Monday, June 27, 2011

Macro Monday

I'm linking to Macro Monday at Lisa's Chaos.
Stop by and see what macros you can see today!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Flowers on Saturday

Yesterday, we got to go back to one of our favorite places-
Land Between the Lakes.
Anyone who has been reading this blog long knows we go any chance we get. Much like a day spent in Shakerag, a day in LBL will certainly lead to adventure.

While not actually LBL, a trip to the area always includes a visit to Barkley Dam. Yesterday, we saw a dozen or so Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons a plenty, and several Double-Crested Comorants flying about.

As we were leaving, we saw a White-Tailed Doe with her frolicking twins. I see deer nearly everyday in Shakerag, but I can't think when I've seen deer playing.

Not twenty yards beyond the deer, we saw a pair of Northern Bobwhites crossing the road. Seeing and hearing Bobwhites used to be quite common, but not anymore.

We went to our favorite lake access and had a picknick, then played in the water, and went to the Nature Station.

There we saw the usual assortment of amazing animals, most of which we never get to see up close in the wild, and some, like the pair of Red Wolves, that we'd never get to see at all otherwise.

But for all this adventure, nearly the only photos that turned out well were the ones of the Wild Bergamot. You see, unlike the abundant Ruby-throated Hummingbirds or my children, the flowers didn't move around much at all. Keeping track of two kiddos even with the assistance of my mother, is quite a job these days. Maybe soon we can go back again to LBL and between my mother and Hubby, I can actually take a few pictures!

Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) is a native wildflower. It's a member of the mint family, and the leaves smell lovely when crushed, but not minty. Bergamot comes in many varieties including a cultivated type with red flowers. No matter the color of the flowers, hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies love bergamot. Another name for it is Bee Balm. Grandma used to call it shaving brush plant.

Don't forget to stop by Blueberry Craft and Hobby Time by clicking on the logo at the top of this post to see what other flowers this Saturday brings.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Macro Friday

This is a male Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta) who posed just a few seconds.
I wish I had had the opportunity to snap a few more of him.

As always, you can click on any of the photos for a closer look.

Don't forget to
stop by
blogging from bolivia
to link up your own Macro Friday post!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wild Mushrooms

We took a walk after supper last night and saw many interesting things.
These mushrooms are just the things that photographed best.

They look like some kind of oyster mushrooms, but sort of hairy. No, I'm not planning on eating them.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sweet Shot Tuesday

life with my 3 boybarians

Hope you enjoy! Feel free to click for a closer look.
Don't forget to stop by Life With My 3 Boybarians to see what others have to share.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Critter of the Day

This Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the critter of the day.

They sure are handsome fellows!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Flowers on Saturday- Chicory

Ah, humble chicory, how I love you. This is my first time linking up with Flowers on Saturday at Blueberry Craft and Hobby Time. It looks like a lot of fun.
I hope you enjoy the blue of chicory as much as I do.
It was totally worth the chiggers I got while photographing it.

As always, you can click on the photos for a closer look.
Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Butterfly Macro Friday

It's Friday again! As a stay at home mom, I enjoy weekends with Hubby, but the perpetual Moday-dread I've had most of my life is gone. I love having adventures with the kiddos, too! Happy Friday!

So far this year the butterflies have not been as cooperative as they were last year, but I did manage to get a few shots this week.

Here is a male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) who was posing outside my back door.

He didn't seem to mind my photographing him, but, even so, he didn't stay long.

Below is the dark morph female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

She was really enjoying the monarda, but wouldn't hold still. She has a lovely solid (or nearly so) black body, which turned out blurring in all my shots.

The next butterfly pair took a lot of identifying. And I'm still not sure.
I *think* this is a pair of Pearl Crescents (Phyciodes tharos).

According to Butterflies and Moths of North America, they are quite variable, but the males usually have black antenna knobs. Black antenna knobs- check!

They also have those cute, little upturned "noses."

They are also quite pretty when they finally open their wings.

As always, you can click on any of the photos for a closer look.

Don't forget to
stop by
blogging from bolivia
to link up your own Macro Friday post!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Macro Monday Critter of the Day

It must be a turtle-y time of year. Saturday, while out and about in town, I saw two or three turtles of differing kinds. Today, we have had two in our front yard. The first, and only one I got to see personally, was this Eastern Box Turtle. I love these little turtles! As a kid, we would often find and play with these turtles. If the dogs found them first, we'd rescue them and drive them down the road a piece and release them.

