Soft and New

It’s early spring and the soft, new shoots and flowers are stretching up toward the blue sky and the warm sun.

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Stil pristine and unmarked, this small, yellow flower shows off in its new fuzz - Spring 2012

Hiding Place

He is nearly invisible, despite his glowing green color.

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Who Is Hiding Here? - Summer 2011

He just looks like a part of the plant on which he is resting.

It is like meditating. I go out to take photos – usually drawn out by the beckoning sunlight, sometimes driven out by a need to create something – I first take a few shots and restlessly move on. Then it captures my attention –  it varies – and my attention becomes focused on it, I change angles, or slowly move closer, or think of the angle of the light or how the background contrasts with it. Sometimes those photos turn out as I imagine them, but often, in the quiet of truly focusing, I become aware of something else that I had not seen – would not have seen at my earlier pace – and that becomes the real photo shoot of the day. This little insect was one of those, in the summer of 2011. I didn’t see him until I was focusing on a dragonfly, what I thought was it, trying to ease closer and get a shot with all the elements right, background, the glint of light on its wings, the… Oh no, the dragonfly flew away! Then I saw the bright yellow flowers on their glowing green stems – and it. When I came out of the trance and went back to my computer to look at what I got, I was pleased with this shot 🙂

Does anyone else find themselves out of the everyday hustle and bustle, almost meditating while pursuing the shot?

Arctic Cartoon Mosquito?

This is another flashback to warmer, sunnier days. Last spring I set out to photograph the wild plum blossoms – and revel in their heady scent.

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Happily for me, it is more interested in nectar than in my blood - Spring 2011

As I moved around to find blossoms highlighted by sunlight, I was not the only one interested in the sunny, sweet smelling blooms. In fact, there were numerous visitors of many sizes and shapes, but the most astounding to me was this odd creature. I realize it sort of resembles a bumblebee, but I do not think it is a bee at all. What it most looks like to me is those cartoon mosquitoes with pointy proboscii (is that a plural for proboscis?). Only this one is dressed for cold weather, rather like an Eskimo, and his/her face is all whiskery like a Schnauzer. Of course, now I have exited the realms of science and, rather, entered cartoon-landia, but none-the-less, I wanted to share this marvelous little creature. 🙂 And I loved the light sparkling off the fur on his back!

Good Golly, Miss Molly, I’ve Never Seen That Before!

I started out focusing on a patch of lavender-pink Bee Balm (I think that’s what the flowers are), seeking to capture the glow of sunlight through their translucent petals. Then I noticed perfectly camouflaged little insects, their green the color of the leaves, their pink matching the petals, and their graceful black-and-white striped antennae seeming extensions of the flowers’ own reaching stamens.

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This secret world is why I like to leave large swathes of our 40 acres UN-mown.

I caught a focused shot of one, but I didn’t want to lose the whole image of the flower with the insect hidden in its petals, so I enlarged just the insect and super-imposed it over the image of itself on the flower. So you can see both the enlargement and the original image combined into one photoshopped image.

I hope you enjoy your glimpse into this tiny, hidden world as much as I enjoyed discovering and recording it!

Shifty

Yes, this is the same flower as yesterday’s post. As I moved, my eye caught the flash of the sun flare through the frost crystals, so I took another image.

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Just a little shift in camera position caught this sun flare - February 2012

It is also slightly darker, showing the detail a little more clearly in the white frost.

I am always of two minds when I have several photos I like of the same subject; should I show more than one? Or should I choose one and show only the one? What do you think?

Candy Stripes

This afternoon’s flashback was triggered by memories of taking photos of flowers like this morning’s frost-covered blossom nearly one year ago. This is a clearer view of the details, unobscured by the sugary-looking frost crystals of this morning’s shot.

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Sweet Little Candy Striped Flowers - March 19, 2011

Are these flowers blooming earlier this year? Or did I simply not see them last year under the 16 inches of snow we had the first week of February?!

Candied?

This tiny flower appeared to have been coated in sugar crystals.

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Sweet Little Crystallized Flower - February 6, 2012

I loved the colorful spots of sunlight refracted through the ice crystals!

I also remembered why I usually go out before I am showered and dressed for work… I went back in the house with wet, muddy elbows and knees, having only just remembered not to flop down flat on my belly to get the best angle.