Hand inspired me to experiment with a set of cards that I had bought but not made good use of. The sun was still bright around 4:30 yesterday evening, so I tried some backyard blooms after adjusting my white balance from a shot of my gray card.
The first thing that I learned is that the light makes it damn near impossible to see the LCD display on the back of my camera well enough to see the menus. I screwed up the white balance setting. All was not lost, thankfully, since I was later able to take the light reading from the actual picture of the gray card to adjust all the pictures.
Because I was using a tripod, I was able to incorporate a greater depth-of-field into my shots, stopping down to f/32 and shooting at 1/15th of a second.
Here are a couple of the better shots: miniature roses on their second bloom of the summer, and orange daylilies on the edge of my driveway.