Saturday, June 30, 2012

Flowers before the Burn

I made a special point of photographing flowers when I was in Durham, NC for work last week.
I fear that most of these flowers will be burned by next week due to a major heat wave.
After a pleasant June for the most part the end of June and beginning of July are having very hot temperatures as high as 105 F (40.5 C).
Although Today's Flowers is on hiatus until later in August, I'll keep posting flowers if I have shots during the week.
I have quite a few flower shots from June I haven't posted so if the flowers get fried during the heat wave I may turn to flowers I photographed earlier in June.
At least plants with deep roots will be helped by all the rain we had during the spring and much of June.
It makes a big difference when we have a hot summer if the earlier months were wet.
We may even get some thunderstorms next week.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Photohunters: Street Art and Flash

Gattina's Photohunt theme this week was Graffiti/street art and Sandy's Photohunt theme was flash. I'm going with the street art option in combination with the flash theme, although this is actually sidewalk art.
The un-doctored shot above looks to me like flash photography although the sun was the flash. I played with it below to reduce some of the sun's flash.
As you walk along on this sidewalk you pass by eggplant, corn and other vegetable graphics in a flash. The eggplant has a flash effect from the sun which looks like an exclamation mark.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Nature Notes: Heat and Humidity

After a pleasant beginning to June, the heat and humidity has come down like a ton of bricks.
The bird at the top of the shot above is an American Robin, the little one in the middle is a finch, and the one at the bottom is probably a male rufous-sided towhee. 
It's hard to tell in the shot above if it's really a male towhee (that's the same bird as the one in the same bath in the first shot) since the black feathers are covering the white and rust feathers.
From looking online, I'm pretty sure the bird above is an immature brown thrasher but I'm not positive.
The female house finch above blends in perfectly with the deck floor.
The female cardinal above was moving her head so fast it blurred a little. I'm pretty sure the bird below is an immature cardinal.
The next shot is of the same immature cardinal.
The next shot is of an American Robin and Brown Thrasher in a deep conversation.
I took a bunch of shot of their tete a tete.
The conversation always ended with the brown thrasher back in the large bath and the American Robin back in the smaller bath.
The American Robins are such fun to watch.
The house finch is watching the American Robin in the larger bath before the thrasher came to claim it.
The next shot is of a female rufous-sided towhee.
The brown thrasher below is turning its long nose up at me.
I think it is going to be marginally cooler tomorrow. Any improvement in the heat and humidity would be a blessing.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Today's Flowers on Sabbatical

Today's Flowers is on sabbatical until August 18 due to some technical issues the host, Luiz Santilli, Jr. explained at the home site here.
I want to thank Luiz for starting this fun meme and for his efforts to reopen it in August.
I'm will probably keep posting flower shots at the end of the weekend.
This time of year is a particularly good time for finding flowers to photograph where I live.
The first shot is a hydrangea blossom, the second is my black-eyed susan (rudbeckia), the third is coneflower (echinacea), the shot above is hibiscus, the shot below is coneflower.
I love dandelions and never understand people who hate them. Below is one of my volunteer dandelions.
I have coneflowers all over my garden and have been photographing them a lot lately.
They are at many different stages with some flowers barely started and others in full bloom.
All of the flowers above are from my garden. The planter below is at a shopping center.
The rest of the shots are of cana lilies at a park.
I like cana lilies particularly in large groups like the park has.
They require a lot of room to grow.
I guess I'll stop here.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Photohunters: hot and fashion

Looking through my photo archives for something that would qualify for a hot fashion statement, I came across this shot of a friend dressed up as a 20s flapper for Halloween. In the 1920s I think this qualified as a hot fashion and even in current times looks like a pretty hot fashion to me. Since, I didn't have a chance to check in advance before using this shot, I photo painted a mask on her eyes for some protection of privacy. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Nature Notes: Growth

I'm enjoying watching the birds grow up.
It took me awhile to be sure this juvenile American Robin was o.k.
Finally she started preening. Can you see the little bald spot in the shot above.
The first two shots are of the same juvenile robin but the rest are of different ones.
Below is an immature rufous-sided towhee. I was assuming it was a female since the adult males have black heads and the adult females how brown heads but when I looked it up on all about birds I found out that this is actually an immature male, surprising to me.
The next two shots of a male rufous-sided towhee are adult males.
The towhees, robins and cardinals are the most numerous bathers at the moment.
The immature cardinal below looks like it has a bald spot.
I enjoy watching the cardinals as I have many males and females.
The ones in this post are females.
The fairy asters below are blooming in my back yard over two months ahead of their usual schedule.
The grass below is in my backyard with plumes waving.
On a walk I was struck by how tenacious trees are growing in between rocks along the creek.
The trees clinging to the the steep bank also seem tenacious.
One last nature shot taken over the past 7 days. By the way, each week for nature notes I look back through the nature shots I took in between the last nature notes post and the day I'm preparing the new one.