Hummingbirds (again)

I’ve just spent way too much time deleting and organizing my April photos, and I have narrowed down a few hummingbird pictures for you.


I wish I could tell you the names of these for sure, but I mix up the females, plus I’m totally confused between Rufous and Allen’s right now. Anyway, the above is a hummingbird of some sort. 🙂


I’ve been able to get a better angle when I stand outside about 5 or 6 feet from the feeder and wait for them. I have to stay very still, of course, but they are fairly brave.


These are from just tonight. First I’m showing you a female just for comparison (assuming this is an Anna’s, which I’m 75% sure of :)). She has a tiny patch of color on her throat.


And then… yay! (Doesn’t it look like he’s trying to pop out and startle me?) I hadn’t seen a male Anna’s in quite awhile and was just wondering about them the other day, so this was exciting. Obviously they are totally gorge (albeit slightly feminine) in the sunlight with their bright fuchsia heads/throats. This guy let me take his photo for awhile before he flew off, so of course I can’t just show you one picture…


Not a great photo, but just funky enough that I wanted to post it here. He’s literally diving in.


So pretty!!!

For a previous set of hummingbird photos, you may click here.

Pink Dogwood

Hey, who wants to see multiple photos from the same Dogwood tree (and often the same exact blossom)? Just a show of hands is fine. Or I will also interpret silence/crickets as, “Certainly.”


Part of the reason for this photo overload was that this particular Dogwood tree was all nice and short (as am I), and it gave me the opportunity to try some angles that would’ve been impossible on another tree without a ladder or saddled giraffe. Therefore it was practically a requirement that I photograph this tree from every angle while I had the chance.


Between photos I might’ve sent a text or two, and at some point I guess I was waiting for a text response and some lady walked by and was all, “You look so serious!” My response probably hinted that I wasn’t crazy about such a comment, so she tried to fix it by saying I looked “studious.” I have one of those faces where if I relax it at all, it looks almost like I’m mad. It’s great. Her remarks were actually the nicer version of what I’ve heard in the past from complete strangers. I’ve gotten comments like, “Smile! Life isn’t so bad!” So anyway, if you ever come across me and I look all “studious” or whatever, I’m just relaxing! Face muscles need down time too. And if you’re ever tempted to remark to a stranger about the fact that they aren’t smiling, probably just don’t. It’ll help you not get punched.


I was taking these with the thought of how something could go below in the blank spot. Not that I have any plans to use this photo for such a purpose, but now you know the method to my relaxedness, at least.

Thanks for looking! Or even just scrolling by to get to the next entry in your reader.

Scrabble, Sweater, Summingbird

When I empty my camera’s memory card onto my computer, I always see photos I forgot I took. Here are a couple.


Awhile back this Scrabble CD was sitting out on my desk and I kept glancing at it and thinking it had the letters N, U, D and E. (Get it? Nude! I’m mature.) I knew it was an F, but I kept forgetting (or maybe I should say that the corner of my eye kept forgetting). So I’m about to relay this terribly important story to a friend when I realize the F has an 8 on it, like it’s eight points. ?! Any Scrabble fan knows that Fs are four points and only J and X are worth eight!

[Speaking of, I really don’t think the letter values in Scrabble are all that fair. For instance, X is such an easy letter to use, but it’s worth eight. This is fine if I’m the one to draw the X, but if my opponent gets it then I think it should be worth about four points.

Then there are letters like U, which I feel could do with a raise. Yes, it’s a vowel, but it’s probably the least-fun vowel. Its main purpose in Scrabble life is to stick by the Q, so getting the U usually makes me think I need to save it “just in case.” Overall it’s not quite as versatile as the other vowels, so why is it worth the same?

I wouldn’t mind if C was worth more, too. I really don’t like Cs very much, but I would probably like them more if they were four points. Just a tip, Hasbro.]


FYI, I know this photo is of terrible quality. The other day I was walking by my sweater, that I had so neatly tossed on the dining room chair, and what didst mine eyes behold? Tell me you see it too: it’s a heart! My sweater loves me!


Now this is one I just took today, so it wasn’t a surprise to find, but I thought I’d share it in this photo group. I guess this is the equivalent of licking one’s plate clean? Apparently there is something delicious on the feeder that has taken her attention from the inside of it.

By the by, I have like maybe three or four million other hummingbird photos, and I want to share a few but then I keep taking more and thinking, “Well these will be better…” and then I hold off in case I take something even better, and the cycle goes on, and my hard drive gets fuller.

I never know how to end my entries.

