Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday Wings and Others

Sharing some photos taken today in our "backyard" today. The internet went down for a while, so I escaped outside:-) We have a lot of birds and little critters coming through, but some of them are so fast, they've been a real challenge to photograph. I thought hummingbirds were hard! The birds hadn't been coming to our newly placed feeder, so we started putting some seed on the ground. As you can imagine, everyone has been enjoying it, and we're enjoying watching the activity!

male house finch
A very handsome male House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) who even sang for a bit.

female house finch
Mrs. House Finch, who didn't mind my presence that much - the finches were the calmest visitors.

A Juniper Titmouse (Baeolophus griseus) before s/he flew down to the seed. These little birds are so cute, make such an assortment of noises, and move so darn fast! By the time my camera focuses, they're usually somewhere else.

jumiper titmouse
This is the same Juniper Titmouse - can't believe I actually caught him/her so close!

Now it's a good thing these next two little critters are so darn cute. They've been eating my newly planted container plants, and once they've discovered they like something, nothing seems to deter them. I only use organic methods, and right now my garden smells like an Italian restaurant with all the powdered garlic and other spices. Whether or not I get any tomatoes will remain to be seen - I'll have to try to find some netting or something. Like I said, it's a good thing these guys are adorable and so entertaining to watch:-)

uinta chipmunk
Uinta Chipmunk? (Neotamias umbrinus)

white tailed antelope squirrel
White-tailed Antelope Squirrel (Ammospermophilus leucurus)

Still have some more subjects I'm trying to get good photos of, so stay tuned!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Evolution of a Sunset

No Wednesday Wings this week, but I wanted to share a recent sunset with you. I'm so happy to see the gorgeous sunsets and cloud formations here in southern Utah again! I can't tell you how much I appreciate them. Not only that, but I also have an addiction to photographing the skies here. I haven't done much landscape photography, but something about the clouds and cliffs here compels me to keep trying to capture them through my lens. This sunset was last Sunday. I was outside a little early for it, but was fascinated by the clouds. I had a feeling there might be a good sunset, and didn't want to miss it. So, this is the evolution of that sunset. From start to finish, it was only 26 minutes - some of the most dramatic color changes were only three minutes apart. Mother Nature paints really fast:-) Hope you enjoy!

southern utah clouds

southwest sunset
southern utah sunset

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

More Wednesday Wings

Is it really Wednesday again? ;-) Here are a few of the winged creatures I've met in Utah so far. If any of the id's are incorrect, please let me know.

variegated fritillary butterfly
"Petal Wings", Variegated Fritillary (Sphaeralcea coccinea)

variegated meadowhawk dragonfly
"Suspended", Variegated Meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum), a familiar sight in Cali, too:-)

Northern White Skipper
"Tip Top", Northern White Skipper (Heliopetes ericetorum) on Globemallow (Sphaeralcea coccinea)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wednesday Wings

Juvenile Black-throated Sparrow? Spotted today, I think s/he thought they were hidden (my camera thought so, too, lol!).

Western Meadowlark with goodness knows how many bugs in his mouth! Yet, he was still singing:-)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


On the 4th of July, there's always a nice fireworks' show here. We used to live almost across the street from it, so didn't really have the urge to battle traffic for a closer view this year. I had my hopes set that I'd be able to see them from our new place, and I was right, yay! They truly are magical to watch:-)

It had been about four years since I've photographed fireworks, so I scanned the web to refresh myself. I used a tripod and wireless remote, and I went with Bulb, ISO 100, f16. The settings were good, though I've brightened the photos some. However, my hand/eye coordination, not so much, lol! I missed a lot of shots by either being too soon or too late. There's always next year, though... Hope you enjoy the photos here, some of the best of the bunch, and I also hope you enjoyed a great 4th if you're in the U.S.!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Happy Fourth and an Update

Scarlet Gilia or Skyrocket, Ipomopsis aggregata, happened to see the light through these beauties against the dark background - so striking!

Happy 4th of July!!! It's been ages since I've posted, I know. However, the past couple of months were filled with some major changes. Almost four weeks ago, we moved back to southern Utah:-) It was something we'd been thinking about on and off for a while, and things just suddenly came together and made it possible for us to do it. If you've been following my blog, you know that it was a very unhealthy area where we were in central California. We'd moved there to reconnect and help my grandparents, who'd passed in '08 and '09, respectively. We'd been a bit stuck on how to to move forward after they passed. We had a home, but not one where we wanted to live, so it was definitely a mixed blessing. We kept thinking about different areas, trying to decide what would be best. As much as we love the Pacific Northwest, the idea of moving somewhere again that we didn't really know anyone held little appeal. Plus, we weren't sure if we could do the long, dark, wet winters anymore. At the same time, this area, where we used to live, kept sticking in our minds. We know people here, and it's peaceful and beautiful. Having lived here for four years, we know the pluses and minuses. It's a weird little town in some ways, but we're not exactly the most normal people;-) Most importantly, it felt right. So, when an opportunity presented itself, we finally decided to go for it!

We're still settling in, but I have been taking some photos (like the wildflowers here). I still have lots of photos to process from our Cali foothill drives, too, so plan on sharing lots of different things. I'm looking forward to getting my blog going again, and hope you all will come along for the journey!

white poppy
"Carefree", Flatbud Prickly Poppy, Argemone munita. Caught a flash of bright white as we were driving, and had to back up and see what it was - looks like the original tissue paper flower:-)

"Beauty in Blue", I believe this is Low Larkspur, Delphinium nuttallianum (nelsoni). This particular stalk was bent over, and I loved the way the flowers were looking up - also love, love, love this blue!