Stars and stripes

Bought an accessory for *Gamera the Sony camera — a telephoto lens.  As far as optics go, it’s a case of you get what you pay for, and we didn’t pay much. However odd and distorting and color-changing the lens is, in the 48 hours we’ve had it, it shows some promise as a tool for creating, um, unusual images.

*We also bought a duplicate of Gamera off eBay, one whose flash works. This was a case of getting a whole lot more than you paid for, and I just love this camera.

Weekly photo challenge: Saturated

This week’s challenge is saturated — colors your eyes can swim in. So many great entries today. Here’s our take on the theme:

Virginia creeper
SPOTTED — Virginia creeper in fall livery is also saturated by some sort of leaf spot, giving the leaves a somewhat psychedelic appearance.
Red morning glories
REALLY RED — Spent blossoms of red morning glories seem to pop against the dark background.
iery sunset in the Ouachitas.
REALLY, REALLY RED — Fiery sunset in the Ouachitas.

And of course, the saturation point

Air surfing

From their hangout atop the local cell tower, both black and turkey vultures cruised the updrafts that lift from the Ouachita woodlands below. This morning, they were air surfing right outside the deck, swooping so close you could almost grab a feather.

Black vulture cruising.
LOOKING DOWN — Black vulture scouts for lunch.
9-28 Vulture1
SEARCHING — Something must have smelled inviting, since a troupe of vultures was circling and swooping over the south valley around noon today.  The group was infiltrated briefly by a kestrel flying east. 
A trio of vultures silhouetted against the sky.
THREE — A trio of vultures silhouetted against the sky.

Me and my shadow

Yesterday morning’s sunrise helped create an orange glow over the western horizon where the moon was setting.  While setting up the shot, this dark line appeared in the view finder — a shadow cast by a contrail. The shadow is in the top shot, the contrail is in the bottom shot.

Contrail's shadow
Contrail’s shadow.
Control against wispy clouds.
Contrail against wispy clouds.

Weekly photo challenge: From lines to patterns

Seed parachutes made of convergent curves ready to hitch a ride on the breeze.

9-22 About to be free2


9-21 Parachutes2

Getting a line on this weeks’ challenge: and some nice takes on this week’s challenge:

Some days, you just need a butterfly

Was out washing the car this afternoon and saw this common buckeye making the rounds in this sweet-scented wildflower growing next to the driveway. They were a welcome distraction — especially when, during the weekends, we become obsessed with getting done those things left undone during the work week. The hose and rags got put aside for a few glorious standing-still-moments in the sunshine.  Some days, you just need a butterfly.

In a few weeks, we should be seeing the monarch butterflies sweeping through on their southward migration.  We keep a couple of patches of goldenrods for these beautiful insects to light upon as they head south. The Blonde Gardener has a nice post about being a Monarch Watch Station and a couple of posts about the monarchs’ life cycle.  Maybe next year, we’ll try the watch station idea.

Buckeye butterfly on flowers.
Common Buckeye butterfly collecting nectar.
Buckeye butterfly on tiny white flowers.
Buckeye making the rounds. The tiny white flowers are dotted with other insects seeking nectar.

Soft morning

Mist left by the previous evening’s rain made for a beautifully soft sunrise. One of the nice things about carpooling with my husband is that he drives and I can shoot.

Mist-softened sunrise, silhouetted trees.
Sun peers out from between the silhouettes of tree canopies and fence line.


Ants and brambles

The somewhat cooler, moister weather has spurred ants into more activity.  These large ants were scrambling along the end of a blackberry bramble branch. Not sure what they were after. A few feet below, red ants were swarming the carcass of a green anole.  (Photo not published. Might not go well with breakfast.)

Large ants crawl over young blackberry leaves.
Large ants crawl over young blackberry leaves.