Lots of text

Yes, two posts in one night! It’s insanity!

[This post is photo-free and very important. And by that I mean not at all important.]

I constantly hear strange noises in my home. I would be suspicious and scared, but that’s too tiring so I’d rather dismiss them with various explanations. Just now I heard a sound like my bed frame was being taken apart. Just one sec. Okay, yeah, it’s still intact so I guess it was something else.

ANIMAL UPDATE:

  • I still see beavers almost every day, in the morning and/or night. No particularly remarkable sightings to report, except the fact that I SEE BEAVERS ALMOST EVERY DAY. You are totally jealous.
  • The hummingbirds are thirsty lately. I think they’ve already drank (drunk?) half an inch of the special and delicious nectar that I slaved over yesterday. Isn’t it wondrous thinking about how many hummingbird tummies it’s been carried off in? I’m contributing to the circle of life. Without me, all of the hummingbird-eating animals around here would be a little hungrier.
  • I’ve never seen that otter again. 😦

OTHER RECENT HAPS:

  • I watched (500) Days of Summer this past weekend and it exceeded my expectations. It’s unique. (Holly–you might like it, and it’s even pretty short!)
  • I learned how to make Greek yogurt out of regular yogurt, thanks to this blog. So easy and so delicious!
  • I took way too many photos of dogwood blossoms that I will subject you to later this week.
  • I’ve now read and enjoyed two books by Christian author, Kristen Heitzmann. I’m picky about Christian fiction (I’ll talk about that one day), and I think she handles it pretty well.

Okay, time to take a break from procrastination!

Senior Portraits

I was asked to take some college senior portraits last week. We didn’t have a lot of time, but I was satisfied with the result for being a rush job. H was cheerful and cooperative, and her family was so nice when I met them later that night!

I love the blue in her outfit and redheads are fun photography subjects! I thought about making one of these black and white, but liked the colors too much. Maybe next time, since she seems willing to help me with future practicing sessions. 🙂


A bit of an outtake, but I like it.


This might be my favorite.


I wish I had more time with this patch of bluebells. Hopefully I can drag her or someone else out there again to try some other photos before they die.

(You can see I’m experimenting with my watermark. Still.)

Osprey sighting

I lied–this next post is going to contain photos. I’ve had some cool bird sightings that I thought I’d share, even though the photos themselves aren’t all that impressive. I do what I can with my 75-300mm lens (and I’m so glad my dad bought it for me years ago!). It doesn’t have stabilization and I don’t use a tripod, so of course I’m not going to have professional-quality nature photos when the object is like 50 feet away. I’m just glad to have captured the scene at all.

Okay!

The change of season brings more and more birds. The hummingbirds are feeding a lot more and I will share some of those photos next time. But now I’ll show you some Osprey photos.

[PHOTOGRAPHY SIDENOTE: A couple of years ago I was out on a boat with my family, and we saw some Ospreys on a tree and my dad handed me his camera and said I could get photos as we moved in closer to them. He wanted me to be ready since they’d probably fly off as we approached. Well, stupid me didn’t really have a handle on the focusing thing, so I couldn’t focus on them fast enough when they flew away, and I didn’t get any decent shots. My dad was fine with it, but I felt bad to have ruined that opportunity. He said I probably should’ve had it on manual focus, but I honestly didn’t even know how to operate that on his camera. 😛 It never occurred to me. Well, now my dad would be proud to know that I am using manual almost exclusively with this lens since my subject is usually moving a lot, and it’s just faster and easier.]

If you don’t like photos of birds eating fish, please skip the rest of this post. Even though you can barely tell.


Here he comes. I had seen him circling in the sky with something in his talons. I was so glad when he landed in a tree where I could actually see him.


He might be praying before he eats here.


Okay, time to dig in.


Mmmmmm…fish!


Oh he sees me. Don’t worry, I am full of pizza and won’t be stealing any fish.

Have a good weekend!

Now back to the flowers.

Okay, let’s finish off these plant nursery photos.


This was a lemon tree (still just a baby), and I guess I’ve never seen one or knew that their blossoms smell so good!


I just wanted to photograph these because they were unique, but this photo doesn’t quite capture their appearance.


There were lots of pretty lilies but always in view of people, so I wimped out and didn’t get the photos I would have liked to.

Alright, I’ll probably take a photo break on the next post, depending on what happens in life. 🙂 Have a great night/day.

Bird surprise

Let’s take a break from the flowers to look at a bird. At one of the plant nurseries I visited, I came across a couple of Killdeers along with a nest right in the gravel! (Later research revealed this was totally normal for Killdeers, though I still find it odd).


