Tuesday, July 14, 2009

All in a Day or Two (Summer Shorts 4)

A couple of weeks ago, I spent a couple of days at Frank's place. I took the bus and commuter train from my town to his - a trip of three hours including the wait between both modes of transportation.

While the train stopped for a few moment at one station, I saw this man walking along the platform and thought he looked intriguing. I raised my camera to take his picture...

...and these seagulls helped make it a more interesting photo by taking flight at that precise moment. (please click to enlarge)

Our morning walk revealed this mother duck and her two ducklings. There had been many more of them on the previous visit, but nature can be cruel. The pond water was very still. The large rock where they rested, and its reflection reminded me of a giant walnut. (please click to enlarge)

Doesn't Mom look proud? (please click to enlarge)

And aren't the wee ones adorable? (please click to enlarge)

Further along the path, this moth caught my eye. Usually a moth's wings are colourful and its body rather bland, but this one sported a drab set of wings, with a beautiful, blue thorax. (please click to enlarge)

Wild Chicory is one of my favourite wildflowers. Can you see the tiny bug hiding among its petals? (please click to enlarge)

Another tiny bug crawls along Frank's hand. Its pattern and colours were kind of nice. (please click to enlarge)

This rusty set of gears sits in front of an old mill, a few kilometers from Frank's home. They make and sell the greasiest doughnuts there - rolled in sugar and cinnamon. I couldn't stomach more than a couple of bites, but everyone else loved them. (please click to enlarge)

On the highway back home. Dark clouds had gathered and were now spattering the windshield for part of the drive. (please click to enlarge)

In a few days, I'll post some more photos from around my own neck of the woods.


Frank Baron said...

I really like the rainy car shot and the rock-as-walnut.

Did I actually get the first comment in? Woohoo! ;)

skywind said...

Oh, tranquil summer day, wonderful summer day. happy summer day.
Healthy Life & Marvelous world

Linda Pendleton said...

Love the ducks. Great photos.

Jinksy said...

Rain on windscreen - who'd have thought it would make such a magic photo? You, obviously!

Gary's third pottery blog said...

wee little ducklings!
I posted on lovely chicory myself, a week or 2 ago... :)

Zuzana said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful day with us; I love the picture of the moth because of the detail that you mention; the reverse of its colouring.
I too love to pay attention to insects around me, often I see something out of the ordinary.;)) I love nature that way.;)

Maggie May said...

I love ALL your photos and I don't think you have ever printed one that I didn't like. However today, I really loved the rusty cogs and the walnut with a duck sitting on top!
Nature IS cruel and it is the same here, baby duckling just get gobbled up.

ellen abbott said...

Beautiful photo essay as usual.

Tabor said...

Great photos! You have a wonderful eye for composition and focus.

Mental P Mama said...

Always a feast here....and a lowering of the blood pressure;) Love the duck family.

Rajesh said...

Beautiful snaps. The snaps of duck and flower are extremely beautiful. The timing of the snap with seagull is perfect.

Sandra said...

I love the old cogs, it has music to it and I can feel and smell the rain on that windshield. Magic is the right word.

Bubblewench said...

Love the rock/walnut shot. Always enjoy reflections in the water. Enjoying your summer series! Thanks for sharing.

Merisi said...

Such beautiful vignettes!

Sunday evening, at Palais Liechtenstein, I encountered a duck with her two little ones, about the same size as yours. My first summer in Washington, we lived near the Treasury building which had a pond on the frontlawn. It was home to a pair of ducks with several young ones. Apparently they returned there year after year, to this urban oasis.

Leah J. Utas said...

You have magic in your life, Hilary. The first photo shows it.
The gears are beautiful.

Daryl said...

I love all of these but my favs were the gears and the water on the windshield ...

Anne C. Watkins said...

I love the picture of the man with the seagulls in the air behind him. Very artistic! And how nice of the seagulls to cooperate. ;)

The gears were awesome, too. Could inspire a short story of some sort. :)

As always, I enjoyed your pictures. Thanks!

Organic Meatbag said...

Wow, great pictures! And awwwwww to the mama duck and her ducklings...

Angie Ledbetter said...

