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. 


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Photos of my spider neighbor

These two spiders live in the yard in different corners of the space. They like to spin their webs between wildflowers and the fences. Every few days I like to go out and try to capture some shots. (I have no idea what type of spider it is). Here are some June photos.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Daisies are in full bloom in Northern Virginia (2017)

Nice to see these lovely flowers blooming. Fortunately, they usually go straight through summer. I especially like to look at the daisies after a nice rain. Here are some June 2017 photos from my wildflower garden.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Cicadas in Northern Virginia

We had a surprise last month when we had an unexpected swarm of cicadas. Usually, we'll hear some every year to some extent but these came in the masses. This particular brood was not expected in Virginia but in other states, so it gave me the first opportunity be able to take some macro shots while they were still alive. Kind of an icky, yet intriguing critter to get close to! Fascinating I find them.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Butterfly on daisy

Plant it and they will come! Now that some of the wildflowers are in full bloom now, we are starting to see more fluttering and buzzing around the garden. Spotted this little lady this morning. The first couple of shots were luck but then she just started posing for me and I was able to get different angles of this beauty.

Add caption

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Rainy days in the garden

Northern Virginia has been seeing a ton of rain lately. I keep saying one day I'm going to wake up and find ducks swimming in the backyard (one day I actually spotted a bird taking a bath . . . but no ducks yet!). 

Things are finally drying out and now many flowers are beginning to bloom. We had a lighter rain yesterday and I decided to go outside and try to capture some water droplets on flowers. Here are the results:


Monday, May 15, 2017

Broken safe washed ashore

Yesterday while visiting some of the James River plantations in Virginia, we spotted some unusual items washed ashore. One that caught my eye was half of a safe washed onto the grounds of the Berkeley Plantation (Harrison family). As I looked at it my mind began wondering how it got there? Who did it belong to? What caused it to end up in the water and why was only half of the safe there?  How far did it travel?
(These safes I would think would sink rather than be moved along).

Then I began thinking about the power of Mother Nature...these are a few shots I took of the probably not abandoned safe.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Macro on Monday: Feeling nutty!

A couple of weeks ago we visited Montpelier, the home of the 4th U.S. President, James Madison. This was our second time to visit Montpelier and we decided to take a stroll through the historic woods that remain a part of the property. Along the way I took several shots and this nut, for whatever reason, stood out to me.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Nice to see the robins return after the winter

Seeing robins, a sure sign of spring. Over the past 4 to 6 weeks we've been seeing a lot more of them. I took these photos back in March.

This robin was squawking and sparring with another robin. They were moving too quick and I couldn't catch them both (I really need to work on my movement shots) but I did take a pic of this one when it paused for a minute.
Spotted this robin looking for its next meal

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Spring comes alive in the Shenandoah Valley (2017)

On Easter Sunday we spent the day in Orange and Charlottesville and decided to take the much longer way home via Skyline Drive. We entered the Shenandoah National Park at Charlottesville and drove a while until the rain continued became more steady. It was getting late anyway so we exited at Swift Run Gap (Route 33). 

Along Skyline Drive we stopped several times to see spring coming alive in the Blue Ridge Mountains. A reprieve of the rain even gave us a double rainbow, which faded quickly but the single rainbow lasted for a long time (we watched it along the roads after we left the park).

Double rainbow before it faded completely

Single rainbow

The colors of spring are emerging

The sun sure was trying to peek out during sunset but there was a thick cloud cover between storms

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Blue jay digging for lunch

It's rare I can capture a blue jay photo. The ones that live in my neighborhood are too fast. Downtown in D.C. though, they are easier to spot and, for whatever reason, tend to stay put. 

I watched this fella dig around for a few minutes until he found what he was looking for between the District of Columbia WWI monument and the reflecting pool.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Feather floating in the Tidal Basin (Washington DC)

Last month while downtown seeing D.C.'s gorgeous cherry blossoms I spotted this single feather floating around the Tidal Basin. So I snapped a few shots. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Ducks enjoying the spring weather

I took these photos of ducks in March just as the temperatures were beginning to warm back up. They were hanging out around the Tidal Basin.