a second look, bugs, butterflies, flowers, friends, fun, gardens, lizards, losing it, nature, perseverance, photography, unintended images

Marching ants…

Excuse me for using a Photoshop/Lightroom term simply to amuse myself.  I didn’t notice the ants on that flower bud, my friend did.  But I did like how clearly the ants showed up in the viewer of my camera once I did see them.  I have no clue what they were doing, but they sure looked busy.

It poured on Tuesday morning, and the thought of rain drops on the flowers at the Nature Coast Botanical Gardens was what got me out the door as soon as the sun came out.  Raindrops, flowers, butterflies, and lizards were everywhere, perfect fodder for a couple of photographers who were getting antsy (pun intended) being stuck at home.

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So I googled ants and bromeliads and you are going to have to trust me that the ants provide nutrients for the plants.  Or google it.  If you do then maybe you can explain it to me because it was way over my head…

a second look, butterflies, fun, gardens, life goes on, nature, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, perseverance, photography

The good sport…

This butterfly is the last of the pictures I took the other day at the botanical garden.  He was last because he teased me the entire time I was there, zooming past but never lighting anywhere for long enough for me to get a picture.  Maybe he wore himself out because when I was ready to leave he showed up and stayed put.  I took pictures immediately, even though it wasn’t the best angle for taking a picture.  But facing away from me as in the feature photo we can see that he seems to have been through some hard times.  A big chunk of his left wing is missing, both top and bottom.  I doesn’t seem to have slowed him down any though.  And he hung around long enough to let me circle around him for some different angles for photos.  What a good sport he turned out to be after all.

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'scene' along the way, a second look, bugs, butterflies, dragonflies, fun, gardens, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Flowers and bugs…

You know I can never resist a flower picture with a bug in it. Especially bugs that look like a little kid’s toy they’d pull behind them as they learned to walk.   I wonder if they have toys like that anymore?  No batteries, just kid power.  Those photos make flower pictures without a bug just look boring in comparison.  These photos are also from the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden.  Such a lovely place to visit, and just a short drive from this campground.  I’m beginning to wonder if a week will be enough time to see everything I’d like to see while I’m here.  And there I was, contemplating heading back home just a couple of days ago.  I usually do  keep my promises, but I don’t always keep the promises I make to myself.  It’s about time I did…flowersandbugsbeeflowersandbugsbeehiveflowersandbugsbirdsflowersandbugsbutterfly2flowersandbugscalipidderflowersandbugsdragonflyflowersandbugsfakeeyesflowersandbugsgardenflowersandbugsgarden2flowersandbugshollyhockflowersandbugsmonarchflowersandbugspinkandorangeflowersandbugspurpleflowersandbugstunnelflowersandbugstwoofthem

I’m told that the green smiley-faced caterpillar has fake eyes on his back to make his enemies think there is a big, bad, bug looking at them.  I just think he’s cute!

'scene' along the way, bugs, butterflies, dragonflies, flowers, fun, gardens, kids, life goes on, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, second chances, travel, weather

Kids Day…

It did occur to me that going to a venue such as the Heritage Museum and Gardens might not be the best choice for a weekend visit.  But it was supposed to be such a nice day, and I hadn’t been out for several days before, so even realizing that it was ‘kids day’ didn’t stop me.  Kids got in free on Saturday, and lots of activities were set up for them to enjoy while they were there.  Maybe everyone had as much trouble with the maps as I did, because yes, we entered together, but as I walked the paths I had no problem seeing the gorgeous landscapes and taking pictures without lots of people in the shots.  And I started taking pictures before I had even bought my ticket.  I was attracted to the flowers, but as I looked more closely at the flowers it was the bees that caught my attention, and then the butterflies, and even a little moth. HPpinkflowerbeeHPblackbutterflyHPblueflowerbeeHPorangeflowermothHPearlybee

