Thursday, July 19, 2007

Photography Challenges, and "Just Do It"


A good description of my photography lately is "hit and miss alot". The heat keeps me indoors most of the time and I know I’ve lost a lot of photo opportunities, i.e. Tree Swallows and a Red-Tailed Hawk right before my eyes! I don't spend the time to focus lately. My daily walks on campus are on hold because I have this “thing” about perspiring in the office. I sweat very well and don’t mind it, but if I walk the track and the campus trail like I had been doing, I would need to wear a Dew Rag. Wouldn’t that be attractive when students registering for EMT come to call and see my hair soaked and get a whiff of me?

The female House Finch above still keeps an eye on her empty nest. (Yes, it’s still there, dear.)


Hummingbirds are so special and beautiful. I’ll keep photographing them until the sad day when I realize they’ve left… There’s a small army of them swarming around my house and I love it! They are multiplying and the nectar is in high demand.


The Rose of Sharon is in bloom late this year and buzzing with activity. Above, a hummingbird approaches the bulls-eye. I notice I don't zoom much anymore but I can see the little gal if I enlarge the photo. (click to enlarge all photos)


Hiding from me. The symmetry of bumble wings is a work of art.


There’s a bee in flight in this photo. What a surprise! I try to get them in flight but it’s very difficult to follow closely when they drift from flower to flower so quickly.


Here’s an indication of a very hot and dry summer. The maple leaves are lifeless in many areas but the little Chickadee sings along with the cicadas. Life goes on.


Even the chipmunks lounge in the shade.


How can I ignore the beauty of a female Cardinal who graces my house every day of the year?


Do I qualify to belong in the Bald Male Cardinal Club? I found him on campus.


Silver-Spotted Skipper was very cooperative this morning. I hope someone notices that I identified this skipper properly. I'm trying!


Heartbreak last night. After a powerful thunderstorm, I held a flashlight and lifted the lid on the pond skimmer as I do every evening. There were no toads to rescue this time but there were four large goldfish swimming around, looking for food. They can swim out but it’s easy to capture them in the skimmer. At 9:30 at night, I had to make a decision. On my hands and knees I watched them swim around for a few minutes while I thought very seriously… too many fish, two are gone, ten to go… the integrity of this beautiful pond is on the line… don’t keep putting it off, Mary...Just Do It. My neighbor offered to take my excess goldfish since I took her three Koi as a favor. After I shook off my doubt and regret, I filled the red bucket and relocated them next door in a very small pool at the end of a stream where the three Koi lived. I don’t like it but I refused to think about it last night and I’m finished thinking about it now. Sounds ridiculous, but those four goldfish deserve better and I will do something about it. Damn.


A few sweet baby Bluebirds were having a wonderful time yesterday. Seems the siblings found a nice patch of bugs in the field next to the parking lot.


They watched me get into my car to head home. I thought about Millie and Johnny and what a wonderful job they have done!


entoto said...

Mary, I wish we had smell-o-vision for this one. All those blooms, the warmth...ahhhhhh

LauraHinNJ said...

I'm trying to get friends to take some of the baby fish - no luck so far.

Your plants are beautiful, Mary!

RuthieJ said...

That little chipmunk is so cute. I don't think I've ever seen one in "relax" mode.

Good for Millie & Johnny! It's good to see they're staying clear of buildings now and raising those cute youngsters.

Annie in Austin said...

The Bumble Wings hiding in the Abelia is too wonderful. I try for bees, but only have crap to delete...delete...delete.

Your photos are wonderful, your commentary is a riot. I am so glad to have found your blog, Mary!!!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Susan Gets Native said...

Your photos rock. And your running commentaries are priceless. If you can make a bumblebee look that good, you better take lots of pics of me at Cape May. I will look like a super model.

Alyssa said...

I really like to see the insects. They are so interesting and much more beautiful close up. Catching them in flight is fantastic.

In our tiny pond we had 7 fish! I know it is way too many but they have been doing well for over two years. There are 3 large comets and 4 shubunkins. My friend gave me the shubbies when they were just born and now at two years old they are still very little. But as I said, they are doing fine. I do know how you feel, though. You just want the best for them.


Q said...

