A stroll in the Alderfer-Oenslager Wildlife Sanctuary at Wolf Creek Environmental Center led us out over the wetland area via boardwalk. Along the walkway was a late-season water lily bloom, floating on dark waters in the afternoon sun. Nearby, tiny green dots of plant life float. It was warm that day but cold days lie ahead. Nature knows.
I do love photographing dragonflies. Because they are relatively small, live by the water, and are very quick fliers, dragonfly photography can be frustrating. This past weekend I was fortunate enough to be exploring a hotbed of dragonfly activity and, for the first time, got some images of a beautiful indigo-colored flier: a male Slaty Skimmer. In flight, the Slaty is so dark it appears black. When resting on a plant stem or flower head, the male’s deep blue body shows its true color. Clear wings make the Slaty, and some other dragonflies, hard to photograph unless against a featureless background such as the pond in this photo. I plan to get out a few more times, specifically for “dragon hunting” this season and maybe even shoot some video.
I spotted this beauty on a visit to Schoepfle Garden in beautiful downtown Birmingham, Ohio, last weekend. Schoepfle is a property of the Lorain County Metropolitan Park District. I had attached my 50mm macro lens to my camera and was exploring the plant world at a different scale from what I was used to. The intense color of the lily flower attracted me as it might an insect. I pushed in close to try and fill the frame with the petals and focus on the center of the flower. This was a handheld shot and I had to steady the flower against a light breeze by grasping one of its petals between fingers as I composed my picture and checked focus.
It’s a rather dreary Tuesday morning. The overcast got me thinking back to the weekend and a bunch of flowers bursting their color forth on a sunny afternoon in downtown Vermilion, Ohio.
It was a pleasant afternoon for a photo-hike at the F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm of Summit Metro Parks in Akron, Ohio. We chose to take a 1.6-mile earthen trail that traverses woodlands and gullies. I shot a good many photos but not many good photos this time — I really must take a tripod when I do these things! If, however, the journey is the destination, we accomplished what we really came for — a time in nature, paying attention to the world around us. It was time well spent.
I had trouble getting motivated and inspired to do anything today, picking up the camera and heading out into the cloudy, cool, and gray day was just the right thing. As I looked around and discovered quiet beauty and interest in so many places, I became energized. Ironically, it took what many would have considered a gloomy atmosphere to lift my feelings. Sometimes a cloudy day is just the right thing.
Out and about yesterday we made a stop at The Greensmith Garden Center in Hinckley, Ohio. Greeting visitors to their place is a very unusual flower planter — a Volkswagen Beetle, its boot filled with earth and posies! It might be fun to drive such a vehicle around but the same use has been put to the car’s engine compartment (in the rear) — dirt and daisies. Well, not really daisies but the alliteration was too choice!
On the morning of Veteran’s Day we decided we could not stay indoors all day, effectively “wasting” a day off. The day promised to be steamy-hot and we were unprepared for that. So we took a little drive to Summit Metroparks’ Nature Realm preserve in Akron. One of our favorite places, the park features natural areas with marked earthen trails and formal gardens with paved walkways. Plants and animals are all around and offer many photo opportunities! This day I made 100 exposures and, though threw away some promising but ultimately disappointing shots, got some really good pictures. An iris blooming in a boggy wetland spot is my favorite of the bunch. After some time, and as the muggy air began to take its toll, we headed out to lunch and ultimately home. A pleasant time in nature’s realm.
April (and May) showers did, indeed, bring May flowers. The spring bulbs have put up beautiful blooms, their color accentuated by beaded drops of rain. It has been a cloudy and wet season but the plants seem to like it.