chickens, fences, flowers, friends, gardens, neighbors, on closer examination, photography, sunrise, unintended consequences, weather

And it kept on raining…

Looking out the kitchen window that morning I saw some definition in the clouds, so I loaded the cameras and tripods into the car and headed to Hammonds Creek for the sunrise.  It’s only a five or six mile trip to the gulf coast, but before I got there I was seeing drops on the windshield.  Just heavy mist, I told myself.  But it was a downpour just a minute later, so I turned the car around and headed for home.  No sooner did I do that than I saw a promising looking sky again, and no rain.  Again I reversed direction, and again I drove into a torrential downpour.  And yet again the weather was fine on the way home.  Sometimes you have to settle for a sunrise from the backyard.

Also in the back yard are flowers that I was offered by a neighbor I used to talk with when I walked Zoe a longer walk than I had for the last couple of years.  She was digging up some of them because they spread.  You would think that I might have gotten a hint from that, the possibility that one day I’d be trying to get rid of them I mean.  But no, what I saw was red, sort of tubular flowers, and I had read that that’s what will attract hummingbirds.  So on the barest smidgeon of information I brought them home and planted them, and within years I was digging them up, but there is no getting rid of them.  They have made themselves so at home that they have diversified…6-2threepinkfeature5-29white5-29whiteandpink5-29pinkandwhite5-29yellow

But only the ones way out back have these new colors.  Out back in chicken territory.  My neighbor laughed when I suggested that her chickens were responsible, a chicken version of cross-pollination.  Or maybe it’s the morning light back there.  But it has taken several years for these new colors to develop, which coincides with the chicken invasion.  I’m not complaining though, the chickens come over and de-bug my yard fairly regularly.  They are welcome any time!

fantasy images, flowers, fun, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, weather

Fantasy flowers…

There was this window of opportunity between torrential downpours, and I took full advantage.  I zipped over to the Y and swam laps, then I raked leaves like a good neighbor, and in doing so I noticed some tiny pink flowers in the Purple Queen.  And the Plumbago, and a lovely Magnolia blossom.  You know what happened next… but you might not have expected that I turned to Waterlogue, Prisma, and Glaze, because I was out of time, and options, and sunshine…

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bugs, butterflies, dragonflies, Florida wildlife, flowers, gardens, nature, on closer examination, photography, the big picture

Let me tell you ’bout…

…the birds and the bees, and the flowers and the trees…

So happy for friends, and for completely different reasons.  One has a brand new rescue puppy to love, and another is reuniting with his grandkids.  As well as happy for myself, with a day of different photo ops ahead of me.  It’s a good news kind of day!5-10dragonfly5-10gazebo5-10butterfly5-10traingarden25-10traingarden5-10bee35-10bee15-10snakeAnd a snake, which isn’t good news but is tolerable news when it is a black snake, so harmless, and running away from me.  Those were busy bees, buzzing away.  And I assume that those orange sacks are full of pollen.  I’ve been hearing about them but hadn’t seen that for myself before.  Guess they were having a good day too!

flowers, gardens, nature, photography, solitude

A Secret Garden…

I have never seen such a lovely garden.  A meandering path through lush foliage, and a surprise around every turn.  It was the fun meet and greet before our photo walk last Saturday night.  I could have gotten lost, happily lost. And I could have taken many more pictures, it deserved to be a destination all it’s own.  We were told we could take photographs and post them wherever we like.  I thought that was an excellent idea!3-24ozonadoorway_easyHDR-dramatic-bright3-24ozonapath_easyHDR-default3-24ozona3-24ozonabottletree_easyHDR-enhance3-24shed_easyHDR-night-strong3-24ozona23-24littlelibraryAnd oh, by the way, I took most of these as single photos, but I had heard that Easy HDR would convert those also.  Must have worked because I can’t remember which was which.

butterflies, Florida wildlife, flowers, nature, on closer examination, photography

Butterflies..

I’ve been in the mood to find butterflies lately, but they haven’t been cooperating in real life.  But the ones that reside in my photo library were a lot more accommodating.  A bit of reediting since I’ve learned a thing or two since I took these photos in May and I could claim that they are new photos, but that wouldn’t be kosher.  Just as all my northern friends and relatives are hoping for spring, I guess I am too…

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flowers, life, life goes on, nature, neighbors, photography, simple things

Flower stalking…

No, this isn’t my yard.  This is the front lawn of the house directly behind me, across the lake.  Last spring I spent a lot of time with my camera trained on the back of this property, waiting for the Sandhill crane family to return to the lake in the late afternoon. I felt a bit like a stalker.  And if that’s how I felt then, I really felt it yesterday afternoon when I went back after the dog walk and stopped to take a couple of pictures of their front yard.  Charley and I had owned our house for a while before we happened to visit during the several weeks in the early spring when the azaleas in this yard are in full bloom.  They weave their glorious way between and around the oaks, a patchwork of pink, red, and white flowers standing out against the green of the lawn.  The photo doesn’t do it justice, but it is never in full sunlight, always in dappled shade, so not so easy to photograph. Maybe the shade is why it’s so pretty.  But the hours and hours that the owners spend tending their property, dueling riding mowers and all, surely must have something to do with it.

Seeing their yard must have made me remember some flower images I had just seen online.  They were taken at the Florida Botanical Gardens, and included some butterflies and bees. So I went to our local botanical garden just down the road from me and wandered down the paths with the goal of reaching the butterfly garden in mind.  But I found that all the shrubs had been cut back and there wasn’t a flower, or a butterfly, in sight.  Which tells me it’s time for me to do the same thing to my plumbago and bougainvillea bushes, and soon the butterflies and bees will be back in my own yard.  Every year the azaleas lead the charge, spring is coming…2-27purpleflowers2-27bottlebrush2-27azaleas2-27Japanesemagnolia12-27Japanesemagnolia22-27japanesemagnolia42-27Japanesemagnolia3I don’t think I had taken note of the Japanese Magnolia before, but with so few flowers in sight they stood out.  Seems I’m always taking note of something I’ve never noticed before…