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Category Archives: Wildlife

It seems whereever we travel, we always find an array of critters to amuse and entertain. Now, central Florida doesn’t have any chipmunks (sad, yes) but they do have plenty of small lizards! You can’t go anywhere without seeing these little guys!

“Larry” (Brown Anole, Male, Anolis sagrei, Common Florida Reptile) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 100mm, F/5.8, 1/640s, ISO 100, Nik Color Efex Pro ‘Vignette’ Filter

They are full of personality but very skittish. Just when I would get close enough, they would scurry away, only to return moments later. Perhaps it is some sort of lizard game??

They particularly liked hanging around the pool ledge, basking in the hot sun. This female was certainly gettin’ her ‘tan on’ while making sure the other reptiles weren’t invading her territory.

“Lounge Lizard” (Brown Anole, Female, Anolis sagrei, Common Florida Reptile) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 34.3mm, F/4.5, 1/800s, ISO 100, Cropped and Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Vignette’ Filter applied

During our visit, we also saw many birds wandering about, most likely looking to make a nice meal out of the small lizards. 🙂

“Little Blue” (Little Blue Heron, Egretta caerulea) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 20.3mm, F/4.5, 1/200s, -0.7EV, ISO 100

Mostly, we saw white egrets, cormorants and ducks, so it was a nice change of pace to come across this colorful fellow. I wish it wasn’t just as we were leaving for the airport! Isn’t that the way it is with critters? When you have all the time in the world, none can be found but as soon as you are in a hurry or ill-prepared, boom! They appear out of nowhere, posing all nice.

Until next time, my friends. 🙂

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There are many trees, shrubs and perennials planted in my garden specifically to attract birds and insects. However, none deliver better than the butterfly bushes! It seems now that they are in full bloom, the winged creatures simply cannot help themselves.

“Lapis Eye” (Male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail at Butterfly Bush ‘Potter’s Purple’) Nikon D300, 500mm (VR 200-400mm F/4G w/1.4x teleconverter), F/6.3, 1/160s, ISO 640

Snapping many, many images over the course of a few days, I realized I am sadly out of practice. It is amazing how quickly one’s camera skills can get rusty… I guess I’ve been living up to the ‘lazy days’ of summer, huh? 😉

Plus, many of the butterflies that visited had damaged wings, which made getting a good image all the more tricky.

“Wings Wide” (Eastern Tiger Swallowtail) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/6.3, 1/200s, -0.3EV, ISO 400, Built-in iTTL Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, -1.3EV

I am always fascinated by the hummingbird moths that stop by for a drink.

“Hum-vee” (Snowberry Clearwing Moth at Butterfly Bush ‘Nanho Petite Indigo’) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/4.5, 1/500s, ISO 1600

Just like hummingbirds, these guys are extremely quick and fly so sporadically it can make your head spin!

“Bokeh Hum” (Clearwing Hummingbird Moth at Butterfly Bush ‘Potter’s Purple’) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/7.1, 1/320s, -0.3EV, ISO 640, Built-in iTTL Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, -1.3EV

Of course, then there are the bees. As I was watching for butterflies, I noticed this one carpenter bee ‘hovering’ in mid-air, waiting for other bees to leave the particular blossom he seemed to be keying in on. 

“Flight of the Bee” (Carpenter Bee in Flight) Nikon D300, 280mm (VR 200-400mm F/4G w/1.4x teleconverter), F/5.6, 1/640s, ISO 640

I did my best to maneuver the huge lens to get a fix on him but only got a single ‘not-so-in-focus’ shot off. Still, I never really thought I’d ever catch a bee in flight so for me, this is pretty darn cool.

Activity at the butterfly bushes will be going strong for quite awhile so I’m sure I’ll get more opportunities to practice. Until then, you can find me at the pool. 🙂

Even though I seem to be doing things at a very slow pace these days, this summer feels like it is flying by. Here we are in August (AUGUST!) already and the cooler days of fall are fast approaching.

‘Slug-ish’ (Land Snail on Daylily Frond) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/5.6, 1/125s, ISO 640

That isn’t to say I’m tossing in the (beach) towel ;-). Nope, I’m the girl that grabs onto summer and holds tight with both hands. Temps in the 90’s? Keep ’em comin’. I’ll sacrifice a few plants in the garden and a sweaty brow for every last ray of sunshine I can soak in. It’s the only way I can make it through the inevitable winter. (Oh, well, that and a few trips South. 😉 ) 

They say that snails are BAD for a garden, but I’ve only seen these little guys hanging out on the daylily fronds so, for now, they can feel safe here. This fine specimen was actually moving right along (yes, at a snail’s pace) leaving a trail of slime in its wake. I thought the sprinkling of snails added some rather nice ‘bling’ to the mass of green and when the sunshine struck their iridescent shells, they would glow like fine gemstones.

As far as I’m concerned, August can take a few lessons from the snails.

No need to rush on by… take a load off and sit awhile.

You are welcome to stay as long as you’d like. 🙂

With higher than normal temps for spring, it feels more like August than early June. Stepping outside today is like entering a sauna FULLY CLOTHED. Yuck.

Momma Told Me There'd Be Days Like This

“Momma Told Me There’d Be Days Like This” (American Red Squirrel, Juvenile) Nikon D300, 340mm, F/6.7, 1/50s, ISO 640

Now, I like the heat and all but it is just too soon to be in the 90’s. I broke a sweat just doing the morning chores! The air is so hot and thick, it is difficult to even breathe let alone move. And it isn’t just me who is feeling this way. I spotted many yard residents acting very lethargically.

Just Resting My Eyes

“Just Resting My Eyes” (Adult Female American Red Squirrel) Nikon D300, 650mm (200-400mm F/4G w/1.7x Teleconverter), F/6.7, 1/25s, ISO 640

Can’t say I blame them. The heat is tough enough to take without sporting a fur coat! I felt bad for the furry beasts knowing I could escape back into the AC when it simply got to be too much. Sadly, they do not have any other option but to grin and bear it. Sigh.

Takin' It Easy

“Takin’ It Easy” (American Red Squirrel, Juvenile) Nikon D300, 370mm (200-400mm F/4G w/1.7x Teleconverter), F/6.7, 1/50s, ISO 640

Hang in there, my little critters. Relief is coming! 🙂

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