from the vegetable garden

from the vegetable garden

The house swallow family returned again this year to occupy the bluebird house that overlooks the garden.  The young are about ready to leave the nest.  Always on guard, the father is nonetheless pretty tame or brave- difficult to tell the difference.  He does get upset and dives at you if you open the box up.

 

 

 

from the wildflower garden

from the wildflower garden
I\’m raising a small vegetable garden this year.  The plot next to it had been a wildflower garden sowed by my father in years past.  Without any encouragement, it has flourished much better than the vegetables seem to be doing.  I\’m not sure what this bug is, but it made a nice picture.

Warming up on the porch

Warming up on the porch

From the Book of Lessons Learned from a Dog:  bark only when necessary, endure struggles with less noise, fewer words.  Watch, observe, and work quietly.

 

 Like Snow

Suppose we did our work
like the snow, quietly, quietly,
leaving nothing out.

 Wendell Berry

Dad’s Birds

Dad\'s Birds

My father put up a new bluebird house this year and a pair of Tree Swallows quickly set up housekeeping.  I’ve photographed these swallows a few times over the years, they seem to always be a very willing subject.

“I’m in a strange, wondrous, and improbable land
called ‘California’. It’s like little I’ve ever seen.  The
people are like Americans, only thinner…..”

An excerpt from an entry at The Online Photographer
by Mike Johnston

 

Mockingbird on porch

Mockingbird on porch

This mockingbird picture was made through a window, one of those low-e panes of glass that has a soft tint to it.  Saul Leiter (examples here) was a fan of shooting through glass and have always liked the effect, though I can understand other opinions.  You have to play with the contrast a bit to pull it off, this one also is blended about 30% with a black and white version that desaturated it some and maintained a lifelike coloring somewhat.

If reincarnation actually happens, as I doubt it does, I once thought I\’d like to come back as a Mockingbird.  Up early and singing away. Ruler of the neighborhood and all that.  But I don’t think I’d like to be that aggravated all the time, these birds always seem to be upset.

Lots of flood warnings today, I might take an excursion for photos.

 

Sometimes it is fun to spend economically.
Of course, economic spending is not intended
to save money, but is a practice of ethics.

Shopgirl: A Novella
by Steve Martin

 

 

 

Jumping spider in the bean patch

Jumping spider in the bean patch

It was bean picking day today and I found this tiny jumping spider when I was halfway down the patch.  Not as sharp as I would like but I didn’t have any lights with me in the bean patch.  It was a short row and we ended up with 7 quarts canned as well as a good mess of them cooked up today and another last week.  I like the Roma bean variety, they are a wide Italian type of bean that you can get in the pole or bush variety.  Here is a link to Rareseeds, though Roma seems to not be all that uncommon around here in the farm supply stores.

 

“To climb steep hills
requires slow pace at first.”

William Shakespeare

Big Black Horse Fly (probably)

Big Black Horse Fly (probably)

I believe this critter is a big horse fly but I’m not entirely certain.  Whatever it is, it’s laying a bunch of eggs and was pretty patient during the photography.  I found it fascinating and beautiful, in the same way as a black sports car, or a black stealth fighter, or the dark nearly-black police dog that I saw the other day.  In the original image, the fly is hanging from a window in a vertical position but it pleases the eye better to rotate it to the horizontal.  For the accuracy of a biologist, though, the eggs are laid in a way that they will fall to the ground after hatching.

 

Fly on the Crape Myrtle

Fly on the Crape Myrtle

All over our area stood dead Crape Myrtle bushes, someone even said so on television.  Such a difficult winter.  We just had to wait a bit longer.  Two of the bushes traveled back from Virginia with me a very long time ago- I had found them on clearance during a mountain trout fishing trip when we visited a local grocery for supplies.  Not long ago, the fellow up the road had taken his down to the ground, dug up the roots, and planted grass.  We were about to do the same but finally a bud appeared.  Then another and another.  It may be June before it is fully leafed out and I doubt we will see flowers this year.
I like the simplicity of this shot, I got luck with the focus with this one.  It’s interesting to follow the razor thin band of focus across the brown smooth bark.

“You get old and you realize there are no answers, just stories.”

― Garrison Keillor,
Pontoon: A Novel of Lake Wobegon

Tree Swallow at Shawnee

Tree Swallow at Shawnee

Shawnee State Park
outside of Portsmouth, Ohio

The Tree Swallow must be one of the easiest birds to photograph, if approach slowly they quite often will strike a nice pose for you.  This one was photographed near a nice nature trail at the park this past weekend.

 

Dog in a window

Dog in a window

Scott Kelby Photowalk 2013
Huntington, West Virginia

The people of Huntington sure like their pets, we saw a good number of dogs and cats along the sidewalk stroll.  

 

Worried

Worried

We have some fine fall weather right now, it was one of those mornings where you walk out the door and think to yourself that the jeans just might have to come out of the storage box soon.  I will miss short pants but shirtsleeve weather is my favorite.  Had a fine visit and coffee with out of town relatives then finished up some housework.  The SL1 is proving to be a great camera.

Only the guy who isn\’t rowing
has time to rock the boat.

Jean-Paul Sartre