Painting pergolas is tedious work . . . especially since the people who originally painted it didn’t do a good job of prepping it.

When I went to scrape off the loose paint, I found a few boards were rotting away. I don’t think the joints were properly caulked, so moisture got trapped between two of the support beams, and since they rested on a flat board, the water didn’t have many places to drain … so it didn’t.

So, rather than take the thing apart — which would basically mean replacing it all, I executed repairs, stripped as much of the old paint as I could, recaulked everything, and I’m now ready to prime and paint.

What was meant to be a one or two day job, got longer because people can’t be bothered to do a good job. Really, it was a half-assed effort and I’m now having to put the other half-ass in. Plus, I don’t think they primed the pressure treated wood (or it was still too wet) so lots of the paint was loose. If I were to give advice to someone who built a pergola, it would be to either leave the natural wood or stain it. You can paint it, but then every two years or so, touch it up before the paint starts to peel, otherwise you’ll have a messy and tedious job on your hand.

So, I’m tired, don’t feel like writing, don’t feel like doing a proper post . . . so I played around with the above photo.

Voting is still slow, but that’s usual for this challenge, and I expect a few more votes will trickle in as next week’s deadline nears. Still, here’s another reminder that the voting for the SDS Challenge ‘Wrath’ Stories is underway.

If you are new to the SDS Challenge, a little background.

Three writers will each write one story a month going down the list of deadly sins. The stories can be anywhere from 666 words to 6,666 words in length, although those numbers are not set in stone. If ambitious, the writers will provide accompanying graphics. These stories will not be anonymous because some writers may want to use the same characters for each story and write a series — or book — encompassing all seven sins. Finally, interpretation of the titular sin is up to the writer. Meaning, each ‘sin’ can take multiple forms.

Disclaimer: The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories will likely span a wide gamut of genres. The majority of the stories fall in the PG-rating range with a few perhaps pushing into the soft R-rating. Some readers might find a few of the stories disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, and if so, stop reading and move on.

If you want to read the Seven Deadly Sins submissions for the Sin of Wrath, and then vote, your gateway is THIS POST <<link. There, you’ll find links to each of the three stories and a poll for you to vote after you finish them (if you be so moved).

So, yesterday I posted a quick observation about the state of comments on this blog (and maybe blogs in general, based on some of the feedback).

I might have come across as rueful of the situation, hence let me clarify a few things because I fear unintended consequences from that post . . .

Namely, I fear an increase in comments due to people (consciously or unconsciously) thinking I was pressuring them (consciously or unconsciously) to comment more often.

Well, let me set the record straight . . .

Yup, still busy . . . these days are just flying by and before I know it, it’s late at night. So, more samples of photos that will appear in future posts (with others, of course). Yesterday morning, a few Northern Mocking birds frolicked in my backyard . . .

They gave me lots of opportunities to get decent photos both with the D7500 (above) and the P900 (below).

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. 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 Top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow activates the option for a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

This shy bird was photographed (hurriedly) in Kansas . . .

I spent a fair amount of time trying to find a good match for it . . . and the best I can do is Gray Hawk (LINK). I have a lower degree of confidence that it’s a Cooper Hawk (LINK). The only reason Cooper’s Hawk comes into the picture is that the eyes appear to be red in this next photo.

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. 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 top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow activates the option for a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

I’ve seen this type of bug before in my yard. Once last year, and by the time I got the phone out, and ready to shoot, it had blended into the yard. Amazing that because of the coloring; you’d think it would stand out like a sore thumb.

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. 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 Top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow activates the option for a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

Almost a year ago — in five days it will be a year — I published a post about a Black Swallowtail butterfly that I photographed in my backyard (LINK).

As it turned out, a couple of days later, I was driving through the Crab Orchard National Refuge where I had the opportunity to snap a bunch of great photos of multiple black swallowtail butterflies on thistle flowers. And, you know what?

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. 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 Top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow activates the option for a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

The first one is pretty easy . . .

Ever had one of those days when you have so many things you want to do that it paralyzes you?

You know, where you lose focus and everything you even look at seems just a tad too much effort and you wend up looking for the next thing, hoping it will be easier? Only, it isn’t?

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. 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 Top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow activates the option for a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

We begin with a fairly easy “find the hummingbird” . . .

. . . followed by an extremely easy “find the hummingbird” . . .

Letsee . . . what to talk about today?

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. 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 Top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow activates the option for a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

Those are the forget-me-nots we grew from seeds . . . the seeds packages were handed out at Pops’ memorial along with packages of poppy seeds. Not sure how many people did anything with them, but we planted them.

The flowers are very small, which made some of the visitors to them look huge.

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. 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 Top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow activates the option for a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

Last year, on July 4th, I had a bit of practice photographing some fireworks. These are not the “professional” kind, but rather, the kind you buy to shoot off in your yard. Well, not my yard, but someone’s yard.

At the time, I’d only had the D7500 for a month or two, and couple that with not having shot fireworks for a few years, I wasn’t expecting much. And truthfully, I had given these a curosry look and then got busy with house projects.

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. 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 top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow activates the option for a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

That grackle did something I’ve not seen other birds do — it rinsed the worm it’s holding.
Notice the meal also includes a salad portion (grass blades).

What do that title even mean? Does it have anything to do with scat? Am I resorting to fecal humor? And what’s with all them adjectives?

Whoa there, Bob! That’s a lot of questions . . . lemme ‘splain . . .

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. 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 top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow activates the option for a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

As mentioned in the title, these are all Nikon D7500 photos. This is a companion post to the similar post showcasing the Note 20 Ultra photos (LINK) of the same subjects. All of these are added to the same SmugMug gallery so anyone interesting in comparing shots should go there. 

Although, the shots are probably not comparable because they are shot at different zooms.

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. 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 Top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow activates the option for a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

“What the heck is that!?”

OK, so I was washing the pollen off our patio chairs and when I laid one of the chairs on its side, I noticed a tiny bug struggling in the soapy residue in the corner formed by the frame and armrest.

I’m talking about a very tiny, pale, long-legged bug smaller than the nail of my little finger. I know because that’s what I offered it as a lifeline . . . which it readily took.