Flower Art Friday 7 …and more

There are times when I grow weary of taking so many photos of flowers.

There are also times when I think I will never grow weary of the the beautiful flowers that are all over the place this time of year.   

It’s even more enjoyable when the blossoms are in our own yard…such as this clematis.  This year it is happier than ever before, climbing higher up on the trellis and boasting of more blooms than ever.  That mild winter must have been just what She needed.

This year I have also planted a small vegetable garden by our back door, a space of maybe 12 feet by 3 feet. We have a tomato plant, some cucumbers, some kale (which I’ve never grown before), and lots of green peppers.  Perhaps my most favorite part of the garden is just watching it evolve.  The blossoms that come on the plants and then become the vegetables…those little blooms are some of my favorites.  

This cucumber plant is a bush variety, filling up with blossoms, and I can already see some 1/2 inch long cucumbers.  Isn’t the yellow of this flower just lovely?

As I was snapping away this evening, Yeller (the cat) was outside, too.  I heard some geese flying overhead and knew they’d be coming over our house by the sound of things.  Just as I glanced up and saw the geese, I also notice Yeller in the front seat of my husband’s pickup truck. His window is open, you see, and Yeller seems to like to investigate the inside of vehicles.  My thought was that it would make a great photo if I could catch him in the truck.  Meanwhile, here came the geese.  Click, click, click. I was able to get the photo you see here.

Do you think the cat stayed put?  
Need I say more?

Have a fabulous weekend!


Little birdie with the yellow bill….

When I was a little girl it was a real treat to get to spend the night at my Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  My sister and I usually shared a double bed in the “spare bedroom”, and often we giggled a little too loudly and a bit too long…when we should have been going to sleep. This resulted in Grandpa coming in to tell us to go to sleep, but I know he was grinning.  I just know it.

Morning would come and I would not want to get up.  Just let me stay under these warm covers, listening to Grandma cooking breakfast, smelling the bacon cooking, the coffee brewing, and let me just close my eyes for a few more minutes.  

Eventually Grandpa would come sit on the side of the bed, while I remained “asleep” (faking it, big time). He would say this little poem…

Little birdie with the yellow bill
Hopped upon the window sill,
Cocked his shining eye, and said,
“Ain’t you ‘shamed, you sleepy head?”
This was often accompanied by some gentle tickling, lots more giggles, and Grandpa grinning and softly laughing as I continued to try to play like I was asleep (a.k.a. “playing possum”).  Grandpa always won this game, and I would have to get up and go to breakfast. 
Years later I used this same little poem on my own kids…often with the same effect.
Those who know me well know that I am really not much of a morning person.  Somehow the look in the eye of this robin seems to be taunting me, even standing on the bird bath with kind of an attitude.  That little birdie with the  yellow bill is still trying to wake me up.
P.S. I have updated my blog ‘”presence” on Facebook by creating a new page for it.  You can view my posts in Facebook simply by liking my page.  See the Facebook link on the right side of this post on my blog.

My favorites

I’m wrapping up the week by sharing with you my favorite images from Magee Marsh last weekend.  A little post processing has enhanced each of these…and here is my red winged black bird image cropped and edited.  (previously posted, unedited, here)

This one of the marsh is one I keep coming back to.  The clear reflections, the bubbles in the water created by a school of very small fish, blades of green against the dull browns, and the messiness of nature.  

Life is that way, isn’t it? 
Imperfect. Messy. Challenging. Tangled messes here and there, but amazing points of beauty scattered throughout.  

Overall, it’s pretty awesome when you think about it.

Birds at Magee Marsh

I began the day Saturday saying I just wanted to get photos of landscapes. I came away with not only landscapes, but also a renewed appreciation for our feathered friends.  While I don’t consider myself a ‘birder’, being among a crowd of people that day who do this for a hobby was inspiring and interesting. 

Magee Marsh is an amazing place, a perfect habitat for all kinds of birds and wildlife.  With the right lens and the patience and skills to use it properly, this place can be a photographer’s paradise. 

Here are just a few of the birds we saw. Clockwise from upper left corner: Prothonotary Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, Yellow Warbler, White-throated Sparrow, and Purple Martins. My blog post yesterday for the Scavenger Hunt also included a couple of birds that I photographed.

For this part of the day I was using the Tamron 70-300mm lens, learning some valuable lessons along the way. Probably the most valuable to me was understanding the limits of that lens, and how critical it is to choose the correct aperture.  A wide open aperture is not always a good idea with this lens, depending on the light that is available, if there is action you want to ‘stop’, and how close you want to get to the subject.  Last night I took the suggestion of one of the gals who was with us that day, sat on my front porch and took the same image repeatedly, adjusting the aperture for each image. The results were very educational.

Now, if that lesson will just sink into my head…