Tiger swallowtail butterfly (Papilio glaucus)

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 want to start by reminding you that my 2015 nature photography calendars are available for saleIf you’re looking for a unique Thanksgiving or holiday gift to give a teacher, a friend, a colleague, or a family member, this is a great choice. I thank you for your purchase and your support.

You can click on each photo below for a larger view. If you like what you see, I encourage you to subscribe so you can enjoy the new photos I post a few times a week.

Butterflies are cool looking insects and they do a great job at pollinating flowers. But I find them challenging to photograph, especially since I don’t have a super fancy zoom lens or a tripod. Unlike bees, they won’t let me get too close without taking off, and they don’t always keep their wings wide open long enough while resting on flowers. Oh, and they love to stay on flowers that are out of reach, so I can’t photograph them from a good angle.

Still, I was pretty lucky to find this beautiful, yellow tiger swallowtail butterfly (more formally known as Papilio glaucus) a few weeks ago. Somehow, it landed on the same kind of bright pink flowers I photographed that bee fly the same day, even though those bushes were in different areas of the botanical garden. Those flowers must be tasting delicious. The first flower cluster this tiger swallowtail butterfly picked didn’t make for a great picture, but he did help me out a bit as he kept hopping from flower to flower.

Tiger swallowtail butterfly on pink flowers
Tiger swallowtail butterfly on pink flowers

This was much better already than the first picture I took.

Yellow tiger swallowtail butterfly drinking nectar
Yellow tiger swallowtail butterfly drinking nectar

This tiger swallowtail was nice enough to display its beautiful wing markings for me to take one last picture of it quickly before it took off.

Close-up of a tiger swallowtail butterfly on pink flowers
Close-up of a tiger swallowtail butterfly on pink flowers

Are you a butterfly fan, or do they creep you out?

Macro Monday: the bee fly (bombyliidae)

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.

This is a quick reminder that my 2015 nature photography calendars are now available for saleIf you’re looking for a unique Thanksgiving or holiday gift to give a teacher, a friend, a colleague, or a family member, this is a great choice. I thank you for your purchase and your support.

Today I’m taking part in the Macro Monday photo challenge. You can click on each photo for a larger view. If you like what you see, I encourage you to subscribe so you can enjoy the new photos I post a few times a week.

I recently took photos of a number of flowers at a local botanical garden, and bees were busy visiting them for nectar collection. But this flower bush below (don’t ask me what type of bloom it is, I have no idea; but if you know, please tell me!) displayed something a bit different: a bee fly. From the Bombyliidae family,  bee flies are quite larger than your regular house fly and they include many different types of flies. They all collect nectar and pollen and can even be useful pollinators. I’ll tell you, they’re not as pretty as bees but they are awesome when it comes to posing for photographs because they don’t seem to be bothered when you stand close to them. Oh, and another great advantage over bees? They don’t sting.

Some bee flies can be as colorful and as fuzzy as bees. This bee fly just looked more like a very large fly, but since this is the first time I’ve photographed one, I’m not too picky.

Macro Monday: the bee fly (bombyliidae)
Macro Monday: the bee fly (bombyliidae)
Close-up of a bee fly (bombyliidae)
Close-up of a bee fly (bombyliidae)

 

Floral Friday Fotos: Red dogwood tree blooms

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 participating in Floral Friday Fotos. You can click on each photo for a larger view. If you enjoy my photos, I encourage you to subscribe and receive updates when I post new photos, usually 3 to 5 times a week.

There are plenty of dogwood trees in Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. and I was lucky to be visiting when the trees were starting to bloom. Although dogwood trees blossoms can be vary from white / yellow to pink, my favorite ones have to be the red blossoms. I saw one dogwood tree with red blossoms while visiting Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. I understand Jefferson himself planted most of the dogwood trees there so their age may explain why they’re so big.

You don’t often see trees with so many red blooms so it was a pleasure to photograph, even though the lighting was challenging since it was in the middle of the day, and it was a warm, sunny day. Perfect day to visit Monticello, walk the grounds and take pictures like these.

What’s your favorite kind of dogwood tree blossoms?

Floral Friday Fotos: Red dogwood tree blooms
Floral Friday Fotos: Red dogwood tree blooms
Red dogwood tree blossoms
Red dogwood tree blossoms
Close-up of dogwood tree red blossoms
Close-up of dogwood tree red blossoms
Dogwood tree - red blossoms
Dogwood tree – red blossoms

 

A Word A Week Photo Challenge – Contrast

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 participating in the A Word A Week Challenge. This week’s theme is “contrast”.  I encourage you to click on each photo to see a larger view. If you like what you see, please subscribe to this blog to receive updates of the new photos I post, usually 3 to 5 times a week.

There are many ways to feature contrast in photographs, so here are a few of my personal interpretations for this photo theme. There can be contrast between light and dark, as in this backlight setting on Coronado beach in front of the Pacific ocean.

A Word A Week Photo Challenge – Contrast between light and dark
A Word A Week Photo Challenge – Contrast between light and dark

Or it could be contrast between light and dark at night, between the bright full moon in the background and the dark trees in the foreground.

Travel theme: Contrast - Moon rising beyond the trees
Travel theme: Contrast – Moon rising beyond the trees

It could be the exact opposite with the trees in the foreground in bright light, and the clouds in the background in the dark.

Contrast between trees in the sun and dark sky with clouds
Contrast between trees in the sun and dark sky with clouds

It could be both a contrast in size, small versus large, and in color, white and versus pink, as in this photo of a small white poppy right next to a large pink poppy.

Contrast between small white poppy and large pink poppy
Contrast between small white poppy and large pink poppy

Finally, it could a contrast between what you see at first glance, and what you really see if you look more closely, as in this map of the USA in the water puddle with the colors of the American flag, still one of my favorite shots so far.

Water puddle in the shape of the United States
Water puddle in the shape of the United States

 

Floral Friday Fotos: my first cherry blossoms

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 participating in Floral Friday Fotos. You can click on each photo for a larger view. If you enjoy my photos, I encourage you to subscribe and receive updates when I post new photos, usually 3 to 5 times a week.

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to photograph my first cherry blossoms earlier this week at the San Diego Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park. This is prime season to enjoy the cherry blossoms in San Diego and I wanted to take advantage of them before they disappear for a whole year. I took a lot more photos than these few but I thought this would be a nice sample to start you with, using this Floral Friday theme. Happy Friday and happy first day of spring!

Cherry blossoms at the San Diego Japanese Friendship garden in Balboa Park
Cherry blossoms at the San Diego Japanese Friendship garden in Balboa Park
Floral Friday Fotos: my first cherry blossoms
Floral Friday Fotos: my first cherry blossoms
Close-up of pink cherry blossoms
Close-up of pink cherry blossoms
Close-up of pink cherry blossoms
Close-up of pink cherry blossoms