Sunday, December 30, 2012

July, August & September

Ay yi yi! I may not get everything up before the end of the year. While I have an abundance of photos for the rest of the year, I realized I've hardly taken any this month. Oh well, in the meantime, here's a little taste of summer in case you're currently "enjoying" freezing temps, too!
July was an interesting month. Toward the end, I came off some steps wrong, fell on my foot, and dropped my camera for the first time ever. I was so afraid that I had broken my camera! I was more worried about that than anything else. Well, thank goodness my camera was okay. However, my foot was not; I broke or fractured the side of it when I fell. So, I was hobbling for a long time after. I still hobble some, but that doesn't stop me from taking photos. I'm crazy like that - I'd rather have my foot injured than my camera:-)

July was also interesting for all of the butterflies I met. These three were all up in the Kaibab National Forest in northern Arizona - it was a butterfly paradise.

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) on thistle.

Pine White Butterfly (Neophasia menapia)

One of my favorite butterfly sightings (as in gasp out loud and start chasing after;-), a Hoary Comma (Polygonia gracilis) - the first time I'd ever seen a butterfly with wings like this. Plus, catching  the light through the wings made them stand out so much more. This is a link to one of my favorite shots from that day "Chiseled".

During August, I developed a love affair with the Praying Mantis living in my thyme (up in a wine cask). How can you resist that face? She's too cute:-)

I believe this is a Western Wood-Pewee (Contopus sordidulus), spotted way up at Cedar Breaks National Monument.

And, guessing this is another Hunt's Bumblebee, this time enjoying the absolutely gorgeous larkspur also at Cedar Breaks. That color is just so stunning on flowers, isn't it?

I also met a lot of dragon- and damselflies this summer, like this little cutie (which I'm not going to even try to identify, because I want to get this post up today and not next year;-).

This isn't a great photo, because it was taken through a window. I believe this is a Sharp-shinned Hawk (though if it's a Cooper's, please let me know). S/he had just killed a dove, and we happened to look out at the right time to see it. For anyone who is sad for the dove, there are far more doves than hawks - and far more misses than catches when hunting.

One more butterfly, a lovely Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).

More to come...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

April, May & June 2012

Am I the only one who can't believe 2012 is almost over? I swear, it's true that the older you get, the faster time flies. Anyway, on to the next three months worth of photos! I love how everything comes to live during these months. It's photography overload time:-) However, I'm keeping my promise of editing only three photos for each month. Hope you enjoy them!
A bevy of birds! We discovered Avocets, Stilts, Ibis, Northern Shovelers and more at the wastewater treatment plant here. Who'd've thunk it? ;-)

Friendly face - I love pintos/paints!

Family of Canada Geese that we startled on a drive out where we never would've expected to see them, since there wasn't much water around. The parents rounded them up and out of there very quickly, so this is a definite snapshot because they were too cute to resist!

Gorgeous Iris pallida in a friend's garden.

One of my favorite butterflies of the year, because s/he posed so beautifully. This is the Variable Checkerspot that you can also see at the top here Checkerspot.

The cactus come alive in May, and are just so gorgeous! It can be hard to get photos, though, because there are little black beetles that go crazy for the pollen and can cover the flowers. Oh, and be very careful if you decide to try to shake beetles off, because then you get fine little cactus stickers in your fingers - speaking from ample (painful) experience.

One very big bee! It always amazes me how they can hold on to flowers:-) Possibly a Hunt's Bumblebee (Bombus huntii).

Another butterfly beauty, possibly a Sagebrush Checkerspot (Chlosyne acastus)...?

A little Black-throated Sparrow that had crashed into the window. We ran out to check on him, and, of course, I grabbed my camera, too. Fortunately, he was okay:-)

Now off to select photos for July, August and September - stay tuned...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Catching Up

Have you ever let something go for so long that you don't know where or how to start up again? Well, that's what happened with my blog. I can't believe my last post was back in May. I never intended to stop posting. Goodness knows I have enough photos to last a lifetime! However, time just seemed to fly by, and I've really been caught up working in our vintage/pattern shop, among other things. The more time that went by, the harder it became to figure out how to restart here. I did spend a lot of time a few months ago updating the whole look of my blog, but then never came back and posted anything new...

Anyway, here I am again. Thrilling, I know;-) I finally figured out what I wanted to do to get going again. I'm sorting through all the photos I took this year, and I'm going to choose three from each month that I haven't processed yet to edit and share here. To keep the motivation going, and to keep it from being too many photos at once, I'm going to do three months at a time.

If anyone's still around, I hope you enjoy catching up with me through a little visual journey:-)
Fuzzy-wuzzy little White-tailed Antelope Squirrel keeping watch.

From my birthday trip to Zion, a little Mountain Chickadee.

Also at Zion, this was a very shady spot, but I could resist snapping a photo because the water was so beautiful.

