Downy woodpecker

I have this branch set up near my bird feeders.  It works really well to give birds a spot to stop at before they go to feed.  Most of the birds that stop here are perching birds but occassionally, I see a clinging bird like this woodpecker.  You can see how she’s kind of sitting on the branch here since the woodpeckers feet are designed for them to cling to the side of a tree.  Interesing also, is that when other birds come to perch on the branch, the woodpeckers will go inverted and hang from the underside rather than fly off.

You really learn a lot watching nature.  It is fascinating to see how specially adapted these animals are.

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AB 100 tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/9 – 1/60sec – ISO 400

#BirdWatching #birds #DownyWoodpecker #Roswell #Georgia #WithMyTamron

Bushy-beard lichen

The diversity of nature is unbelievable!  I was out filling the bird feeders today and I saw this little ball of something fuzzy.  At first, I had no idea what this was.  It reminded me of the Spanish Moss I used to see often when we lived in New Orleans.  Looking closer, I saw all these little pods making me think of Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors.

This small mass (about 3-4 inches across) is a lichen – Usnea Strigosa also known as Bushy-beard lichen.  The pods are actually the reproductive part of the plant and spores are released from these.  Although this odd enough to think it has come from outer space, I don’t think we need to worry about it trying to take over the world.  But then, I’ve been wrong before…

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 – 3 sec – ISO 400

#macro #closeup #nature #lichen #BushyBeardLichen #UsneaStrigosa #Roswell #Georgia


Sometimes, nature just kind of smacks you in the face with color.  I have really been enjoying the flowers this year.  Maybe it’s all the rain we have gotten that has made them so gorgeous.  It seems that each time I look outside there’s another amazing blossom calling out for attention.

Lately, I have to say that the daily rainstorms have been a bit much for my liking.  I know the plants are happy but I feel like I’m always evaluating if my grass is dry enough to run out and cut it before it rains again.  Then, as soon as it’s cut, it starts to look long again.  Ah well, there are certainly many much worse problems to have.  I think I will just enjoy the flowers and not think about it.

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
300mm @ f/8 – 1/200 sec – ISO 200

#macro #daylily #closeup #Roswell #Georgia #WithMyTamron

Fun with lines and curves

Nature is full of amazing patterns.  In this case, I combined two items to get lots of lines and curves together.  This image is of a mushroom cap upside down on top of a hosta leaf.  I lit the hosta from underneath to make the lines come through with the mushroom on top lit by natural afternoon sunlight.

I really liked the curving lines of the hosta and the fantastic shades of green with the prown and white tones of the mushroom.  So many textures and patterns that work well together.  It seems that the macro world is calling to me again now.

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
200mm @ f/10 – 1/60 sec – ISO 400

#macro #mushroom #hosta #closeup #Roswell #Georgia #WithMyTamron

Working the scene

Here’s another view of my cone flowers from the other day.  In my first post, I did a selective focus on the middle of the three.  Here is a more traditional view with the closest bloom in focus as well as the middle one and the third one soft in the background.

It is amazing how the human eye can see scenes like this and automatically shift to focus on individual items or a wider scene.  With a camera, you can control how this is seen but it is a moment in time.  The photographer must decide which elements are the focal point and present that vision to those seeing the image.

Some people are very technical and spend lots of time getting everything just right and waiting for the perfect light to appear.  I’m not that patient.  It takes some thought and some work to make this come out the way you want.  I usually have to work a scene.  Taking a number of shots from different angles and with different settings.  Thankfully, with digital photography, you can do this a lot.  If you don’t like an image you just delete it.  It’s a learning process and I am always learning.  Sometimes, I get lucky and things turn out just right.

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
78mm @ f/16 – 1/250 sec – ISO 200

#macro #ConeFlowers #closeup #Roswell #Georgia #WithMyTamron


I was looking for a phrase that would express what I was thinking about regarding how immense the beauty of nature is.  The only thing that came to mind was “can’t see the forest for the trees” but then, that’s maybe more a reference to missing out on this.  I suppose that is kind of the point.  There is so much surrounding us that we lose that sense of wonder.  We get used to it and don’t give it a second thought.

When I was admiring this rain-covered hydrangea it really impressed me to think of how many little blue flower were right there.  Each one a little work of art seemingly rushing out to celebrate the day.  It makes me wonder how we get so absorbed into our small view of the world.  We let things that are small and passing fill our thoughts and drive what we do.

There are so many reasons to be filled with awe over what surrounds us.  Putting a little more wonder into our lives is always a good thing.  I hope I can do that more often.

#macro #hydrangea #raindrops #closeup #Roswell #Georgia #WithMyTamron

Flower arrangement

In this image, I tried a technique suggested by my favorite macro expert – Mike Moats.  The combination of two subjects which are both interesting in texture and pattern and which complement each other is a neat way to make macros even more appelaing.  In this case, I took a Rose of Sharon flower and put it on top of a hosta leaf.  I like the combination, hope you do too!

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
70mm @ f/8 – 1/80 sec – ISO 800

#macro #RoseOfSharon #hosta #closeup #Roswell #Georgia #WithMyTamron

Sunshine and rain

Rain is one of those things we both love and hate.  When the skies turn dark and the heavens open up to dump water on us we huddle in whatever shelter we can find.  Cloudy days can dampen the spirit but, when the sun comes back out, we see the world anew.

Although this flower would be beautiful to look at anytime, I though this scene was so much more with raindrops and sun peeking through the petals.  Water and light can add so much to the image.  The sparkles and contrasts that come out are fantastic.  I do love to capture the aftermath of a rainstorm but I can’t say that I look forward to the time before or during the event.  Of course, this is so much better than the times when we have had drought conditions so, I’ll take the rain anytime.

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
110mm @ f/11 – 1/200 sec – ISO 400

#macro #RoseOfSharon #waterdrops #closeup #Roswell #Georgia #WithMyTamron

My little Chickadee

Although this may be one of the most common birds around, the chickadee is really a work of art when you take the time to appreciate it.  Perhaps one of the cutest birds to watch, they hop about and turn their heads constantly.  Always looking around to see what is interesting.  Always seeming to be curious of everything in it’s environment.

When you look at the patterns and textures in its feathers, there are such beautiful lines and subtle shades that let you know how delicate and fuzzy they are.  It is a wonderful way to pass the time, seeing how magnificently complex and beautiful nature is.  How do we miss this so often?

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AB 100 tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/11 – 1/60sec – ISO 400

#BirdWatching #birds #BlackCappedChickadee #Roswell #Georgia #WithMyTamron

Reaching out

Plants are almost always reaching out toward the sun.  When you look at the detail of a flower, there is usually a part reaching out to attract visitors.  A place for bees and butterflies to land and pick up a little pollen to spread around.  In this view, the stamen of the flower seem to reach out like little arms calling us to come closer.

Once again, I have fallen for the charms of these beautiful plants and gotten pulled in.  Hope that never stops happening.

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
185mm @ f/10 – 1/160 sec – ISO 200

#macro #daylily #closeup #Roswell #Georgia #WithMyTamron