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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Scavenging the Yard

Had to go on the Sunday Scavenger Hunt today. It’s a great distraction from the wind, which is driving me to distraction. Wind is my least favorite kind of weather. It blows here a lot, but usually doesn’t bother me. Today it’s got me a bit on edge.

Let’s think about something else and go hunting. This week’s targets were Yellow, Getting Ready, Bright, Teeny Tiny, and Connections.

Yellow:

Eye of the Beholder

I found this tiny “weed” blooming all by itself early one morning and thought it a lucky way to start the day.

Getting Ready:

Rest Stop

This beautiful bird is pausing for a drink, getting ready to head off to wherever. I believe it’s a female Nutall’s Woodpecker. My bird book says it’s “uncommon.” This is not its normal habitat, so for me, it was a truly special sighting. Please pardon the pink and green blurs — I was shooting from my desk, through the window, between the branches of the crape myrtle, which was blowing back and forth. Yup, it was windy that day, too.

Bright:

Rose Red

This rose’s blossoms are only a couple of inches across, but it’s the brightest, most vivid red I’ve ever seen. The camera hardly does it justice.

Teeny Tiny:

Eensy Weensy Spider

Luckily for me, and for it, this tiny spider was posing for me on the outside of the window glass. His body was barely a quarter of an inch long, and resembled a small freshwater pearl.

Connections:

Two-birds of Happiness

This pair of Western Bluebirds has been here all summer. I’ve also spotted a couple of juveniles that could be their offspring, though I can’t know for sure. It pleases me to think of the connections of this little bluebird family. When they spread their wings and fly into the sunshine, they are like pieces of the sky.

The common theme of all these images is the connection that I feel to all the wild things around me here. They are a distraction, too, but in the very best way!

Linking with Ashley’s Ramblings and Photos for Scavenger Hunt Sunday. Thanks, Ashley!


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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!