Saturday, December 12, 2015

Squirrel scurries up a dogwood tree

The squirrels have been so active the last few months and there seem to be more in my neighborhood running around than in previous years. Or maybe I'm just paying more attention. This critter was in my yard - as customary - as soon as it saw me, it ran up my dogwood tree. But the little guy was kind enough to pose for a bit.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Birds spotted at Christ Church in Old Town Alexandria

Last weekend we were wandering around Old Town Alexandria before. While we were walking on the grounds of Christ Church, I spotted these birds very high up in a tree. I'd just gotten a new camera and, after taken this shot, I found the zoom is much better than it was my last point and shoot.

The first shot is the original focus and zoom (no edits), the second shot is a cropped version of the same photo where I could see the details of the bird. Loving my new camera! My old one never would have "found" the birds that high up in any tree, nevermind any details. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Sunset over Lancaster, Pennsylvania

In mid-November we took a trip up to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The sunset was so beautiful that day I had to pause for a few minutes and take a series of photos. Here are a few of them showing the sun setting, the moon rising and reflections in the water.

The sunset that day was mesmerizing to me

This is looking into a stream, the sun was reflecting beautifully on this evening. The clouds and trees looked as clear as they did as if we were looking up in the sky.

Turning around and looking the other direction, we could see the moon rising.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

In photos: Fallen leaves past their peak

Yesterday I posted photos of fall foliage spotted here in Northern Virginia, so today I wanted to post images of leaves past their peak. While no longer brilliant in color, there is still beauty to be found as nature begins to settle in for the winter.

Frosty leaves

I thought this leaf had beautiful shape and texture
Macro shot of a dried up leaf. I was so intrigued by its details

A few oversized leaves must have blown in from elsewhere, it was so much larger than the others in my yard

Curled up leaf going to bed for the winter

I'm not sure what kind of flower this is, but I planted it about a year or two ago. This is what it looks like after it settles down for the season, in the summer it was a bluish-purple

Monday, November 16, 2015

In photos: Fall foliage in Fairfax County

I just love the brilliant colors to be found during September, October and November. These are a few shots captured here in Fairfax County during the 2015 season.  

I just loved the multiple colors to be found in this leaf

This leaf literally stood out to me on a frosty October morning

The dogwood tree in my yard showed off its brilliant color this year

Frosty leaf in the shadows as the sun began to shine

Friday, November 13, 2015

Busy bees at Ticonderoga Farm

Last week we had such beautiful weather, it felt like summer - yet looking around the visuals were all about fall. We spent at day at Ticonderoga Farms and I spotted a number of bees working and decided to take a few shots.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

I spy with my eye...lots of butterflies!

The last few posts I did on this blog about butterflies were taken at the Smithsonian's Butterfly Pavilion. It's a fabulous experience! But today I wanted to focus on butterflies spotted in the wild over the past year.

Monday, October 26, 2015

In photos: Fall foliage on Skyline Drive

Last weekend we decided to take a ride down the beautiful Skyline Drive. We started at Front Royal (mile marker 0) and drove down to Rockfish Gap (mile marker 105). I wrote a more detailed post on my other blog which included the landscape photos, so on this blog I wanted to focus more on individual items I photographed.

It started off as a bit overcast, but as we traveled through the park the sun came out on some of the mountains. The weather was fantastic and the colors were still very diversified. A couple of mountains were past peak, but the bulk of route contained a nice variety of color.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Pumpkins of all sizes at The Corn Maze in The Plains

Earlier this month we traveled out west on I-66 and visited The Corn Maze in The Plains for some fall family fun. We had a great time! 

In addition to the corn maze, play area, hay ride and other fun, there is also a market. Today's post shares some of the pumpkins we saw.

Pumpkins close up

These were some huge pumpkins! I think they looked larger in person than what they appear in my photo
A bin of smaller pumpkins
Another angle of the super large pumpkins

Sunday, October 4, 2015

In photos: Mushroom villages found in my yard

It's been a while since I've posted, but I'm still steadily snapping away. Today's post is about mushrooms - I've gotten some interesting looking mushroom communities pop up in my neighborhood over the past couple of months.

These were all taken in my yard - with the exception of the one that looks like a golf ball on a tee.

Friday, September 11, 2015

In photos: Blooming hibiscus in my garden

Last spring we planted a hibiscus plant. I'll be the first to admit I don't know the first thing about these - in fact, until we planted this one I hadn't realized there were different varieties. When it started blooming it looked very different from the other one we had planted a few years back.

Our other is a late bloomer and doesn't last too long, couple of weeks at best. This bush, however, has been steadily blooming all year long consistently. I suspect we'll see flowers through October if the weather stays warm as it does in some years. I hope so anyway!!

Here are some photos of this bush taken over the past few months at various times:

On a rainy morning
Hibiscus bud

Waiting to exhale

Heart of a hibiscus

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Long Beach Island: Sunrise at Barnegat Lighthouse

In August we were on Long Beach Island in Barnegat Light. What a beautiful place. Twice I got up before dawn and walked up to Barnegat Lighthouse to watch the sunrise.

Mid-week I also became obsessed with the idea I wanted to get there via seeing the sunrise on the beach, take a walk across the jetty to the sidewalk to the lighthouse. On the second try I did accomplish this and it was a most wonderful experience!!

Here are some views of Barnegat Lighthouse as I approached it (after the sun rose).

Walking along the jetty

arriving at the walkway

Another slightly different angle from the walkway