Our Lantana flowers are now attracting a variety of insects. My favorites are butterflies. The Commonwealth of Virginia where we live has designated the colorful and rather large “Eastern Tiger Swallowtail” as the state’s honorary insect. I’m sure the butterflies could care less that they have been so honored.
A colorful mix of butterflies, gathering on the damp sand along the shoreline of the Smith River near Martinsville, VA.
I don’t spend much time looking specifically for photo opportunities of birds, but once in awhile I get lucky and see a “target of opportunity.” First, skittish Cardinals usually don’t wait long for one to make a photo. I recently saw (through our kitchen window) a male Cardinal sitting on our backyard shed roof. It was loudly chirping, probably seeking to attract a female. I grabbed my camera fortunately with 55-200mm lens attached, which was sitting on my desk where I’d placed it while downloading images from the day prior, and hustled outside expecting to make several nice images of the bird. After the first try, my camera alerted me with a message on the LCD screen that there was no SD card inserted. Stupid me, I’d left the card in the reader I was using to download photos. So, I went back inside and installed the card, hoping the Cardinal would remain where it was. It did, and I was able to make this photo. Nothing great, but definitely rewarding after all I’d gone through.
Second, I was recently sitting in a chair outside during sunset, waiting for the light to create a good view of clouds to the west. Just as I was ready to go inside after making several “OK” photos, I looked up and saw a Turkey Buzzard quickly sailing by. Thanks to a fast focus I made the shot. Again, not that great of an image, but I sure was happy to make it. During these times of limited travel due to the pandemic, small photographic successes “close to home” mean a lot.
We’ve had an unusual amount of rain recently. I found three interesting photo compositions that I think represents our wet conditions.
I felt sorry for small birds that live around our house. One sought shelter from the rain under our porch roof, looking cold, wet and somewhat miserable.