Tag Archives: photos

Winter Remnant

It’s the first full day of spring but winter’s snow remains. Here are a few photos from today’s walk near Duke Island Park and the Raritan River in New Jersey.frozen canal

tree reflection

raritan river



May Beauties, i.e., Backyard Flowers

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

An azalea bursting forth

Some blooming lilacs

Some blooming lilacs

A single violet next to the shed

A single violet next to the shed

Pink azaleas facing the morning sun

Pink azaleas facing the morning sun

These azaleas are white with speckles of pink.

These azaleas are white with speckles of pink.

Skywatch Friday – Snowy Mountain

For Skywatch Friday, I thought I’d post a couple of photos from Mt. Baker in Washington State. I visited there in August. Yup! There was snow in August.

To see other images of skies, visit Skywatch Friday.

Nature OVER the Burbs

Lovely clouds

Chicago from above

Winding river (I think it was the Missouri)

Rocky Mountains

The sky in Seattle

Last week I went on a business trip that had me flying across the USA from sea to shining sea. While most of the passengers on the airplane worked on computers, watched movies, read books, listened to music, or chatted with their seatmates, I happily passed time staring out the window, taking photos. My in-flight movie was the blue sky, endless clouds, and the changing terrain of the states we flew over.

Because of good flying weather, I was able to get a bird’s-eye view of the beauty and natural diversity of this country. Unfortunately, I was also able to see firsthand some of the devastating effects of the Midwestern drought. Here are a few photos from OVER the burbs.

I’m linking this post to Skywatch Friday.

Skywatch Friday – Swallowtail

I couldn’t resist taking a photo of this tiger swallowtail butterfly in my backyard. It was such a pretty scene with the yellow butterfly on the butterfly bush, against a backdrop of blue sky and puffy white clouds. To see other images of skies, visit Skywatch Friday.

The Butterfly Bush Attracts Butterflies, but…

Red Admiral Butterfly

Painted Lady Butterfly

Question Mark Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

Black Swallowtail

Sulfur Butterfly

Yellow Swallowtail Butterfly

The purple butterfly bush in our backyard has only been flowering for a few weeks, yet it has already attracted quite a variety of butterflies. Although I haven’t been able to get a photograph of them all, I was able to snap some shots of the painted lady, red admiral, question mark, yellow swallowtail, sulfur, black swallowtail and monarch butterflies. It’s amazing how many butterflies find their way to the same plant.

Not being a gardener myself, I was surprised to read recently that the butterfly bush has a bad reputation. Despite doing a great job attracting butterflies, it is considered an invasive plant in much of the United States. In fact, the USDA Forest Service classifies the butterfly bush as a weed! The Ecosystem Gardening website is a good source of information on this topic.

So what should you do if you want to see butterflies to your backyard? Choosing native plants that attract butterflies is the recommended alternative to planting a butterfly bush.

Flowers are Blooming All Around the Yard

Everything seems to be blooming at once. Thought I’d share a few photos of flowers that have bloomed this week in our yard.

Gorgeous daylily. A friend had given us a few to transplant and this is the result.

The snowball bush is just starting to flower. (Or is it hydrangea? But I thought they had smoother-edged leaves.)

The butterfly bush is stretching out in the late afternoon sun. Looking forward to seeing what creatures it attracts.

Hope to see some hummingbirds on the trumpet flowers.

Skywatch Friday – Orange-Colored Sunset

The orange-colored sky  in this photo makes it look like an autumn sunset, but it’s really a spring photo that I took two weeks ago. The geese happened to fly into the frame as I was lining up the shot.

To see other images of skies, visit SkyWatch FridaySkywatch Friday.

Our Yard has Turned Into a Baby Bird Nursery

Baby robin waiting for food.

Our yard seems to have transformed into a baby bird nursery. Nests in the front yard, nests in the backyard, nests on the side of the house…we’ve seen baby cardinals, baby mourning doves, baby grackles, baby house finches, baby house sparrows, baby robins, and baby song sparrows. A walk around the backyard produces a din of angry chirps and tweets from bird parents telling me to begone or risk being swooped at.

Baby robin soon after leaving the nest.

More food for baby sparrow. It’s funny how some of the baby birds seem much bigger than the parents.

Ma and Pa Robin were the most outspoken. While hatching their four blue eggs next to our front porch, they chirped a warning every time I stepped off the porch steps. Once the babies came, their behavior became more frenzied. They relentlessly chirped and fanned their tail at me as I walked by. If you got too close, you’d have a speeding robin flying toward your head. Fortunately, I have not had actual contact with an angry robin’s beak.

Baby grackle opens wide.

Another meal for baby grackle.

Now that most of the hatching has taken place, baby birds are fluttering about the yard trying out their wings and discovering the world. Adult birds are zipping to and fro watching over their young and bringing worms, butterflies, and other tasties for their nourishment. Two things have amazed me about the bird nursery: 1. Adult birds seem to be able to find food for their babies quite quickly, over and over again; and 2., Birds can chirp pretty loudly despite having a worm hanging out of their beak.

Pretty soon we should be able to walk around our yard without creating a cacophony of angry bird sounds. In the meantime, it’s been fun observing the babies, and their parents, in our backyard bird nursery this spring.

Photo Challenge: Reflections

First reflection: Sunset at Colonial Park.Sunset at Colonial Park
Second reflection: Female mallard enjoying a swim.Female mallard enjoying our backyard pond
Check out other submissions to the Reflections Photo Challenge here.

Skywatch Friday – Sunrise to Sunset

From sunrise to sunset the sky was absolutely beautiful today. Throughout the day the cloud formations were ever-changing.
It all began with a gorgeous sunrise…
Beautiful Sunrise
and ended with a colorful sunset as the starlings gathered into the trees.
Starlings at sunset
To see other images of skies, visit SkyWatch FridaySkywatch Friday.