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Category Archives: Nature Photography

Last friday, I took a break from photographing summer flowers to plant a newly acquired pot of Shasta Daisies. Heading off to the shed, I plopped the pot down onto the grass so I could grab my gardening gloves and, of course, a shovel.

When I returned just a few seconds later, the most unusual flying insect was already feasting on the luscious, sunny-side up blooms. As I was about to swat it away, I caught a glimpse of its cartoon-ish looking ‘eyes’ and knew instantly, a primo photo-op was literally, staring me in the face! 😉

“Hungry Eyes” (Thread-waisted Wasp on Shasta Daisy ‘Becky’) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/6.3, 1/400s, ISO 160

Getting the right angle to capture that adorable mug proved trickier than I’d thought (and the wasp was way more interested in eating than posing for the camera) but in the end, I got the shot and, a happy addition to my garden! 🙂

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Today’s ponderings were inspired by this post over at A Half Hour a Day.

It got me thinking, “Hmmm, what are our words?”

“Shine On Me” (Cranesbill, Hardy Geranium ‘Bevan’s Variety’) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/8, 1/160s, -1.0EV, ISO 200, Built-in Rear-Curtain Slow i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong “Puffer” Diffuser, -1.0EV

In this house…

Dust is rampant

We are forgetful

Critters come first

We eat with our hands

We are friendly and kind, generous and loyal

We dance and sing (poorly)

We laugh often (and loudly)

We converse with the cat

We sweat, fart and belch

Laundry piles up, floors get dirty

We get cranky for no reason

We are sarcastic

We give kisses and hugs freely

We share the good and the bad

We are flawed

We take things for granted

We say we’re sorry

We forgive

We try to do better than “fine”

We do happy

We do love

We do forever.

What are your words?

“Cat Call” (Gray Catbird, Adult Male, Dumetella carolinensis) Nikon D300, 490mm (VR 200-400mm F/4G w/1.4x Teleconverter), F/6.3, 1/320s, ISO 320

After the silence of winter, the chirping of birds in the spring is a welcomesound!

When you’ve been listening for as many years as I have, you can’t help but learn the different bird calls and, after some time, can instantly identify what birds are around just by the prevailing sounds.

Since it is mating season, the songs have been abundant! Many will sing for hours on end, desperately trying to entice a mate. Once a mate is found however, the songs do not end but rather, turn into chattering between the males and females.

Oh, wouldn’t you love to understand their conversation? 😉

The male Gray Catbird returned time and time again to this particular branch to sing out his melody. I spent quite awhile photographing in order to achieve a well-composed, well-lit shot of him in full song, his beak wide open. Another must-have was to capture an image where that tiny spot of red under his beak was exposed as he sang. Not an easy task, as I soon found out! Persistence, however, does indeed, pay off. 🙂

During his song, a House Wren joined in on a lower branch and began to sing along. Not one to pass up an opportunity, he now became the focus of my attention.

“Sing to Me” (House Wren, Adult Male, Troglodytes aedon) Nikon D300, 490mm (VR 200-400mm F/4G w/1.4x Teleconverter), F/5.6, 1/320s, ISO 320

The wren’s song was different as he was already successful in finding a mate who was busy making a home in the large yellow bird house for the inevitable wren brood to come. Still, their voices blended and harmonized and I enjoyed the free entertainment on that warm, sunny day.

Eventually, both birds flew off to other tasks and I called out a “Thanks, guys!” for the private concert, knowing that it wouldn’t be my last.

“Soul Patch” (Bearded Iris) Nikon D300, 420mm (VR 200-400mm F/4G w/1.4x Teleconverter), F/8, 1/100s, -0.3EV, ISO 640

One of the perks of having a garden is the opportunity to share plants with other gardeners. Many perennials benefit from being “split” and it is a great way to achieve a diverse landscape that is also, rich in history.

Prime example – the bearded irises shown here came from my good friend and next-door neighbor, Nancy, and have a 100+ year-old lineage! Imagine that! 🙂

Here’s the story as told to me by Nancy:

“They were in my mother’s grandmother’s yard and were transplanted to my aunt’s (my mother’s sister) yard in Hanson, Massachusetts. She shared them with me twenty-five years ago when she moved to Florida. I planted them in my mother-in-law’s garden in Beverly Farms and then moved them to this house in 1988. Whew! Since then I’ve shared them with many people who love irises”.

“Drawn” (Bearded Iris with Hoverfly) Nikon D300, 550mm (VR 200-400mm F/4G w/1.4x Teleconverter), F/11, 1/50s, ISO 640, Slightly Cropped

Aren’t I a lucky, lucky girl?And so are all of you since now you get to enjoy them as well! 🙂

I hope to split and pass some of these “heirloom” rhizomes onto some other lucky gardener(s) one day. Just the thought of them growing and blooming long after I’m gone is somehow comforting to me. My link in the “proverbial” chain of life, so to speak, albeit a teeny-tiny one.

Aside from irises, other transplant “gifts” I’ve received (as well as given) include: rhubarb, daylily, peony, hosta, azalea,  rhododendron, monkshood, balloon flower, rudbeckia and butterfly bush. I’m sure there are more but this is all I could think of! 🙂

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