Macro Views

Yellow Weed March 9

Spring makes me wish for a more powerful macro lens.

Hyacinth March 10

I want to capture all of the delicate splendor of the yard as it wakes from winter.

Pear March 11

Weed March 9

I use words like “corolla” and “calyx” in poems,

Pear March 11

Honeysuckle March 11

and name characters after weeds and wildflowers.

Purple Weed March 11

Henbit and Purple Deadnettle.

Purple Weed March 11

Speedwell March 8

Speedwell and Dandelion.

Dandelion March 8

Ant March 10

Spring is the only time of year when I truly love ants.

Ant March 11

As I follow ants with my camera, I find other treasures.

Insect March 9

Moth March 10

When carpenter bees emerge, my imagination becomes airborne.

Bee March 8

Bee March 8

I stalk our carpenter bees with both macro and long-focus lenses.

Bee March 8

Long-focus lenses let me stalk the yard’s other visitors, too.

Squirrel March 9

Squirrel March 9

Ruby crowned Kinglet March 13

But I always return to the macro lens, yearning to be closer.

Fennel March 10

Parsley March 11

Leaf March 8

Publication note: On March 2nd, my poem “On Losing the Old Dog” posted at Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, which is one of my favorite poetry sites. Many thanks to editor Christine Klocek-Lim!

Warm and Cold and Warm Again

Weed Feb 27

The yard is warm and sunny today, sprinkled with blossoming weeds. A few weeks ago it was frozen and snowy.

Snow Feb 12

This year January and February saw days warm enough for house repairs (replacing wood damaged by carpenter bees), followed closely by days too cold for anything but reading and sleeping.

Damage 3

Bee

Ice January 18

Snow January 23

Some days were strangely confused, cold with bright sunshine or warm with dreary skies.

Vulture Feb 14

Seagull Jan 8

Bird Feb 20

Squirrel Feb 20

Sapsucker Jan 12

Robin Jan 20

Robin Jan 18

Our annual writers’ weekend at the beach brought a little bit of everything.

Beach Feb 1

Beach Feb 1

Beach Feb 4

Beach Feb 4

March will likely bring a little bit more of everything, but hopefully it won’t get fountain-freezing cold again.

Town Center Feb 11

Hopefully.

Quiet Fireworks

Rabbit June 29

Our dog Indigo suffered from thunder phobia. During her aging years (before she lost her hearing) our entire household suffered from thunder phobia. I dreaded all of the fireworks holidays during those years.

Rabbit June 29

After Indigo lost her hearing, I was able to enjoy thunderstorms again (I’ve always been fascinated by storms), but I never regained an appreciation for fireworks. I find all the sparkle and flash I could ever want in the yard, without the sizzle and boom.

Flowers July 3

Dill July 2

Milkweed June 8

Marigold July 2

Caterpillar May 25

Dragonfly June 17

Finch June 28

Admittedly, some of the yard’s fireworks are more flash than sparkle…

Squirrel June 26

Squirrel June 26

Squirrel June 26

Squirrel June 26

Squirrel June 26

Fighting? We weren’t fighting…

Squirrel June 28

Squirrel June 29

rawr

Dragonfly June 29

I know that I’m not alone in my preference for quiet fireworks. What’s more, my discomfort is trivial when compared to the flashbacks that haunt many service members. (Here’s an article: “Fourth of July fireworks bring pain, stress for some service members.”)

Which brings me to a request. There are many, many holidays in the course of each year that are traditionally celebrated with fireworks. So there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy fireworks, if you enjoy them. But please refrain from lighting your fireworks randomly, between holidays.

Dragonfly June 17

A Writing Conference, a Publication Note, and Summer

Iris May 7

I recently registered for the 2015 Hampton Roads Writers’ Conference. (September 17-19 in Virginia Beach) This conference is one of my favorite events each year, and I’m already counting the days.

In other writing news, my poem “The Tracking” was published on May 12 at vox poetica. A version of this poem won first place in the Barbara Dunn Hartin Memorial Poetry Prize contest at the 2014 Hampton Roads Writers Conference, and I’m delighted that editor Annmarie Lockhart accepted it for publication.

Dragonfly June 11

And in news only vaguely related to writing, I’ve been spending a lot of time with my camera. Despite summer’s growing heat and humidity, the yard is hard to resist this time of year. Everything is blooming, the baby rabbits are thriving, and birds are everywhere.

Hover Fly May 12

Rabbit June 12

Robin May 15

Thrush June 10

In mid-May a dove decided to nest in the front petunia basket. Now her two nestlings are ready to fledge.

Dove May 18

May 18

Dove June 11

June 11

The yard’s most curious visitor, lately, is a very bold squirrel that follows me around as I take photos. If I sit still for a while, he sidles closer and closer until he is within a few feet, pretending he is burying something nearby. His jaw quivers nervously as he mumbles and grinds his teeth, but he comes back time and time again. It makes me wonder if he was raised by a rehabilitator, if he somehow equates humans with food and safety, yet also with peril.

I’m trying not to encourage the squirrel’s behavior, but I can’t resist photographing him. He’s very handsome.

Squirrel June 11

If he hangs around much longer, I might write him into a poem.

From the Summer Archive

Rabbit July 29

Today’s winter storm should bring nothing more than miserably cold rain and a few flurries to our area, but I decided to stay inside anyway. I dug out my digital to-do list, pulled on my favorite socks, and settled in for an afternoon of computer work. Mid-way through organizing my 2014 photo archive, I opened a forgotten folder and found a forgotten cache of summer.

Squirrel July 8

These images don’t make my house warmer, and they won’t melt snow or ice, but they reminded me that summer is only a few months away.

Brown Thrasher July 26

Mockingbird July 20

It won’t be too long before spring rustles in — waking the yard’s flowers, urging birds to nest, and breathing life into new generations of insects.

Wasp Aug 31

Unknown July 6

Unknown Beetle Oct 10

Soon, sooner than February ever lets me imagine, it will be time to put away my favorite socks, turn off the heat, and open all the windows.

Caterpillar July 28

Soon…

Hydrangea June 27