The voting for Round 6 of the Title Writing Prompt Challenge closes at Noon, Tuesday, September 6th. If you are interested in reading the stories and voting, or if you’ve read the stories and have yet to vote, there’s no time like the present.

You can find the poll and stories links in THIS post, and also — as a service to lazy readers — the stories, with their associated blurbs, linked below.

As mentioned in the last reminder post, both Perry and Gary wrote pretty good stories, and their heated votes battle reflects that fact. Of course, it would be nice if readers made a point of reading all our stories, but I’m suggesting their Round 6 stories are worth the effort. Mine? Nah.

E. J. D’Alise submission<<link
Edwina never dreamed she’d have to defend her choice. Now, she’s doing just that in justifying her antinatalism view.

Perry Broxson submission<<link
Jack, recently divorced, starts his second act. He finds a great new lady, only to lose her…inexplicably, to suicide. He has to know why, why, why she took her life. But that information will cost him dearly.

R. G. Broxson submission<<link
What makes a family uproot and risk everything for a new life? Follow a boy from Honduras as he and his mother and unborn sister make the treacherous journey to the land of opportunity. It won’t be easy. Hot on their heels is Satan, a ruthless gang banger that can’t afford to let them testify against him. Will they survive? Read and see.

Now, then . . . . Samsung Note 20 Ultra. I’ve not been posting many of the photos I snap, other than the results of me using Photoshop Mix and Paper Artist.

But, today, I share photos from April. Not all, mind you, but some.

I begin with a panorama of the Southern Illinois University Campus lake.

I happened to have spent a fair amount of time around that lake. Sometimes walking with Melisa, sometimes fishing, sometimes riding my bike, and sometimes just sitting. I was surprised to learn that bikes are no longer allowed on the paved path that goes around the lake.

Why was I there so much? Well, to the right of that first photo . . .

We’re getting to the time of year when despite some hummingbirds jealously guarding their favorite feeder, there are enough birds — and enough pressure to bulk up for the coming migration — that birds, and especially young birds, are forced to share.

It’s also the time of year when I’m likely to capture photos like these . . .

In Thursday’s post documenting Wednesday’s Erculean photography effort, I posted a few photos snapped with my Nikon P900 camera. I don’t use the camera as much primarily because most of my subjects are fairly close. Also, because I’m sitting on a chair on my patio, the weight of the equipment isn’t a concern.

Still, I usually have the P900 out there with me, and for every ten or so photos with the D7500, I’ll snap one or two photos with the P900.

Gray Catbird

The advantage of shooting with the P900 is that I don’t have to crop the photo much (if any) to fill the frame with the subject.

I tend to fall am way behind in sharing photos, so when, yesterday, I ended up shooting about 300 photos, I decided to share a few more than a tenth of them before too much time passed.

So, what kind of photos? Well, hummingbirds, dragonflies, a brown thrasher, white-tailed deer, a raccoon, and a Great Egret. Oh, and the massive Moon we had that evening.

And, we begin with a ‘find the hummingbird photo’ . . . because I’ll have a number of them and I don’t want to bunch them all in one place.

Next up are a few photos from the P900, but only a few; the rest are all D7500 photos.

Per the title, below I offer up photos of more hummingbirds in the rain.

. . . but that’s not how I’m starting. Not only is there no rain, but you also have to find the hummingbird.

It’s not especially difficult . . . once you see it.

OK, let me get on with rainy hummers . . .

In human terms — and as far as the yard was concerned — it was raining pretty good. Now, this guy was guarding the feeder by sitting right on top of it and chasing away any hummers that dared get close.

He held a curious pose, and I think it’s because he was tired and — as we might infer later — was trying to catch a few winks.

Per the title, below I offer up photos of hummingbirds in the rain.

When I walk in the rain (usually because I’m caught in it, not because I’m wont to do so, no matter how attractive it sounds), I don’t perceive much distance between raindrops . . . but a hummingbird’s perception is much different.

True, this rain was not a deluge by any stretch of the imagination. Still . . .

As mentioned in Part 1, I’ve been taking a lot of photos of birds.

The 100% Crop series is just at it sounds. Each photo shows a bird cropped from a larger photo. Most of the crops will be 100%, but not all.

Regardless, the photos will be fairly large close-ups of the birds. And, what better way to begin than with a Bald Eagle?

For photos at 100% crop (the above photo isn’t), if your browser window is set to full screen, and if your screen is large enough, when you click on the photo, it will fill the screen. If your cursor shows as a circle with a ‘plus’ sign, it means your screen resolution is smaller than the photo, in which case, you can click on the photo to further zoom in to 100% resolution.

The above shot was taken from the car. Even at 300mm zoom (450 effective), the bird is fairly small. I can crop the image and it’s still small.

Of course, in SmugMug, you can view the first photo at full resolution and it’ll be a tad larger . . . but, I also ran the photo through Topaz GigaPixel and doubled the resolution . . .

I should have filmed it, but the photos offer a different perspective . . . the movement of the water and water drops as the bird bathes.

OK, OK . . . see, Catbirds have a habit of getting on the birdbath, drinking a few sips, and leaving.

I figured this was going to be another one of those times . . . even when he jumped in, I thought nothing of it because they do occasionally jump in, and then jump out and leave.

Even when he started messing with the water, I still thought it was going to be a few seconds and no more . . .

I previously mentioned I’ve been snapping a lot of photos . . . so I have an excuse for not working on the story that’s due in a few weeks as I instead work on this post. This is a short post because I have other stuff to do (stuff that’s also not writing the story).

We begin with a series of flying photos . . . er . . . photos of flying things. Specifically, a Great Blue Heron.

I’ve been taking a lot of photos of birds. A lot. Many more than I can possibly post unless I dedicate most of my time to posting bird photos (not a bad thing, that, but it would be at the expense of other stuff).

On the other hand, as each day goes by, I fall behind and the inventory gets larger. And so, I decided to do occasional posts sampling the photos in my collection.

The 100% Crop series is just at it sounds. Each photo shows a bird at full resolution (100% crop). For example, here’s a Gray Catbird. Also, it will typically fill the frame with little of the surroundings shown other than what’s in the background.

If your browser window is set to full screen, and if your screen is large enough, when you click on the photo, it will fill the screen. If your cursor shows as a circle with a ‘plus’ sign, it means your screen resolution is smaller than the photo, in which case, you can click on the photo to further zoom in to 100% resolution.

Try it; I’ll wait before adding the rest of the photos.

Occasionally, this past Winter, I spied a Robin-sized bird with striking plumage. I snapped a few photos of it, but few were any good. The bird is the Brown Thrasher, and I live right at the edge of its year-round range.

Before I proceed, a quick reminder about the two polls currently open. One is for the Random Title Challenge Round 2 Submissions (HERE), and the other is to pick a title for Round 3 (HERE). If you’ve not done so — and if you feel so inclined — we’d appreciate your votes. Thanks.

And now, on with the bird stuff.

That’s my neighbor’s junky landscaping. It’s a tad unsightly but I don’t mind because many birds forage there. They come for the seeds of various weeds, the bugs, and for material for their nests.