Sunday, May 29, 2011

Rain-drenched Poppy images... Spring 2011

purple poppy
This poppy (am pretty sure that's what it was) caught the eye of everyone who passed by it. This and the next image are from the macro workshop at Green Spring Gardens in Virginia... it is going to be quite awhile before I stop posting images from the workshops I've been taking lately!

insect on poppy flower
I have no idea what this tiny insect is... but it is the master (mistress?) of all he (she?) surveys while standing tall in the center of this poppy.

I'll be posting this to Macro Monday over at Lisa's Chaos... come join the fun!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sunset near Milford, DE... 2011

sunset sky
This sunset sky is from the day before a photography workshop in and near Slaughter Beach, Delaware. We had dinner at a seafood restaurant near where we were staying the night before the workshop. During dinner we looked out the window and notice that it was raining and the sky was completely cloud covered. From our views out the window we were absolutely certain that we wouldn't have a sunset. By the time we finished dinner and walked outdoors, we had ample opportunity to "waste photons" taking numerous pictures of the lovely sunset across the fields near the restaurant. I hope you enjoy this one.

For our workshop, we had a naturalist and a Blue Ridge Workshops instructor guiding us in photographing and learning about the Horseshoe Crabs and the birds who migrate through the area during their breeding season. The Horseshoe Crab come to shore by the thousands during a two week (+/- a few days) period every May to lay their eggs. Migratory birds (as well as resident species) gather to feed on the protein rich eggs, giving spectators quite a show! Visit my other blog if you'd like to read more about this spectacle and see pictures of the crabs as well as of many shore birds and other sights we saw during our day at Slaughter Beach, DE (and nearby).

I'll be posting this to Skywatch® Friday shortly... check it out!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Flower duets... rainy day macro workshop at Green Spring Gardens... 2011!

flower collage
Once again posting a collage because I'm in a bit of overwhelm with MANY images I'd love to share with you. This collection of macro images are all part of the result of the macro workshop I attended on May 14, 2011 under the guidance of Blue Ridge Workshops staff. Clockwise from the top left (click any link to view the large size of that image), Foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, Columbine, Crucifer* and Spanish Lavender, Lavendula stoechas. I don't know the species of phlox or columbine but both were lovely after the rain stopped.

I'll be posting this to Macro Monday over at Lisa's Chaos; come join the fun.

If you visited last week and I haven't returned the visit, please know that I will do so... lost internet service at the end of the week last week and was then out of town for a couple of days. I do appreciate each and every comment and will be stopping by over the next few days to see what I've been missing on your blogs. :-)

*Dutchbaby pointed out that my "Phlox" was most likely a Crucifer (a flower with which I'm unfamiliar) since Phlox has 5 petals and the flowers in the lower right corner of the collage have only four petals.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Starling antics... after suet in my garden... Spring, 2011

starling collage
So I bought a suet feeder that is SUPPOSED to keep birds (such as Starlings and Grackles) from dining on the suet because they don't like to feed upside down. And I hung it temporarily where there is a way to access it from underneath IF standing in just the right spot and stretching to reach the good stuff. Or perhaps, mimic a hummingbird and flap wings rapidly while powering up to the suet feeder. Or, obviously, ignore the belief that Starlings do not like feeding upside down and just pretend to be a woodpecker and have at the suet until sated!

I do intend to move this suet feeder where approaching from underneath will not be quite so easy to do. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the images. I watched these silly birds for quite awhile today and snapped away like crazy. I'd have never done that with a film camera!

Maybe next week I'll include a series of images of a quite frustrated Catbird attempting a similar approach and not quite succeeding. In the meantime, I'll be posting this at World Bird Wednesday which you should definitely check out for some marvelous bird images!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

'Blue Wonder' Catmint... tiny blossom... big bokeh!

Blue Wonder Catmint with rain droplets
This image is from a workshop in macro photography given 'on site' at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia. The day started out with misty rain and then a bit heavier sprinkles but the rain soon stopped, leaving us with gray skies and cool weather. For the better part of our adventure, we had ample opportunity to explore the beautiful grounds and capture marvelous flowers (and even an insect, spider or geese and water features at the ponds) with our macro lenses. Blue Ridge Mountain Workshops delivered another fine adventure in photography!

This is one of my favorite images from the day... if you know this plant, you will know the flowers are TINY! This was taken with my 20mm Kenko extension tube plus Nikon 105mm macro lens... the pink bokeh is from the phlox flowers planted in and around the Catmint. If you'd like to view more of my images from the workshop, I've posted 26 in a web album. The slide show takes less than one minute to view.

I'll be posting this to Macro Monday over at Lisa's Chaos... come join the fun and check out all the lovely macro images!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sweat Bee on Star of Bethlehem flower... Spring 2011.

sweat bee on star of Bethlehem flower
I believe this tiny Sweat Bee is Augochlora pura based on research in BugGuide. They move really fast while gathering pollen so it's tricky to get a clear shot. Their iridescent colors always catch my eye in the garden.

As for the flower, it seems to be a defective Star of Bethlehem in that it only has five petals whereas every other one blooming in my garden has the typical six-petal flower form of Ornithogalum umbellatum. The flowers are gorgeous and have volunteered themselves all over my garden.

I'll be posting this to Macro Monday over at Lisa's Chaos... you should check it out! Her blog is pretty terrific!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Backyard Birds... frequent visitors to the feeders... Spring, 2011

four birds
To view larger images of the birds pictured here, just follow the link for each. Clockwise, from the upper left corner: a female House Sparrow (Passer domesticus); a male House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus); a male Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula); and a female Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis).

I'm sharing this today at World Bird Wednesday... stop by to view other bird images and add your own.

Regulars might have noted from earlier posts that I've been having work done at my house (creating chaos) and also have been having computer problems... so I'm a bit behind at returning visits. The computer problem has been solved... the work at the house continues to create chaos! I'll be stopping by eventually to return visits and thank you for yours!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Squirrel proof... HA! I think not... Spring, 2011...

So much for my newest squirrel-proof feeder. I will have to try to get a longer shot of their technique, but they have certainly figured this one out after a couple of months of failure at getting seed from it. Clockwise from top left (link in each description leads to a larger image):
Quick reminder that I might be slower than usual returning visits due to a floor refinishing and painting project causing chaos at my house... and while my house is torn apart... my computer will be in the shop. I'll still have my laptop but it slows me down a lot to use that!

Meanwhile, I'll be sharing this over at communal global shortly... my today was total chaos due to the above mentioned home improvement project so I'm sharing this collage of squirrels from a few days ago.

Color Explosion... Tulip Beauty... Spring, 2011!

red and yellow tulip
I've recently discovered that the size I'm using to post my images doesn't work well on smaller screens... and it also doesn't work on the iPad. So I'm experimenting with posting a smaller size and will be testing viewing on my laptop and elsewhere to see if this helps. Larger

I'll be posting this to Macro Monday over at Lisa's Chaos shortly... come on over and join the fun. Also, please be aware that I'll be slower than usual returning visits due to a floor refinishing and painting project that starts tomorrow... while my house is torn apart... my computer will be in the shop. I'll still have my laptop but it slows me down a lot to use that!