The Appearance of the Lady
She arrived again the other day, suddenly appearing in our backyard, dancing in the wind with her pink lily-like blossoms, She is Amaryllis belladonna, the Naked Lady. a name inspired by the bare stalk that has no leaves while they are blooming.
This single stalk started out with one flower. It got its second one today, and there are more buds ready to bloom. It started coming up all by itself, we never planted it. But I was thrilled when it first came up three or four years ago. We have watched for it each year since. Again, this year, it didn't disappoint us! What a beautiful flower!
Backlit Scarlett Sumac
I enjoy backlit subjects, like this Scarlett Sumac bush in our backyard. To get this nice contrasty result, I often underexpose by a stop or so to darken the background. I like the effect, hope you do too!
As I approached this gas station and noticed the great looking old Chevy pickup, I had my camera on the ready. Seeing that, the driver, who was beginning to pull away, gave me a wave. I thought it was the perfect touch, a great old pickup and a friendly driver. What more could I ask for? :)
And Now There Are Three!
On the 13th, I posted the first flower on our Amaryllis belladonna, the Naked Lady. The bare stalk had again come up this year, after first appearing as a volunteer a few years ago. Now there are three beautiful flowers at the top with another bud ready to come out. It is so beautiful I can't resist taking pictures! It rained today, so was nice to have the rain drops on the flowers.
A Challenge From One Old Coot to Another
It looked like this American Coot was challenging me to try standing on one leg as long as it could. I didn't accept the challenge! No way am I going to embarrass myself by a not so graceful fall on the Delta Ponds walkway! This old guy just isn't that steady on his feet anymore. :) They sure do have interesting feet!
"American Coot Adult - Thick greenish legs and very large feet, Black head and neck, Pointed white bill"
Amazing! Wild Fennel Seed Pod
It is amazing how these seeds are tightly wound together in sort of a ball. I was sure it was Teasel, but since I am no expert that could be a wrong assumption. Whatever it is, it is another wonder of nature, which never ceases to amaze me with the superior wisdom displayed.
Laura gave me a link to Shutterstock that convinces me that this is Fennel! See Laura's comment below!
A Happy Accident
Today was one of those days that saw clouds, rain and sun. When we got a cloud burst I stepped out in the carport to see what the sky looked like. The sun started peeking around the clouds and cast some beams at various spots in the sky. I wanted to catch that, the sun, the clouds and the shafts of light. The tree was there, so it had to become a part of the scene. I got everything I was trying to include with the added bonus of the ring of light, a very happy accident. I am sure it was flare caused by that direct sunlight coming from the center directly into the lens. I love it, it gave the picture the focus I wanted! A little rain in one’s life can be a real blessing,
Moving Into Fall
It is always amazing to me how quickly we can go from hot summer weather into fall, with it's cool temperatures and welcome rain. We got some showers today.
I saw this tiny spider on a flower petal on my walk this morning. It was pretty small on the flower which filled most of the picture frame, so I had to crop a lot away. I couldn't get any closer because the yard was fenced and I was right up against the fence. The result of such a big crop was better than I thought it would be for a file from a P&S sized sensor, though far from equal to what I would have got from my DSLR. I was impressed with the jewel-like appearance of the spider.
The Secret of Male House Finch Coloration Exposed
I got a photo of a bird this morning at Delta Ponds that I can't ID. I don't see anything in my "Birds of Oregon" book. Seems I read somewhere about a type of finch that turns greyish with pinkish color on the sides of its head and throat. Now I can't find it. It does seem to have a beak like a finch. Would appreciate help with the ID.
Thanks to the great feedback, it is pretty much confirmed this is a male house finch! Also, I found the inforation I was looking for regarding house finch colors. Also, I found photos of house finches online that were the same.
This is from WIKIPEDIA - "Male coloration varies in intensity with the seasons and is derived from the berries and fruits in its diet. As a result, the colors range from pale straw-yellow through bright orange (both rare) to deep, intense red. Adult females have brown upperparts and streaked underparts."
Too bad I couldn't get a better image of it. Without the extreme zoom of the P900, I could never have got a shot. It was so far away I couldn't see it with my naked eye. I saw it fly in and land is the only reason I saw it. Even with the P900 I had to crop to get the bird at a decent size. As a result, the image is not all that great. But I was excited to see what I got and hope to get a positive ID.
Showing Its Age!
This Dogwood blossom is still hanging around, even though most have disappeared during the summer. Even in its old age, the blossom retains its beauty. The dogwood tree is down the street from us and I enjoy seeing it when I walk by. So I decided to capture it before it is gone. Now I can enjoy it all year around.
Poised and Alert
On a brief visit to Delta Ponds this afternoon, I didn't see anything out of the usual inhabitants. Of course, among my favorites are the Great Blue Herons. Even though the waters are low, the herons find the fish. This one was stalking along the shore where the water was low and filled with water plants. Look at its eye! It evidently spots something. I liked the lighting and the colors, another shot to add to my heron collection.