Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sand and rocks on beach at Evangola State Park

Towards the end of July, we visited the Buffalo/Niagara region in New York and Canada. One of our excursions included a trip to Lake Erie. I was so excited about this since I'd never actually seen any of the Great Lakes close up (only a distant view between two homes years before). We spent a few hours at the beach. One of the notable things I saw was the sand and rocks. The sand was an interesting color and many fascinating rocks were washed ashore.

I got down low to get a closer look at the sand and rocks

A cropped image of the above photo

Watching the water wash up against the rocks
These rocks were all along the shore, but once you went into the water, it was all sand

Watching the water flow over the rocks

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Rainbow views of Niagara Falls

I've been to Niagara Falls a number of times, but in July 2017 was the first time I'd ever seen a rainbow over this magnificent work of nature. Here are some photos I'd taken:

Rainbows in the mist of the American Falls (that's Bridal Veil Falls off to the right)

Maid of the Mist gets closer to Horseshoe Falls sailing under the rainbow

At one point, a double rainbow appeared

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Dragonflies spotted at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens (Part 2)

Yesterday I posted photos of the great blue skimmer dragonflies spotted at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in June. Today is part two. I couldn't believe how many dragonflies there were buzzing around the property. Many were too fast to be caught, but others paid no attention to me and let me photograph away.

Here are a few other ones spotted:

This green dragonfly, I have yet to identify, was spotted in the zoo at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

A red dragonfly located in one of the areas in front of the main house 

Great blue skimmer doing a handstand near a swampy area
I liked the way the sun glimmered on this great blue skimmer's wings

Monday, July 24, 2017

Great blue skimmer dragonflies at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens (Charleston, S.C.)

Towards the end of June, we visited Myrtle Beach, having flown into Charleston. We planned it this way since we felt like we really wanted to see more of Charleston and flights into Myrtle were so expensive anyway. One of our Charleston stops was a return visit to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, we had really wanted to do the boat tour but it was closed last year on the day we visited. 

One of the amazing things about visiting Magnolia is the number of dragonflies to be found. This is going to be a two-part post since I took hundreds of photos at this site. Today's post focuses on the Great blue skimmer dragonflies spotted.

 I had never seen a dragonfly eat before so watching this was fascinating. I learned after I returned home and did some research that larger dragonflies, such as the great blue skimmer, will eat smaller dragonflies. Here he feasts on a red dragonfly which I have yet to identify. Who knew?

This great blue skimmer is doing a handstand.  

Cropped a bit from the original photo, the bokeh was not intentional but I liked how it came out.

Another view of the same dragonfly. Again, unintentional bokeh, but I liked it!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Humpback Bridge in Covington, Virginia

These photos were taken in Covington, Virginia. I'd long heard of Humpback Bridge and always wanted to see it. Happened to pass it by chance on the way to West Virginia. Wonderful luck! It was a no brainer to take the very short detour to go see it when we saw the sign. 

This historic bridge is only one of a few handful of covered bridges remaining in Virginia. There is much graffiti inside dating back decades. This was a winter (February) visit, would love to see it in warmer weather.


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Echinacea and coneflower growing beautifully this year

Echinacea, also referred to as coneflowers, grow beautifully in Virginia. I planted seeds last fall are now flowering. Here are some recent shots from June.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Boats at Jamestown Settlement, Virginia

Jamestown Settlement is a living history museum located next to the original place where the first permanent English settlers came to Virginia in 1607. As a part of the museum there are re-creations of the original three boats that made the four and a half trek across the Atlantic to land in America.

We visited in April. Thunderstorms poured heavily that day but the rain broke for just enough time to take a quick tour of the boats. My photos came out a little dark so these were lightened a bit.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Bugs attracted to milkweed

I love when the milkweed begins to attract bugs. Every year I see insects I've never seen before. Here are some spotted in June 2017. The milkweed has buds but has not yet begun to bloom. Shouldn't be too long now though!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Various insects found in the garden

Continuing photos from recent scouting out in the back and front yards. Photos of creepy crawlies spotted.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Spiders lurking in the garden

Been hunting out spiders and webs in recent weeks. Finding some neat ones lurking about. They seem to really love spinning webs between flower stems and the fence.

Spider on sunflower leaf

Spider and web

Another view of spider on sunflower leaf

Spider in the grass (this one was not taken at home)

Friday, June 23, 2017

Bees and other critters buzzing in the garden

So thrilled to see so many bees returning this year. I was getting worried. Every day there are plenty of photo opportunities of different flying critters just in my own yard. Here are some from this past week.

I wish I knew what this bug is. It is a super tiny critter and I see them every year anywhere I go to take photos in Virginia. They seem to love the rudbeckia (black-eyed Susans) in my yard.

Honey bee lands on the rudbeckia.

Bumble bee on yellow flowers. I do not know what they are called but I believe they are one of the flowers considered to be native for Northern Virginia.  They spread like crazy, grow in both dry and flooded conditions and attract lots of flying critters. 

 Peek-a-boo bumble bee

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sunflower blooms in the garden

The flying critters sure love the sunflowers. Last year I planted some organic sunflower seeds and I think this plant is a carry-over or a little birdie or furry critter planted it last fall. It is far ahead of schedule and much larger than the seeds I planted this year. The other plants are much smaller and some of them are just now getting small buds. This large plant has about 10 blooms on it; I took a variety of shots of the different blooms and in the background you can see some of the others.