7/31/10

Everything is Green

…even the acorns. This is such a lovely time of year, where the trees are full, everything is growing and going through its cycles. The stifling heat has relented for now, as well as the rain, and we are left with blue skies, fluffy white clouds and soft breezes.

I took these photos on Thursday after work. I love it when all of the pictures are so different, yet they look like they have been painted with the same brush. Greens of all shades, with a touch of gold.

green acorns

thistledown

japanese beetle grass

queen anne's lace opening

7/29/10

My White Whale…. ~er, Butterfly

I have never read Moby Dick, but I imagine this would be my version.

Ever since I started photographing butterflies, there is one that has consistently evaded me: the Cabbage White. Their beauty is simple, they are almost completely white except for a black spot on each wing and grey wingtips. They dart about maniacally, swirling upwards in pairs, and they never seem to land on anything. Here is a photo from last summer: 

Butterflies white

See those blurry white dots? Those are Cabbage Whites. You might need a magnifying glass.

Even though I had seen some lovely photographs taken by others, (proving that it can be done!) I had given up because I could never get close enough. This summer I have a lens with a longer range, so when I saw these little ghosts in a field today, I got out my camera. I think what I need is a faster lens reflex, because I was certainly close enough~ they just wouldn’t sit still. So frustrating.

I did notice something interesting though. Two butterflies that I was watching were flying and dancing around each other, I assumed in a courtship display. Then female would perch on a leaf, flatten her wings and lift up her abdomen, while the male would repeatedly try to land on her. They would then take to the air and start the pursuit all over again.

I looked this up online, and apparently it is actually something called “mate refusal posture.” If a female has already mated, holding her body in this position makes it impossible for another male to mate with her. If you are interested in reading the scientific explanation, see it HERE.

So I did get a few action shots. Please, excuse the terrible quality, I was also at an awkward angle.

Cabbage White

Here she is, completely flat with her abdomen standing almost straight up, and in the next two photos you can see the male hovering over her.

Cabbage White 2

Persistent little fella, isn’t he?

Cabbage White 3

You learn something new everyday.

And who knows, maybe someday I will get my white whale. In the meantime I’ll just enjoy observing.

7/28/10

Summer Rainbows

Here are a couple of new photographs for the shop. I always loved this little orange Northern Crescent, which I had already worked into something else, but I am much happier with the contrast of the pink and white flowers. I would also love to try it again in the fall when I have a new collection of autumn foliage to work with. Right now, the bright, vivid colours say “Summer” to me.

BUTTERFLIES Northern Tulips 57

BUTTERFLIES Painted Lady Crown 57 TWO

And then in the middle of writing this post, I looked out the window and took a picture of the sun going down:

sunset lemon

Ten minutes later, distracted from writing, I looked outside and the sunset had changed to lilac and indigo:

sunset lilac

…and then, a few minutes later, another transformation to magenta, yellow and orange:

sunset fucshia

…a time-elapsed rainbow.

7/25/10

Totem Poles

While visiting the Museum of Civilization this afternoon, I was drawn to their totem pole display in the First Peoples Exhibit. The Grand Hall holds about twelve wooden monuments, which feature various animals and faces, carved into cedar. I love the contrast of the deeply cut lines against the weathered wood.

 TOTEM FACE

TOTEM BEAR TOTEM

TOTEM TEETH  TOTEM FOX

TOTEM FACE 3

7/24/10

Jason Mraz ~ Outdoors

I’m so excited; this morning we bought tickets to see Jason Mraz in October.

Do you think he’ll sing this song for us?

7/23/10

More Sunshine…

Happy Weekend!

SF Butterfly Flyaway

SF Butterfly Out of Focus

SF Butterfly 2

I hope this is what mine will look like.

7/22/10

Four Wings and A Prayer

A few weeks ago, I watched Four Wings and a Prayer, a beautiful film about the migration of the Monarch Butterfly. Based on a book by Sue Halpern, this film depicts the amazing journey these butterflies undertake, from Canada to Mexico. The cinematography is quiet yet breathtaking, and tells a moving story about life and sacrifice.

four_wings_02

With their bright orange wings, spotted and striped, Monarchs are one of the most universally recognized butterflies. Here are a few interpretations by the Female Photographers of Etsy (FPOE):

MONARCH MOSAIC

1. black and white butterfly wing SF, 2. Fly Me To The Moon ♥, 3. Classical, 4. The Monarch Queen, 5. butterfly collection, 6. last night i dreamt i had wings, 7. orange butterfly SF, 8. Honey, you are so sweet! (002/365), 9. Untitled

7/19/10

Fields of Gold

The sunflowers are growing almost 6 feet tall at the Experimental Farm; they are quite a presence in a large field. When I stopped by this afternoon, nearly every one had its own bumblebee.

SF 1 SF Bumblebee SF 2

SF 4

SF Butterfly

One even had a pair of wings.

Dragonfly and Fern

One of the dragonflies from last week, with a little fern from our beach holiday photos:

DRAGONFLY FERN 57 soft

Available HERE

7/14/10

Dragonflies…

It’s been a little while since I braved the heat with my camera. Chasing dragonflies and butterflies can be exhausting and disorienting when it’s 30 degrees, and with all the rain we’ve been getting I haven’t spent much time outside. This afternoon while I waited for my bus, I walked through the meadow across from the station. The Queen Anne’s Lace is at its peak, some stalks growing almost as tall as me. What a lovely sight to see a field of it swaying in the breeze.