Dear Mary,
You captured the day!
So glad to see your birds and bugs.
Nice Silver-spotted Skipper, I noticed.
When it is hot and very humid I don't last outside very long either. It is a click and go inside for me too.
Blessings to the gold fish.
My daughter reminds me, sometimes it is enough to have seen the marvels of nature. I also miss many great pictures. We can't photograph them all.
Your flowers look pretty. I bet you are watering all the time too.
I never grow tired of seeing your Hummingbirds. I love the female going for the Rose of Sharon.
BEE autiful,

thailandchani said...

As always, this is just beautiful! I love to come to this site and look at them!



Mary C said...

Mary, your chipmunk picture is priceless! And the skipper pic is so crystal clear. I'd say you found quite a few treasures today. :o)

Mary said...

Wonderful photos. We have rain here again and no sign of any birds. It is grey and and miserable Seeing your blog has cheered me no end. Thanks

Jayne said...

Funny little chipmunk! My squirrels do that under the swing... so cute. The photos, as always, are stunning Mary. Have a very wonderful Friday!

Elaine Cougler Author said...

Oh, Mary, I am so glad you're blogging again. Where to start with your pictures, your imaginative comments, and your luck at finding so much to photograph. You must live in an oasis!
Well done!

Anonymous said...

that is the story of my photography Mary! Hit or miss! LOL BTW: That Silver Spotted Skipper shot is PERFECT!

Anonymous said...

Mary, these are gorgeous! I love that first one, but all your images show a perceptive eye.

Dirty Fingernails said...

maybe we can sign bald cardinal up for hair club for men. lOL... My the pic of the bumble bee.. The female cardinal is beautiful too..

sonia a. mascaro said...

Wow Mary! Your photos are stunning, breathtaking! Looks a paradise!

Naturegirl said...

Well from the looks of these images you walked with nature!! Oh those silver transparent wings of the BEE!! Magnificent!!

I had a intimate visit with a bee this a.m....shall post soon!
I adore the hummers and this year we seem to have a few zoom in but don't stop to feed???I have the feeder near the pond could that be why they are not stopping?? Where are your feeders hanging???? Last year we had so many ..I miss them terribly.
I have to admit that I have been holding up indoors too and missing so many photo opportunities...I had better stay outdoors and dance with the butterflies!
I don't have fish in my pond just because I would have an awfull time parting with them.
Loved your photos! hugs NG

Mary said...

Naturegirl, I only have two feeders with a total of six ports. Last year I had one hanging near the large feeder station and it didn't have much activity. This year I changed the locations. They are both hanging against the house on the northeast side (shaded and cooler in afternoons) and they are protected from high winds.

KGMom said...

Mary--Craigs list--here's a link for someone in the Charlotte NC area who WANTS goldfish

Chrissie said...

Hello, Mary. I really enjoyed this post :-) The chipmunk is so cute, we don't have them here, and the bees, how clever to catch one centre stage like that! Really great pics. (We do have goldfish by the way, just no furry fluffy four legged pets any more :-}) Have a great weekend :-

dmmgmfm said...

Mary, you make me giggle every time. The chipmunk pic is just too cute and I love the bluebirds, of course. That you think the goldfish deserve (and will have) better makes me adore you more than ever.


Mo said...

I love your bird photos - so colourful. It's lovely to see birds that are very different from our Scottish garden birds.

Larry said...

I enjoyed the tour.-I've talked to some people who take photos of birds and wildlife.-Some people have told me that they only get like one useable picture out of a whole bunch of tries.-You seem to have a lot of hits.-One of your posts contains about a weeks worth of photos for me.

I think one of my problems is that I just don't take enough pictures.-It's as though I'm paying for film even though it's a digital camera.

Andrea's Garden said...

hello, came your way by Dirty Fingernails. Your bird photos are absolutely stunning. I love them, especially the hummingbird and cardinal which I haven't seen since I have left the U.S. I think I will stop by here often. Greetings from Germany, Andrea

Anonymous said...

You got some great shots for this post, Mary. I never see cardinals on the ground here, except maybe under the feeder. Is it common down there?

Love that chipmunk!

Mary said...

Sandy, Cardinals are so common here that I usually overlook them. I guess, year-round, I have at least six pairs visiting me at a time. I'm fond of the females.