Saturday, July 18, 2009

Work and Rewards on a Cold Summer Weekend

We are having unseasonably cool weather for the past 2 days and on into next week. The only good thing about the cool temp is that it is wax in my ears to deafen me to the siren song calling to me from outside. "Why is that good?" you may ask. It is good because I have loads of work to finish by Monday -- damn deadines! Taking the time to write this post is my reward to myself for being able to cross 3 things off my must do list; now only more 4 to go. :-(

So, how to make the most of my reward? I think I will post some of my favorite photos that I have taken around our house or nearby so far this summer. I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I enjoyed capturing them and writing about them.

This first photo should have been in last week's lily post. Look at how the light shines through the delicate tissue paper of the sun-dried daylily petals.

We planted 5 coneflowers about 5 years ago and they have propagated to form a huge mass that has taken over the flower bed at the front of the house. I love the coneflowers, but they have outgrown their spot. Later this year we will transplant them to areas in which they can go wild in their abandonment. I took the next 2 shots in our front yard just after sunrise. I was drawn to the dewdrops on the spikes at the center of this lovely composite flower. I lose myself in the symmetry of the whorls, sliding in between the whorls with my arms spread wide to touch the dewy spikes on either side.

When Dennis and I were walking along the Zumbro River earlier, a butterfly landed on his sweaty arm and could not be persuaded to leave. I was able to get some good photos of it, including the 3 below.

You can click on any of the images to see them larger. The eyes and furry-looking head are quite impressive in the shot above. That is my finger in the shot below, trying to persuade it to move and open its wings, but nothing doing. (Not a bad shot for holding the camera one-handed, though.) Dennis' sweat must be sweeter than even I had realized! ;-)

This fly was also photographed on our river walk. I was amazed at how beautiful it looks with its pewter sheen. Seriously! Enlarge it for yourself and take a look at the delicate wings, the cool spikey black hairs, and the rich kidney bean eyes. Up close it does not have yuck factor that they normally do when flitting about your dinner.

Below is my best shot so far of a damselfly. It looks so metallic, like mini-robot.

Milkweed was in nearly full bloom. These flowers are so opulent and overblown, almost indecent in their voluptuousness. Yet, in the second photo, you can see how each floret is pristine, almost prissy in its individual perfection.
On the other end of the showey spectrum is this lovely grass flower head. Its beauty lies in its elegant simpicity. If you look closely, you can see several insects and strands of a delicate spider web; an entire world of life and death on a 5 inch stem.
And with this I will end this post. I think I may need another reward before the weekend is over, so visit again soon.


  1. Beautiful captures!!The Daylily is very pretty.The Butterfly is abeauty and must have really liked Specially liked the dewdrops on the spikes of the cornflower.Enjoyed your riverwalk.


  2. The detail in your photos is wonderful. What camera equipment do you use? I am moving toward an slr so that I can focus on the details I want. Difficult to get the focus I want and I have no manual focus.

  3. I don't know if you get some weather from our way or not but it was very cold here yesterday in Ohio and it is not going to get very warm again today. So maybe this cold weather will continue until it reaches you. More of the same.

    I enjoyed looking at your beautiful photographs.

    Now, you and your friends can help me Make History. I am trying to see if it is possible to get 10,000 visitors in a short period of time on my new blog, Pick a Peck of Pixels. If you go there, please either become a ollower or leave a comment. Your visit will count and help me Make History. Pick a Peck of Pixels

  4. Beautiful photos, Wilma.

  5. Shantana - glad you enjoyed the river walk. Thanks for visiting and commenting. Love your NatureStop blog.

    Chris - I have a Canon Rebel XTi with a 18-55mm wide angle zoom lens and a zoom long lens too (can't remember the details of the long lens). Pretty standard, good quality amateur SLR for a quite reasonable price. I normally use the autofocus, but I take a lot of time to be sure the autofocus is focusing on the spot I want. Manual focus is hard for me with the progressive lens eyeglasses that I can't manage without. About the only times I use manual focus are from an airplane (the autofocus takes too long and I'm focused on infinity anyhow) or when I am using the long lens from a stationary position. Sometimes it is hard to get the long lens to autofocus on the spot I want! Thanks for visiting and for your comment. I appreciate it.

    Abe - I will visit and leave a comment about the peck of pixels. ;-)

    Dean - I always enjoy the lovely photographs on your blog and very much appreciate your visit and the compliment. Thanks.

  6. I'm glad you took the time to reward yourself posting this Wilma. All excellent pictures, from the faded looking petals of the Lily, to the grass head and its microscopic worlds.
    And what beautiful markings on the butterfly wings.

  7. Hi Wilma,
    For the first time properly,I took time to look at your blog tonight, you're doing a great job!
    I like the way you write, your interest in all things nature, and colourful summer photographs. Oh, and one more thing, I like all the little slide shows and general 'Bells and whistles' you've added to your blog too - its great well done!

    Hope your weather improves soon. I thought it was just here in England where the weather is tempermental!

    Best wishes,


  8. A lovely collection of pictures. I will follow your blog from now on too. Thank you for your kind comment.

  9. Hello Keith, Nick, and Emma,

    thanks for the visit and encouraging words. Our weather has improved a bit, but now we are in for some rain tomorrow. Oh well, at least it is not snow yet.



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