Friday, July 31, 2009

After the Rain

A while back, Frank and I were enjoying the rain in his back yard, under the protection of his open-net tent when the sun broke through an opening in the clouds. I knew that if we looked out his front door, we'd likely see a rainbow, in the opposite direction of the sun.

Sure enough, we opened the door and were greeted by this beauty. (please click to enlarge)

The sun bathed the sky and field in surreal colours. (please click to enlarge)

This lovely flower was growing by the field across the street. (please click to enlarge)

The rainbow had faded some by the time I noticed the flowers but they still looked quite magical together. (please click to enlarge)

A wet cedar frond glistened in the sun. (please click to enlarge)

Back home again. These yellow lilies were a Mother's Day gift from my younger son. Their petals sure do look beautiful when sprinkled with raindrops. (please click to enlarge)

Water had collected, and created a small puddle in the hollow of this leaf. (please click to enlarge)

These roses only set forth a few blooms once a summer. Occasionally, if the season is warm enough, it will summon its strength to grow a second set of blooms in October. This first rose was heavy with raindrops. (please click to enlarge)

Tiny beads of rain dot the leaf of a simple garden weed. I'm really good at growing those! (please click to enlarge)

This was actually taken shortly before the rain. Isn't that always the way? (please click to enlarge)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Urban Creatures

Just a few critters found at and around my home and Frank's abode. City and town dwellers we may be, but there are still interesting creatures to be seen.

This fine specimen of a Felis domesticus resides with me, and can often be seen sitting on the front deck, watching the world go by. He's also known as Skittles.

This fluffy little cutie seems fearless - or perhaps stupid, in the presence of humans and other living things. Hopefully he'll continue to be one of the latter for a long time to come.

Looking up rom the still waters of a pond was this little frog. He and several others let out an occasional croak as if to challenge being found. He posed nicely for the camera.

Another one of the Night Heron's regular visits. This shot was taken from across the pond.

Busy as a bee, he was - flitting about from flower to flower...

But this one moved at a snail's pace.

And this shell-laden beauty didn't move much faster.

This tiny, red dragonfly caught my eye as I made my way around the pond. So many lovely creatures. We humans enjoy sharing our space with most of them...

But some.. we just don't.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Leaves of Senses

In my previous post, I introduced you to some of the beautiful birds which visit my local park and pond over the course of a day. Today, I'd like to show you some of the flora which attracts many of the birds and insects that inhabit this area and others. Please remember to click on each photo to enlarge it.

Since late in the spring, one branch of this berry-producing tree has been bright orange. Every other limb sports nothing but green leaves and berries, so this isn't its autumn foliage - just a colourful contrast to the rest of the tree. It's where the robins in the previous post were perched. (please click to enlarge)

Here are some of the ripened berries which the birds find so tasty. (please click to enlarge)

And from a different perspective. (please click to enlarge)

This tiny bloom is only about one centimeter (less than a half inch) in diameter. (please click to enlarge)

These lily pads were found at Mill Pond - a twenty minute drive from home, in the center of a small town. They reminded me of a Claude Monet painting. (please click to enlarge)

These colourful wildflowers grow along the park path. They attract birds, bees, butterflies and my camera lens. (please click to enlarge)

Snapdragons are emerging everywhere throughout the fields near Frank's place. He'll probably stop by and comment about how its petals remind him of.. something. (please click to enlarge)

In his front yard, this tiny leaf had fallen and was clinging to the tip of a larger leaf. I thought there was something tender and endearing about it. (please click to enlarge)

In his back yard, these tiny purple Clematis buds... (please click to enlarge)

.. grow into these large, profuse blooms. This photo was inspired by my dear bloggie friend Protege of Life Work and Pleasure, who has been keeping us abreast of her Clematis plant's growth with weekly updates since spring. Consider checking out her blog - she always has something wonderful to share. (please click to enlarge)

And thank you all for sharing your time with me. More pics in a few days.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Queens, Kings & Wings (Summer Shorts 5)

Once outside my front door, a left turn and about one hundred steps will take me into a lovely park complete with pathways, a pond and an interesting variety of animal life. If the weather is pleasant, and I don't have a very persistent Jack Russell Terror urging me along, I can spend a fair bit of time looking around and shooting photos. On one such day, I spent a hour or so doing just that. Below are some of those images. Please remember to click on each of them to enlarge.

A close-up look at this Queen Anne's Lace revealed about a dozen of these little red insects roaming all over the head of the flowers. I don't know what they are but there sure were a lot of them. (please click to enlarge)

An even closer look reveals why. (please click to enlarge)

This Mallard and I watched each other for a while. I thought he had a beautiful and intelligent look in his questioning eye. (please click to enlarge)

The elusive Kingfisher. This one patiently waited for me to take its photo from across the pond. Earlier in the week, we saw a family - mature Kingfishers teaching their fledglings how to fish. It was later in the day, and light and distance did not allow for good photos so I was lucky to snap a few shots of this beauty. (please click to enlarge)

Some time later, this Great Blue Heron waded along the shoreline, hoping to find a fish or two for dinner. (please click to enlarge)

Slowly, he inched his way along, ever so silently. He cocked his head, suddenly aware of something moving beneath the surface of the water. (please click to enlarge)

He was very swift to capture his reward. (please click to enlarge)

This fledgling Robin perched on a nearby tree while I sat on a bench across the way. Doesn't it have lovely markings? (please click to enlarge)

Nearby, another Robin was feasting on recently-ripened berries. (please click to enlarge)

Until something spooked it. (please click to enlarge)

At dusk, yet another Robin was singing its goodnight song atop a branch high above me. (please click to enlarge)

I hope you enjoyed my day with Queens (Anne's Lace), Kings (fisher) and other winged critters.

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.

Friday, July 10, 2009

As Evening Falls (Summer Shorts 3)

Below are a few more summer shorts for your enjoyment. Please remember to click on each image to enlarge.

A couple of ducks emerge from the light mist which drifts across the pond.

As the shadows lengthen, sunlight dances across the wildflowers and into the cedars.

Lit by the sun, cottony-soft clouds gather in the evening sky.

From opposite directions, rain and sunlight work together to create a perfect rainbow.

An evening walk through the park.

Playing with light - a slower shutter speed catches the lights of a passing car.

Back home, the warmth of a lit candle and a comforting hand.