Are you going to compile these into a photo book one day? Great work.

Travis Erwin said...

Is it just me or does thorax sound like a dirty word?

ds said...

Wonderful as always.I liked the walnut, the gears (somehow evocative of those donuts, I don't know why) and the rainy windshield. Did you ever find out what kind of moth that was?

Nancy said...

Very cool pics. Loved the duck and her ducklings. So sorry she was down to two.

Kat said...

You have such a great eye!

And yes, the ducklings are ADORABLE! :)

Russell said...

Wow!! Over 20 comments already! You DO have a following!

I liked the Wild Chicory -- it is very common here in Iowa.

The image of the rusty gears reminds me a great deal of the photograph that won First Place at the Iowa State Fair Photography Contest last year. It was a black and white image and was, I think, the workings of a watch -- but this reminds me a great deal of that image.

I like the first image of the man -- though I know it is a bit hard to take pictures of people, etc. for obvious reasons. But I liked it a lot.

Sorry I have been gone for a long time. I have not been to blogs much these past 6 weeks or so -- but I have spent a lot of time with Bailey and in my garden!

Take care.

NJ said...

Love the rain shot. And the old gears. It's funny how this summer is motoring by without getting warm.

photowannabe said...

Delightful shots of the walnut rock and the ducklings.
The timing of the man and gulls gave a lot of motion to the picture. Great work as usual Hilary.

Cloudia said...

Such wonderful shots!!!

Comfort Spiral

robert said...

All about life in your photography. Maybe a man who wished to be able to fly. A protecting universe inside a 'walnut', wheels frozen in time, while ours continues.
Very impresive.

Reb said...

Beautiful timing on the first shot. Love the walnut rock and the ducklings are so cute.

Muthering Heights said...

I like your photos...the moth is beautiful!

Hilary said...

• Thank you, Frank. I'm glad you like them. And you're always number one to me. ;)

• Thank you, skywind. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks very much, Linda. I'm glad you stopped by. :)

• Thank you, Jinsky. I'm happy that you like that shot. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Cute, aren't they, Gary? I remember that post. I was a tad envious that they hadn't started blooming here yet. ;)

• Thanks so much, Protege. Some insects just give me the creeps but I thought this moth was quite the beauty. I'm glad you liked it too. Thanks always for stopping by, my friend. :)

• Thanks so much for those very kind words, Maggie May. I'm glad you're enjoying my photos. I suppose that the duck population would be enormous (or some other population diminished) if nature didn't take care of itself that way. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, Ellen. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks very much, Tabor. That means a lot to me. :)

• Thanks, MPM. Lowering blood pressure is a good thing! Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks so much for your kind comments, Rajesh. Much appreciated. :)

• Thank you, Sandra. I'm glad these photos touched your senses. :)

• Thanks, Bubblewench. I'm glad you stopped by to enjoy. :)

• Thank you, Merisi. The ducks around my pond are most likely the same ones year after year too as many of them stay the winter. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks so much, Leah. I often think so too. :)

• Thanks, Daryl. Much appreciated. :)

• Thank you so much, Anne. Those gulls must have known that you'd be by. I know you have a way with birds. Thanks so much for your kind comments. :)

• Thanks, Organic Meatbag. They're cuties, eh? :)

• Thank you, Angie. I might just.. one day. :)

• Travis, it must just be you, or Frank would have pointed it out first. ;)

• Thank you, DS. I never did find out. I've tried Google images but nothing similar comes up. Those gears represent how my stomach feels after eating some of those donuts! ;) Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks, Nancy. Yes their numbers dropped considerably. It's a sad fact of life.

• Thank you, Kat. You're looking with your nesting Mama's eyes! :)

• Russell! I've missed seeing you here. And more so, I miss your blog posts. I'm glad you stopped by. I hope you and Bailey are enjoying your summer together. Thanks so much for the visit and kind comments. And please, come back soon. :)

• Thanks, NJ. You're right. Part of me keeps thinking it feels like it should still be June - with the really warm days ahead of us, but it's passing us by. The nights are comfy but I want my HOT summer! Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks so much, Sue. I'm glad you like these photos. Your kind comments always mean a lot to me. I'll bet you're so excited about your upcoming trip! :)

• Aloha, Cloudia and thank you. :)

• Thank you, Robert. You have a very poetic view of my photos. Your kind words are very much appreciated. Thanks for dropping by. :)

• Thanks kindly, Reb. Your visits always make me smile. :)

• Welcome, Muthering Heights and thank you for your kind words. :)

SandyCarlson said...