It was the carousel that I had spotted on the map that I had set out to see.  But there were numerous paths intersecting each other, and signs pointing this way and that way, enough so that I kept getting distracted.  Almost right away I heard a waterfall off to my right.  I attempted several pictures but quickly realized that there was a lily pond at the bottom, and yes, there were paths to go there.  So I set off down the hill to take pictures, hoping there would be dragonflies.  And yes, there were dragonflies, but I got ridiculously excited to see the little turtles on the lily pads.  When some kids showed up I think I totally forgot that I’m not a kid and got excited to point out the turtles.  That got the kids excited, and they all were standing precariously close to the rock edge of the pond, switching positions, trying to see.  And when I spotted a frog on a lily pad the excitement level went up a bit more.  Now they were quite excited to be pointing out things to me, and for several moments I was that five-year-old self I’ve been looking for.  Then I noticed one of the moms standing beside me and I had to apologize since they were probably wishing the kids were watching a little more calmly.  She said it was fine.  I thought it was fun.  ‘Kids day’, in more ways than one.HPwaterfall.jpgHPturtleHPdragonflyHPfrog2HP2turtles

 

adventure, butterflies, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

A day to myself…

This morning when I wondered what to do with my free day I looked up a wonderful local photographer to see where he liked to go.  Stalking other photographers again.  He had just put pictures of Nixon Park on his Facebook page and I figured that would work.  But by the time I had loaded the camera equipment into the car it was threatening rain.  I needed a plan B, and once I found out that Hershey Gardens had a Butterfly Atrium, an indoor Butterfly Atrium, I was off and running.  It wasn’t a huge space, but the variety of butterflies were amazing.  And lest you think that the butterflies in captivity might be less of a challenge to photograph, let me assure you that they aren’t.    It was a very nice way to spend a few hours, and I considered heading from there to Nixon Park since the weather had cleared.  But then I remembered that I meant to get an oil change before I left Florida.  So I asked Siri to direct me to the nearest Chrysler dealer and it was only 4 miles away from where I was at that moment.  Now I’ll be ready to continue this adventure, but not quite yet, but soon.

I didn’t see the bee in the feature photo.  What I thought I was looking at was a ladybug on the dandelion.  Things aren’t always what they seem…05-10-19blackogrange305-10-19blackogrange405-10-19blackorangepinkflower05-10-19blackorangepinkflower205-10-19blackorangyellowleaf05-10-19blueboy05-10-19butterflykid05-10-19orangeorange05-10-19timestwo05-10-19twoorangeblack605--19orangebutterflygreenleaf05--19owlbutterflyThe Giant Silk Moths were kept in a separate enclosure, with plexiglass walls.  Evidently they don’t discriminate as to where they lay their eggs, and their caterpillars will eat anything and everything.  This one was huge, I didn’t think it was real at first. And that’s their eggs that you see there too.  05-10-19silkmothandeggsOh, and another photographer had quite the dilemma.  I told him I’d send him this picture if he emails me…05--19nikonbutterfly

 

backyard visitors, butterflies, connections, Florida wildlife, flowers, friends, gardens, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

At home with friends…

It was a perfect way to spend a day, sitting in the most lush natural garden you can imagine, and talking with friends while various visitors dropped in to have their picture taken.  Lots of butterflies, many that zoomed into view but never stopped long enough for a picture,  The same with a beautiful big dragonfly and a tiny little hummingbird.  A lazy cat and two dogs seemed to be enjoying the view with us.  A perfect day in a beautiful oasis of green.  Thank you Eddie and Linda, for doing all the work and planning that makes this not only a beautiful oasis for us, but the perfect microclimate to allow these creatures to thrive.  And for sharing a lovely day with me.4-22-19butterflymosaic4-22-19yellowflower4-22-19purpleflower4-22-19pinkflower4-22-19passionflower4-22-19monarch34-22-19monarch24-22-19monarch4-22-19butterflymosaic24-22-19brownbutterfly