Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
This is one of the varieties of Gaillardia, or Painted Blanket, or Indian Blanket. I scattered some wildflower seeds over the newly-scalped front lawn, last year, hoping that they would take over and kill off the grass. Well, that didn't happen. What did happen, was that the City came by and threatened to fine us if we didn't cut the grass. >Sigh<
But every so often, a little surprise pops up! Don't forget to click!
Monday, July 28, 2008
No one was more surprised than I was, when I came home one Sunday afternoon to find this juvenile Cooper's Hawk just standing there in one of my birdbaths! I've only seen him from a distance, ever since.
This is what I'm talking about when I say "habitat in your backyard", people. You just never know what you'll see! Don't forget to click on the image!
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
I shot 3 sd cards-worth of photos, most of which probably don't do them justice. Unfortunately, I was stupid back then and resized them all, making them virtually useless for any purpose other than occasionally running through them myself. And sharing with you. Which I will continue to do, from time to time. They still look better when you click on them.
If you look closely at the "equator" of this one, what initially looks like a flaw, is actually a reflection of the pool wall and several people standing there. If you look very closely, you'll see me, leaning in to take the picture!
I've got a million of 'em.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Okay, fine. Don't sing. I won't be offended.
This is the Spiny-Backed Orb-Weaver spider. They apparently come in various colorations, and are pretty common around the southern U.S., but this is the variety I generally see in my yard. FYI - they're completely harmless to people and other living things - except other insects, that is.
You absolutely have to click on these pix! I think they're cool. Don't you?
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
I took this with my iPhone (original flavor), and it is now my desktop. I just stare at it and light my Sun & Sand scented candle, and I am back on the beach. My Happy Zen Place.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Anyway, the little boy is the son of an old and dear friend of an old and dear friend. I'd like to think that maybe this will somehow, somewhere down the line, help Gino get his kid back.
Pass it on. Thanks.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
A butterfly to brighten "Hump Day"! This is one of my rare butterfly shots. The butterfly - a Gulf Fritillary - isn't rare, but a butterfly holding still long enough for me to get a clear picture of it, is! :-)
Don't forget to click on the picture!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Many people don't truly appreciate the lowly bee. One of the major problems that farmers, fruit growers, and some of your average backyard gardeners have noticed over the last few years, is the decline in bee populations, resulting in lower crop yields and less fruit. The causes range from the use of pesticides to encroaching development, to some mysterious, as yet undiscovered ailment.
My commitment to habitat creation and preservation - while still maintaining a socially acceptable appearance - has led me to learn about native and naturalized plantings that are attractive to bees, butterflies, and birds. I'm still working on it, and even though it's all still very much evolving, I'm happy to say that they're coming!
It's not all altruistic, though. I hope that by establishing an environment attractive to all these wonderful natural pollinators, when I get my own vegetable garden going again (this fall, maybe?), I'll be able to grow a lot of what we like to eat without worrying about what the FDA might have missed (the tomato scare!).
Many people are afraid of bees (like MJ, who's allergic to bee stings. Fortunately, we've never tested that theory), but there's really no need. Most of the bees you're likely to encounter will leave you alone - no matter how close you get - as long as you leave them alone. So if a bee checks you out, just stand still and don't swat! Being squished would tick you off, too, wouldn't it?
Okay, I'll get off of my soapbox now!
Did you click on the images? Well, go back and do it now!
Monday, July 14, 2008
I was pruning some shrubs around the generator yesterday, and what did I chance to see land on the generator? Why this "Tomato Hornworm"! This big fat caterpillar, given the chance, will one day turn into a Hummingbird (or Hawk, to some people) Moth.
At this stage, they can be enormously destructive to tomato and similar plants. But since I'm not growing any tomatoes (or much of anything besides weeds and the lemongrass-that-got-away), I don't know what he's doing here!
So much for your useless tidbit of trivia for the start of the week! :-) Have a great Monday!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Happy Friday, y'all!
I can't think of a better way to go into the weekend than with Hummingbirds! I actually took these last winter, because that's when we get them down here. These are Rubythroat Hummingbirds (RTH for short).
The first two shots are of a juvenile male who is just coming into his red throat feathers. The last is of a female who decided to hang out one afternoon. She must have been there for at least an hour, flying down to the feeder just below this tree, having a snack, then flying back up into the tree for a bit of a rest.
And before anyone gets photo-critical, let me just say that it's really tough to get a shot of a moving hummingbird without pro equipment! Don't forget to click on the images!
Hummingbirds always make me smile -- Have a great day & weekend!
P.S. -- Sorry I enabled comment moderation this morning - I got my very first ever spam comment! I'll see how it goes and I'll probably remove it later. Thanks for your patience!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Have a great day!
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I hope to get a good shot of Dad sometime soon, but in the meantime, I love these shots of Mama:
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Here are the rules:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
No, seriously. In a continuing homage, this 4th of July weekend, I thought I would pay tribute to a part of America's heritage that has always captured my imagination, since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, and which has been sadly neglected lo, these last - seemingly endless - eight years: the Space Program.
When I was a kid, they used to drag us out of class and park us in front of the communal TV every time there was a launch and a landing. So, when we went to Houston last year, MJ and I absolutely had to visit the Johnson Space Center and NASA.
When I shot these, it wasn't to necessarily record the visit ("Oh, yeah. A rocket. Oooo.") When we walked into the building where they display the Saturn rocket - the one that made it to moon, etc. - I started to really look at all these components and began to wonder where engineering and science leaves off and art begins. Or is there a line of demarcation? Don't forget to click on the images for the full effect!
I want to do this at my house.
Friday, July 4, 2008
Here's my tribute to the red, white, and blue (yes, yes - more orchids!):
*The top three are dendrobiums and the bottom two are of my favorite Mikasa cross vanda. I wanted to get the shots of the dendrobiums because I am about to repot them. Never having much luck with the process when it comes to the dendrobiums, I wanted to make sure to immortalize them, because, well, you never know. Right?
Have a fabulous holiday weekend! Stay safe and try to keep all of your digits, okay?
Thursday, July 3, 2008
This is a work-in-progress. I've been thinking about putting together a place to display some of my photos - primarily of the wildlife and plants (particularly my orchids) I have around the house or that I manage to snap along the way.
I don't know how this will work out, but I'll start with these:
My favorite orchids are vandas, ascascendas, and mixes of the two. Here are a couple of snaps I took of several that are in bloom now, a couple of which (the white vanda/ascascenda and the maroon-ey ascascenda) that are now blooming for the very first time after several years. Very exciting for me, because just about all my name tags have either fallen off or faded away. So don't ask for actual names. It wouldn't matter anyway, because most of them were bred locally and given the local growers' personal names, so it's not like you could go down to your neighborhood orchid purveyor and pick up the exact same thing. It's like local produce - enjoy it because it's special to your personal piece of the planet!
I've had this little guy for about five years and (s)he blooms pretty consistently every year in the spring. This is the first time it's ever bloomed in the summer, and never this big! Don't they look like little roaring lions? :-)
I've had these next ones for several years and it's been so long, I had quite forgotten what the blooms were supposed to look like. So it was quite exciting to see these come out - like opening a surprise package!