I couldn’t help myself…had to go out in the backyard this morning to photograph some of the beautiful new May flowers. The daffodils and tulips are all gone, but some new beauties have sprouted up instead.
An azalea bursting forth
Some blooming lilacs
A single violet next to the shed
Pink azaleas facing the morning sun
These azaleas are white with speckles of pink.
In a few months when the weather gets warmer, it will be time to start looking for the chimney swifts again as they return from South America. Although I hadn’t taken much notice of them before, this past summer they entertained me quite a bit with their fast flying antics. They were regularly flying overhead, darting back and forth in the air, similar to bats. Not only are they fast, but I don’t think I ever saw one land and sit for awhile. It’s almost like they fly nonstop. This constant motion made taking photographs very difficult. I tried for weeks to get a good shot of a chimney swift, but ended up with lots of blurry photos of distant dots in the sky. What you see posted here are my “best” pictures. I thought that maybe they spent their evenings nesting in the big brick chimney at the school complex nearby, but I wasn’t able to confirm that. I figured that stalking around the schoolyard with a camera probably wasn’t a good idea.
Although the chimney swifts seemed to be plentiful in my neighborhood, I read a web article recently about a decrease in the chimney swift’s population. While it had been presumed that these birds are becoming less numerous because of chimneys being capped off, the article points to the bird’s diet as a cause. Hopefully, this year the chimney swifts will be just as plentiful flying over my neighborhood, because I need another chance to photograph them!
The sunny, spring weather has brought the turtles out from their winter hiding places. I was inspired to go looking for some this morning after seeing lots and lots of turtle photographs published by a fellow blogger. I waited until the sun seemed worthy of turtle-warming rays, then went to a county park to scout for turtles.
I found some eastern painted turtles soaking up the sun on a partially submerged tree trunk near the edge of the pond. I planned to get closer to them, but they immediately splooshed into the water before I could even try to approach. They took turns popping their heads up from the water in various locations as they checked to see if the coast was clear. Finally, the boldest turtle swam over to the tree trunk, climbed up, stretched out his head, and returned to his sunning.
There were at least three or four other turtles who continued their surveillance from the water, with their periscope-like heads randomly popping up to survey the log.
Eventually, another turtle decided it was safe and began slowly approaching the log. He cautiously climbed up the side and then froze for a few moments.
After a period of looking around, he finally relaxed his position and lowered his body down onto the log. Then the turtle extended his head into just the right angle for soaking in the maximum amount of sun.