Friday, August 13, 2010

Focusing In

My interest in photography all began with birds ... beautiful Eastern Bluebirds. In early spring 2009 we put up our first nestbox after spotting a bluebird pair searching for a suitable nesting site. To our delight, the couple took up residence in the bird house. The handsome pair fascinated me with their interesting courtship and nesting behaviors. I snapped a few pictures with my Konica Minolta Z2 camera. After viewing the photos, I was hooked. I longed to get a clearer, closer view and borrowed Bruce's DSL Canon Rebel XT camera (a birthday gift from me back in 2007). The borrowed camera soon had a new owner (me!), as I could not get enough of watching and documenting the busy bluebird pair building a nest, laying pretty pastel blue eggs, feeding hungry nestlings and tending to fledglings. Eastern Bluebirds were not the only birds that captured my attention. I could not help but be distracted and mesmerized by the death defying aerial displays of diminutive Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. A new lens was ordered.

I spent spring and summer snapping photos of the busy-bodied, curious Black-capped Chickadees, beeping White-breasted Nuthatches, doe-eyed Tufted Titmice, striking Indigo Buntings, stunning Blue-winged Warblers and noisy Red-bellied Woodpeckers. On our acreage, playful deer fawns romped, slithery Blue Racer Snakes scaled trees, Eastern Box Turtles laid eggs, Wild Turkeys took dust baths and Great Horned Owls hooted hauntingly. A telephoto zoom lens was ordered.

During fall and spring bird migration, I disappeared for hours with my camera on our country property or at local nature preserves. A new camera body was ordered.

Summer 2010 arrived and along with it came lush, green foliage. Leaf growth so dense bird sightings became more difficult. My eyes turned downward. Dazzling butterflies fluttered from bloom to bloom, caterpillars inched ever so slowly along leaf edges, pollen dusted bees buzzed amongst fragrant, brilliant colored flowers and exquisite dragonflies alighted on the tips of tall grasses. A macro lens was ordered.

A whole new world appeared before my wide open eyes. We are all surrounded by the beauty of nature. Sometimes one has to look a little harder to find it. A plant might appear as just a weed, but if you take a moment, peer closer and focus in a bit, you might be surprised at what you see. ~ I welcome identification corrections ~

The rich colors of a Orange Mint Moth adorn a Wild Bergamont wildflower


A fuzzy Hickory Tussock Caterpillar makes a meal of a groundcover leaf


A stunning Low-flying Amber-wing rests atop a dried flower in our fruit orchard


A beautifully patterned Buckeye Butterfly momentarily pauses on a blade of grass


A Green Stink Bug performs the perfect balancing act on a burgundy berry


A vibrant Common Blue Damselfly basks in the morning sunlight


A Silver-spotted Skipper samples the purpley bloom of an Ironweed plant


Seen amongst our apple trees, a Praying Mantis turns its head and looks curiously at my camera lens


A striking Silvery Checkerspot Caterpillar scales a weed stalk

13 comments:

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

I'm so lucky to have reached your blog. Your photography is stunning! I'm your new follower :)

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

I couldn't follow; it gave an error message — "Request-URI Too Large".

The Early Birder said...

Hi Julie. I can mirror these experiences. Although a birder and wildlife watcher for more years than I care to remember the addition of a DSLR in the last 18 months has opened up many new possibilities. Must put a macro lens on the wish list.
Superb selection and I'm delighted to see the underwing of the SS Skipper at long last. FAB.

PoetessWug said...

I am in awe, not only of all the "critters", but of the beauty with which you photograph them!! I am envious of those who can take such good photos...but not envious in a bad way. Envious in a "will I one day be able to do that" kind of way! :-))Keep up the good work. I'm bird, and otherwise, watching right along with you!

capturethesoul said...

Julie~your photos take my breath away! Another beautiful post. Photography is more than a hobby...it becomes a passion and way of life :) Another delightful and insightful post my friend!! Cathy

Kerri said...

You bring me sunshine on a very cloudy day here in Blacksburg Virginia! Your images are breathtaking!
PS - I'm in love with my Macro lens too :)

Veronica said...

The dragonfly and stink bug are my favorite. AWESOME PHOTOS!!

Beverly said...

Fantastic post!!! Photography just swallowed me whole, too! :D

Patricia/Trisketta said...

Julie, you have me bleating like a kid goat--"I waaaaant one, too". The lens, I mean:) Gorgeous photography, as usual!

cindyzlogic said...

Fantastic macro photography, Julie!!

Kenny Salazar said...

Great post Julie! I love your art. This set is spectacular.

dreamfalcon said...

amazing photos! I love the green stinkbug on the red fruit.

Anthony Richmond said...

Fantastic post!!! Photography just swallowed me whole, too! :D