Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Perfect Profiles

The creek at dusk is the place to be 
after a triple-digit summer day.

These mystery birds
were either having fun or fighting each other,
zipping through the air above the creek
dancing together in midair
 then landing for a few seconds.

They were so busy,
it's a miracle I captured any of these images,
but this one was a wonderful surprise.

Today I'm giving thanks to the birds for doing their part to keep us mosquito- and gnat-free!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lucky Me

She saw me, and yet she swam.
I guess school must go on.

I wonder what she told her young one about me and the puppies?

How beautifully everything is arranged by Nature; as soon as a child enters the world, it finds a mother ready to take care of it. 
~ Jules Michelet

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

By Tom

He gave me my first real 35mm camera and taught me how to use it.
When mine was stolen, he let me use his.

He bought me my first DLSR and conspired to get me my beautiful Mac that makes life as a writer and photographer so much easier.

So of course he has carte blanche when he wants to wander off with my camera to take some photos, like these down by the little pond this past weekend...
(I just did a little cropping and editing.)

Monday, June 11, 2012

"Oh, no, Katy-Did-'nt!"

"Oh, yes, Katy-Did!"

I've been wanting to say that ever since the katydids descended upon Long Hollow a few weeks ago!

Their season seems to have passed... or at least they're not hanging out on our porch like they were when I snapped these photos last week. 

Most of them were leaf green, but this golden one liked me and followed me around, begging me to take his portrait. 

He was a great model, even for close-ups!

I love the design of his wings 
(despite being a little cockroach-ish) 

...and aren't his eyes amazing? 
They really are that neon green.

You wouldn't catch me holding one, but I didn't mind them chilling on my porch.
 I hope they come back next summer!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

On an early morning walk...

Life is busier than ever right now, but I'm hanging on to my morning walks as often as possible. 

Grab a bottle of water (it's hot, even first thing in the morning), douse yourself with bug spray (we're in the woods, after all), and come along with me...

Purple thistle still adds bright splashes of color to the hollow. 
A dandelion vagabond is resting on the stem of this one.

The ponds are drying up fast. We need rain!

About a dozen different types of yellow flowers are blooming, though. 
They love the sunshine!

These odd little plants grow near the bend in our road. 
I loved how the morning light caught them and brought out the different colors.

Doesn't this web look like a tattered sail? 
I'm not sure if that's a spider weaving a web, or a bug caught in a spider's web near the bottom. 
What do you think?

This large daisy is growing all alone. 
I hope more follow its lead!

Woods bokeh.
Morning light coming through the trees is magical.

I startled this heron and barely captured its escape in my camera.

Wild chicory, I think. 
It only opens in the morning.
A reward for early risers.

This tiny beauty is about the size of a marble.

Thanks for tagging along!

Time to grab another cup of coffee, sit on the deck while the puppies eat, and listen to the birds for a few minutes before revving it back up to full speed.

Hope you have a beautiful day!

An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day. 
~ Henry David Thoreau

Monday, June 4, 2012

Photo Magic and Sweet Blog Friends

Charlotte, of Butterbean Row, sent the above photo to me.

She is one of several blogger/photographer friends who have helped me grow so much as a photographer over the past couple of years by always patiently answering my questions, offering encouragement and support, as well as continually learning new things and sharing what they learn with their readers.

When Charlotte posted what she had learned from Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers class about photo brushes, I commented that I still didn't get what "brushes" were, so she sent me an email with this explanation: 

It took me time to "get" what brushes are for, also. You can think of it this way; it is sort of a stamp, that you apply with your mouse. There are tons of shapes, texts, like eyelash brushes to add to a girl's portrait. 

But she didn't stop there. She took this photo of mine...

...and created the one at the top with a brush, so I could see the difference myself. 

I love it! Thank you, sweet Charlotte! 

I hope to take Kim's class and learn how to do this myself one day... (my original just looks empty now, doesn't it?)...

But in the meantime, I feel blessed to have stumbled upon friends like Charlotte who obviously believe in holding friends with both hands. 

(I just wish there was something I could teach her in return!)