Sunday, July 27, 2008

Flowers, Insects and the Warmth of the Sun

A few photos left on my camera from the past month were waiting to be shared. Please remember to click on them to enlarge.

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From the bottom of a slight incline, the early morning sun twinkled from behind this common chicory flower (thanks to TSannie for pointing out that this was indeed chicory and not a Bachelor Button as I first believed).

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Here's a full sunlight view of the same plant - different blooms.

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A very heavy rain shower drew me out of the house to photograph this clematis. The partially closed flower seemed to protect its face from the torrential rain, while the back of its petals took on the onslaught of water.

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This little yellow Marigold caught my eye when I saw movement. The bee posed nicely for this shot, taken from across a garden.

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Ooops, sorry for the intrusion. Carry on..

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This little blue dragonfly was flitting about the pond, giving me a hard time trying to capture him until he landed on this twig.

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As the day grows longer, the late afternoon sun begins to settle behind the tree branches.

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A couple of wood planks lean against the fence casting interesting shadows. This shot was suggested by Frank. Yes, he has a good eye!

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The sun sends its rays high into the sky as it sparkles and shines from behind the clouds.

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Just before night falls, golden flames bathe the sky with its fiery warmth.


RiverPoet said...

Hilary, your instinct with lighting is amazing. I love the first shot, particularly. Wonderful.

Peace - D

the Bag Lady said...

Words fail me. These were amazing. I'm a little disappointed, actually, that you didn't hang around to photograph those bugs sharing a teensy cigarette.....

Country Girl said...

Wow, Hilary! These are beautiful. Can I tell you that I chortled at the bugs who were sharing a moment? And then again, at the comment just above mine!

I don't know why, but I really like the planks of wood, too.

Russell said...

Love the images of the chicory flower. Yes, I have called these wild bachelor buttons for years and to me that is what they will always be!! Like most wild flowers they have lots of names - blue daisy and so on. So wild bachelor button is as good as the rest!!

I really like the image of the two planks casting shadows. That is my favorite of all of them.

I agree with riverpoet, your use of light is quite good...

Take care.

Daryl said...

My favorite, tho it was hard to pick just one, is the planks leaning on the wall .. the light it perfection!


Leah J. Utas said...

The top chicory shot is so amazing it's poetic.
And the fence pic is beautiful.
The sky on fire...oh my.
Gorgeous pics again.

rebecca said...

have you thought of putting your pics together and publishing a book? your close up photos of flowers and bugs are particularly stunning. the photo with the wood planks was also very interesting with the way the light cast its shadows. nicely done, as always.

Travis Erwin said...

Those are some awesome shots.

Kat said...

I'm sorry, but shouldn't you be taking pics for National Geographic or something? I mean these shots are unbelievable. Really.
That first shot? The way the sun mimics the flowers shapre and how the petals are glowing transparent? Amazing. And the rain on the purple flower? I just. Wow.
You are so talented. Thank you for sharing your talent with us!

steviewren said...

The planks leaning against the wall are fantastic. Beautiful shadows!

Anonymous said...

I was taught to never shoot into the sun...Ha! Now I know better.

I wanna be you when I grow up.

Hilary said...

• Thanks for the kind words, Riverpoet. Much appreciated.

• Thanks Baggie. It seems that cigarettes are your thing to add to images.. like to bales of hay. ;)

• Thank you, CG. Yeah Baggie is a comedienne. You should see what she can do with hay.. and farm equipment. Her blog is always worth a read. :)

• Thanks Russell. I did follow your lead by calling them Bachelor Buttons, but you're right - they're simply a pretty blue flower, regardless of the correct name. I also have to admit that Frank suggested the shot of the wood boards. And he'll "I told you so" me every chance he gets. :)

• I'm sure Frank thanks you, Daryl. ;) As do I.

• Thanks so much, Leah. I'm glad you like them. :)

• Thanks very much for your kind words, Rebecca. The truth is that I haven't even considered which ones I might print to frame and hang around the house! But thanks for your vote of confidence. :)

• Thanks very much, Travis. :)

• Awww, Kathryn.. you're too sweet. I really appreciate your kind thoughts. Thanks. :)

• Thanks, Steviewren. Ooomph.. another jab in the ribs from Frank! ;)

• Ha! Thanks, Susan.. but no you don't! I haven't grown up yet, myself. ;) Thanks for your kind words. :)

Reb said...

Absolutely lovely! Frank may have suggested shooting the shadows on the fence, but you executed the shot most beautifully Hilary.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Wonderful photos, all! Love the golden flamed sky; gorgeous!

Shammickite said...

I was trying to decide which shot I liked best, but they are all so stunning.
I like the lighting on the chicory on the first shot... and by the way, I was going to tell you it wasn't a Bachelors Button but I decided that wouldn't be very polite! You can dig the chicory roots, roast tem, and grind them to make a coffee equivalent.
Anyway, I still haven't decided which shot I like best. They are ALL gorgeous.