One thing that makes Eastern Box Turtles easy to identify is that, unlike every other turtle in this area, they can completely close themselve in their shells. They close so tightly, in fact, that they frequently a knife cannot be admitted- not that I would try that!

Is it safe to come out?

It's usually simple to tell the sex of these turtles, too. Males have red eyes, females have yellow eyes. At first I thought this was a female turtle, but looking closely at the photographs, I think it may be a young male.

See the red starting to show in his eyes?

Box turtles are slow to grow and slow to reproduce.
It takes ten to twenty years to reach sexual maturity.

They are also quite long lived. Fifty years is about average;
one hundred years is not unheard of according to some sources.
The primary things to shorten their otherwise long lives are cars, dogs, and raccoons, all of which we have around here.

Box turtles are omnivores in the truest sense of the word.
If they can get it into their mouth, they will eat it.
Favorite foods are fruits, slugs, bugs, and mushrooms.
They can even eat some mushrooms that are poisonous to humans.

I think this individual is rather young because his shell is in such good shape. Many I have seen have chips out of their shells or significant scratches.

Their patterns are highly variable. I suspect that I could recognize this particular turtle again, based on these photos.

I'm linking to Macro Monday at Lisa's Chaos.
Stop by and see what macros you can see today!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Mushroom Macro Friday

In May, I got a mushroom growing kit. As a big-time mushroom eater, I've wanted one of these kits for quite a few years. I purchased mine from Field and Forest , although they are available from other places, too. It grows Crimini or Portabella mushrooms. The difference being when they are harvested. When they look like ordinary button mushrooms, they are called Crimini. When they open fully, they are called Portabella (or Portobello, depending on whom you ask).

Above is one of the first mushrooms I harvested yesterday.

I started these on May 21st.

Each of these teeny balls will become a mushroom.

Mushrooms grow in cycles, known as flushes, every one to two weeks.

This kit should continue to produce mushrooms for two to three months. It was my first mushroom kit, but will not be my last!

As always, you can click on any of the photos for a closer look.

Don't forget to
stop by
blogging from bolivia
to link up your own Macro Friday post!


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Macro Monday

I saw quite a few turtles last week. In addition to the usual Eastern Box Turtles, I have seen two or three Snapping Turtles crossing the road.
June is the peak time for egg-laying for Snapping Turtles. Based on that, this may be a female trying to get somewhere to lay her eggs.
As long as I can remember, I have been a turtle crossing guard. One time I assisted a large Alligator Snapping Turtle who was in a rather good mood.
I didn't even come close to getting bitten.

This snapper, on the other hand, was a rather ill-tempered. I still managed to help the turtle cross the road, but it wasn't easy. And I had one narrow escape.
Don't try to move these guys without a rather long, sturdy stick. They can reach out of their shell and bite nearly to their tails!

Doesn't she have pretty eyes?
Sorry, but I don't have any other macros. This was close enough.

Here's a blurry action shot:

I'm linking to Macro Monday at Lisa's Chaos.
Stop by and see what macros you can see today!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Critter of the Day

Today's Critter of the Day is brought to you by my hubby.
The other night, while I was getting the kiddos to bed, Hubby was letting the dog out and found this lovely male Luna Moth. He grabbed the camera and took some pics because he knew I'd want to see. Luna Moths have always been favorites of mine. My sister and I even had matching nightgowns as kids that we called our "Luna Moth" gowns because they were such a lovely green.

I was really happy with these photos, not just because of the lovely moth, but because my sweet husband thought to take these pictures AND because they are really cool pictures, too! He didn't know anything about how to put the camera into macro mode, but he captured this:

Check out his reflection!

Even in all my years of watching Luna Moths,
I had never had an opportunity to examine their legs.
The ones I have seen were always either moving or dead- with their legs shriveled.
You can tell this is a male because the antennae are fat and feathery.

Look at how branch-like the top margin of his wings is.
He was much the same color of fresh, new leaves.

By the next morning, this Luna Moth was gone. I'm so glad Hubby took some pictures! Yes, he did give me permission to post his photos.
Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

As always, you can click on any of the photos for a closer look.

Don't forget to
stop by
blogging from bolivia
to link up your own Macro Friday post!