Oh, your photos amaze me. The mama looks proud and happy. Happy. There is joy in that face. And in the young 'uns faces, too. Each image here just knocked me over. The man and the birds--magic. The insect--ouch. the gears. Let me get out of the way.

Thanks for this visual feast.

Kappa no He said...

I want to cuddle a duckling. Also, love the moth. I really like moths. Note: all Japanese people HATE moths. I don't know why. Mothra, maybe? No, they say they are powdery.

widi said...

Funny duck. Nice color and great shot.

Brian Miller said...

thanks for sharing this trip with us...the pics are lovely. the rusty gears dtirke a nice contrast to their surroundings.

Anonymous said...

That mama duck has a beautiful bit of blue on her wing. The rock-as-walnut pic is marvelous. I love the textures and lines of the old mill gears photograph. And I LOVE that the birds flew in a flock over that man right when you snapped the picture... such a serendipitous moment.

Tink said...

That rock looks like a space ship!

(Forgive me, I've been watching a lot of 80's alien-type movies lately.)

That moth is beautiful. I love macro shots.

Swetha said...

i liked the last shot! its nice!! and the ducks are super cool!

Jim said...

LOVE the shot of the gears. I've always had a thing, since childhood, for old factories and old factory equipment, the more decrepit and rusty the better. I'm sure a psychiatrist would have a field day exploring the whys and wherefores of that, but... Anyway, photos such as that one have such amazing tactile value for me. I can almost feel the warmth of the metal, the rough surface, smell the small bits of latent lubricants (or perhaps, at this stage, the slightly sweet smell of the rotting grass/foliage under such heavy weights.

Geez, it sounds like machinery porn. I'll stop.

Indrani said...

Lovely shots!The subjects range from rusted to fresh stuffs.A visual treat indeed.

scarlethue said...

Lovely pictures again. You take the best walks.

I knew you'd like my armadillos! They can be quite mean, so I didn't get too close, but it was neat to see that little family dining together in my backyard.

Anonymous said...

Oh so adorable those ducklings!!! And yes the mommy does look so proud with that smile on her face!! The rock does look like a walnut. Cool! Very nice photos Hilary!! :)

steviewren said...

Your wild chicory looks like my mother's pretty mystery weed. I posted the picture somewhere near the 1st of June. Wonder if they could be the same?

Bogey said...

The last photograph, in a sense, is the way one should always look at life. In every cloudy sky, you can always see a little patch of blue. Sometimes I need to see images like this just to keep my blood pressure in check. Calm and soothing as always Hilary!

Hilary said...

• Thank you, Sandy. You're always so sweet and generous with your comments. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

• Terrie, they do indeed have powdery wings, but who aside from kidlets would touch them? :) I like them too, but I'd still far rather cuddle a duckling. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks, Widi. I'm glad you liked it. :)

• Thank you, Brian. I'm glad you enjoyed the pics. Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

• KC, thanks always for your wonderful comments. If you liked that bit of blue on the duck's wing, you'll probably like a different duck which I'll probably post next time. Lovely colours, they have. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you, Tink. I'm glad you liked the pics.. 80s style space ship or not. :)

• Thanks, Pranksy. I'm glad you enjoyed them. :)

• Sully, why stop now? You were just getting into high gear. ;)

• Thanks, Indrani. I'm glad you enjoyed them :)

• Thanks for the kind words, Scarlethue. You sure did surprise me with those critters. I had no idea they showed up in back yards like that. So cool. :)

• Thank you, Rain. I'm happy to share them with you and am so glad you enjoyed them. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• I tried to find that post (by title) and couldn't, Stevie. Maybe you can post the URL?

• Thank you, Bogey. I'm so glad you got something soothing out of the photo. That pleases me. :)

Skunkfeathers said...

You've a superb eye for Nature.