Dragonfly

Queen Anne Shadows

queen annes lace

Dragonfly totem pole BW  lying in wait

Dragonfly 2

The dragonflies were also co-operative, this one sat still for quite some time, basking in the sun while I photographed him. Pleased with the pictures I got, I decided to head back. If it hadn’t been so darned hot, I could have stayed all day.

7/13/10

Mother Nature’s Treasures

Etsy is overflowing with such talented artisans, and every time I open my computer I lose myself poring over their work. I have a particular weakness for wearable nature:

MOTHER NATURE'S TREASURES TREASURY

Click HERE to see this treasury on Etsy, where you can follow the links to each shop.

7/12/10

Music Monday ~ Feather, Fur and Fin

Beautiful music and thought-provoking lyrics:

by Danny Michel

Lyrics HERE

7/10/10

New in the Shop

So I have been sitting on this image for quite some time now, going back and forth over it. It has that dreamy watercolour texture that I love, but I kept fidgeting with it. Whenever I am feeling doubtful of my work, it is often a case of objectivity. It’s hard to step back sometimes and let things be. So I’ve decided to heed some wise advice and to “just put it out there.”

I also listed it in black and white, which has a very soft, ghostly effect to it. See it HERE.

SPIDER Poppy

New in the shop (sort of) are photo notecards. I have finally settled on a style I like with brown cardstock and white borders; they have a vintage quality to them. I have been selling these for awhile now but these are new to the shop today, individual cards as well as customizable sets of four.

cards2

cards

I have also set up listings for sets of four prints in each size (4x6-5x7-8x10) where I offer a bit of a savings when purchased together.

MOSAIC SET OF FOUR PASTELS TEXT MOSAIC SET OF FOUR AUTUMN TEXT MOSAIC SET OF FOUR-BUTTERFLIES TEXT

So there you have it, enough self-promotion for a year!

Seen and Heard

I can hear the cicadas buzzing outside today. When I was really young and didn’t know what a cicada was, I imagined the sound was the sun beating down on those intensely hot summer days, like a magnifying glass on the pavement. Strange how our minds invent what we can’t explain.

I was sorting through my computer files this morning and came across a short video I recorded at Mer Bleue a couple of years ago. My Mom and I had gone down to listen to the Spring Peepers (frogs) singing. We didn’t see any frogs, but we could certainly hear them:

Sometimes I can hear the most beautiful songbirds in the woods, and when I follow those sounds, they disappear. Being a photographer, I am sometimes frustrated by the fact that I can hear what is there but I can’t see it. But then I stop and remember that not all things are meant to be seen. It’s how they survive.

7/9/10

Where You Live ~ Michelle Anderson

Michelle Anderson, Buffalo, NY, USA

THE CAMERA'S EYE BANNER

The Camera’s Eye

The Vintage Eye

Living in New York State, in the Great Lakes area, it is no wonder that photographer Michelle Anderson finds inspiration in life by the water. Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Niagara River and Niagara Falls are all nearby, and it is reflected in her photography, with sailboats and lighthouses. Walking along the footpaths by the river, watching the sunsets down by the lake, and exploring state parks and back roads are where she captures many things "through the camera's eye."

LAZY DAYS OF SUMMER

Lazy Days of Summer

BEYOND THE SEA LIGHTHOUSE

Beyond the Sea ~ Lighthouse

RED RED ROSE

Red Red Rose

One of Michelle's favourite local traditions is during the Summer, when an annual "Garden Walk" is held. The people of Buffalo open their gardens to the public, and in Michelle's words, "the surprises we find are breathtaking." Some of her favourite flowers to photograph are Roses, Gerber Daisies and Wildflowers. Just outside the city there are two wildlife preserves, with a wide variety of birds, such as Chickadees, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Peregrine Falcons, and Hawks. The local parks are home to many animals as well.

POETRY OF WINTER

Poetry of Winter

The seasons are beautiful but fleeting, except for the Winter, which Michelle says is long and drawn out. Despite the cold winds, she still enjoys capturing lovely Winter images of the snow and ice on the water, as well as of the local birds. She muses that her photographic style is eclectic, and changes as quickly as the seasons.

WINTER IS LOOMING NEAR THE SEA

Winter is Looming

Places she's visited: Puerto Rico, San Francisco, Toronto, Los Angeles, and most of the southern and northern states. Half of her childhood was spent in Canada (Michelle's father is Canadian, her mother is American), and for many years she lived an hour from New York City. Roadtrips are one of her favourite pastimes, touring NY state parks as well as those in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Where she'd love to go someday: Australia, China, The Netherlands, France and Greece.

If you'd like to see more of Michelle's work, visit her here:

Her ETSY SHOPS:

The Camera's Eye

The Vintage Eye

Her BLOG

Her FLICKR GALLERY

7/8/10

A break from the city heat

Yesterday we took a much-needed mini-vacation, and drove to the beach at Lac Philippe in Gatineau, Québec. We packed up some food, drinks and a huge watermelon, which I had been craving ever since this heat wave started. Swimming in the lake was just what we needed; it was so refreshing! And look at this view:

Lac Philippe

DSC_0006

Crow Picnic Fern Silhouette Everlasting Pea

Preening Goose

If you can, I highly recommend taking a day off and going to the beach this week! You won’t regret it!

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