Monday, June 29, 2009

Pollen Party in Gazania Blossom... ants, Sweat Bee, Hoverfly and more...

ants, sweat bee and hoverfly in Gazania
I'm not sure what the tiny pair of beasties on the brown part of the petal at about 12:30 are... maybe aphids? All I do know for sure is that there was definitely a pollen party going on in the Gazania today!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Lily blossom undergoing pollenation... natural wonder in action!

lily blossom with stamens and pistil
A friend who lives on the Potomac River (in Fort Washington, MD) hosted a party today... this is a close-up of one of the lovely lilies currently blooming in his garden.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Dragonfly... Half dead leaf... Jane's backyard beauty...

dragonfly
Was at my cousin Jane's house this afternoon for a "stamping class" and took along my camera with macro lens attached because she'd told me there was a dragonfly hanging around their pond. Since we have no water feature in our yard, I doubted that I'd ever have a better chance to see what I could do about capturing one of these guys on camera... so here you go... Enjoy and Have a GREAT weekend!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Balloon Flower... Morning dew kisses the petals with droplets...

dew on Balloon Flower
Checked my flower garden when I went out to get the paper this morning... what a sight to see! It was a bit breezy so I used the flash to keep the breeze from messing up the focus. Happy Friday everyone...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Delicate Poppy Beauty...

pale pinkish-orange poppy
My neighbor two doors down the street is the one to thank for this photo... she saw me out with my camera today and called this beauty (currently blooming in her lovely garden) to my attention. These poppies are normally done blooming by now... but our very wet and cooler than normal spring hasn't completely done them in yet!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pollen gathering Hoverfly... not going to let ONE grain escape!!!

Hoverfly on Balloon flower
Could not begin to imagine what he was doing at the very tip of the flower petal... until the photo was on my computer. It seems the heavy winds of yesterday had blown pollen all along the petal and this little guy was busily gathering each and every grain of pollen. I just love his stance and the sunlight on his wings... hope you enjoy this too. :-)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dogwood Project photo... berries for the birds come fall...

dogwood berries in summer
In late winter, I decided to take at least one photo a month of my dogwood tree... for awhile this spring, I was taking a photo a day as the blossoms gradually opened to full flower stage and then gave way to leaves emerging.

Other subjects have since captured my interest and it suddenly occurred to me today that my dogwood has been neglected... so here is the latest photo for your viewing pleasure. The entire set of Dogwood Project photos is available on Flickr.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Honeybee in Stokes Aster... Pollen Collecting!

honey bee gathering pollen in Stokes Aster
I've seen plenty of bumble-bees and other varieties of pollen gathering insects... but I believe this is the first honeybee I've seen this year. He sure seemed to be enjoying himself gathering pollen in my aster blossoms.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Butterfly gathering pollen in Echinacea...

butterfly gathering pollen in Coneflower
Happy First Day of Summer! Caught this butterfly going after the pollen in my Echinacea today... not sure of the butterfly ID but am sure this flower is commonly known as Coneflower.

And now I'm all caught up and back on track for posting a photo a day... Have a nice summer everyone!

Great Falls of the Potomac from Overlook 3 on the Virginia side

This post will catch me up (must then go take a photo or two today if the rain holds off a bit)... will then go fix the older posts to remove all the artifacts! (many thanks to 50% Chance of Rain for pointing them out to me... check his blog... it's gorgeous!)
two views of Great Falls of the Potomac River
I cannot recall a previous spring with this much rain but know that we've had a few since the Potomac River does flood from time to time. (last flood was 1996 when spring rains and heavy snow melt sent the river over its edges) I took the first photo at a time when I thought it would be the photo marking the highest water for this year... obviously missed my guess on that as our rainy month of June has sent the river even higher! Scroll down to view the originals of each of the above photos.

May 23, 2009 photo of Great Falls of the Potomac River.
Great Falls of the Potomac River from Overlook 3


June 20, 2009 photo of Great Falls of the Potomac River.
Great Falls of the Potomac River from Overlook 3

Fly making his rounds... Pollen Collecting!

Continuing with posts... photo taken June 19, 2009.
fly gathering pollen
This flower (blossom is about 40 cm in diameter) is Helenium "Mardi Gras" and is currently blooming in my garden. Once it starts to bloom, it will bloom all summer long, providing pollen for many insects and amusement for this photographer. The tiny fly was quite literally making the rounds gathering pollen... I watched him go completely around the blossom gathering pollen from each of the tiny anthers as he went.

Sweat bee? Fly? Iridescent pollen gatherer on Yarrow...

Am posting several photos today now that I've worked out how to get them incorporated without artifacts... cannot seem to do that without adding the photo to a Picasa album first (using "Blog this" link from Flickr sends photos over the wrong size for my blog and adjusting sizes introduces artifacts.) Please also note that I'm using the large size photo from my Picasa album so if you are viewing this blog on a small screen, you may not see the full image without scrolling... check to see that you see the tiny black border on all four sides and enjoy!

iny iridescent fly gathering pollen on Yarrow blossom
During a break in the rain on June 18, 2009, I wandered down the street to see what wondrous things I could find in my neighboring gardens... who needs an arboretum when one is lucky enough to live in a neighborhood filled with gardens! Caught this guy scoring some pollen and then he flitted away...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Lovely orange rose blossom... wet with rain...

Lovely Orange Rose Blossom in Rain
We've had LOADS of rain recently... among the advantages of so much rain are opportunities for photo captures such as this one and not having to water the garden.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bee... Lace-cap Hydrangea... Pollen Gathering...

