Macro Monday: Pine tree sap

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.

Well, after a long summer break to enjoy my kids’ company, I am back! I’ve managed to take a few photos over the past couple of months, but my SD cards are so full of photos I’ve taken for the past year or so, I’m not sure where to start. One huge goal I have for September is to completely revamp my Zazzle nature photography store and create new photo products for sale, so that should be me busy for a while…

For today’s Macro Monday, I thought I’d share a couple of photos of solidified pine tree sap I spotted during our summer vacation in the mountains of Southern California. I love the way these drops of tree sap show reflections of their surroundings, a bit like a glass marble would.

Macro Monday: reflections in a drop of pine tree sap
Macro Monday: reflections in a drop of pine tree sap

This pine tree sap seems to attract insects, which then get stuck on it while it dries up. Eventually they become permanent fixtures of this art created by Mother Nature.

Tree sap on pine tree with ants
Tree sap on pine tree with ants

Now that my kids are back in school, I’ll try my best to post new photos several times a week, as well as visit other photo blogs to take a look at the beautiful shots you’ve been taking. Happy Monday!

Travel theme: Blossom

Today I’m participating in Where’s My Backpack’s Travel Theme photo challenge. This week’s theme is “blossom”. 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 was lucky to visit Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia when every tree was in bloom this past April. Let me share just a few of the many beautiful tree blossoms the area has to offer in the spring.

Washington D.C. is known for its cherry blossoms, but once you see these pink magnolias in bloom, also known as tulip trees, you may just fall in love with them as I did. There were many, many of them in the gardens of the Smithsonian red castle.

Tulip trees - pink magnolia trees in bloom at the Smithsonian red castleTulip trees - pink magnolia trees in bloom at the Smithsonian red castle
Tulip trees – pink magnolia trees in bloom at the Smithsonian red castle

 

Tulip tree blossoms - pink magnolia blooms
Tulip tree blossoms – pink magnolia blooms

You’ll find many cherry blossoms (some of them white, the others pink) all around Washington D.C. but the highest concentration is around the Tidal Basin. They sure are pretty to look at and walk by, and when their petals fall, they look like snow, except it’s not freezing cold.

White cherry blossoms in Washington DC
White cherry blossoms in Washington DC

While visiting Thomas Jefferson’s estate at Monticello, I stumbled upon these lovely pink tree blossoms. I believe they belong to the dwarf almond tree.

Dwarf almond tree pink blossoms
Dwarf almond tree pink blossoms

There are many Eastern red bud trees in that area of the country and they sure welcome spring with their bright pink colors.

Easter red bud tree in bloom
Easter red bud tree in bloom

Dogwood trees were in bloom too, in various colors. This dogwood tree had yellow blooms.

Yellow dogwood tree blossoms
Yellow dogwood tree blossoms

When an Eastern red bud and a dogwood tree hang out together during blooming season, this is how beautiful they look next to each other.

Easter red bud tree and white dogwood tree blossoms
Easter red bud tree and white dogwood tree blossoms

Finally I discovered the weeping cherry blossom tree during my trip. It’s a cross between a weeping willow and a cherry blossom tree. Getting lost underneath one of these trees wouldn’t be so bad.

Weeping cherry blossom tree
Weeping cherry blossom tree

Do you have favorite tree blossoms?

Floral Friday Fotos: Red dogwood tree blooms

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

 

Fall in San Diego: golden light and double rainbows

Remember that you still have a little time to purchase one of my 2014 nature photography calendars (choose between five different themes) as a holiday gift. Look in the left sidebar on my website for the most up-to-date discount coupon code. All calendars are made to order in the USA so you support the US economy with your purchase, and a starving artist (me!). I also appreciate any referral through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and of course your blog or website.

Today I want to take a little time to share a few photos I took recently. Remember you can click on each photo for a larger view. The temperatures have been steadily dropping down in San Diego and we’ve had far from perfect weather these past few weeks. Fall is definitely here in San Diego.

It first started with a lot of clouds and a lot of wind, but no rain. Here’s what the golden hour looked like behind my house a couple of weeks ago. Can you believe not a single drop of rain fell on that day?

Golden hour in San Diego in the fall
Golden hour in San Diego in the fall

Since then, the skies have been covered with clouds, most often white puffy ones, but sometimes very gray ones. Here’s a golden sunrise behind my house from a few days ago. This is quite unusual for this time of year.

Golden sunrise in San Diego
Golden sunrise in San Diego

We had a ton of rain this past Saturday. The temperatures didn’t go above the 50s and I just kept shivering the whole day. But look what showed up when the rain stopped: a double rainbow! You may think it’s no big deal, but we very rarely get rainbows in San Diego (maybe two a year) and never in December. And a double rainbow? That’s once every few years. Lucky me!

Double rainbow in San Diego - December 2013
Double rainbow in San Diego – December 2013

Since this weekend, we’ve experienced some frigid temperatures (upper 20s overnight). This is terrible for the million-dollar California crops, and probably just as bad for my snapdragons in the backyard.

But cold temperatures and a few clouds can make for another pretty sunrise. This is what I went outside to photograph yesterday morning at sunrise. Brrrrr…. but it was worth the shot.

Fall sunrise with blue sky and clouds in San Diego
Fall sunrise with blue sky and clouds in San Diego

How is the weather treating you where you are? Are you getting snowed in in the East Coast and the Midwest? Are you freezing in the Northwest? Is Florida even spared from this early winter?

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Grand

Today you can save 30% off my 2014 nature photography calendars (choose between five different themes) by using coupon code FRIENDSFAM13, valid until midnight December 6, 2013. Look in the left sidebar on my website for the most up-to-date discount coupon code. All calendars are made to order in the USA so you support the US economy with your purchase, and a starving artist (me!). I also appreciate any referral through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and of course your blog or website.

By the way, you can read my personal tribute to Nelson Mandela here.

Today I’m participating in the WordPress weekly photo challenge and this week’s theme is “grand”. If you like what you see, feel free to subscribe and receive nature photography updates a few times a week.

I have a grand concept to share with you. I believe that some trees used to be dragons, and I have photographic proof. If you look carefully at trees, you may see it too.

On this first tree, you can clearly see that the shape of these tree branches is a dragon. It may not show well on this photo, but it was a VERY large dragon. Let’s call it a grand dragon.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: grand concept- trees are dragons
WordPress weekly photo challenge: grand concept- trees are dragons

My kids and I stumbled upon this tree trunk during a recent hike. This is another unmistakable proof that trees used to be dragons. This is what we saw at first from behind.

Dragon shape in a tree trunk
Dragon shape in a tree trunk

And then from the side.

Dragon shape in a tree trunk
Dragon shape in a tree trunk

Here are a couple of close-ups of the dragon’s head.

Dragon's head in a tree trunk
Dragon’s head in a tree trunk

Hi buddy, take it easy!

Dragon's head in a tree trunk
Dragon’s head in a tree trunk