Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Spring Happenings Continued

More spring color to share! Plus one bird.

Stem to Stern

Crabapple trees have wonderful spring blossoms:

Hardly Crabby

A Star is Born

Petals on Alert

A species tulip and grape hyacinth:

Standing Out

More of our purple leaf sand cherry:

Branch Alive

Rich Endings

V is for Victory

Robin's eggs:

Blue Collection

Sadly, these beautiful blue eggs (previous photo) under this robin (next photo) disappeared a few days after this photo was taken; hopefully, the robin had more baby-making success elsewhere.

Egg Warmer with Something to Say

Dive Bombers

Open for Business

Bloomin' Branch

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Sunday, May 23, 2021

Spring Happenings

Spring is a great time to be taking pictures. The bright colors of blooming flowers are hard to resist, both for me with my camera, and for bees as well. Bees see color somewhat differently than humans, preferring blues and yellows and not so much reds, as red looks black to bees.

Nature has a way of showing off this time of year. I try to capture that in the images below.


This is a Lenten rose (a type of hellebore). It is not a rose; it is in the buttercup family.

Green with Envy

A hyacinth:

Purple Wave 1

Purple Wave 2

Here's a daffodil (also called Narcissus, the formal name of the genus). This was taken indoors in low light.

Mood Setter

A backyard azalea, that I find particularly captivating, at least in this pose:

Seeking Truth

This bee likes it too.

Pollen Hunter

Here the bee goes "all in":

Nose First

These next two photos are flowering pear tree blossoms:

Upward Bound

Blue Sky Watchers

This next photo is of our purple leaf sand cherry (also called plum leaf sand cherry). It *is* a member of the rose family. I've been experimenting with photos on my Pixel 4a, a recent cell phone upgrade. Despite its single lens and small size, this cell phone can be encouraged to take remarkably good photos with a bit of care.

This was taken in "Portrait" mode, and enhanced using Remini, which is a cell phone app I recently discovered that makes some pictures sharper (especially out of focus ones) using artificial intelligence. While Remini works particularly well for faces, I find it does a surprisingly nice job with many flower photos as well.

Purple No-Rain

(back to my regular Olympus camera on a different day) Here's the same plant in bright backlit sun:

Setting Sail

Another hyacinth:
Curls Aside

This is a primrose, which is not a rose:

Color Pop

This tulip was one of the earlier spring flowers on display in our garden:

Pink Rules

Pink Petals

This next photo is an indoor Pixel 4a picture of a daffodil in a vase, using natural light.

Splash of Yellow

Here's another Pixel 4a photo of one of our cherry trees, also taken in "Portrait" mode, and enhanced using Remini (and Lightroom).

Blossom Out

 All photos © 2021, all rights reserved.  Contact for licensing or to order prints.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Mourning Doves and Babies

A pair of mourning doves decided to start a family in our back yard. They built a nest directly on one of the wooden crossbeams of our pergola. The nest and their activities could be seen, and photographed, through our back windows. They appeared to be aware of us, and seemed to accept us watching them.

We have climbing hydrangeas growing on that pergola. Fortunately, it was just early enough in the spring season that they weren't fully leafed-out yet, so the leaves didn't hide the nest too much. The leaves have since grown in, and there's no way to easily view the nest anymore. The young babies, called squabs, have since left the nest.

These first few shots are of the eggs in the nest. The quality of the photos is not ideal because they are taken through window screen and window glass. We were too concerned to remove the screen at first, because we didn't want to startle the birds. All the later photos are still through window glass - not best - but at least we managed to get the screen out of the way with no apparent negative consequences on the birds' activities.

I spent quite a bit of time post-processing most of these through-the-screen-and-or-glass photos in an attempt to improve their image quality.

Parent and Eggs #1

Parent and Eggs #2

Mourning Dove parents switch off during the day, both mother and father sharing the responsibility of keeping the squabs warm by sitting on them. This next photo was taken after one parent got off them, and before the other parent arrived.

Babies During Parent Switch #1

Keeping Babies Warm

Peeking Out

One of the parents waiting his or her turn to sit. I liked the tail pose.

Graceful Parent

Babies During Parent Switch #2

Babies (squabs) are fed Pigeon's Milk, also called Dove's Milk, which is regurgitated from the mother and the father. The parent can feed one or both squabs at the same time.

Babies Being Fed Dove's Milk

Eyes Wide Open

After the babies left the nest, the parents decided to visit our deck railing, adjacent to the pergola, the same spot where inception began. In fact, they had sex again, during this next sequence of photos. Deb, using my camera, took these railing shots through the kitchen window.

Parents Revisit Courting Spot

Fan Display

Kissy kissy

Face to Face

Mating happened next. Alas, shutter speed wasn't set fast enough to avoid blurry wings flapping, but honestly, I don't think anyone really wants to see any more detail than this. They are incredibly fast, by the way. This act serves a single purpose and they don't dwell;)

Making More Babies

Almost immediately after the above, we observed them having this intimate chat:

Intimate Chat

 All photos © 2021, all rights reserved.  Contact for licensing or to order prints.