Michele said...

You have done a very nice job on your pictures... the sun behind the branches is very nice.
Mountain Retreat Photos

SandraRee said...

Oh Hilary, you are my mentor when it comes to knowing how to handle a camera! Beauty everywhere! I'm really struck by the wood planks leaning against the fence, stunning. I agree with Kathryn, you should be shooting for a magazine!

Cedar said...

One of my favorite subjects for a picture is a Dragonfly.

Another great group.

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

These are great Hilary! So crisp and stunning and powerful!

Anonymous said...

awesome photos!

Bainbridge Island florist

Kappa no He said...

I think when I retire I'm going to move to some place near you. I'll bring my camera too. (^0~)

Latin Lupe Lu said...

Gorgeous shots Hilary. I do love the sunlight behind the chicory AND the wood planks - great artistic eye.

Indrani said...

Great shots all of them Hilary, you have an eye for the beautiful things around, which I fail to notice.

Hilary said...

• Thanks so much, Reb. Much appreciated. :)

• Thank you, Pat. I kinda thought you might like the sky shot. ;)

• Thanks, ex-S. Feel free to correct me anytime if I've stated the wrong plant or animal name.. which is all very likely to occur again.

I've tasted chicory as a coffee substitute and wasn't impressed. It seems to me that it was popular in the 70's, just as carob was used as a chocolate replacement - also not impressive!

Thanks for your kind words. :)

• Thank you, Michele. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks so much, Sandra. You're far too kind. :)

• Thanks, Cedar. I kind of like dragonflies too. ;)

• Thanks for you kind words, MamaGeek. :)

• Thank you, Arlene. :)

• Kappa, I'll start saving the real estate pages for you! Or maybe we can just trade places for a while. ;) Thanks for stopping by.

• Thanks, LLL. That means a lot to me. :)

• Thanks for your kind words, Indrani, but I beg to differ. You've got a fine eye for art and a true artist's hand. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Crabby McSlacker said...

Wow, these are amazing.

I too was particularly taken by the planks, but the whole "show" is incredible. Thanks for sharing these!

Anonymous said...

You continue to share some of the best photos!! Thanks! Hope your summer continues to be filled with great walks and fun activities. :)
The Bach

david mcmahon said...

The first shot is a masterpiece, Hilary.

And I have to say the same about your comment on my egg-carton post.

I'm still chuckling at your line ``eggs ban edict''.

PS: If you have the inclination, please leave me a comment with your email address - and remove it immediately. I'll still receive it as an email, so it'll be easier to stay in touch.

Kerri Farley said...

OH Hilary, these are fabulous! That first shot looks like the Sun is duplicating the image of the unique! And the fence...ahhhhh, I love fences!! Wonderful shadows there.

Love that shot out in the rain...and of couse the sunset sky is AWESOME!

Another Superb Post!!

Anonymous said...

Your photos have such TEXTURE!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Amazing!

Sandi McBride said...

That's some lovely handiwork caught in the that camera! Thanks for sharing...

Hilary said...

• Thanks muchly, Crabby. I'm glad you like them. :)

• Thank you, Bach. And ditto to you! :)

• Thanks very much, David. Your kind comments always mean a lot to me. By now you have my email address too. :)

• Thanks so much, Kerri. That's fine praise coming from an awesome photographer as yourself. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks, AL. Texture, eh? Cool! Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much, Mark. :)

• Thanks so much for your always-kind words, Sandi. :)

Suldog said...

The sunstreak photo, with pond in the foreground, is stunningly lovely.

And, as concerns the bugs making whoopee? No, skip it. Anything I had to say would just be gratuitous.

SandraRee said...

Congratulations on Post of the Day with authorblog, Hilary! :D

Lee said...

Loved that one with the rain hitting the leaves! How did you keep the camera dry? Also really liked the one of the tree with sunlight flaring behind. Beautiful photos.

Congratulations on making David's Post of the Day list.


abb said...

What wonderful photos! Love that first one with the chicory and sun. And the fence with the two beams - what great shadows. Beautiful!

Chi said...

You are so crafty.

Frank Baron said...

Told ya so.


Some truly beautiful pics in here Hil. Even the ones I didn't suggest.

Both of them....;)

lorenzothellama said...

I really like your photos. Do you have a telephoto lens or do you get very close up? I am experimenting at the moment and don't know whether to invest in a telephoto lens or not.

Anonymous said...

You not only have a gift with your camera angles and lighting, you also have a gift of words to go with each photograph.

Jo said...

I'm still laughing at Bag Lady's comment.

All of these photos would make lovely postcards or prints, Hil...they're stunning. I think my favorites are the first glowy chickory & the sun peeping through the trees by the pond--what a poetic setting.

Hilary said...

• Thanks muchly, Sully. I'm glad you like it.. and I'm just a tad disappointed that you passed on commenting about the mating bugs.. only a tad though. ;) Thanks for stopping by.

