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Animal

Catch this… Before it Flies


Rose Fly 02

In case you’re missing the flies of Summer on this cold Winter day? Today’s post might fulfill that yearning?Unless, of course you’re reading this from the tropics or South of the Equator? Where there’s probably a few flies around right now? I found this little series of images last Summer here in the Pacific Northwest. Turns out some flies like to rest on roses for lengthy periods in the morning before the Sun hits full noon. All of the images in this series I found at different days on my photo trips to the local rose garden. While photographing I had plenty of time to work on getting a good image. This guy was just in a resting mode. Maybe loving the warmth of this yellow rose?

Source: Catch this… Before it Flies

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What is a Bee to the Flower?


Yellow Iris Bee

I miss the Bees! Particularly the Honeybees.

That’s what it could sound like in a few years if we keep going the rate we’re going? Of course, right now I’m missing the bees because it’s the middle of Winter. I literally can’t wait to photograph bees among the flowers again this coming Summer!

According to a report published on the Bee Informed website last May, America lost 44% of it’s Honeybee population over the previous two years. That’s typically more than twice what the normal rate of honeybee loss is in an average year. The fact that the honeybee loss over the Summer season has increased dramatically, as well as the loss over the Winter Season increasing, has many folks very concerned. Personally, I feel this article, link above, puts a lot of blame on parasites rather than focusing on pesticides like Neonicotinoids. While the article does mention pesticides as contributing, it pretty much puts the blame on small backyard beekeepers. When a swarm of dead bees are found underneath a fruit tree that’s recently been sprayed with pesticides, as happened in Wilsonville, Oregon a few years back, I find it difficult to believe that’s because of a parasite from backyard beekeepers.

Anyway, it was Albert Einstein who said, “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”That’s very concerning, I just hope we’re not in those last 4 years yet?

If America doesn’t care enough about it’s dwindling honeybee population, it’s my hope that another nation will pick up the slack?

Find out more… What is a Bee to the Flower?


Caterpillars Story


This is the story of a caterpillar’s trip across a what Kousa Dogwood blossom.

I like to post images in series or multiples of 3, essentially trying to tell a little short story. That’s why I was excited to find 3 halfway decent images of this caterpillar crawling across this white Dogwood blossom. When I discovered the caterpillar initially, it was sitting at the edge of the dogwood bract essentially where the middle image above shows the caterpillar. I got a couple images of her just sitting there, like trying to decide what she wanted to do. As soon as she started crawling across this bract and over the dogwood flower bunch in the middle, one couldn’t stop her if they wanted. Hmm, makes me wish I’d of slowed the shutter speed down because she raced across those white bracts. I was surprise that I didn’t find any racing streaks. Might be interesting to seeing a blurred caterpillar racing across? Maybe next time.

The story of 3, I hope you enjoy.

Peace

~V


Mother Goose and Goslings


Okay, I found these images a couple months back while on a walk in Downtown Portland, OR. I was walking on the waterfront where, the Waterfront Blues Festival happens every 4th of July weekend. On a quieter, more serene day, one can usually find Canadian Geese mill about plucking at the grass. On this day I found goslings learning how to walk among the flock looking cute as ever. Don’t worry it may appear like I’m really close to the bird in some images, I’m not, I used my telephoto lens so I could stay out of harms way. Besides Mama and Papa Geese, and probably the rest of the flock, were watching me closely, as you can see in some images. My favorite is the gosling in the background and the blurred head other adult.

Peace

~V


Columbia River Birds of Prey


It’s kind of funny. I was at the Eagle Sanctuary near Astoria, OR and saw no eagles. Was closer to the mouth of the Columbia River in Warrenton, OR and saw two, plus a falcon surrounded by a bunch of blackbirds.

The first image is of course a falcon. I’m not adept enough to identify the type of falcon, perhaps a Redtail? But if you look closely  in the branch to the left of the falcon, you’ll see the head of a little blackbird. This blackbird got it inside it’s head that it was going to bug the big bird of prey, 5 times it’s size. Probably because it’s nest was nearby? There were actually several blackbirds attacking, swooping, chirping and all kinds of pinching a fit while this falcon stopped by. Finally it had enough and gently flew off to another tree, blackbirds trailing behind.

The eagle is a male, I was told at the time I found this image. There was a younger fledgling sitting in this tree also. Which I guess is rear? But alas the fledgling got cropped out of this image. He couldn’t really be seen through the branches anyway.

Hope you like these images of Wildlife along the Columbia River. Remember to share.

Peace

~V


Ladybug and Two Flies


Admitted, this is kind of a weird post I guess.

In my travels and everyday effort at creating images of flowers that I pass by, I’m bound to come upon some bugs flying around and landing on those flowers. I like to zoom in close to these creatures when I find them to see what they are doing. Usually they are just sitting around.

Sometimes the flies sit on the flowers for while, others they are sitting only briefly. The ladybug in the image above had a mission on this particular day. She was just traveling all over this pink flower when I got this image. I think it might even be a little blurry? I tried getting more images, but was only able to get this one because by the time I was ready to take my next picture she was under the flower petal and trucking back down the stem. I would have loved to have followed her around for a while just to see where she goes.

