The test of an adventure is that when you are in the middle of it, you say to yourself, "Oh, now I've got myself into an awful mess; I wish I were sitting quietly at home." And the sign that something is wrong with you is when you sit quietly at home wishing you were out having lots of adventure. -Thornton Wilder

The nice thing about being confused is you get a chance to notice things a lot better than if you knew where you were going.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Grocery Shopping

Soup's on.
Bet you can't eat just one.
Got Milk?
Yogurt-a-rama.
Fresh from the tap spring.
Need some energy? Got some $$$?
Need to see your I.D.
Fruit of the vine.
Fresh Florida sun in a container.
Comfort food section.
Best pick up some flowers for my sweetie on the way out.

All of these images are Straight Out Of the Camera.
To see more Straight Out Of the Camera images click on murrieta365 for SOOC Sunday.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lizard & Bee



Just a couple of the locals that showed themselves during the dragonfly safari.

Have a nice weekend.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Cactus Flower Close-ups


These images are from the first session out with my new macro lens and I was using it as a microscope instead as a camera lens. I've learned since then, but thought I'd share anyway before I dumped them into the rubbish bin.



This reminds me of a certain type of starfish.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A One in a Million Shot

Or at least that is what I would have thought about photographing dragonflies in flight.
 In fact it was surprisingly simple.

I have wanted to get some dragonfly photos but had little success. Well to be honest, I hadn't really tried that hard. But after seeing some great dragonfly photos on Steve Borichevsky's blog Shooting My Universe I was encouraged to give it a try. He was kind enough to send me a link to a video he had made showing how he got those great shots. Now armed with all this intelligence I went into the field.

Well the little buggers never did land as they did in the video, but I discovered they had the same flight pattern. After making several hit and run forays driving off intruders from their territory, they would resume a holding pattern in the same general air space. I had my 70-300mm lens mounted on a monopod. I would leave it set at 70mm in order to locate the dragon in the view finder, zoom in to 300mm, manual focus and click. It was all too easy.



These shots were about the best of the lot, as you can imagine there was a lot of camera movement trying to keep him in view long enough to focus and click. I then thought how I should up the shutter speed to freeze the wings in motion. I got one shot at another location and then the show was over. They zipped off to other places and never returned. So I figure they were just curious with me, and eventually got bored moving on elsewhere to do what dragonflies do.


I include this image not only for the south end view of a northbound facing dragonfly,
but I like the background colors. Bokeh effect it is called. I just learned that.

A big thank you to Steve.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Don't Take Me For Granted


One thing I have learned from blogging is what I see all the time and think nothing of, is new and wonderful to people in other parts of the country or the world. Take this Western Scrub Jay. Some time ago I put a photo of one on the blog and several people got all giddy about it saying things like they would give almost anything to see one. So I look in my bird book and see that, yeah, folks east of the plains states don't have them.

This fellow is a bit more rarer for the Western Scrub Jay as he is the coastal form common in parks, backyards and woodlands of coastal California. He is different with his white bib flowing into his breast as the regular Scrub Jay just has a white neck.

So I can understand, for when I see Painted Buntings and Cardinals on people's blogs I get a little giddy and would give almost anything to photograph one.
Oh, and I won't take this noisy, squawking, scruffy looking bird for granted anymore.

To see more birds on World Bird Wednesday click on the Pine River Review.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Not Fair!


I was going to ask "Who is cuter?" but that would be unfair for the rabbit since he is up against someone much younger than he. Now if I had a picture of a cute little bunny then...


Imagine trying to take care of an itch with a hoof.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Landmark Vineyards Finale


Each type of grapevine is named as to it's variety and categorized as to where it is in the vineyard.

Also each row is given a name.

Notice the cluster of grape that within two months will be processed into wine.

Anyone for bocce ball? Oh, you don't know how to play the game?
The instructions were provided in the display on the table.
The reflection of Sugarloaf Ridge where I had intended to go to that day.

I almost overlooked these water lily blossoms tucked away in the corner of the pond.

Fountainhead.

And the only piece of art I saw in the gardens.

But really, the gardens was a work of art all of it's own.
Thank you for touring Landmark Winery Gardens with me.
Have a great week and don't forget your camera.


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Sunday, July 24, 2011

SOOC Sunday


For anyone not a follower of my blog, this is from a series of recent photos at the Landmark Winery Gardens which I've posted over the last few days. This one image just stood on it's own...
Straight Out Of the Camera.

And for those of you who do follow my blog I hope this image lived up to all the hype.

To see more SOOC Sunday images go to murrieta365 and maybe submit one of your own.


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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Where There's Flowers There's Bugs

Bees of several types were busy doing what bees do.



The Blue Damselfly was very cooperative but the Red Skimmer dragonflies were not.

Damselflies fold their wings along their body whereas dragonflies will have their wings out to the side.

See the red blur in the middle off to the right...Red Skimmer dragonfly.

Readying the next generation.

Rose petals in your bath water. This girl lives the good life.
I am not done yet.
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Friday, July 22, 2011

So Many Flowers, and I Have the Time

I have to admit, I never thought I would be so fascinated with the beauty and form of individual flowers as I am these days. I guess it comes with age so that's one good thing about growing older. Or maybe it is just now at this point in my life I have the time to really enjoy them in the fullest.

These next two look like they have a source of light deep down inside illuminating the center.


This flower I really liked with it's colors and design.


With the words of the gardener echoing in my head,
now I think all the yellow flowers don't look so hot in the full-on sunlight.

I had one more individual flower to present but it looks so stunning (not the photo but the flower itself) just straight out of the camera that I decided to save it for SOOC Sunday. So, you'll have to wait a couple more days for it.
I'll add this photo instead which now I think I could have used for Macro Monday.

Still more to come from the Landmark Winery Gardens.

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