The Magpie

P1050521

I’ve only seen Magpies in Alaska. Like crows, which I am very familiar with, they are not at all shy of us humans. Inquisitive birds. As I was getting into our parked rental car high up in mountainous terrain north of Anchorage, this bird landed on the car adjacent and watched me. A few years ago at the same location, I watched two Magpies harass a Fox that was trying to get near one of their small chicks huddled in a sheltered spot. The Fox gave up, being chased away by the swooping pair. The one on the car was not so hostile. To me at least. I’m pretty sure he was just looking for a hand-out of a tasty snack. Too bad for the beggar I don’t believe in feeding birds or any other critter in nature. I prefer to look and marvel at what i”m seeing.

P1050523

Beautiful Moth

The Pandora sphinx moth is a North American moth. It is a large, greenish gray camouflaged patterned moth. It has a wingspan of 3¼–4½ females being slightly larger than males. Pandora sphinx moths fly during dusk. Some places see only one generation a year, while others see two. I saw one yesterday on the side of our house. Very beautiful and interesting. Lucky me I guess.

Close up with a flock of flowers

IMG_0757

I like to make photos of flowers close up, primarily because there is so much more detail than one might see in passing. I’m happy to say that all of these images were made with my iPhone 7 Plus, using a really nice App (Camera +) that has an easily accessible macro mode, as well as an image stabilizer to help get sharper photos. It’s all pretty amazing actually, given how much I have invested in professional grade photo gear. And which I’m a bit sad to admit isn’t used that much any more. I could sell it all, but I’m not ready to do that. Anyway, have a look. (Check out the small Bumble Bee and Japanese Beetle that made each image a bit more special.)

IMG_0772

IMG_0770

IMG_0754

IMG_0766

IMG_0769

IMG_0767

IMG_0771

 

 

One Magnolia Tree

IMG_0649

There is a very large Magnolia Tree across the street from our home. Every year at this time the sweet fragrance of its large-petal blossoms add much to my day. But, alas, it’s gone far too soon. Within a day or two the petals fade from ivory white to faded brown and then fall off. But, it I catch them just right as I did recently, I’m rewarded. Magnolia trees are an iconic part of living in southern regions of the United States. I’m glad I’m there to enjoy the beauty.

IMG_0633

IMG_0642

IMG_0646

Historic Wright Tavern

Per North Carolina Historical Marker online research: “The Wright Tavern is a landmark in Rockingham County that has successfully been restored to its nineteenth century condition. Construction on the inn commenced around 1810. The building remained in the Wright-Reid family until it was sold to the Rockingham County Historical Society in 1967. “I’ve visited the site several times, and each time I do I see more than I’d seen before.

DSCF5318

I like to “get close” after making an overview photo, and by so doing I’ve been transported back in time. I especially liked the open “walk through” area between adjacent living areas, with the old stairway to the second floor..

DSCF5325DSCF3502

Details of the historic structure, and out-buildings made me smile. I’m even more pleased when I see the results of volunteers and others renovating rare buildings such as Wright Tavern, and by doing that they bring great credit to the locality involved.

DSCF3500

DSCF5332

DSCF5334

Hearty Pansies

img_0194

These pansies and others just like them were covered a few days ago by a three foot deep pile of snow, shoveled off the driveway after a nine inch snow last week. I’m amazed just how hearty these flowers are. They flourish in winter and early spring but not so much in mid summer.

img_0196

img_0197

Walking with Grandsons

p1050264

Few things make me happier these days, than being able to enjoy times together with family. Daughter Amy is visiting now with her two sons Stephen (right) and Daniel (left). Today, they went with me on a nice walk in the woods near our home, along the Smith River. As we walked and talked, my camera eye spotted lots of interesting colors and patterns you can see below. The trail we walked along the river reminded me of all the interesting sights these two young men will see during their walk down the path they are on, so long as they look around the next bend and experience unknown adventures. Shorty, Stephen will be in the U.S. Coast Guard, and Daniel will enter Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. Exciting times for sure for these two guys, and I’m vary thankful to have spent time with them today “in the woods.”

p1050266

p1050268

p1050269

p1050267

Ponds and Streams

dscf5204

When temperatures fall, and many tree leaves are on the ground (or in the water in this case) I enjoy looking for photo compositions that confirm the season we are experiencing in definite visual ways. I suppose many like me have a magnetic attraction to “water in nature” no matter its type and form. Just go find it if that’s you.

img_0009

dscf5205

Rustic is Good

dscf5195

I made this photo a few days ago, and it represents a specific photo subject I enjoy very much: rustic building windows and doors. It’s the wooden texture, reflections in the old glass, peeling paint, and thoughts about what sort of things lie behind, that get to me … every time. While I was making this photo, an old man came driving onto the property I was on, illegally I might add because there were “No Trespassing” signs in view. However, a metal farm gate was open, and I’d been to this old house several times before. I figured better to ask forgiveness rather than permission. Anyway, the man was a farm hand, carrying items out from behind the house. I explained what I was doing and he welcomed me to stay as long as I liked. Maybe it was my rural SW Virginia accent that did the trick, or the US Coast Guard hat I was wearing. We chatted a bit about the old home, which he said was built in the 1870s, and had been enlarged over the years. He said folks had lived there well into the 20th Century. It was indeed rustic. The foothills of the Blue Ridge where we live sure do have character. Like this rustic old house, and the nice old man I ran into that day.