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.

“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.

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery. Note that the SmugMug Gallery has additional photos not shared in this post.   

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 upper-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 (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

On June 7th, I happened to be out on the patio refreshing the birdbaths when I noticed a lot of activity on one of the shrubs.

Bug activity. Well, shoot! I’d not done a bug safari in a long time, so I went in and got me the D7500, strapped the 105mm f/2.8 Macro, and went back out to shoot me some photos. Over 200, to be precise, in two sessions totaling eleven minutes. 

Only forty-one photos in this post. What can I say . . . I’m older and slowing down.

Anyway, we begin with a small gallery . . .

For them not interested in reading my words but interested in the full-size versions of the photos, you can see the bird photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery and the other photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery. 

When you click the links, 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 near the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: Above the play/pause button there’s the option to go full screen. Most of these look really good viewed full screen. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).
3) If you click on the photo, it will zoom to full-size (1:1 view). Depending on the size and details of the photo, it might take a few seconds.

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

Remember When I rested on May 2nd? Well, I also did a bit of resting on April 30th. Yup! Got me my camera, a cup of coffee, and sat outside watching for photo opportunities to present themselves. You already saw the first . . . a bug. Specifically, a Crane Fly (LINK).

The name might seem odd to new subscribers, but the title will make sense to long-time subscribers because I’ve done one of these before . . . this is a post about future posts that will show past stuff.

I mentioned in the last post that I aim to change (reduce) the number of ‘reminder to vote’ posts. I also aim to reduce the number of blogs I subscribe to.  That process will be painful, but many of the blogs I’m currently following I originally did so because of something that was useful or interesting to me, and — for some blogs — that has changed to just being a habit without much benefit.

I rather follow fewer bloggers and have meaningful interaction than follow a lot of bloggers and have interactions equivalent to a nod you give a stranger as you pass them on the street.

. . . and yes, I expect I’ll lose some followers who will either be upset I unsubscribed, or will forget about me because they’ll no longer see me on their blogs. Again, meaningful engagement is the key, and even then, I want more time to do my own thing, and right now I’m keeping up with too many blogs (if I subscribe, I read the blogs), and that means I often can’t do justice to all the blogs I’m following.

. . . it’s gonna be tough, I tell you what.

Anyway, on to future past stuff . . .

So, I have a lot of photos I’d like to share. Some are new, like the above.

“What is it?” you ask.

This is the third day of the Alphabet Challenge “T” Stories voting round. After a very quick start, we hit dead calm. No new votes. lots of views, but those are likely people using readers and not actually reading anything.

. . . there go my hopes of a 100 votes round . . .   

If you are a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge T-Stories” are HERE(link) Votes will be accepted until noon, Chicago time, on November 27th.

As usual, let me know if something goes wrong with the voting . . . and here are a few Nikon P900 photos.

Magic Sands beach in Kona, The Big Island

Most people get a pleasant reaction from scenes like the one above. I think deep in our evolved nature, we have an affinity for water.

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 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.

Cobweb in the fog

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

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 top-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.

So, a few days ago I posted this preview photo:

That’s a rather large (2.5″ – 3.0″) Two-striped Grasshopper. You can read about them HERE<<link and HERE<<link. .

I bug, but there’s no love for The Alphabet Challenge “O” Stories. Voting has stopped in its tracks and it ain’t budging. 

The writers are at a loss to explain the sudden dearth of voters. Worse yet, it appears the stories are getting some eyes on them . . . OK, I exaggerate a bit . . . no one has looked at them for the past few days, but before that, we were getting a minimum of four views per day on each story . . . and few of those people voted. Probably a statement about our writing talents.  

As useless as it might be, I’ll mention it again . . . if you’ve not already done so — please read the stories and then cast a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge O-Stories” are HERE.<<link

On the last post, I mentioned the game “find the bug” . . . as it happens, I have a great candidate for the game . . .

Do you see the bug?

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  If you want the full experience, keep reading.

While we get many hummingbirds in the back yard, we don’t get many butterflies. Almost none, actually.

