Archive for May, 2013

Gone too Soon

Some flowers don’t bloom as long as I’d like them to.

IMG_9621 red

IMG_9815 red

IMG_9698 red

This iris is a family heirloom.

IMG_9639 crop red

IMG_9801 red

IMG_9807 red


Red Honeysuckle Backwards


IMG_8890 crop red

The red honeysuckle grows on a trellis that was the entry way to a children’s garden I used to have.

IMG_8891 crop

Hummingbirds like it.

IMG_8873 crop alt

IMG_8885 red

IMG_8888 crop alt red

IMG_8881 crop alt red

“Here’s lookin at ya kid.”

Along the Road


IMG_9369 red

It was so considerate of these shooting stars (Dodecatheon meadia) to bloom beside the rugged   one-lane country road.

IMG_9365 crop red

The flowering stalks grew  to 1 1/2 feet tall from rosettes of basal leaves. 

IMG_9366 red

IMG_9374 alt red 2

IMG_9397 crop red

This half-grown box turtle didn’t move as I drove past or as I approached for taking pictures.


I’m not the best to when it comes to computer/program problems. My page with the “reader, stats, My blogs, etc. has gone haywire. I click on View All and get a mostly white page with my gravatar, Menu and The words Reader, Stats, etc. are there but can’t be seen until I put the cursur over them. Nothing happens if I click on them. When I left-click, I can’t find anything in the drop down menu that’s worked.

I”m open to any suggestions. I”m not able to read any of the blogs posted by those I follow.

Elemental Orbs

I often try photographing orbs while hiking. Sometimes it works. The water had a healthy flow on this spring trip on Eagle Mountain.

IMG_1922 crop red

My picture-taking alternated between the trees and the tumbling, bubbling water.

IMG_1862 crop

Imagine my surprise when orbs appeared in some of the water pictures.

IMG_2068 crop

Orbs are said to emanate from Spirit Beings, in this case the undines, the water spirits.

IMG_1883 crop too

I’m convinced that my camera takes over to get some of the pictures like this one. The inner rings are indicative of spirit orbs, not like the ones resulting from dust, pollen, water particles in the air that can result in orbs too. Those lack any internal structure.

IMG_1899 crop red

I didn’t see these orbs in the trees until I got the pictures in the computer. These orbs were from sylphs, the air spirits.

IMG_1900 crop red

You can tell by the trails they left that they’re fast movers. It was also a way to let me know who they were.

IMG_2031 crop

Orbs are said to be spheres, not discs …. so, how do I explain this cone-shaped one?

Elementals, without getting into too much information, are forces of nature — earth, water, air and fire. Elementals are the building blocks of nature, according to Ted Andrews in his “Enchantment of the Faerie Realm” book. Undines are water spirits, Sylphs the air spirits, Salamanders the fire spirits and Gnomes the earth spirits. These are not to be confused with our usual conception of a gnome depicted in books.

I’m still trying to figure out how to photograph the salamanders and gnomes.

I’ve photographed water a LOT for over the last 20 years, and have never had an orb in one picture until recently when I learned about them. Now they must respond to me and my affinity for running water, because I find them in pictures of every hike that includes water and the sun shining.


Phoebe Diary 3

It seems impossible that baby birds grow so fast.IMG_8626 red

I took this picture on May 3rd.

IMG_9421 red

How could the five fit comfortably in the nest like this on May 13?

IMG_9423 red

Three beaks show on the right in this picture.

IMG_9433 red

One of the parents came to the back of the barn to”chip” at me. It was a first. It didn’t show any aggression.

Walking in the barn, taking 13 pictures and leaving took 3 minutes.

IMG_9477 crop red

May 14th pictures showed the continual day-to-day fast growth

IMG_9473 crop red

and the increasing crowded conditions. There were 5 in the nest.

IMG_9551 crop red

Today — May 15. I know the nest won’t stretch as they grow.  IMG_9559 crop redThis was day 12 since eggs hatched. They should fledge between 16 and 20 days.

