Thursday, November 1, 2018

November 2018: One from the Archives

You are going to have to make do with one from the archives this month, as fall is always a busy time of year for me. I am making it a good one though.
This is a cheetah which looks as if it has just finished a Thanksgiving feast and is mere seconds away from a nap.  Something tells me that this particular cheetah would not live up to their reputation as the fastest animals on land at the moment. 😊

Monday, October 1, 2018

October 2018: The return of Autumn

It is funny how much more I identify the time of year by the animals I see rather than by the calendar on the wall.  These mantis are a great example. They become very much more visible when they turn brown, and I always associate that with the beginning of autumn along with hearing the cranes migrating overhead, both of which happen before any leaves turn color or the furnace kicks on at night.
Sure enough, when I checked the calendar September was already half gone.
And now it is October....time for some cider I think. 😀

Friday, August 31, 2018

September 2018: A Splash of Color

Well, after a long period of hot dry weather without any rain whatsoever, we are finally feeling a bit of relief here in west Michigan.  Along with the rain came a very nicely cool morning and a reminder that autumn is just around the corner.  It won't be too much longer and the trees will trade their uniform green coveralls for the gaudy Hawaiian shirts that draw visitors in from all over the country just to witness.
Like a peacock fanning its tail.
Peacock feathers are incredibly interesting, and a lot harder to photograph well than you'd think. The iridescence which gives them their shiny appearance acts as millions of tiny little mirrors, which can play all sorts of havoc with the light and color, as well as the auto-focusing sensors on modern lenses.  Accurately capturing both the colors and the iridescence requires very strict control of the light.

Friday, August 3, 2018

August 2018: The Gardener

Man, we have had a hot summer so far here. And very little rain. It makes for a lot of real challenges if your job is growing things. This gardener is not only very hard working, but smart enough to follow the shade as she works.  She is quite attractive as well, which is nice. :)

Saturday, June 30, 2018

July 2018: Cocoa Pods

The cocoa tree is indigenous to Central America, though most are now located in Western Africa, and is unique in that its seed pods sprout directly from the trunk of the tree itself, rather than from its branches.  The seeds encased in these pods are the source of one of humanity's most globally enjoyed foods, chocolate.  It is so highly sought after that every year 7-9 times more cocoa is bought and sold on the cocoa futures market than actually exists.  Given this irrational over-exuberance, one might be inclined to say that we are "cuckoo for cocoa pods".   :)

Hope your summer is going better than my bad puns!


Friday, June 1, 2018

June 2018: Big Bird

This is a Pileated Woodpecker. They are about 14-16 inches tall, and live in forested areas with wet ground and plenty of dying trees, as that is the preferred habitat of their favorite food...ants.
They are a notoriously skittish bird around people, despite not seeming to mind being near buildings at all.  So as long as they don't see you, they are pretty easy to photograph once you have found an area where they live.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

May 2018: Sticky Situation

Around here winter didn't get the point when April showed up, and the snow stuck around until just a couple weeks ago.  Spring didn't get a good start until just this week, and now it is already May!
Fortunately, the signs of spring are plentiful now, including a spike in both temperature and in animal activity. Porcupines are very sensitive where habitat is concerned, and while I used to see tons of them when I was a kid they have been quite scarce since then, until recent years when I started seeing them fairly regularly again. I take it as a good sign, even if it means having to be a little more cautious in areas they happen to frequent.

Q: What does a porcupine take for a cold?
A: Ny-Quill!