Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nature Notes: Nature walks

As happy as I'll be to see the end of summer heat, I am finding myself enjoying how much is going on in the natural world before the colder weather comes.
nat notedk3
I've been noticing a lot of amazing webs when I walk, like the one below stretched high between the trees.
natnote websh
There are still a fair amount of wildflowers I've been spotting although also others have gone to seed.
nat note flwr
The greens are starting to have some browns mix in and an occasional leaf here and there is even starting to change to fall colors.
natnotemr dckbr
I find it interesting how the great blue heron flies off pretty soon when I photograph it in this one particular area but doesn't budge when it is hanging out at other parts of the lake.
natnote shheron
I almost missed this web which stretched over a narrow part of the creek.
natnote anwebsh
It amazes me sometimes just how much life is hanging out in the grasses.
natnot grss
I managed to get a shot of the common buckeye in the grass but so many other living creatures were blending in too well.
natnot buttfl
Even with the common buckeye it was easier to photograph in the rocks.
natnote buttfl
The dragonflies tend to blend in too well when they are flitting in the grasses but I got a bunch of fuzzy shots in flight.
natnote dragfly
Then I got one that landed on a tree limb and posed for me long enough to be photographed.
natnot drflyan
I think part of the reason I'm savoring the late summer walks is because I haven't been able to make myself walk much at all because of the heat. I'm glad I didn't entirely miss the variety of activities in nature which can be found this time of year.
natnot dkbr2
Beyond the dragonflies, webs, butterflies and other summer signs, the sea of green is something I've been savoring on my recent walks.
I love the changing seasons and summer is definitely not my favorite time of year but I am reminded that it isn't all bad.
natnote ducksh
The official post day for Nature Notes is Thursday. Click here for the host at Rambling Woods.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Today's Flowers: photo walking in the neighborhood

I walked to a park in my neighborhood this Saturday and photographed the flowers on my way as well as the ones in the park.
today flow optimrse
The shot above was taken in the park and the shot below was taken in the neighborhood on the way there.
today flower windgard
The next shot was one I took in the park of the zinnias which are doing fairly well.
today flow optimiszin
Below is another shot of one of my neighbor's flowers. The light pink flowers in the front part of the shot are on a variety of azaleas which blooms twice a year, first in early spring and then in late summer and fall. I'm not sure what the flowers up against the house are although they look like a variety of bush roses.
today flow northclgrd
The last shot is back at the park and you can see that the flowers on the right have gone to seed, one of the indicators that summer is slowly but surely ending.
today flow mixopt
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Friday, August 27, 2010

Photohunters: Framed

I knew when I saw that the photohunters theme was framed that I would use photographs which have an interior subject which is framed by an architectural or natural border.
ph framed creek
I often shoot through the side rails of foot bridges so that the creek is framed by the bridge.
PH frame dwntwn
The clouds, building, and old water tower (right bottom of the shot), are framed by the open entrance way to a courtyard area.
ph frames brwcre
Many of my bird shots, like the one of the brown creeper above, are framed by the windows on my french door. The smokestack below is framed by the window and blinds.
ph framed durham
I often shoot sunsets through my bedroom window and end up with a slightly off kilter framed look. I gave up on trying to find any perfectly framed examples of this technique of shooting through a existing frame. Usually if I concentrate on getting the frame straight the shot inside of it isn't optimal and if I focus on the interior shot the frame is askew.
PH framed sunset
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nature Notes: Photo walking at the end of August

I haven't been walking as much as I like to this summer because the heat has hit me hard this year. After a morning rain I realized it was fairly pleasant and might be a good chance for a late August walk at Shelley Lake.
natnote trlgr
I do enjoy the green and shade which comes with summer and helps somewhat with the heat. A swallowtail butterfly joined me on the path down to the water where I wanted to check out how the ducks and geese were doing.
natnote butterfly
For some reason most times of the year there is usually only one white duck or maybe two that hang out with the other ducks and geese. I noted that there were three swimming together on this August day.
natnote ducks
There were a lot of geese and mallard ducks as usual but I noticed that they don't make as much noise this time of year as they do other times, particularly during the spring. I know the loud times are probably partly about mating and babies and such.
natnote geessnd
I've never seen so much growth on the sand bars where the geese and ducks congregate and during the winter where the gulls arrive. The great blue herons were hanging out on these bars a lot during the spring.
natnote fllsndb
The grass often starts growing on the sandbars in the spring but I can't remember them having a lot of wildflowers like they do this year.
NatNot geesefl
I miss the wildlife when I'm not walking at the lake as much. Usually I manage to get up early enough for some summer walking but this year I have probably done the least amount of walking ever.
natnote dckscrt
I am happy to see that it will be slightly cooler this week and in between rain showers I should be able to walk more.
natnote dckslg
Even short walks on shaded paths would be better than nothing. Soon the tree will be changing over to their brilliant colors but green is also very pleasant.
natnote denstr
By Thursday morning the new nature notes link goes up at Rambling Woods, the host of this theme.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Today's Flowers: Downtown Raleigh NC

Bill and I went to a classic car show in downtown Raleigh, NC. Of course I wandered beyond the cars and crowds to photograph the flowers.
today flower DT
It's nice seeing how well the flowers in the planters and pots are doing at the end of a hot summer.
tod flow DTc
If you look closely you may be able to see the flowers and plants behind the people and car. I figured I'd throw one of the classic cars into the flower mix.
tod flow DTd
There was live music on a stage near the end of Fayetteville St. where the outside part of the car show took place. It was impressive how this stage truck got into a fairly narrow space where it parked in between the building and barricade.
to flow DTb
For flowers around the world, please visit the home of Today's Flowers.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Photohunters: Numerical

The numerical year when Briggs Hardware in downtown Raleigh was built is on the top of the building.
You don't need a numerical year on the top of the Wachovia building (tall far right building below) to know it wasn't built in 1874 when the Briggs building was built. The numerical address for Briggs is 220 Fayetteville St. The numerical address for the Wachovia building is 150 Fayetteville St. The numerical addresses don't make sense because I only see 4 buildings in between Briggs and Wachovia.
For more photohunters, visit the home of the hunt where participants post their links beginning Saturday mornings.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Nature Notes: More changes but no break from heat

I can barely stand to go outside. The heat and humidity wrap around me like a wet boiling hot blanket.
nature note bee IMG_3096
I am continuing to notice changes when I do venture out. There are far less bees than there were early in the season when the butterfly weed were in flower and the bees covered them as well as the rudbeckia and coneflowers. The lone bumble bee above looked like he was trying to burrow all the way inside of the hibiscus.
nature note dogwood changeIMG_3118
The dogwood trees are changing color slowly but surely. Every time I look a new leaf or part of individual trees is reassuring me that fall will come.
nature notes dogwood MG_3108
I don't have a clue why the dogwood trees are months ahead of the other trees in terms of fall foliage.
nature note fl catb IMG_3084
You probably can't even see the catbird above who is sheltered by the rudbeckia going to seed and by the overhang of vines on the deck wall. He did fly out though for a clear shot.
nature note catbird IMG_3093
I have noticed that the bird activity is slowed down this time of year perhaps because they stay sheltered in the shade and venture out only for food and water.
nature notes dogwood IMG_3106
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