IMG_9648 crop red

These last 3 pictures were taken Thursday, the 16th and they will definitely be the last ones. Look closely at the yellow wire coming to the light. See the tiny brown spots? Well, those are mites and they were everywhere close by.

IMG_9656 crop red

These were taken from further back towards the barn door and the lens zoomed in.

IMG_9667 crop red

The parents were quite vocal with my presence. I didn’t linger.

I have enjoyed the experience, though.


Just so happened I was walking around the yard today (May 17th) with my camera. “Wonder if it would work if I took pictures zoomed in from the door and used the flash?”

IMG_9694 crop alt red

One out of 4 pictures was passable. The parents were quite aggitated. I closed the door and left.

Imagine — they went from the top picture to this last one in 14 days!

Composition With Light

The elements often naturally arrange themselves in a pleasing composition,

IMG_9349 red

and the sun creates constrast.

A Happy Birthday?

I walked around the yard this afternoon, taking pictures for a blog.

Imagine my surprise when I saw this picture on the computer.

IMG_9569 crop red 2

Notice the large orb behind the barn — it’s by far the biggest one I’ve ever photographed and on a sunny day too! Sometimes an orb (emanations of Spirit Beings) has a message.

Maybe the orb’s wishing me “Happy Birthday.”

Cedar Apple Rust

The theme of this cloudy day was green. Very little bloomed.

IMG_8674 red

We’re between the early bloomers and the next wave of seasonal color.

IMG_8668 red

The orange, though small, made a bold statement.

IMG_8661 red

The cedar apple rust grew on a young cedar tree. I’ve known it’s called cedar apple rust; I just never knew why (or even thought about it) until researching for this blog.

IMG_8666 red

Cedar apple rust is a fungal disease on apple trees. Cedar apple rust requires apple trees too to complete its life cycle.The brown galls overwinter on the cedar trees. During moist weather in the spring, the galls produce jelly-like horns. The rest of the information on the galls’ life cycle scrambles my artistic brain.

I enjoyed the aesthetic qualities of this find.

Phoebe Diary 2

This blog continues the diary of the eastern phoebes nesting in our barn.

IMG_8626 red

They’re obviously smaller than the next pictures. Notice the featherless wing in the right foreground. I took this picture on May 3.

IMG_8817 red

I didn’t take any more pictures until May 7 because of the cold rainy weather. Their nest is in our barn. Notice the growth of wing feathers.

IMG_8852. red alt

The only way to photograph in the nest was to stand on the axil and tire of the riding mower. I held a small flashlight in my left hand and used the camera with my right. The nest is on the top of a light on a rafter. This means I aimed the flashlight the direction I thought looked the best and did the same with the camera. Needless to say, I took several pictures in hopes of at least one good one.

IMG_8857 alt red

This picture and the one above were taken on May 8. There was considerable size difference since they hatched. They should fledge when 16-20 days old.

IMG_8900 red

May 9

Finally, they were positioned so I could count. There were 5 light tan eggs, and nowwere 5 little ones.

IMG_9060 red

May 10 showed rapid growth, especially in the feathers.

IMG_9135 red

I took this picture and the next one yesterday, Saturday the 11th.

IMG_9133 red

Their size and crowded conditions challenged picture-taking.


I ended up with no finished blog that I wanted to post today. My computer is by the picture window overlooking the backyard. What I assume is the male has perched at different places, flown out to catch a flying insect and headed straight for the barn. We’re considerably below normal temperature-wise, so the female is probably with the young.

This is a reminder of just how many Mothers there are in the world, counting all species!


You can find my first blog on the phoebe nest at:

Flowering Dogwood

Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) made a bold statement on a dreary overcast day.

IMG_8485 red

The flowers aren’t what they appear to be.

IMG_8476 red

The white “petals” aren’t petals. They’re bracts, which are modified leaves.

IMG_8489 crop red

The buds of the actual flowers crowd together in the center of the bracts.

IMG_8479 crop red

Two tiny flowers bloom in this cluster of buds.

IMG_8482 crop red

 A different vantage point of the flower cluster.

IMG_2519 crop red

Polinated flowers produce fruits that are called drupes. Many bird species and mammals eat the fruit.