Grounded

This red-spotted purple probably escaped a predator at the cost of a wing and the ability to escape again. Though grounded, he continued to spread his wings in the sunshine.

Red-spotted purple butterfly with one wing.
STILL BEAUTIFUL – Red-spotted purple butterfly warms himself on the roadway.

Mother Goose

Goose and pair of goslings on a family outing in the rain in Goshen, Arkansas. There were two families of geese with goslings close in age. The group seemed to move together always in the two days we saw them.

Goose and two goslings.
Goose and goslings on a family outing in Goshen, Arkansas.
Two goose families
Two families of Canada geese stick together in a subdivision pond in Goshen, Arkansas.

Weekly photo challenge: Serenity

Finding serenity any time is a challenge, and this week it IS the challenge.  For the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to capture the latest comet Lovejoy in pixels. Tonight’s effort was flustered by clouds, but one shot — a test shot setting up — seemed to hit all the right notes.  The soft light in the cloud,  the familiar pinpoints of starlight and the warm glow coming from the house next door all seemed to be a little bit of serenity.

1-19 NightSkyTrees

Other bits of serenity from this week’s challenge:

Things you didn’t know you had

The downtime between Christmas and New Year provides temporal space to start cleaning those things that may not merit daily attention, but languish in that to-do list priority category just above “limbo” or “someday.” Today it was a handful of glassware reserved for celebratory use and a compact flash card that somehow found a hiding place in the LowePro backpack.  Among the findings from the latter:

July 12, 2014, supermoon
Supermoon framed by pine trees. Taken July 12, 2014.
Indigo bunting in tree.
Indigo bunting preening. Taken July 13, 2014.
Upside down butterfly.
Butterfly hanging on the underside of an azalea branch outside the office window.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Warmth

This week’s photo challenge is all about warmth.

The sun, peeking out from under a cloud deck, gave the illusion of warmth on a morning with wind chills in the 20s. The shake on this hand-held seven-second exposure (shivering?) gave this an almost flame-like effect.

New Year's Eve sunrise.
New Year’s Eve sunrise.
Sunrise
What the sunrise looked like without the zoom and the camera shake.

Other eye warming entries:

Tarantula hawk

Tarantula hawks are both beautiful and gruesome. Their black bodies have a mesmerizing blue iridescence visible in bright sunlight, yet their curled antennae and orange wings make them seem somewhat cartoonish. Make no mistake, these wasps, while docile, have a sting that is described as “blinding, fierce [and] shockingly electric.” Their mode of reproducing rather ghoulish as well, with larvae eating its live tarantula host from the inside out until it emerges as an adult.

Tarantula Hawk wasp.
BOTTOMS UP — Tarantula hawk wasp worked hard to get every drop of nectar from this snakeroot plant.