July Jewels

sunflower

As July 2019 comes to an end, I want to share a few images from the last few days. The flowers here will last through green chile season, which is about to begin. Colorful skies do not occur every day, but they occur frequently! Monsoon season will be with us into September, although thunderstorms may – or may not – be less frequent.

Colorful skies are always welcome.

sunrise
Sunrise July 28, 2019

My love of the Old Garden Rose ‘Mermaid’ is pretty well known. 🙂

It is also well known that sunflowers are among my favorites in late summer/autumn. I did not plant sunflowers this year – too many distractions – but volunteers are appearing. This one is from a cloudy morning when a light mist was falling.

Sunflower
Sunflower in Morning Mist

This sunflower is a volunteer from one of the hybrid sunflowers I have grown in other years. Makes me a little sorry I did not make time to plant more this year…

sunflower
Sunflower

Just as in previous years, crab spiders seem to gravitate to this particular kind of sunflower. Although tiny and kind of cute, these little guys are vicious. From other years I have images of them eating bees they have killed.

sunflower crab spider
Crab Spider on Sunflower

This is a closeup of the crab spider.

Crab Spider
Crab Spider Closeup

Thanks for visiting my world in late July.

Lawn Weed

weed

Lawn weeds…we may not like them in our yards, but they can be fun to photograph. Over the past week 1.5 inches of rain have fallen at my house. So, my yard has weeds popping up everywhere. As much as I dislike a lawn full of them, I enjoy photographing them. 🙂

weed
Lawn Weed

Crow and Crepuscular Rays

crow and crepuscular rays

We have had a stretch of cloudless sunrises the past couple of weeks. When I went out to pick up the paper this morning, I was thrilled to see some clouds. This sunrise seemed to have the potential to produce crepuscular rays. A few minutes later they did emerge. These are certainly not the most spectacular rays I have seen. You might have to look hard to see them. But the sky was beautiful in this blue hour. So, I grabbed the camera to see what I could get.

I did not see the crow until I looked at the image on the computer. It was one of those surprises that can just appear. The icing on the cake… It was a beautiful New Mexico way to start the day.

This link has a short video of the American Crow in flight.

Cosmos in Black and White

cosmos, black and white photography

I tend to prefer color in floral photography. However, every now and then an image seems to call for black and white conversion. I often use black and white when I want to show the structure of a particular flower.

Cosmos are vibrantly colorful flowers. I usually present them that way. But the petals of the variety ‘Seashells’ have fascinating structure. I wanted to show a ‘Seashells’ cosmos in black and white to share that structure.

Finally, black and white sometimes seems cooler on a hot summer day. 😎

Photography, Butterflies, Flowers, Friends

phtography, flowers

Photography, butterflies, and flowers have been favorite subjects over the years. Over the years I have photographed them at the Albuquerque Botanic Garden and at the Tucson Botanic Garden. But being with friends always adds to the pleasure. Several years ago Tim Price, my mom, and I went to the east side of the Sandias to watch a horse shoeing competition, which was fascinating. However, the standout part for me of that “photographic excursion” was finding bushes swarmed with all kinds of butterflies. Most of all, though, trips to the Price home provide many photographic opportunities.

Yesterday, July 13, was another fun day. As I drove in, Tim was already photographing flowers and butterflies. If you follow his blog, Off Center and Not Even, you will be able to see some of his images from yesterday.

photography, butterflies, flowers
Photographing Butterflies in Corrales

At this time of year, different flowers are a peak bloom compared to those that bloom in spring and fall. The Shasta Daisies appeared fresh and clean. They were delightful.

photography, flowers
Shasta Daisies at the Price Home in Corrales
A Little Butterfly

Although it was mid-afternoon, a few butterflies were active. Tim was making a video recording of a tiny butterfly I was not familiar with. Even under the best of circumstances, photographing black and white in a color setting can be difficult. Adding to the difficulty is harsh mid-day sun. I consider these to be from a learning situation. 🙂

photography, butterflies, flowers
Can You See the Butterfly?

Although I had taken my macro lens, my all-purpose 24-105mm lens is what was on the camera. I didn’t want to risk the butterfly being gone if I took time to change lenses. Therefore, this image is a crop of the one above to show a “close-up” of this little butterfly. I could not show one of the unique adaptations of this butterfly: a rear end that resembles a front end. However, you can see the beauty of this little guy (girl?)

photography, butterflies, flowers
Close-Up of Butterfly on Shasta Daisy
Survivor

This black swallowtail has seen some tough times. But, it was feeding voraciously on this butterfly bush, stocking up to live another day.

butterflies flowers
“Survivor” – Black Swallowtail on Butterfly Bush
On the Deck

The Prices are gourmet cooks. What they prepare is the best of its kind I have had anywhere. Certainly that was true for yesterday’s entree, Jamaican Jerk Pork.

Laurie Carving Jamaican Jerk Pork
Laurie Carving the Jamaican Jerk Pork
Laurie Cutting the Jamaican Jerk Pork into 2 Inch Chunks

Certainly, this was an incredible dinner!

Moreover, the weather added its special touch. The afternoon had been hot; this is July. As we sat down, a typical July thunderstorm blew in. We enjoyed the cool down. After that, a brilliant and long lasting piece of rainbow appeared. Perfect!

It was a great day. The kind of day I have come to expect when invited to Corrales.

Added Note

When I ask the Prices what I should bring, the response is usually Blueberry Pound Cake. But one of the parrots seems to know what it is and like it too. Tim shared this today:

(The parrot) saw I had a donut, and started screaming for a piece of it. So I thought. I gave him a piece of donut, red velvet at that. He turned his beak up at the donut and demanded your pound cake. Laurie gave him a piece pound cake and he his happily chomping it down.

In summary, yesterday with photography, butterflies, flowers, and friends was perfect!