Sea Blue Lens


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Sunday Scavenger 5.5.13

I’ve just realized that this is my first Scavenger Hunt Sunday this year. (And the year is one-third gone already. How can that possibly be?) When I read this week’s list for SHS, I had ideas for every item. That doesn’t happen often, so I decided it was a Sign and I’d better take advantage of it. The topics are: Background, Spotted or Dots, Weather, Motion, and Sweet. Let’s go hunting!

Background:

Spotted Emu BushMystery Bush

Actually, I learned that it’s called Spotted Emu Bush. I have no idea why — I don’t see any spots or emus, just hairy yellow flowers. To get this photo I set the camera on macro, held it under the bush and pointed it in the general direction of the flowers. I had no idea what the background would look like, but I liked the way it turned out. This is the full frame shot.

Spotted or Dots:

Ladybugs-2Ladybug, Ladybug

I spotted these dots on our artichoke plants in the garden. There were several varieties of Ladybugs ranging in color from orange to deep red, with differing spot counts and patterns. Some people know these as Ladybirds, but in our family they were always “bugs,” not “birds.”

Weather:

Flying highFlying High

How do you photograph the wind? Our weather has been sunny, warm, and windy for days. I mean Official-Wind-Advisory, high-vehicles-be-careful-on-the-highway, scary-fire-danger windy. The kind that makes me edgy and gives me a headache. Not my favorite kind of weather.

There have in fact been several wildfires in Southern California this week, though none near enough to be a danger to us here. Friday afternoon and evening, the air was filled with haze and the smell of smoke from the large fire near the coast in Ventura County, about 75 miles away. I think of the firefighters and those whose homes and businesses are threatened, and am glad that a change in the weather is helping to bring it under control. Fire is always a worry when the hot, dry Santa Ana winds blow from the desert.

Motion:

Blue Bird BathBathing Beauty

This may not be a perfect bird photo, but I love the water drops flying in every direction from those fluttering wings. He’s a Western Bluebird. I don’t know who loves this bird bath more, the birds or me! It’s more entertaining than watching television, for sure.

Sweet:

Bullock's OrioleWishful Thinking

Hummingbirds aren’t the only ones who like sweets. We’ve had at least two pairs of these Bullock’s Orioles around our place for the past few weeks. They stop by the hummingbird feeder now and then, attempting hopefully to poke their beaks into the tiny holes. You don’t have to feel sorry for them, though. We put out cut oranges for them at their own feeding station.

Linking with Ashley for Scavenger Hunt Sunday. The best part is seeing how differently each person interprets the prompts. Come join in the fun!


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Creatures Great and Small

I have been amazed and delighted by the variety of wildlife (and not-so-wild life) I’m now living in close proximity to. Of domesticated furred and feathered friends in residence, there are 3 dogs, 5 cats, 2 pet birds, 1 pet rabbit, 7 chickens, and 2 horses.

The wild birds and small furry creatures outside my windows are always entertaining when I need a break from unpacking boxes. In fact, I find them a distraction from getting serious work done, and my camera is always close at hand. I have little experience with wildlife photography, and make no claims about the quality of these photos. In fact, most of them were shot through the front window. I’ve been recording them for my own amusement, and in some cases so that I could look them up and identify them later.

The birds and beasties below are just a sampling — there are many others I haven’t gotten on camera yet. And of course there are the ones that “got away” . . . like the roadrunner I surprised in my front yard a couple of evenings ago. I’m not sure which of us was more surprised, actually. I knew there were some in the area, but never expected to see one 20 feet away in my own front yard. Since I had only stepped out to retrieve the jar of sun tea, I didn’t have my camera in my hands. But there’s always the next time!