Help me pick photos for my 2014 calendar on bees and bugs

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

Today, I’m asking your feedback on photos I’d like to include in my 2014 calendar on bees and bugs. Just tell me which ones you’d really want to see, and which ones I should definitely keep or get rid of. I appreciate your honest feedback.

Remember that everyone who comments on one of my 2014 photo calendar related posts will be entered in a drawing to win one of my calendars (you can pick your favorite theme). The only requirement I have for the winner is to be located within the U.S., mostly because the calendar will contain U.S. holidays and it will be more helpful to that person. For every calendar post that you comment on, you will earn one drawing entry (one entry per blog post, not per comment). I’m planning to give away one calendar to a lucky winner, and possibly another one to the person who comes in second, depending on the number of participants.

You can click on any photo below to open the slideshow and view everything in a larger format. Please include your comments into the post comment section directly, not on individual photos, to make it easier for everyone to see your feedback. Thank you!

Busy bees on cactus flowers

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

A few days ago, I shared with you some photos of flowers I took recently. Today I’d like to share a few more photos I took that day, more specifically the ones with the busy bees on the yellow cactus flowers.

Remember you can click on each photo for a larger view. This is the photo I shared the other day.

Bee on yellow cactus flowers
Bee on yellow cactus flowers

I love how the sunlight reflects on the bee’s wings to show its intricate design on the photo below.

Bee collecting nectar on yellow cactus flowers
Bee collecting nectar on yellow cactus flowers

I wonder how much nectar the bees can collect from these tiny flowers, which are just the size of a bee. At least the bees were busy doing their job and I didn’t seem to disturb them with my camera.

Bee on cactus flowers
Bee on cactus flowers

I got lucky for this last shot and managed to get two bees in the frame, a different angle for each. Busy bees!

Two bees on yellow cactus flowers
Two bees on yellow cactus flowers

Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Flowers

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

I’m participating in the online adventure travel and photography magazine LetsBeWild.com’s Wild Weekly Photo Challenge for bloggers. This week’s Challenge is: Flowers.

Yeah! Flowers are one of my favorite subjects to photograph. I used quite a few photos of flowers in my 2013 12-month photo calendar, didn’t I?

Why do I love photographing flowers so much? First, they still mostly still, unlike my kids, so I can take my time and find the best angle to photograph them. Unless my kids are standing very impatiently by my side… Second, flowers come in tons of different colors. I love pink and purple (you’ll see one of my most favorite flowers below) but really, flowers look great in almost any color. Third, on top of their awesome colors, some flowers can even smell good. Ah, our world is such a wonderful place…

For this photo challenge on flowers, I’ll share a few photos I took during my most recent visit to the San Diego Botanic Garden. I have many more photos to share about this visit, including some of the most amazing topiary I’ve ever seen. So if you’d like to see them, make sure you subscribe to this blog (sign up in the left sidebar), or to my Facebook page.

It’s one thing to like flowers and take photos of them. It’s another to know the names of the flowers you photograph. Even when I visit the San Diego Botanic Garden, I manage to take photos of flowers that are not labeled, so several of the flowers below will remain nameless, unless you know their names and you’re kind enough to share in the Comments section.

Remember you can click on each photo for a larger view.

Here’s one of my most favorite flower in San Diego. It starts blooming in large patches in January, for about two months – a beautiful way to celebrate winter here. I believe this is called a Pink Aster. And it’s my favorite color too!

Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Flowers - Pink asters
Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Flowers – Pink asters

What goes well with flowers? Bees! Here’s a bee on cactus flowers. Very cute, small, yellow flowers as you can see, smaller than a bee. Unfortunately I don’t know what type of cactus this is.

Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Flowers - Bee on cactus flowers
Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Flowers – Bee on cactus flowers

Many types of cactus are blooming at this time of year, and aloe is no exception. The one in the front is called Red Aloe, the one in the back Gold Aloe. Don’t they look great?

Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Flowers - Red Aloe and Gold Aloe
Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Flowers – Red Aloe and Gold Aloe

My last flower pick is some type of daisy. Unfortunately its petals are not in great shape but I really like the angle of this photo.

Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Flowers - Yellow daisy
Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Flowers – Yellow daisy

Stay tuned for a couple more posts on my visit to the San Diego Botanic Garden. I promise you won’t be disappointed, especially with the topiary I found throughout the garden.

Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Macro

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

I’m participating in the online adventure travel magazine LetsBeWild.com’s Wild Weekly Photo Challenge for bloggers. This week’s Challenge is: Macro Photography! Remember you can click on each photo to view a larger size.

The funny thing is, Let’s Be Wild used a dragonfly to illustrate this week’s challenge theme. Hey, wait, I’ve got one of those too!

Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Macro - blue dragonfly
Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Macro – blue dragonfly

And to continue with insects, I’ve got bees too.

Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Macro - bee on a wild rose
Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Macro – bee on a wild rose

I also love taking close-ups of flowers, in the case below a yellow lilium.

Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Macro - yellow lilium
Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Macro – yellow lilium

And finally a beautiful hibiscus, showing off his pistil and stamens.

Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Macro - hibiscus pistil and stamens
Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Macro – hibiscus pistil and stamens

Sunday Post: Natural Resources

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

I’ve decided to join a few hundreds of other fellow bloggers in Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post photo challenge. This week’s theme is Natural Resources. As always, you can click on each image for a larger view.

California is full of natural resources, the main one being the sun. We get a lot of sun and don’t harvest as much as we should for energy purposes.

Sunday Post: Natural Resources - the sun
Sunday Post: Natural Resources – the sun

One very precious natural resource in California is water. Unlike the sun, we get too little of it.

Sunday Post: Natural Resources - water - Lake Hemet, California
Sunday Post: Natural Resources – water – Lake Hemet, California

And with sun and water, we get vegetation, mostly brush and small trees. But with a good amount of water, you get tall, beautiful trees.

Sunday Post: Natural Resources - trees of Idyllwild, California
Sunday Post: Natural Resources – trees of Idyllwild, California

I’m very fond of this last featured natural resource: honey, made by precious bees. Unfortunately, bees are a natural resource in danger. Besides being kind to bees, you can help their population by growing lots of flowers and flowering plants.

Sunday Post: Natural Resources - honey making bee
Sunday Post: Natural Resources – honey making bee