Categories
Birds Garden Nature Photography

The Song of a Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird Eggs
Three Northern Mockingbird Eggds

I have the pleasure to have a Northern Mockingbird nest in my backyard garden. The pair has made a nest in a small shrub next to the garden gazebo. I hope to capture progressive photos without disturbing the nest as much as possible. These birds are fantastic imitators of many birds, sounds, other animals, and even car alarms. They live up to their names very well. Spring is definitely here! ♥ Read more facts about these wonderful birds by going to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology website. Send me some feedback and your own experiences. Enjoy!

Categories
Ducks Nature Photography Uncategorized

Welcome, Mallard Ducks!

Mallard Duck
A Mallard Duck in Sunny Florida!
Fabulous Duo
Mallard Ducks enjoying a warm day in Florida

I work at a University in southern Florida and I enjoy taking walks around campus during lunch time. There are several man-made ponds and many species of birds have taken the place to hang out too. Mallard ducks have made themselves very comfortable there and that is fine with me. For the first time, after several attempts, I was able to take some photos a bit closer. I was so happy to capture this pair.

It is amazing how the male Mallard changes its appearance for mating season! Go to the The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and read more about this wonderful creature. Enjoy nature … it is a great gift!

Categories
Butterflies Caterpillars Garden

A Monarch’s Gift

Female Monarch Butterfly
A female Monarch butterfly laying eggs on its host plant, the Milkweed.

Butterflies are amazing! The sooner the weather warms they become very active mating and spreading their off-springs throughout the wild and into welcoming gardens. I love sitting under the shade of my patio umbrella with a freshly brewed cup of coffee. The chirping of birds and cooing of mourning doves add the perfect sound into the morning breeze (muffling the sound of traffic on the other side of the fence).

Suddenly, I see a small fluttering shadow passing over the umbrella. I wonder if it was a butterfly. Sure enough! There comes a Monarch butterfly … a female. She scans my garden looking for her favorite plant, the Milkweed (Asclepias Curassavica). And she finds it!

The above image shows the Monarch laying her eggs. They lay single eggs throughout the plant and can be found on the seed pods or under the leaves. As I took the photo, I was happy to see that a caterpillar (to the right of the image) is resting under a leave preparing for growth and on its way to transformation.

I am hooked on Monarchs and learning every day about their amazing life cycle and migration. If you want to learn more about these wonderful creatures, check out the Monarch Watch site. They have plenty of information for beginners as well as experienced Monarch watchers. You will find educational articles, research, blog, resources, and photos.

I look forward to photo-capturing many other butterflies this spring and summer. Iced tea anyone?

Categories
Garden Nature Photography

For the Love of Orchids

 

IMG_2710

Enjoy this orchid flower! Although the Orchid tree, also known as the Hong Kong orchid tree, is not too welcome in the landscapes of Florida … I love the tree!  The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council actually identifies this tree as Category 1 on the list of invasive plants. It is native to Viet Nam, southeast China, and northern India.

I was honored to be invited to a friend’s home in Boynton Beach, Florida, and take photos of the orchid tree in bloom about three weeks ago.  It was stunning … it was beautiful! The striking deep lavender color with a splash of coral red tones in the middle was a view to love.  My camera could not stop shooting! Sadly, it is no longer in bloom, but I look forward to the next season and discover other colors; red or white.

Let’s see what my camera captures next time.

Categories
Garden Uncategorized

The Birth of a Strawberry

Strawberry Dream

The birth of a strawberry. I LOVE strawberries! Strawberries are such an excellent source of antioxidents and vitamin C. Go forward and a make a healthy smoothy. Check out this link for a delicious smoothy for breakfast or lunch. I know … I tried it. Thanks, Vanessa! Try it and send me a feed-back!

Categories
Garden Nature Photography

Strawberry Dream

Strawberry
A new growth of a soon-to-be red, delicious strawberry!

Here I would state … the birth of a scrumptious strawberry.   I love taking photos during morning hours.  I believe it is the true personality of nature! This is the birth and development of a single strawberry.  Don’t you just love it?! Look at the center of the flower … it is a strawberry!  I love them!  I must mention that strawberries are an excellent source of antioxitents and vitamin C. If you love them, try making a delicious smoothy for breakfast or lunch, or any time you wish.  I tried a recipe from  Vanessa Higgins … Strawberry Almond Smoothie.  It is absolutely wonderful! I actually prefer almond milk over cow’s milk … much better for my tummy. jhttp://localfoods.about.com/od/spring/r/StrawberrySmoot.htm Check this link and try it.  Please give me feed-back.

Categories
Butterflies Caterpillars Garden Uncategorized

More Garden Delights

My garden is growing and becoming more delightful. By the amounts of caterpillars and butterflies visiting the various types of flowers, we can say that spring is here … in Florida. Although not as cold as the northern states, we did get some nasty cold days affecting many of the tropical plants. Check my creation of photo slides in Smilebox. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the soothing views of the garden.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Free digital slideshow customized with Smilebox
Categories
Butterflies Caterpillars Garden

Garden Delight

I stumbled upon the beauty of butterflies when I began taking photos of my backyard garden, back in 2005.  I had planted some flowering plants knowing they would attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds, but did not know I had some host plants for the butterflies. Specifically, the Monarch.

One day as I was weeding, watering, and checking on the progress of my plants, when I saw some stunning caterpillars with black, yellow, and white stripes.  At first I thought the plant had some kind of an infestation, but did not see them on any other plants in the yard.  I took some pictures and researched the critters online. I was happily surprised to learn that I had purchased and planted the Milkweed (Asclepias Curassavica). 

After the initial shock of nature’s new gift for me, I continued to enjoy witnessing the amazing stages of the caterpillars and transformation into butterflies.

It is now 2011 and am still learning and enjoying the fascination of butterflies right in my garden.  I have been visited by the Monarch, Zebra Heliconian, Gulf Fritillary, Polydamas Swallowtail, Julia, Skipper, and many other species of butterflies.

My fascination with butterflies led me to enjoy photography and become close friends with my camera.

Categories
Uncategorized

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!