This photo gives a bit of context–see how the nest (under the bird :P) was built right there by the rows of plants where customers might be walking. Smart one! I later realized that this isn’t as popular of a customer area because they have a display tent toward the front. It still seems kind of risky to me.


Here’s a closer view of the bird with eggs. I’m actually not sure if this is the mom or dad, because there was another Killdeer that ran off when I got close, and this one took over. This one was not happy that I was nearby (though I couldn’t seem to capture a photo that showed his Mad Stance), but what could I do? NOT take pictures?


A slightly better view of the eggs.


And one more, just because.

I would be more in awe of these adorable birds, but I actually saw them for the first time about a year ago and took a lot of photos then, so I’m slightly over them. But they do look like they’re wearing scarves or turtlenecks, which is AWESOME, and makes up for their violent name. I highly doubt that a bird in a striped scarf would even lay a finger on a deer.

I hope you like flowers.

I’m such a wuss about taking pictures around people who aren’t doing the same. I feel especially self-conscious using my “big” camera, like I’m a serious photographer.

But I like going to plant nurseries to take pictures. There are plenty in the area, and they have such a good variety of flowers. I go and take the pictures on the sly, missing out on lots of good shots, I can tell. It’s partially because of feeling self-conscious, but partially because I’m not even sure if I’m allowed to be taking pictures. That probably seems like a weird concern, but if I’m not purchasing these flowers, do I have the right to take advantage of the work that gardeners put into them (beyond just looking)? I don’t know how the owners feel about that, so I guess I should just ask. One of these days I will call and ask, once I brave up enough.

I wouldn’t be opposed to buying some plants in exchange for being able to photograph all areas of the nursery, though! I was actually interested in purchasing a couple of plants this weekend, but I didn’t really know what to get and no one seemed available for help. In the end, I’m glad I didn’t buy any because the hanging plants (like I want) are pretty expensive, and I just learned I can buy the stuff separately for much cheaper. I might try that sometime. I need help, I think. K? Are you good with plants? 🙂

Anyway, I looked at lots of flowers this weekend, and it made me sort of wish to work for a nursery in some capacity. Below are some of the photos I took while no one was looking. I’m experimenting with sizes to post in this blog, so let me know if you have any feedback about that. Are these too big?


These ones are sooooo petalicious. I forget the name.


Just to show all the layers–doesn’t it look like whipped cream or something?


Bleeding hearts are one of the cutest flowers!


Wisteria is one of those plants I’d loooove to have in my dream yard one day. My dream yard that is taken care of by a gardener. 😛

More to come during the week. I didn’t want to burn you out in one post.

Naturey photos

A Saturday morning post is not usual for me, but what better way to procrastinate than by showing you some photos?

The other evening I walked around my place because I had seen a duck that I didn’t recognize (at least by flight–it was likely a Wood Duck, though). It flew off again before I got any photos, but I took some others while wandering.


But first (yeah, I forgot until just now), I took a few photos that morning because it was soooo sunny out, and there were streams of light coming out over the lake/pond. I couldn’t capture them very well, though, as the sun was burning my retinas. These will have to be good enough.


Okay now we’re back to the evening. First I saw these little guys in the shallow edge of the water. I have since concluded that they must be salamander tadpoles (teenagers, apparently), but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a salamander in real life, nor did it ever occur to me that they went through the same growth stages as a frog. Or that they even swam! I’m salamentally challenged, I guess.


I keep photographing these birds even though they’re kind of boring-looking, because they’re more likely to sit still, plus they have such a pretty little sound. I caught her mid-tweet. Also, this is to prove I don’t always rely on the Rule of Thirds. 😛 (I was noticing many of my other photos look like I just walked out of photography class.) (PS That’s not a bash on photography class–I should take one!)


Funnily enough, only minutes earlier I was telling someone that I don’t need/want any more Mallard* photos, and of course they are the easiest to photograph. But I couldn’t help it–this guy was being so cooperative and the water looked like brushed copper.


Mallards really are a decent-looking duck, but they are so common that I kind of forget to appreciate them.


Obviously she has big plans for her new home.


I haven’t looked up this type of bird–the females are kind of a pain to track down sometimes. (Oh maybe it’s a Red-winged Blackbird?) I have been trying to keep a semi-list of the birds I see from home, though.


One more, since I couldn’t decide.


It annoys me that I took this photo–who needs more photos of these Canada Geese?! But they area so often perched in weird spots that I want to record it, I guess.

*Is “mallard” supposed to be capitalized?