Oh, hail!

When it comes to hail, what we saw 10 days ago certainly had less volume and smaller pieces than what Colorado and the Midlantic states saw within the last few days. The hail was unusual in the candy corn-shaped  pieces left when the marble-sized ice balls shattered on the deck and sidewalk.



In the pink

The late summer, early fall flush of wildflowers included these tiny, dark pink blossoms hanging from slender stalks rising no more than a foot from the ground.

PAIRED — These tiny flowers are hardly noticeable from the road.

Weekly photo challenge: Movement

Up here on the mountain, the summer sky is filled with dragonflies. They all seem to be heading southward; swimming and bobbing in the warm air currents like corks in a choppy sea.

Ever try to photograph dragonflies in motion?  Their unpredictable flight makes panning difficult and nearly impossible for autofocus to follow.  So, this week’s entry into the weekly photo challenge is a bit of a cheat. To compensate for a slow shutter and no motor drive, this week’s image is a montage  — slices of video taken  in the camera’s movie mode.

TRAJECTORY OF A DRAGONFLY — After a fashion. Dragonflies don’t really fly in an arc or a straight line. Their flight path is more like that of  a bad day at helicopter pilot school. 

Other interpretations of this week’s challenge:

and, of course, check out the weekly challenge mother page

Weekly Photo Challenge: Close

Better late than never!

CLOSE — The squirrel on the right spent a good half hour chasing the squirrel on the left, round and round the yard and up a tree. The squirrel on the left finally laid down for a nap on a limb. The one on the right halted its head-butting chase only reluctantly.

And a repost from 2010’s visit to St. Paul’s Como Park Zoo.

BUT FOR THE GLASS — Closeness between children, water and polar bears.

And others to check out from this week’s challenge:


And more …


Uncontrolled airspace

We’re not sure what kind of tree this is, but in the spring it sprouts clusters of tiny, nondescript light green blossoms that are to pollinators as catnip is to felines.  Stand within 5 feet and you will hear the tree buzz loudly. So loudly, my husband said: “it’s like standing next to a dynamo!”

Nearly every branch is in motion with the landings and departures of hundreds, if not thousands, of honeybees, carpenter bees, bumbles, wasps, butterflies and hummingbirds. Its shiny black fruits keep the birds happy through the winter.

YOU’RE IN MY AIRSPACE — Bumble bee and black swallowtail vie for the same spot on this blooming tree. Nothing like simultaneous approaches on intersecting runways.
CARPENTER BEE — Big carpenter bee in the blossoms.

Ruby-throated hummingbird

Hummingbirds are a regular fixture in the spring and summer here on the mountain. The dominant bird finds the spot with the most commanding view leaving only to chase other birds away from the feeder.

CHECK ME OUT – Napoleon, the summer’s big bird, in full fluff atop the staff that usually carries the flag. 
IN FLIGHT — Hummingbird leaves his perch.

Weekly photo challenge: Journey

“Journey” is a perfect theme for Easter weekend. It’s a time of hope. It’s the end of one journey and the beginning of another for catechumens and candidates entering the Catholic church. For those celebrating Passover, it’s a journey celebrating deliverance.

There were many journeys on the mountain this week. Flocks of birds whirled in great sweeps from tree to tree. Hummingbirds returned from their central American winter sojourn. On a smaller scale, carpenter bees, bumblebees, butterflies and moths buzzed and fluttered from flower to flower. All of it a great reminder of the renewal of life from the dead of winter.

Be sure to check out the other intriguing,beautiful and challenging  interpretations of “journey” at http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/weekly-photo-challenge-journey/.

Be sure to visit:






ON THE MOVE -- Flock of birds moves westward on a wide orbit from and to the same tree.
CLEARWING -- Bee colored clearwing moth visits the lavender.
IN SEARCH OF NECTAR -- Clearwing about to uncoil his proboscis for lavender nectar.
IF I WAS A CARPENTER -- Carpenter bee buzzes the lavender.
LADY IN THE LAVENDER -- Painted lady's body covered in pollen specks.