Thursday, July 20, 2017

Dragonfly Snaps

After my Sunflower photo session, I drove to Murfree Springs Wetlands in Murfreesboro. In spite of harsh light and heat, I walked around the boardwalk. Not much was stirring except an abundance of Dragonflies. I 'think' this is a Blue Dasher resting on a plant near the edge of the boardwalk. His wings are so beautiful glistening in the sunlight.

I eyed the edge of the boardwalk and spotted what I believe is an Eastern Pondhawk perched on a plant. I am not an expert when it comes to Dragonflies, but I do enjoy photographing them. I thought I would share one of the explanations I found for the origin of how the Dragonfly got it's name.

In old Romanian folklore, the dragonfly was actually a horse ridden by Saint George. St. George rid the mythical town of Silence of the dragon that lived in the town’s pond and poisoned the town. After wounding the dragon, he leashed the dragon and gave it to the town’s princess. Saint George’s horse became a giant flying insect when cursed by the devil. In the Romanian language, the word for dragonfly translates into Devil’s Horse or Devil’s fly. The Romanian word for devil is drac, which can also indicate dragon. In English, it translated to dragonfly.

The weekend is upon us and with yet more days of high heat and humidity. Today was 97 and I'm sure the heat index was in triple digits. There's no relief in sight either. Am I allowed to say I'm almost ready for Fall. Did I actually say that? Oops. Stay cool all. ENJOY!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sunflowers, Batey Farms

Batey Farms is almost an hour from Hendersonville in Murfreesboro, here in middle Tennessee, as the locals call it so it was a trek, but I was aptly rewarded. The Sunflowers were in full bloom at the farm. The huge field they planted didn't make it through the rainy Spring, but about ten rows of Sunflowers did. I arrived right when the Sun was directly overhead giving me the best light of the day. Don't you just love when that happens. I love the huge green leaves that accompany each Sunflower.

Have you ever wondered how many Sunflower seeds each flower yields. No doubt the farmers can answer that question, but I haven't a clue. To think these gorgeous flowers bring such beauty to our world and to top it off give us delicious Sunflower seeds too. Isn't Mother Nature amazing.

Of the 200 some images I captured today, these are my favorites I am sharing. I love close ups of Sunflowers the most. One beautiful large Sunflower bloom is all I need to satify my thirst for the Sunflower, but I still tried to capture some images of numerous flowers. This is one of my favorites.

The heat and humidity today wasn't nearly to the degree of the past week which made being out in the middle of the Sunflower field a tad bit more bearable, although it was still hot. I hope you are staying cool here in the States with this 'heat wave' in full swing and no relief on the horizon. For those of you down South in the throws of a snowy Winter, stay warm. ENJOY!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Waxing Nostalgic

Just what does waxing nostalgic mean . . .

To wax in this instance is to grow (as the moon does when it isn't waning). 
The word is related to the German "wachsen" meaning much the same. 
Nostalgic originally meant homesick, but now generally refers to a longing for bygone days.
In other words "having an increasing longing for times past".

. . . an old 1950's Chevrolet Bel Air with a hood ornament or as we used to say "Chevy"

. . . a faded red 1960's Plymouth Belevdere

. . . an old Dodge truck

. . . an old 1960's Ford Galaxie 500

. . . old style logos and graphics from by gone days

. . . and least it slips our minds, the 1930's Ford Police Utility Wagon or as it reads, "Paddy Wagon"

I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane as I was waxing nostalgic this evening and couldn't resist the urge to throw up some images from my trek to Old Car City in Cartersville, Georgia, from last August's trip. What a unique and remarkable place. I would love to go back some time. Hope you are all well. It's a tad warm here in middle Tennessee with temps in the upper 90's. ENJOY!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th America!

As I sat on the lawn near the end of the boat launch, I watched as one after another the fireworks lit up the night sky over Old Hickory Lake in Hendersonville, Tennessee tonight. Each firework leaving a trail of light as it rose in the sky, then bursting open and spewing out in streams and falling gently to the ground, they lit up the water in the foreground. What a beautiful sight. God Bless America. Hope each and every one of you have a wonderful and safe July 4th. ENJOY!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Flowers at Madison Creek Farms

Oh, Summer how art thou! I am so happy to see you have finally arrived in my part of the world.
With warm, sunny days and bright blue skies filled with fluffy white clouds drifting aimlessly.
The bees buzzing, the butterflies flitting and the beautiful flowers blooming in the gardens.

Just a quick post of one of the flower images I captured today at Madison Creek Farm in Goodlettsville. Their gardens were buzzing feverishly with tons of bees feasting on Zinnias and Sunflowers and Poppies. I lost my light as a weather front was moving in, but wanted to share this image as I especially liked the composition. ENJOY!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Oh! Butterfly

Here's the next series of Butterflies as promised. Hang on, we're going Buttering again!


This brightly colored orange Butterfly is a Gulf Fritillary. Are you wondering why it's called the Gulf? It's because they are common only in the southern United States. That dark yet bright orange color is unmistakable in the gardens and meadows which makes them easy to spot. I captured this beautiful Gulf Fritillary in the Bradford Robertson Color Garden at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens in Nashville.

I wanted to share this view of the Gulf Fritillary so that you can see just how beautiful his wings are when they are fully open. What a beautiful bright orange.

Another specifies of the Fritillary is the Great Spangled Fritillary. They are more common and are generally a dull orange with row after row of black spots covering their wings. This beautiful Great Spangled was checking out a purple Thistle at Bernheim in the wildflower meadow.


Alright, I admit it. I have too many favorites in the Butterfly family. The Painted Lady is just one more I love. I think it's because when their wings are closed it as thought an artist painted a beautiful pattern on their wings. This beautiful Butterfly was busy pollenating the bushes at Bernheim Arboretum.

