A lazy evening fishing on Lake Hartwell, SC circa 2011 with my dad. I didn’t recall from this day if we caught anything, but I do remember being so taken with the sky’s gradient of colors, the gentle slap of water against the underside of the boat and it being so peaceful. It was quiet on the water as the final few boats trolled along with only their electric motors barely humming, searching for hits near the bank. Impressive how just a photo can remind you of so many details from so long ago.
Someone got caught mid-acorn snatch and seemed to think he’d suddenly turned invisible. Not even a hair on his tail twitched at all once it was obvious he’d been spotted. I found it hysterically funny: The mouth full of acorn and dirt on the nose. Proverbial hand (or paw) was definitely caught in the cookie jar.
Because even if the entire rose bush is mostly bloomed out, there’s always a beautiful recent bloom somewhere amongst all the petals, you just have to look carefully to find it.
This bright fellow caught my eye on my back porch when I lived in Virginia. I didn’t see many of these Pine Warblers, but this guy routinely returned every few days to feed from a nyjer sock and show off his bright and sunny feathers in my kitchen window. Now here in Colorado, I don’t expect to see these birds this far out here, but I kept this picture in my archives as a happy reminder of my sweet little backyard visitor.
A red-tailed hawk riding air currents high above. Initially I though I’d scrap this one but then I decided I liked the simplicity and minimalism of the photo.
These are older photos; goodness they date to 2013. But I wanted to share them because they reminded me a special chance-meeting.
In my prior home in Virginia, I noticed this gorgeous Luna Moth on my back porch covered in dew and unable to fly at sunrise. It was a target. Large, vibrant and green laying out in the open on my deck with no cover to hide it. The back yard met undeveloped wetlands so other animals flying or crawling about was a constant.
Having a soft spot for all creatures great and small, I stepped outside with the thinnest absorption material I could find: a single ply shred of paper napkin. The moth was obviously struggling (to this day I wasn’t sure if it was dying (as their adult lifespans are 1-2 weeks if I recall) or if it was simply too dew-covered to move). It’s rare to see Luna Moths anymore, and I wanted to offer it care whether it was going or coming.
So I spent a few quiet moments there on my back deck before work, ever-so-softly touching the corner edge of the napkin to each dew drop to absorb the water away from its wings. Once I had most of it, I waited and took the photo above. The poor thing continued to struggle. It began curling it’s legs in and shuddering slightly. So I gently lifted it onto a paper towel to let it rest as it dried, knowing it was only a matter of time until a bird or some other animal found it. I carried it on the paper towel out into the woods and carefully tucked it under a leaf on a branch to either give it a chance to start it’s short life safely or for it to pass away in hiding before being found.
But in this moment, what a fragile, fleeting and ethereal little life to have held in my hand in the morning sun.
I was experimenting in a local rose garden on taking shots somewhat off-center and purposefully changing up the field of focus and the framing of shots. A few bushes I passed were a type of double-blooming varieties and nearly looked like peonies, they were so full. Even though it was a practice shot, I still do like the vibrant color and the off-center organization of this one.
I’m mostly certain this is kalanchoe here. I would generally walk right past this as just a standard plant, common to any greenhouse or nursery. But it’s always interesting to take a new look at things occasionally, or in this case, zoom in to see things differently.
Finches love zinnias and other flowers they can easily pluck seeds and tasty bits from such as cone flowers, sun flowers and so on. A few summers ago, I tossed a handful of zinnia seeds into some pots on my back deck and enjoyed repeat blooms for weeks.
And so did the finches. It was a finch feast.
This fellow figured out the easiest way to balance his weight on the stems and be best-positioned to still be able to snack on the flower head. Smart little things!
The new feathers still working themselves out were just too cute not to share. Is almost like a mini great horned owl.
It’s tough out there for a baby finch 😉