Phoenix Cardinal, More Bees, More Rocks

Phoenix Cardinal?

Yup . . . 

Rising from the ashes, lo and behold . . . a Cardinal.

For them not interested in reading, you can go directly to the SmugMug Gallery HERE.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE. When you click the link, it will open in a new window and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the bottom-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos as this will pause the slideshow.

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

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The above was shot from behind a door with thick glass and at an angle, to boot. I processed it heavily to show the Cardinal in contrast to the surroundings. 

The rest of the photos were shot a day after the original series of bees and rocks. It could just be my ego talking but I think this batch of photos is much better than the first bunch.

Regaining bee-shooting mastery doesn’t take long; obviously, no more than a day. 

It also helps to remember the settings to use when shooting fidgety bees.  

I thought this next scene made for a decent photo . . . 

I didn’t know bees compete with seeds for nectar collection.

I didn’t think seeds even liked nectar. It gets them all matted and sticky and that seems counter to being able to float in the wind.

Anyway, I was pleased with my ability to catch a number of head-on shots of the foraging bees. 

I am, however, saddened at finding more rocks that look to have had a tough time. This one looks to have taken a pretty good pounding. 

. . . must have been a pugilist . . . 

These are the buds and flowers from one of our shrubs . . .

I know, I know; I didn’t mention shrubs or flowers on the title of the post. Consider it a bonus. 

“What kind of shrub is that?”

Well, I’m no horticulturist but I would guess that to be Aronia arbutifolia or Red Chokeberry. 

Yes, it sounds as if I’m just making stuff up. Like, I could have said “Engoria ossobucolia or Yellow Longleaf” and people wouldn’t know any better. That’s because no one checks up on anything they read. 

That’s how we ended up with Trump and Hillary as leading candidates for their respective parties; no one questions anything they read on the Internet. But, nevermind that now. The Republic is screwed and there’s no going back so just make the best of the downward spiral.

Back to bees . . . nary a bad shot, I had . . . 

Not great, but everything was pretty good (per my estimation, nothing I do is great) so that was an improvement from the previous day’s effort.

So much so that I decided to go back to the rocks. My thought was that perhaps they would prove more challenging.

Not so . . . 

Wait . . . what the heck are them red things?

Them be Clover Mites. They are in the same family as spiders but are herbivores . . . the vegetarians of the arachnid world.

They are the ones responsible for the drastic decline in four-leaf clovers and, thus, the (good) fortune of the human race. 

Yes . . . they are the reason we got Trump. Damn you, Clover Mites!

Paradolia Pareidolia lets me see faces in rocks . . . that one looks a bit like Bane

The Galaxy Quest crew would be interested in this Beryllium Sphere, I bet. 

Pretty much, every rock had a clover mite on it . . . strange that because rocks are not clover. In fact, other than a lot of minerals, rocks offer no nutritional benefit and are hard to digest, to boot. Hard to pass, too, I’d wager.

By the way, you can click on any of the photos and a larger version will open in a new window or tab. 

I struggled a bit, but I found a rock without any mites on it. 

Mites are normally on the grass but too much water (we’ve had a lot of rain) will get them to move to shelter . . . usually, your shelter. You are likely to see them around windows and doors. They’re not really harmful other than if you squash one, it will leave a red stain. 

If you watch any YouTube video about them, the presenter will happily squash a few just to show you they can kill defenseless vegetarian arachnids at will and with utmost callousness. The presenter will then explain the stain is not blood . . . as if that justifies killing these vegetarians. 

Still, even rocks are surprised by the mites crawling all over them . . . 

Oh, look! 

. . . I found some fossilized ghosts!

If anyone was wondering whatever happened to Gothmog, wonder no more . . . he’s in my yard.

He’s not the only one surprised by this turn of events. I’m hoping no one finds out or I’ll have all manners of Orc-lovers coming by to see him (I presume it was a him; you never know with Orcs). 

Well, it’s been fun, but I want to do other things. Gots lots of photos to process, things to write, things to read, food to eat, crap to . . . uh . . . never mind; let’s just say I’m putting this post to bed. 

Here’s the gallery of the above presented in random order:

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That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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