Here is the Painted Lady with its wings closed. Can you see what I was talking about? What a pattern. This Painted Lady I captured posting for me atop a Black Eyed Susan at Bernheim a while back.


Here's a Butterfly that I especially like to photograph when their wings are wide open. Look at those spots. No wonder it's called a Buckeye. These Butterflies are common throughout wildflower fields as was this beautiful Buckeye was the day I captured this image at Bernheim Arboretum some years ago.


I couldn't resist showing you the only image I have ever captured of a Hummingbird Moth. Seriously, can you see where they got their name. Mother Nature can really create some oddities. But he is a beauty too. I captured this guy buzzing around the Butterfly Bushes at Bernheim a bit ago.

I hope you enjoyed my second series of Butterflies as I loved sharing them with you. What a variety when you look back across the last two posts. I guess I'm a 'Butter Lover'. Have a wonderful 4th. ENJOY!

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Butterfly Effect

I have never met a Butterfly I didn't like! Over the decades of photographing nature, I have captured quite a variety of species of Butterflies in their natural habitat. I never tire of watching them flittering around the flower gardens and wildflower fields in Summer. I personally consider them one of God's blessed creatures. They bring no harm to anyone and provide only joy and beauty to everyone. Hang on, we're going Buttering!


Monarch Butterfly, Bernheim Arboretum, Clermont, Kentucky

Monarch Butterfly, Bernheim Arboretum, Clermont, Kentucky

These images of the Monarch I captured five years ago at Bernheim Arboretum in the flower gardens near the Pavilion. The Monarch Butterfly numbers have drastically declined over the course of the last decade. Now there is a new project called The Monarch Butterfly Research Project. Milkweed fields and gardens are being planted around the country to aid in bringing the numbers back up for the beautiful Monarch Butterfly. Let's hope we can save them from extinction by restoring their main food group.


Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly, Bernheim Arboretum, Clermont, Kentucky

Our next Butterfly is the Swallowtail and I'm betting everyone viewing this post has seen one in their lifetime. And if not, I'm so sorry. This Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is partaking of the nectar at the Butterfly bushes in Bernheim Arboretum some five years ago. You can count on Swallowtails to frequent their favorite bushes, the Butterfly bush.

Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly, Bernheim Arboretum, Clermont, Kentucky

Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly, Bernheim Arboretum, Clermont, Kentucky

These Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterflies are cousins to the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.. I captured these images first at the flower gardens at Bernheim Arboretum in Clermont, Kentucky and the second at Yew Dell Gardens in Crestwood, Kentucky several years ago. The first image shows an Eastern Black Swallowtail stopping at a Button bush at Bernheim while the second shows the bright Dallas Red Lantana at Yew Dell Gardens. Butterflies are attracted to bright orange, yellow, purple and red flowers? It's true.


Yellow Clouded Butterfly, Yew Dell Gardens, Crestwood, Kentucky

Cabbage White Clouded Butterfly, Yew Dell Gardens, Crestwood, Kentucky

The Clouded Butterfly family are a much smaller species of Butterfly. Notice the single spot on their wings. Also, did you notice the clouded edge of the Yellow Clouded. Clouded Butterflies love the Butterfly Bush, Milkweed, Coneflowers, Alfalfa, Dandelions, Clover and Tall Verbena. I suppose you could call them the 'not so particular Butterfly'. It's very difficult to get really good images of these little Butterflies. They don't stay still long.

Before I leave you today, I wanted you to know I will have a second post on Butterflies to share soon. Have a fantastic weekend all. We are getting the remnants of Tropical Depression Cindy this weekend here in the mid state of Tennessee. Back soon. ENJOY!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Bradford Robertson Color Garden, Cheekwood

Arbor, Bradford Robertson Color Garden, Cheekwood Botanical Gardens

The Arbor at the Bradford Robertson Color Garden pulls visitors into the garden commanding an audience all its own. The large railing hangs like a canopy over the garden making it the perfect home for many a bloom through the seasons. It's one of the first stops I make each time I visit Cheekwood.

Here under the Arbor, I found Summer color already blooming in its abundance. Purples and yellows and pinks surround me. On this visit I captured photos of this very dainty Purple Phlox ground cover, with its faintest blush of lavender color in bloom. So beautiful and one of my favorite colors in the 'blush' family, if blush were a color all its own.

The star of the show on this particular visit to the garden is the Clematis Vine, properly named, Venosa Violacea, growing in a bright, deep purple hue slowly making its climb up the railing of the posts. Faint purple, bright purple, vivid purple shades were all around. Before Summer's end I bet the Clematis has made its way all the way up to the top of the railing and perhaps even across and back down. One can hope, can't we.

On the opposite side of the garden path from the Clematis sits a clump of bright yellow African Marigolds. Bright sunshine only adds to their sunny yellow hue. While I was photographing the flower, I noticed it had a visitor. Now I'm thinking this little guy has a long journey to get across this vast flowering tundra. Do you suppose he's thinking the same thing? That is if bugs can think which surely they must.

At the very back of Arbor, just off the sidewalk sits this beautiful ornate fountain filled with various blooms and gorgeous green landscaping as a backdrop. So love the landscape artists here at Cheekwood. I love to walk back and forth, and up and down the garden path, taking in the blooms, front to back and every which way. My favorite are the bright colored Tulips in Spring, but I still love to visit in Summer and take in the perennials, and in Fall, when the Fall Festival brings bright colored Chrysanthemums running up and down the entire length of the garden path. Sorry, but I keep getting the name of this garden wrong. Had to correct it today after I posted. Back soon. ENJOY!

Linking to: Ratttlebridge Farms, Food Friday and Everything Else and The Scoop #278 at Stonegable