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.
Whether butterfly or flower, we wear out. Our time is limited. We beat our wings or unfold our petals and we go out into the world. And, eventually, we wear out. Perhaps it is best to shine as brightly as we can, while we may, so it cannot be said we did not make the most of what we have.
I went to the Wolf Creek Environmental Center of the Medina Park System seeking the Green Heron. I have only ever seen Green Herons about five times and got some good photos of one at this location previously. No such luck. The only large birds in evidence were three Canada Geese. Looking around, I started playing with the lighting effects produced by the bright morning sun on the almost-smooth surface of the wildlife area’s big pond. In the shot above, the direct reflection of the sun is directly behind the blooming water lily. As I watched through the camera viewfinder, sparkles came and went as tiny waves touched bubbles and lily pads — it was amazing to see! The stars we see here were formed by the blades of the diaphragm inside the stopped-down lens, not by a filter. I may not have seen a Green Heron Friday but I did see stars on the water!
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.
First Bloom: Yellow Asiatic Lily. Last year, deer ate all of the apparently tasty lily buds before they could bloom. This year we repelled the deer long enough to enjoy this first bloom of the season.
Can a yellow fire hydrant hide in plain sight by standing amongst a bunch of like-colored flowers? No. Dumb as a fire plug.
Thursday morning was beautiful. The day began cool, bright, and fresh. Wild plants reflected those conditions. Looking around as I drove, I spied an area in the woods where spikes of wild hyacinth (Camassia scilloides) were spotlit by sun. Spots of sun, breaking through the burgeoning leaves of the woodland canopy, illuminated the lavender-tinted petals and they “popped” against the dark ground below.
Of course I pulled my car over and spent a few minutes photographing leaves and flowers. If I wasn’t due some place I would have easily spent an hour exploring and photographing. Duty, however, had a strong pull.
I spent only a few minutes but those few minutes were a great start that green day morning.
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.