Help me pick photos for my main 2014 nature photography calendar

Today, I’m asking your feedback on photos I’d like to include in my 2014 calendar on flowers and blooms. 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.

I assigned a month to each photo. Some months only have one picture assigned to them, others have several. Give me your honest opinion of which photo would be best for each month. If you don’t like the single photo for a month and would rather see another one on this list, please let me know too. For example, if you’d like to see raindrops in February but prefer the ones I chose for March instead of that month, tell me so.

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!

WordPress weekly photo challenge: from lines to patterns

Today I’m participating in the WordPress weekly photo challenge and this week’s theme is “from lines to patterns”. You can click on the photos below for a larger view. If you like what you see, feel free to subscribe and receive nature photography updates a few times a week.

I love the color patterns created by the lines on this monarch caterpillar.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: from lines to patterns - monarch caterpillar
WordPress weekly photo challenge: from lines to patterns – monarch caterpillar

Take a look at the intricate lines and patterns that make up the wings of a dragonfly. No wonder this is the fastest flying insect in the world.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: from lines to patterns - wings of an orange dragonfly
WordPress weekly photo challenge: from lines to patterns – wings of an orange dragonfly

The leaves of the bloodleaf plant (Iresine herbstii) display some beautiful lines all across.

Bloodleaf plant - Iresine herbstii
Bloodleaf plant – Iresine herbstii

I love the beautiful patterns and lines on the wood duck.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: from lines to patterns - wood duck
WordPress weekly photo challenge: from lines to patterns – wood duck

Waves create lines and patterns, even if it’s just the small ripples of a lake.

Lines and patterns of a lake's waves
Lines and patterns of a lake’s waves

Dandelions in seeds displays a lot of lines sorted by clusters.

Lines and patterns of a dandelion in seed
Lines and patterns of a dandelion in seed

I chose the lines of the paper kite butterfly (Idea Leuconoe) for last. I hope you enjoy them!

Lines and patterns of the paper kite butterfly (Idea Leuconoe)
Lines and patterns of the paper kite butterfly (Idea Leuconoe)

Travel theme: Wild

Today I’m participating in Where’s My Backpack’s Travel Theme photo challenge. This week’s theme is “wild”. Remember you can click on each photo for a larger view. If you like what you see, feel free to subscribe and receive nature photography updates a few times a week.

I wasn’t sure what photos to use for this theme but the inspiration came to me yesterday, when I got an unexpected visitor in my backyard. If you’ve ever tried to photograph dragonflies, you know they’re not the best subjects and could care less about your requests to sit still. Dragonflies are the fastest flying insects and that makes it a wild encounter if you manage to snap a few photos of them.

Here’s a beautiful orange dragonfly who was kind enough to rest a few inches away from me so I could take a couple of photos with my zoom. That bright orange is quite a wild color too!

Travel theme: Wild - orange dragonfly
Travel theme: Wild – orange dragonfly
Travel theme: Wild - orange dragonfly resting on a branch
Travel theme: Wild – orange dragonfly resting on a branch

Travel theme: Tilted

Today I’m participating in Where’s My Backpack’s Travel Theme photo challenge. This week’s theme is “tilted”. Remember you can click on each photo for a larger view. If you like what you see, feel free to subscribe and receive nature photography updates a few times a week.

I took this photo of a monarch caterpillar last week in San Diego’s Balboa Park. I wish I could walk tilted up a tree like that.

Travel theme: Tilted monarch caterpillar
Travel theme: Tilted monarch caterpillar

How about this baby panda at the San Diego Zoo, who manages to hang on and take a nap on a tilted branch?

Travel theme: Tilted baby panda
Travel theme: Tilted baby panda

This orange dragonfly can stand still and a bit tilted while barely hanging on to a stick.

Travel theme: Tilted orange dragonfly
Travel theme: Tilted orange dragonfly

Finally, look at these two pine trees. One of them is slightly tilting and to touch the other, then tilting back the other way, as if the trees were kissing.

Travel theme: Tilted pine trees
Travel theme: Tilted pine trees

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Fleeting

Today I’m participating in the WordPress weekly photo challenge and this week’s theme is “fleeting”. Remember you can click on each image to see a larger view. If you like what you see, feel free to subscribe and receive nature photography updates a few times a week.

Nature is full of fleeting moments and that’s what makes it challenging to photograph. Of course, animals are the hardest to photograph as they may be right in front of you one moment, and gone by the time you pull your camera out. Bees collecting nectar are a good example of a fleeting moment. I got lucky with this shot, where I managed to photograph a bee collecting nectar in the bags on its legs.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Fleeting - bee collecting nectar in bags
WordPress weekly photo challenge: Fleeting – bee collecting nectar in bags

Dragonflies are notorious for flying around for hours without taking a break. I got lucky with this orange dragonfly who decided to take a very short rest on a tree branch not far from me.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Fleeting - orange dragonfly resting on a tree branch
WordPress weekly photo challenge: Fleeting – orange dragonfly resting on a tree branch

This baby koala was a nice capture of the fleeting moment a couple of weeks ago, as he turned his head towards me for a few minutes so I could capture this photo.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Fleeting - Baby koala sleeping
WordPress weekly photo challenge: Fleeting – Baby koala sleeping

Butterflies are the perfect expression of a fleeting moment, as they’re often difficult to capture since they don’t stand still for too long. I was lucky to get a photo of this giant owl butterfly.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Fleeting - giant owl butterfly
WordPress weekly photo challenge: Fleeting – giant owl butterfly

Not just animals are fleeting in nature. The morning dew is another example of something that doesn’t last a long time and is gone by the time the sun is out and shining.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Fleeting - morning dew on grass blades
WordPress weekly photo challenge: Fleeting – morning dew on grass blades

Our San Diego winters don’t get very cold but we manage to get frost several days a year. The frost melts as soon as the winter sun rays warm it up, but it’s very pretty while it lasts.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Fleeting - frost on ice plants in San Diego
WordPress weekly photo challenge: Fleeting – frost on ice plants in San Diego
Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Fleeting - frost on leaves in San Diego
WordPress weekly photo challenge: Fleeting – frost on leaves in San Diego

I think the most fleeting moments in nature are sunrise and sunset. They last only a few minutes but set the tone for the day and for the night.

A beautiful sunrise can inspire you for a whole day.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Fleeting - winter sunrise in San Diego
WordPress weekly photo challenge: Fleeting – winter sunrise in San Diego

A gorgeous sunset can give you hope for the next day.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Fleeting - San Diego sunset Christmas 2012
WordPress weekly photo challenge: Fleeting – San Diego sunset Christmas 2012