Sunday, April 30, 2006

dizzy daisy and the tulips

If I like a flower or other subject, I often take several pictures of it. Varying the f-stop, distance and angle until I'm happy with the results. Often I can't decide which one I like the most until I see the pictures on my large monitor at home.

The picture above works fairly well though the focus is off--I was getting too much glare on my screen to focus very well. However the one below I don't like because the low f-stop I was using to isolate the bloom causes the backdrop to be too blurred. At least for me. And I get dizzy every time I look at the picture.

By the way, I think the title of this post would make for a good title for a detective novel--though substituting daffodils would make for better alliteration.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Weird Plant

I have no idea what this is. I took the picture last Sunday and there were two of these plants with no identification of them nearby in the Garden. While the head reminds me of an avocado, these plants were over 4 feet tall and that yellow part up top is around 2 feet in height. Those bloody plants are HUGE!

Does anyone know what they are?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

funny look from a pigeon

UPDATE: Several people have suggested I stop calling this poor bird a pigeon. It's a Dove. Sorry, bird.

The picture above is a typical pigeon. They usually don't sup at my little bird restaurant but I suspect this meal had more to do with escaping the rain than eating a few seeds. Perhaps it was that spirit of independance that prompted this bird to give me the look below. Or maybe it's just a geeky pigeon.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


This Redhead has been hanging around all week but this morning was the first time the shy fellow allowed his picture to be taken. Even so, he was gone an instant later. Why is it that the prettiest ones play hard to get?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

pink petals

I took 50 odd pictures of flowers this past weekend and this is my favorite of a solo bloom. I love the color as well as the detail. Even the leaves work for me. It's rare that I get a photo that I like this much and I hope y'all enjoy it as much as I do. By the way, does it make anyone else think of sex? Must be Spring in the air and all that...

Monday, April 24, 2006

primeval forest

I love the effect of the vines growing up those trees in the background. It makes the scene look so wild and untamed. The downside, of course, is that the vines are choking the life out of the trees by preventing the leaves of the tree from getting enough light--and in some cases it's a literal "choking" since some vines actually cut into the bark and prevent the phloem layer (and to some degree the xylem also) from working properly. Still, those vine covered trees look nice.

In the foreground is a tree knocked over by the windstorm that whipped through the area last week.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

red petals are only the start

I stopped on my way home from the airport this afternoon and took this picture. Some people would see beautiful red petals and think "ahhh" but I focus on all that nasty yellow pollen in the middle and think "ahhh-cho". Well, I guess I do think it's pretty as well but I'll be so glad when the pollen lets up a little!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

trees before the rain

I am soaked. I was out hiking around a lake and got caught in a DELUGE! This was the next to last picture I took before the rain started. It's my favorite from the hike but I wish I'd been able to go further--or that I had a waterproof camera so I could have taken pictures of the rain also. f 3.2 for 1/30th of a second

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Hills are Alive

The hills are alive with the appearance of flowers, blossoms, and vibrant color. Long live Spring!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

backyard after midnight

I took this picture just a few minutes ago, around 15 minutes after midnight. The temperatures are dropping, it's around 52 degrees f now, and a mist is banking in. The air feels clammy and close.

I used a f-stop of 2.8 on this and a 60 second exposure to get the silky aspect to the air. This made the fog more implied than obvious and the streetlight at the corner gives an orange cast to the proceedings. It looks like a perfect setting for a Halloween story.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Guarding the Food

Here's another bird picture since Bozette liked the last one.

These birds look quite serious about keeping everyone else away. The two birds--I think they're Martins but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong--are quite aggressive and are effective at keeping smaller birds at bay. The coloring on the birds is quite striking and even more so when the sun hits them directly.

UPDATE: CyberCelt helped me with my lack of ornithological knowledge. Those birds are Grackles, not Martins. Thanks, CyberCelt!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Is there someone back there?

I was trying to be very quiet but I think the bird heard me. Fortunately he didn't fly off until after I took his picture. Birds are very cautious, y'know? It'd be a lot easier to photograph them if they were more daring.

I took this picture before coming into work today, so apparently the early bird got seed and not a worm today.

UPDATE: Valderbar informed me that the bird here is a finch. And he should know--Val is a cat and as well all know, cats do like birds.

Monday, April 17, 2006

nature in--cars out

A little park I went to last week. The exit to the parking area is quite pretty--one of the prettiest spots there. Maybe that's a lure to bring you back...

Thursday, April 13, 2006


This picture shows some backyard Irises after a rainstorm. They're bedraggled and not at their best but still showing their essential beauty. I think we can all take a lesson from them. Like Keda shows in her post today, focus on the beauty you have not what you once had.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

quiet stream

I took this picture a few years back in 2004. I was traveling to Smoky Mountain Park and stopped off for a few hours to hike back into the woods to see some waterfalls in SC, near the NC border. This stream was a mile or so below the falls.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


The male ignores me but the female gives me that "you better stay away from him" look. I guess ducks and humans have a lot in common, huh? On the other hand, male birds are the flashier ones. It's a rare female human that would go out looking that hum-drum.

I took this picture yesterday while visiting a lake, scouting out paddling options.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Spring Flowers

I love these. Perhaps I'll be sufficiently inspired by their lovely blooms so that I'll go out with my camera searching for flowers this weekend. What better thing to do in Spring?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Back to the coalmine

It's not really a coal mine but it is where I work. Sometimes it seems like a coalmine--but nobody dies here. And it's kinda pretty on the outside.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

storm sunset

A nasty storm ripped through the area I live in last night. A number of Bradford Pear trees came down in my next door neighbor's yard but the three in mine made it. The wind was gusting so hard the trees were nearly bent down to the ground. It gave me some idea of what the folk in the Kansas area have been going through.

Afterwards the sky was quite the light show with weird purples and reds predominating. By the time I took this picture a golden yellow color was starting to take over. A pretty sky for such a stormy afternoon.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

warming up

I took this one in December 2005. It was very early in the morning and I was limbering up by paddling in and out of small coves where there wasn't any wind. It was quite beautiful on the water but also a little cold. Not even the fishermen were out on the lake that day but the solitude made it even better.