Thursday, July 31, 2008

Painted Lady Butterfly

The beauty of the colour and design of some butterflies totally amaze me when I get a very upclose look; such as I did yesterday of this Painted Lady Butterfly which was feeding on Coneflowers in my garden. Notice in the first photo the subtle change in colour from pink to orange on the inside of the upper wing. I think Painted Lady is a perfect name for this butterfly! This open wing view above gives no hint of the beautiful pink colour that is on the underside of its wings. Below is a view of both, the
inside and outside wings.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Black and White Warbler

I found this Black and White Warbler when out walking yesterday morning. There were little bugs everywhere in the air and the trees seemed to be full of birds flitting about, darting here and there among the leaves. It is not a species I see often although the times I have seen it it has been around my home area. Before checking it out in my Sibley's Guide to Birds, I had been thinking maybe it might be a Blackpoll Warbler but it was easily identified as a Black and White when looking at it in the field guide and seeing the white stripe on its crown. The Blackpoll wears a solid black cap. Another feature that identified it as a Black and White was the streaked undertail coverts. Sometimes its quite annoying when a bird turns it back on you when you're trying to get a good picture of it, but in this case it worked out to my advantage.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Cardinal Flower for Ruby Tuesday

I am always surprised each year when I discover these tall, beautiful, red blossoms for it is unusual to find wildflowers that are red. Cardinal flowers grow along the damp shores of our river and I find them growing there every July.

To check out other Ruby Tuesday postings, just click here, or click on the ruby on the side bar. My appreciative thanks to Mary/the teach for hosting this site.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Moving from the meadow and walking through the opening of the tree line onto a bluff overlooking the river I found the Fox below, just a few feet away, standing still, watching the river. It didn't see me and my thoughts were of a perfect picture, but first I had to move away from the branch that was hanging in view between me and the Fox. My movement of course gave my presence away and it turned and looked at me while at the same time started to move away. It didn't hurry or run but there was haste in its movements as it went from the shadows into the sunlight vegetation.
Finding the fox at this spot confirmed my suspicions that this might be one of its hunting locations. This place is a favourite of mine and almost every morning I make my way here to look up and down the river to see if anything is about. About two weeks ago I had found many Crow feathers scattered on the ground where I usually stand and I heard movement in the bushes nearby a couple of times. I think now that it was the Fox, being there at the same time as I was. It had stayed hidden from my view but not from my hearing.

Crows and Telegraph Wires: Creative Photography # 7

I'm not sure which initiated my thoughts, the visual sighting or the photo taking, but the sight of the three crows on the branch immediately radiated the image to my brain and out came the litany in my head; "three crows a letter".

Marshall McLuhan had coined his famous phrase, "the medium is the message" in the 1960's. McLuhan placed his emphasis on the study of media, or the way a message was relayed, as being that of most importance for he felt that the media would have the greatest impact on society.

Did you notice the broken telegraph wires in the photo? That medium is now obsolete, as perhaps is also my childhood belief of the letter receiving, fortune telling, properties of crows.
This photo represents to me the media of the past being portrayed by the media of the present: digital photos and blogging! In this case the 'medium is the message'.
To view other creative photo entries, please visit Creative Photography . Thanks to Roger for hosting this contest.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Face to Face: One Single Impression

small garden creatures
peer out from behind tall stalks
bewildered faces
While sitting and pulling weeds in my garden one day last week, I noticed this little skipper very close by. It didn't seem to be concerned about my presence and surprisingly it stayed and seemed to be watching me. And so I said to it, " seems you must want your picture taken..", and I went inside to get my camera. Upon my return it was still there and we had a photo shoot.
These photos are of a Peck's Skipper. Its average size is about 9/16 of an inch. These tiny winged butterfly creatures are known as Skippers; I have read that they are not considered true butterflies. They are very small and their bodies appear proportionally larger to their wings than a true butterfly's does and their wings have an angular appearance to them.
This haiku was created in response to the word, 'faces', which is this week's prompt at One Single Impression. For more poetry on this theme please visit the hosting site.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Grasshopper: Camera Critters #16

Can you see it? Perhaps this grasshopper didn't mean to seek out a camouflaged location on this old railroad tie, but it worked!
My appreciative thanks go the host of Camera Critters. To see other participant's photo contributions just click HERE or click on the logo in the side panel.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Northern Yellow-shafted Flicker

The black malar identifies this Northern Flicker as an adult male.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Recent Butterfly Sightings

White Admiral

Great Spangled Fritillaries Orange Sulphur Monarch Butterfly, the only one I have seen this summer.
Meadow Fritillary
Common Wood Nymph

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

American Goldfinch

I see a lot of female American Goldfinch gathering nesting materials at this time of year. Unlike most other bird species, the American Goldfinch does not begin nest building activities until late July or August. I think this is fluff of a Goatsbeard plant that the female goldfinch is collecting.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Swamp Sparrow