Bee... Lace-cap Hydrangea... Pollen Gathering
The bees have visited and revisited these tiny anthers and stripped many of pollen (the blue ones), whereas some have a bit of pollen left (those with bits of white on the blue) and others haven't yet been visited. There is so much going on at the macro level that I have trouble wrapping my head around it all! (Some of the buds haven't opened yet to reveal their pollen so the bees have plenty of pollen to gather for days to come... I'll try not to bore you all with daily shots of bees in the hydrangea!)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Rose escapees... through the fence and on the lam from the garden...

red rose
Climbing rose trying to climb right out of a neighbor's garden... from my wandering journey around the neighborhood today.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Tomato blossom... promise of bounty yet to come...

Tomato blossom
Sunlight strikes one of my tomato plants many blossoms... we watch them daily as if that could make the delicious tomatoes arrive and ripen more quickly!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Summit meeting in Stokes Aster... ANT conference...

ants in Stokes aster
My Stokes Asters (Stokesia laevis) are beginning to bloom... soon I'll have plenty for cutting as well as leaving some in the garden for outdoor enjoyment... and for the ants to continue to meet and discuss whatever they discuss!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Lace-cap Hydrangea in Sunlight after the Rain...

Lace-cap Hydrangea
There is a lovely Lace-cap Hydrangea bush in my garden by the front door to my house (northern exposure)... it gets very little sun and still blooms beautifully every year! It's a truly wonderful shade-loving plant.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

GREEDY... Tiny Pollen Gatherer in Coneflower...

GREEDY... Tiny Pollen Gatherer in Coneflower
Those of you who LOVE my macro shots might want to know what was involved in this capture...
1- went to see if the tiny yellow blossoms in the flower heart were blooming...
2- saw this tiny little fly (think he's a fly... only two wings?) busily, greedily making the rounds of the blossoms and started snapping photos...
3- 93 clicks later... in the house... upload to computer... immediately delete 49 (blurry due to fly motion or my ineptitude)
4- cull remaining 44 photos for the best (IMHO) and flag 9 for possible posting...
5- edit (minor, to punch up detail in shadows) and crop and decide on 3 to post to Flickr (am getting ready to release other 2 for public view but MAY wait until tomorrow for those... OH the suspense!)
6- Voila... this one is my favorite so was put out for view on Flickr FIRST of the 93 snaps...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Oh go on... You don't really want my picture... Do you???

fly shaking fist at me
Poured down rain early this morning (storm woke me shortly after 6 AM)... rain stopped by mid-morning... out in the garden... macro lens in hand... spotted this fly trying to dry his wings and needed the flash to capture him... he didn't much like the flash and here he seems to be telling me so...

fly on leaf
I know I'm disgusting to most... But I'm quite a marvel seen close-up... Here's Mr. Fly... back on top of the leaf a couple minutes after I snapped the above photo of him raising a fist at me! (Maybe an entomologist can confirm the identification for me... I think this is a house fly but I swear I haven't yet found a photo of him anywhere on the internet that confirms my suspicions.)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Me and my shadow... tiny iridescence at rest... FLY!

tiny iridescent fly on leaf
These little, tiny flies are about 5mm in length and flit around my garden daily. According to the Texas A&M field guide, this is a Long-legged fly (Order: Diptera) and is a beneficial fly which causes no harm, other than to other arthropods upon whom it feeds. They certainly catch my eye when the sun glistens off their tiny bodies. (size estimate is a best guess... they won't hold still for me to measure them)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Red, red Robin comes Bob, bob, bobbing along...

red robin in garden
If you see a Robin when you are using your macro lens to photograph insect and flower close-ups... point and shoot anyway! He's really quite handsome!!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Tools of the trade for Balloon Artists...

Tools of the trade for Balloon Artists
Imagination Bethesda is an annual event held in downtown Bethesda, MD... we ventured out today after two days of rain and enjoyed some of the sights and sounds... The two women who were making balloon animals (or whatever) for the children had a line waiting that was almost half a city block long... otherwise, I'd have asked this woman to take her apron off and lay it out for me to get a picture. Just love all the colors!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Nose plant... Bumble-Bee after the pollen in the Lambs-ear Blossoms...

Bumble-Bee after the pollen in the Lambs-ear Blossoms
Went for a walk during a lull in the rain yesterday (pouring down hard again today)... found this bumble-bee on the Lambs-ear in a neighboring yard and took a LOT of shots to get this one... as hard as it's raining... may not have much luck with my camera today! So hope you enjoy this from yesterday and have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Soft focus... Deliberate... Out of the mist...

Spiraea japonica blossom
This might be Japanese spiraea (Spiraea japonica) but I'm no expert so wouldn't mind being corrected if I'm wrong! Wikipedia lists quite a few species of Spiraea (commonly known as meadowsweet) and several different hybrids as well.

I was experimenting this morning (rain has stopped for the time being) with DOF and really like how this turned out. My morning walks for exercise don't get me very far... think I'll have to start leaving the camera at home because I get totally sidetracked from the "exercise" aspect of the walk and wind up with MANY more photos than I will ever post (for fear of overwhelming everyone)!!!

Spider Spinning Web in my Astilbe...

spider spinning web
This tiny spider is ALMOST too tiny for me to spot when I wander out to look at my Astilbe... but s/he seems to be enjoying spinning his/her web in the Astilbe (under the huge holly tree in my back yard)... Have seen him/her in action for several days now but this is the best capture so far for sure!

(aside... if any experts know how to determine the sex of spiders... I'd be VERY curious to know...and also would love an ID for this one)