I was able to find a few images of these flies, especially the one on yellow above. They just sat on the flower like they knew what I was up to, probably hoping they could make into some magazine for flies? The fly on the pink petal is a little blurry, but still kind of interesting. Would love to get closer to these creatures, but alas, need a different camera lens in my life.

Anywho, I can probably expect that you won’t share this post, it’s kind of icky with the flies. But if you find it in your heart to share I’m sure this creatures would love to be seen far and wide.

Peace

~V


Cleopatra – Forest Feline


I visited Tryon Creek State Park yesterday in SW Portland yesterday and was afforded the opportunity to photograph new Spring growth in the forest. Those images will be forthcoming in future posts here. While out there walking around, I came across this little feline, with her human, out for a walk also, her name is Cleopatra and she reminded me of my awesome cat whom I lived with for 16 years. See my memorial tributes posted on this blog a year and a half ago. When Sinatra was younger he used to go for walks with me in the forest. I loved it. That forest was in my backyard, so it wasn’t difficult to get out. As far as I knew Sinatra never walked out in the forest by himself, but whenever I would go he loved to follow. And Cleopatra kind of looks just like Sinatra did. Such a cute cat, I was glad I got a chance to capture the moment.

I’m trying to create more posts here on my blog. I’ve been busy of late getting up to speed with a new photography job. Things are getting back to normal now, so hopefully you’ll get to see more posts here. Don’t give up on my.

Peace

~V


Wild in the City – Laurelhurst Falcons


I found this young fledgling at Laurelhurst Park last week, probably complaining about the heat. If you’ll notice while she’s sitting there on the tree limb her wings are slightly lifted. Makes sense to me that with all those feathers, when they are folded tightly against her body, on a hot day, it’s doing nothing but generating heat? So, why not get some air flowing through? Even though it’s hot air, but probably not as hot up in the trees, lifting your wings, even just a little bit, is somewhat akin to turning on the air conditioning. At 95 degrees this day lifting the wings is something needed and very welcome.

There was a whole family of these beautiful birds on this day. I saw four of them at one time, they were playing chase with the squirrels. But only one of these beautys saw fit to be a model for me this day. The others were shy. It was a bonus to find these lovely birds squawking at each other this day. I’d merely went to the park to do some reading, but I did bring my camera and some nuts, thinking perhaps I’d lure a squirrel my way for some pictures. As luck would have it, the squirrels were hiding, but these falcons were definitely flying about.

I think the family lives in the park right now? The other day I was walking by the park and happened to catch 2 or 3 chasing and playing with each other, as they briefly flew away from the protective trees and over the sidewalk. There may be more images of these lovely birds coming soon, so be on the lookout.

Please remember to share this post, tell your friends where they can find some pretty decent images.

Peace

~V


Winter Cactus


Happy Holidays!

To see a post about the origination of the Christmas Tree, see my post from last year.

Time for my annual Winter Cactus post. A little early this year, just in time for the Winter Holidays. I’ve been growing two Winter Cacti in my home now for 6 years. I rooted them from a friends plant. They’ve both been growing heartily for 6 years now. Last year, was the first year they both produced flowers. One grew two and the other only one. This year, so far there’s just one flower on one, the second cactus has yet to show a flower. So, it’s exciting for me, to witness something growing as these 2 cacti have been. The flowers they are producing look extra-ordinary. As you can tell, the third image in this series looks like a dragon to me. Kind of good timing with the historic release of the Third Hobbit movie. This could easily be #Smaug. What do you think?

Peace, in the Winter time.

~V


Cute Chickadees


In case you missed my previous posts this year regarding this wonderful bird. Here’s another opportunity to check them out. I had a couple opportunities to photograph Chickadees this past year, once at the Heron Haus Bed and Breakfast in Northwest Portland, and another time at Oswald West State Park on the Oregon Coast. Here are some leftover images that haven’t made it onto this blog yet. You can check out the other images by following the links provided above. I hope you like, please share with your friends and family.

Peace

~V


Small Business Saturday! Here’s How You Can Help This Small Business!


You can help this Small Business on Small Business Saturday. I’m asking for no money, just a little bit of your time.

Followers of this blog with know about the Photographer’s Social Website called Viewbug.com. I’m a part of this Photographer’s social network, where other photographers can receive feedback on images they post, helping them to become a better photographer. Viewbug also enables sponsors to develop photo contests that members can join to win prizes and recognition.

I’m honored that six of my images this year were nominated for the first ever Viewbug Image of the Year Contest. And now, after 2 weeks of public voting, 2 of my initial 6 images have made it into the top 10% of images being voted on. This is way exciting news, and I’m honored that so many of the images I create are being recognized in this way.

It’s not over yet! Voting is still happening on the Viewbug Image of the Year 2014. Can you stop by and help vote? You do not have to be a Viewbug member to vote, just click on the link and you’ll be taken to the voting platform, where you’ll get a chance to vote on all images in this competition. The four images that did not make it into the top 10% yet, are still available for voting as well. Maybe, If I don’t win top recognition, at least I’ll get more images into the top 10%? The four images that have not yet made it into the Top 10% are posted below for ease of reference. I appreciate whatever help you have time to provide. Be sure to visit the voting link today.

Peace

~V