This is why, when I see the flutter of big wings, I jump into action, the camera on hand. Such was the case some days ago, especially because the butterfly was unusual. I mean, I’ve already said any butterfly would be unusual here, but this one had black wings. A Black Swallowtail<<link, no less.

Now, this first photo isn’t all that great, but I kept it because of the photo-bombing bee . . . 

As usual, click on the photo to open a larger version in a new tab or window.

Actually, most of the shots were frustrating to get because the fluttering beast was obstinately uncooperative. It seldom gave me a full open-wings shot and robbed me of a decent profile shot. 

Here it is again, the bee safely to the side.

Reading the Alphabet Challenge “N” Stories is not a black and white matter . . . but monochrome versions of the Virginian Tiger Moth are nearly so (they also have gray).

I just realized the deadline for closing the vote is nearing (Sunday, noon) and I’ve yet to start on my “O” story (and no, I’m not planning on a riff on The Story of O<<link). I mean, the reasearch alone could take years.

Readers, on the other hand, if they’ve not already done so — could read the stories in about a half-hour, and then cast a vote for their favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge N-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link

So, Virginian Tiger Moth<<link was showcased yesterday . . .

A number of long-time readers aren’t partial to monochrome (and some prefer it) but in this case, monochrome seems to bring out more of the details without blowing other details away . . .

Moths don’t care much for the Alphabet Challenge “N” Stories. That I know of, no moths have voted for any of the stories. All they do is hang around on screen doors . . . waiting to be photographed.

Readers, on the other hand, if they’ve not already done so — could read the stories and cast a vote for their favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge N-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link

So, Virginian Tiger Moth<<link . . .

For some reason, despite it not moving much, I had a heck of a time photographing it . . . I suppose I should have gotten the tripod and done it proper justice . . .

The Alphabet Challenge “M” Stories voting has stalled. The “M” stories, mired and morose and melancholy, sit waiting for kind readers to stop by and give them a chance to enthrall, or at least entertain.

. . . er . . . mired and morose and melancholy are not the story titles; it’s just their state of being.

If you’ve not already done so, you can help them out by reading the stories and then cast your vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge M-Stories” are HERE.<<<Link

OK, that’s that. And now . . . .

Last week, when I went out to sit outside, this is what I saw next to my chair. Yes, those are rocks, but, if you haven’t already guessed from the title of the post, that’s not what I’m referring to.

It was evening, with the light fading. Some of these were shot with high ISO values and “DeNoised” and some were shot with the on-camera flash.

By the way, you can click on the photos for a larger view, or you can see the full-size photos in the SmugMug Gallery HERE.<<<Link

On my previous bug post HERE <<<this is a link I mentioned I used to photograph bugs . . . and if one wants a bit of proof, I have a SmugMug Folder <<<this is a link dedicated just to bugs.

Side note: some might wonder why I started adding “<<<this is a link” after links. Well, it turns out that if you read these posts on a phone — and depending on the browser — you might not see the underline signifying a link. Of course, the capitalized word should be a big hint, but some links are tied words in a sentence. I figure pointing to the link will increase the chance that someone who might be interested will recognize it as such.

Anyway, while not bad, I wasn’t super-thrilled with those photos. That’s why I went out a week later and snapped additional shots with more care and purpose.

Here’s a quick reminder to please — if so inclined — read the “H” Alphabet Challenge Stories. After, if receptive to the idea, the writers hope you’ll make the effort and vote for your favorite HERE.<<<this is a link

Clicking on the link will magically transport you to a post. There, you ‘ll find the poll where you can vote for your favorite of the three stories. Unless you want to deprive your friends of the experience, you can share that link and help expand the readership. if we say so ourselves — and we have to — most of the stories aren’t that bad.

If you’ve already voted, thank you. If you’ve already asked friends and family to read and vote, thank you again.

So, itsy bitsy spider . . . Two days ago, I told the tale (<<<this is a link) of me hurting a spider, likely breaking one of its legs. As I said, I rarely (intentionally) hurt spiders. But, I do intentionally post-process their photos with effects I find interesting. Today, I’m using a few Topaz Labs Plugins and Standalone Apps.