Deb said...

Hi ~ I always love coming to your bloghome, taking a seat and looking at your photos. I like to enlarge them on my monitor and just sit back, breath and look. The stories they hold...you always seem to get the perfect shot and make the ordinary seem extraordinary. Thanks for sharing your talent with us! Take care.

Cheffie-Mom said...

Wow, it always makes my day to visit your blog and see your newest photos. Very neat how the seagulls took flight at the same moment you took the picture. Oh, and I love the walnut and the doughnuts! Very creative! enJOY your day!

Shammickite said...

I couldn't see the walnut picture unfortunately, but the others came through OK. I'll just have to take Fronk's word for it, that it was good.
And what's wrong with greasy sugary cinnamonny doughnuts? They are the best kind!

Shammickite said...

OK the walnut pic finally arrived, yes, Frank, I agree, it's very cool!

Anonymous said...

These are loely, Hilary. You have such a wonderful photographer's eye. I especially appreciate the shot of the seagulls taking off, because I have painfully learned how hard it is to take pictures of birds in flight (well, at least for me!).

I understand about the duck and her babies. I frequently have the same experience -- six babies one day, three the next. I have been told that the bass in our lake eat them, but I tend to think it's more likely that it's the turtles or muskrats that get them. Sometimes there are things like that that happen in nature that I'd just as soon not know about!

Sarah Anne said...

Love the giant walnut, and the gears.

Pat - Arkansas said...

I've loved every one of your Summer Shorts. The light shining into the cedar grove may be my favorite, but they are all wonderful-- as usual.

Michelle said...


What wonderful photography!

It looks quite beautiful around those parts.

imbeingheldhostage said...

I really lilked that man and the gulls-- how interesting! You always manage to see and capture things that I would walk past without noticing. Beautiful photos, as usual!

Dianne said...

I love rainy windshield shots, not the driving part, just the scenery :)

the ducks are so sweet

Andrea said...

Amazing shots!! Love the baby ducks...and the detail in the moth and the flower with the bug is breathtaking!!! Always love visiting your blog, Hilary!! :)

Hilary said...

* Thank you, Skunkfeathers. Very much appreciated. :)

* Deb, thank you so much for your very kind words. I'm glad you're enjoying my photos. That means a lot to me. :)

* Thanks very much, Cheefie. I was very lucky with that seagull shot and I'm glad that it and others are pleasing to you. I'm always happy to see you drop by. :)

* Thanks, Shammie. I'm glad the "walnut" photo came through for you and I'm sure that Frank is glad that you concur with his expert opinion. ;) There's nothing wrong with greasy doughnuts (I like the sugar and cinnamon part) if you like having oily rocks in your belly. ;) I just don't like overly-greasy food, but if you're ever at that mill (and I can find the name for you if you're interested because it's not a all far from where you're son lives), I bet you'll love them. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

* Thank you very kindly, Sandra. Birds in flight are indeed difficult for me to capture and I doubt I would have managed this shot if I were actually trying for it. I so agree with you about not wanting to know some details of nature. Frank of course would tell me that I have a Disneyfied outlook. It's not that I'm unaware, I just hate the thought of how they meet their demise. Hopefully these two are still alive. I might find that out for myself later today. Thanks always for stopping by, my dear friend. :)

* Thanks, Georgie. I'm glad you like them. Thanks for the visit. :)

* Thanks very kindly, Pat. There are more to come (perhaps all summer) and I hope you'll enjoy those too. Thanks for dropping by. :)

* Thank you, Michelle. It is indeed beautiful around here. My camera and I are very lucky. Thanks for stopping by. :)

* Thank you so much for the very kind words, IBHH. They mean a great deal to me. Thanks for the visit. :)

* Thanks very much, Dianne. Lucky me - I was in the passenger seat for that shot. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

* Thanks so much, Andrea. I always enjoy such kind comments when you drop by. :)

Louise said...

The ducks are the sweetest things! The moth is interesting; I've never seen the bright body and bland wings before. And the chicory capture is wonderful. I love that flower, too. The color is almost transparent.

Hilary said...

Thanks very much for your always-kind comments, Louise. They mean a lot to me. :)