• Thank-you, Sandra.. and thank YOU, David. You're much too kind. :)

• Thanks very much, Lee. The clematis was growing against the wall just outside the front door. The area where I was standing had an overhang, so I kept totally dry. Thanks for the visit and for your kind words. :)

• Thank you, TSannie. Much appreciated. :)

• Ya figure, Christopha?

• Gee thanks, Frank. You give you too much credit. :P :)

• Thanks, Lorenzo. I'm using a Canon PowerShot S3 and it has a 12x zoom. I also tend to get up close to make use of the built in Macro setting. But I don't have additional lenses for this camera. I'm sure that with enough experimentation, you'll figure out what's best for you. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks so much, Kcinnova. What a lovely thing to say.. much appreciated. :)

• Thanks, Jo. I'm still laughing at much of what Baggie has to say too - some of it is even intentionally funny. ;) One day I may get around to printing some of these. Thanks for your encouragement. :)

Jennifer S said...

Did those bugs sign a waiver? ;-)

Your photos always amaze me. I want to live near that stream!

gary rith said...

You know, that chicory has the prettiest blue flower doesn't it? That color and forget me nots might be my favorite blue.

Kostas said...

Splendid colours, very good the subjects, beautiful photographs, amazing post!

Tink said...

I'm with Riverpoet. You know, some people say that since the creation of Photoshop there's no skill to photography anymore. But you're proof that there is. Well done as always!

Cath said...

As always, these are the most beautiful shots. Frank is not the only one with a good eye.
I'm off for a few days from this weekend so...

Obviously come over when you like, but...
If you get near a computer on Tuesday 5th, have a look at my post because there'll be an award for you. I'll be away so it's a scheduled post for 1am Tuesday (my time zone!)

Louise said...

What a beautiful series of pictures! Thanks for the chicory clarification. I thought it was one, too, but I saw it referred to on another site as Bachelor's Buttons as well and thought I must not have known my whole life!

The Clematis in the rain is wonderful.

The shadows on the fence ARE terrific! Yes, a good eye.

And the color of the sunset... well, what makes a day better than a sunset like that?

Martin Stickland said...

Love that top shot of the flower and the sun.

In fact they are all really sooper dooper!!!!

England is wet today ... poooo!

Anonymous said...

Those are some of the best pictures I have ever seen. Good job.

Country Girl said...

Hey, Hilary. I have a question, and know it's going to sound stupid, but here goes. How do you get your pictures big by clicking on them? I use Photobucket, too (on my other blog) but when you click, it puts you right into my whole Photobucket account. Any tips? Could you write me at

Hilary said...

* Yes, Jennifer, they waived at me when I moved on. ;) Thanks for your always-kind words. :)

* Gary, I'm not surprised. It seems to me that your house is a similar shade. I'll bet you've used that colour a lot in your pottery. Thanks for stopping by. :)

* Thanks very much for your kind words, Kostas. :)

* Thanks ever so much, Tink. Coming from a fine photographer with a wonderful eye such as you and yours means a lot to me. :)

* Thanks, Cath. Much appreciated. Since I never miss any of your posts, I'll be there on Tuesday. :)

* Thanks very much, Louise. You're too sweet. I did pretty much the same thing about naming the chicory erroneously, but as Russell indicated, it doesn't really matter (to me, anyway) - they're just a pretty blue flower! Thanks for stopping by. :)

* Thanks very much, Martin. Wet poooo doesn't sound too good. I hope that sun comes out for you soon. :)

* Thanks so much, John. Much appreciated. :)

* Country Girl, it might be how you have your Photobucket account set up - that is, which link you use to add photos to your blog. I'm not at home right now, but will be later today. I'll check exactly what I do and email you the details.

just jamie said...

(And, commence drooling...) My jaw is still dropped. Getting sore, in fact. Can't seem to close my mouth. These are just fantastic. Wow.

photowannabe said...

These are awesome Hilary. The lighting and compositions SUPER.

Sweet and Salty said...

Great pictures, Hilary! I wish I was educated enough like some of these other folks to tell you just why they're so wonderful, but I'm not. So I'll just say, I don't know what it is, just that I like them!

Colleen said...

THese are all so stunning!

Hilary said...

• Thanks muchly, Jamie. Very much appreciated. :)

• Thanks, Photowannabe. I'm glad you like them. :)

• Thank you, Pavel. I'm with you. I don't always know the whys and wherefores but I do know what makes me grab the camera. Thanks for your kind words. :)

• Thanks Colleen. I'm glad you stopped by. :)

Woman in a Window said...

That first photo is staggering.

Hilary said...

Thank you, Erin :)

Chica, Cienna, and Cali said...

love the shot that Frank suggested!!!! kudos to him !!! :)
and i love chicory blooms that are all over the place right now..............:)

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Moi. No doubt Frank is still strutting over that one. ;)