When I saw this little feathered creature's red hair (oops! I mean feathers) I figured it would be a good candidate for a Ruby Tuesday post. This is a Swamp Sparrow and is a treasured photo capture for me, being only the second time I have seen this species. I had stopped at a black, watery bog when I often find dragonflies to photograph, and while standing at the water's edge I kept hearing a bird song but couldn't see it nor glimpse any movement. Abandoning my dragonfly search I was determined to see the bird. Suddenly I saw a movement in the bushes above the water and up flew this sparrow! I was hoping it was a Swamp Sparrow and a few of that species' identifying marks stood out in my fleeting glimpse of it: grey neck, a reddish peaked crown, rufous-buffy flanks and a white unstreaked throat. It was a Swamp Sparrow.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Clearwing Hummingbird Moth: Ruby Tuesday

Tints and shades of red dominate these photos: the pink of the Common Milkweed blossoms, the maroon strips on the moth's abdomen and the reddish tones on its inner wings. Notice how transparent the wings are! You can view the blossoms through them as the moth beats its wings, hovering while feeding on the blossoms. The Bumble Bee is just an extra that flew in but it does give you a size comparison.
To check out other Ruby Tuesday postings, just click here, or click on the ruby on the side bar. My appreciative thanks to Mary/the teach for hosting this site.

Young Fox

Last week I mentioned having discovered that a Red Fox had a den nearby and it had two kits. We have been hoping to catch a glimpse of the young ones and I think this is one of them that we saw yesterday. It was a good size but it still has a baby look I think. Also its behaviour spoke volumes of inexperience. When it saw us it didn't immed -iately get up from its resting place. Instead it just raised its head a bit to get a better look.
Then it finally stood, still rather curious about us standing at a distance on the railraod tracks, and then it turned and went back inside the den.
All of these photos were taken at a distance with a zoom lens and then some were further enchanced by cropping. The den is near a railroad tracks which is a frequently used path by many. This Fox family has probably watched many walk by each day since it chose this old Groundhog burrow as its home.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Resting Bee: One Single Impression

honey harvester
with pollen laden baskets
takes a well earned rest
While walking around my garden in the mornings I often find many bees inactive, just resting upon the blossoms. This one featured above has closed wings and its legs are hanging down as if it were all tuckered out! In the previous post you can see pollen baskets which are used by the bees to store the pollen and nectar that they gather.
This haiku was created in response to the word, 'rest', which is this week's prompt at One Single Impression. For more poetry on this theme please visit the hosting site by clicking HERE.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Camera Critters #15 - A Bee

yellow black
gathering harvesting storing
pollen filled leg baskets
combing brushing filling
shiny brown

My appreciative thanks go the host of Camera Critters. To see other participants photo contributions just click on the Camera Critters logo on the side panel.

Wood Duck with Ducklings

If the female Wood Duck hadn't started to move I perhaps wouldn't have noticed her and her brood. I had stopped my truck beside the water's edge and looking down noticed movement among the Pickerel Weed growing there. Reaching for my camera I could see a family of Wood Ducks hurriedly moving further away from the shore. I counted ten ducklings in all.
Can you still find the Wood Duck and her ducklings in the picture above? If not you might to 'click' on it to get a closer look.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Project Black: Take Nine - Hummingbird

No, this isn't my skywatch entry, that's just below, in my previous post, but this could have been Skywatch as that is what I had set it aside for originally. I think this picture serves well though for a Project Black entry. I just liked the simplicity of the photo capture: a little Ruby-throated Hummingbird silhouetted against the big blue sky.
If you would like to know more about Project Black you can check it out at Anna's blog by clicking right HERE. You can also find lots of other interesting Project Black postings there too.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Robin: Sky Watch Friday

An American Robin perches near the top of a Tamarack tree watching the clouds float by.
My many thanks to Tom, Sandy and Imac for hosting Sky Watch Friday. For other Sky Watch entries please click HERE.

Project Black Take Eight: As Black as the Inside of a Fox's Den

A neighbour dropped by the other day to tell me that there was a Red Fox with two kits in an old groundhog burrow down by the railroad tracks. It was just a short distance away so we went to have a look. We were curious for he had said he had seen the kits around the den opening.
We went down by the tracks and located the den site. We didn't see any Fox or young kits playing outside around the den. After I was back home, downloading the pictures, words kept running through my head like " sly, crafty, wily "; and then on a hunch I zoomed in really close to the fox hole in one of my photos and lightened up the area. There it was!! Looking out at us from inside its den!

So, that would explain the several fox sightings I have been seeing lately! Earlier this week I had met the fox while walking down the tracks. It had been on the other side of the railroad bridge with a Crow in its mouth and it seemed to want to come across the bridge towards me but hesitated, changed its mind, and then ran away down the tracks and off into the brush at its side. I understand now that I had been between it and its young kits. It also explained the reason why the Fox kept running in the same direction diagonally parallel towards me the other evening as I watched it crossing through an open area down by the river. Its behaviour had kind of puzzled me as I knew it knew I was there as I stood on the hillside above the flat by the river. I realize now I had been standing only a few meters above its den.Well now, Mama Fox, don't worry about me. Now that I understand the situation I won't worry you any more and I'll make sure I keep my distance away from your precious young.
If you would like to know more about Project Black you can check it out at Anna's blog by clicking right HERE. You can also find lots of other interesting Project Black postings there too.