One very cold bunny!

Handsome goat that lives, of all places, with a herd out at the wastewater treatment plant here.

Baby goats at the same place:-) All goat photos were taken through a chainlink fence, which is a challenge!

The very first butterfly of the year! I believe this is a Southwestern Orangetip (Anthocharis thoosa).


Flowering plum tree blossoms.

Stay tuned for April, May and June - I met a lot of new butterflies this year!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wonderful Wednesday Wings!

Lots of wings coming out now! These were all spotted over the past week here in southern Utah.
One of the best butterfly sightings ever, because this little beauty spread her wings out to balance in the wind, and just froze while feeding. Only problem is despite looking and looking, I haven't been able to id her. Update: per the comment left by Katie at, the id looks to be a Variable Checkerspot.

 Every once in a while, you take a photo you don't know you've taken;-) Tiny butterfly moving quickly around the flower, and in 14 shots, I never saw the even tinier grasshopper until I processed the photos - believe it or not! I think the butterfly is a Juniper Hairstreak (Callophrys gryneus).

Common Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus communis)

I believe this is a Meridian Duskywing (Erynnis meridianus).

Metallic Sweat Bee 

Variegated Meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum) over water - a very lucky shot! Saw the water, hoped for a dragonfly, and spotted this beauty just hovering:-)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Scarlet Saturday!

Ravishing reds seem to be everywhere, so I thought I'd share some recent sightings:-)

This beautiful cactus is growing in a neighbor's yard. I believe it's a Claret Cup or Crimson Hedgehog Cactus (Echinocereus triglochidiatus).

The miniature rose 'Ruby Magic' - the first rose to bloom this year. This is one of my special minis that I was fortunate enough to buy at Sequoia Nursery/Moore's Miniatures when we were in Cali. Sequoia Nursery was run by the famous rosarian, Ralph Moore, who lived to the grand old age of 102. I like to think he lived so long because he was doing what he loved for a living:-)

Utah Penstemon (Penstemon utahensis) blooming where we live.

The miniature rose 'Cherry Hi', also from Sequoia Nursery.

I believe this is a Gilia, but I'm not positive. It doesn't quite match other photos I have... I have the feeling a squirrel planted it:-) If anyone can confirm, please leave a comment. It's gorgeous, whatever it is!

Full-size to climbing rose, 'Courageous'. This is an English Legend rose that I ordered from Heirloom Roses when we lived in Cali. Amazing fragrance!!! More flowers to come... :-)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday Snow Bird - Hummingbirds are Back!

southern utah snow
Snow has been in the forecast all week for today. However, we weren't supposed to see any accumulation ( says that almost every time, and we always get more than they say). I don't mind, because we can always use the moisture up here in the high desert. However, the Black-chinned Hummingbirds started to return last week, so no fun for them! I stood out on the deck for about half an hour, determined to catch one with my camera. This is a progression of photos - poor little guy, but at least he has food.

I finally spotted him huddling in the tree, but he was too far away and his back was turned.

After a while, he moved to a branch. I was facing the light, so not great, but he was so cute fluffing out his feathers:-)

He finally came over to the feeder. He's keeping an eye on me, because I'm fairly close and not hidden. Then he went back into the tree, where you can get an idea of how he really feels about the snow - brrrr! He's probably wishing he'd stayed down south a little longer. I'm glad they're coming back, though. Fortunately, it's supposed to start clearing again tomorrow, and they can warm up again. Here's to clearer, happier hummingbird photos soon!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Southwest Spring

Once again, time has flown by faster than I can keep track! Last time I posted, it was just after it had snowed. Today, we're in the 70's and bright and sunny. Supposed to change again soon, but in the meantime, it's time to share some spring photos, so you can see what blooms in high desert southwest gardens. I hope you enjoy them:-)

Painted Lady Butterfly
"Blossoming", Painted Lady Butterfly on plum tree blossoms.

butterfly on blossoms

Vanessa cardui
"Blooming Butterfly" In all the time I spent photographing fruit tree blossoms in California, I never saw butterflies on them. It was warmer there than here, so they were definitely out. However, my theory is that they stayed away because of all the pestcides, which leads me to my next photo and lightbulb moment...

peach tree blossoms
"Peachy", peach tree blossoms smell divine! Okay, that might sound like something I should have known since I stood in orchards with hundreds to thousands of trees. The whole air should have been perfumed, right? It was with the orange blossoms, but not the peach or nectarines. To be honest, the only thing I ever smelled was a chemical scent. Until I met this tree in someone's yard, I had no idea how delicious the scent was, and I was blown away.

yellow daffodil

"Sunny Side"
, can't ignore the daffodils!

"Sun Stars"

"A Graceful Nod"

plum tree blossoms

I hope spring has been just as beautiful in your corner of the world!