September 7, 2019 at 9:27 am #43805September 7, 2019 at 1:11 pm #43848Sonja GraceParticipant
Did you know that hummingbirds have long, straw-like tongues? The hummingbird’s tongue can stick out double the length of its bill, and this tiny bird uses it to drink nectar. I had only recently learned about hummingbirds’ funny looking tongues when I found a hummingbird in my backyard that had just been drinking nectar from some flowers. I saw the hummingbird land on the opposite side of a tree from me. I had to find a hole in the leaves of the tree that I could focus through because the hummingbird was mostly blocked. I started to photograph the hummingbird when it flicked its tongue out several times. When I looked back at the photos I had taken I was amazed by the length of this hummingbird’s tongue!September 7, 2019 at 2:29 pm #43861
Each year, my family heads down to Florida to visit friends and play music in a few churches. The 24-hour drive is long, but we’ve grown to love our time spent in Ormond Beach each year. I’m not usually much of a beach person, but since becoming involved in photography I make sure to get over to the shore at least once during our stay for sunrise. It’s neat to be there before the crowds show up, enjoying the view and watching the Floridian wildlife bustle about while most residents back in town are just beginning to stir from peaceful slumber in their homes. The gulls have no qualms about walking close by – they’re used to the crowds. The pelicans keep their distance, flying to and fro, high above our heads or swooping low to snatch a fish. And us? We stand there and take it all in. It’s moments like these that make special memories.September 7, 2019 at 2:30 pm #43865
For the most part, winter was dull this year. We didn’t get much snow, and it was just cold and gray for a few months. I had zero photographic inspiration. By late February, I decided I ought to make inspiration for myself instead of waiting for it to come to me. I was tired of letting the bleak landscape affect me. My sister and I set out for a walk on a trail nearby, and I grabbed the camera as we headed out the door. We walked along and enjoyed our time together, but still the landscape was blah. Everything was dead. Brown. Gray. No contrast. No beauty. The canal that runs along the trail is home to some mallard ducks. They swam contentedly in the water, and I found a parting through the reeds where I was able to get a brief, but good vantage point of the male. He didn’t seem to care that it was February and winter was dull. Maybe I shouldn’t either. It’s a good reminder that seasons are just that: seasons. Whether the season I’m in seems beautiful and exciting, or cold, gray and bleak, it shouldn’t affect me. Seasons come and go, but I can find contentment in my relationship with Christ. He is the only One who can truly satisfy.September 7, 2019 at 2:31 pm #43867
“Dad, I need to take pictures of massive rocks for a Shoot to Serve assignment on Lenspiration. Massive rocks?! Those things don’t even exist in Connecticut, do they?” Sometimes photo assignments are easy, and sometimes they take a little bit more thought. This one seemed daunting. I couldn’t think of a single place I’d find boulders that would be picturesque, so I went and asked my Dad. He’s been around longer than I have (obviously!) and knows Connecticut pretty well. The next day, Dad came walking in. “I have somewhere we can go for your photo assignment, but we’ll have to leave at 5 in the morning if you want to get there for sunrise.” Sure enough, 5 AM found some of my siblings and I travelling east on the highway with Dad at the wheel. We finally ended up out in East Lyme, CT at Rocky Neck State Park. I’d never been there before, but by the title of the park it sounded promising. After a series of adventures, including the discovery that the park actually didn’t open till 8 AM (so much for sunrise!), we finally got in and ate some bagels we bought at a local supermarket. As we traipsed around from one set of rocks to another, I glanced over and saw a gull standing by the water. SNAP. I shot the photo and kept walking, off to the next set of boulders for another photo adventure in the making. Like many photos I’ve taken, it was just a brief snippet in time, yet now part of a happy memory that will last for years to come.September 7, 2019 at 2:32 pm #43869
Being photographer for a week at a kids’ camp is interesting. There are times of crazy busyness, and moments of quiet solitude. This year, my first afternoon was more busy than quiet. Part of the ice-breaker game the kids were playing involved getting the photographer’s signature and having her take their photo. Since I was the photographer, this meant I was pretty swamped. As I walked along a path during a moment of reprieve, I glanced over at the flower garden. Mental note, find time later this week to enjoy this garden and get some nice shots of those flowers. I was about to go on when I stopped still. There was a solitary dragonfly on a little branch. How could I resist? He was sitting so still, I was able to take photos from a variety of angles, but finally I found an angle I really liked and captured what ended up being my favorite of the set. Let’s see, what’s another angle I could try? A voice broke through my thoughts – “Hey are you the photographer? Can you take my picture and sign my paper?” And off I went, back to the busy world of camp.September 7, 2019 at 2:33 pm #43871
Our wild mint seems to be a bustling metropolis for the local bee community. This is one place where the phrase “busy as a bee” is certainly appropriate. Early in the morning, as the radiant light of golden hour forces away the long shadows of neighboring pines, oaks and maples, our dew-laden mint garden becomes a fairyland of sparkles while the bees swarm happily from one blossom to the next. It’s a nature photographer’s dreamland, but it’s my reality – whenever I choose to get outside and appreciate it.September 7, 2019 at 6:28 pm #43884Sonja GraceParticipant
The female Red-winged Blackbird is much plainer than the brightly colored male which can make it harder to spot. God gave the female the perfect coloring to blend into its environment to help hide it from predators while nesting and taking care of its young. During a visit to the Creation Museum in Kentucky, I was walking in the gardens outside of the museum when I saw this blackbird come out of the reeds near a pond and fly into a Japanese maple tree where it stood out beautifully among the pink and red branches. I took several photos before it disappeared into the reeds. I was extremely thankful I was able to capture the beauty of God’s creation and see the loveliness of this typically overlooked, well-camouflaged bird.September 7, 2019 at 7:13 pm #43886
One Sunday afternoon, my family decided to visit a scenic place we had never been to. We walked down the trail for a little while, which led to an open field of grass. There was an opening in the trees and brush, which led to a marshy area. I spotted something on top of a high wooden nesting box in the marsh. It was hard to tell what it was at first, so I used my dad’s zoom camera as binoculars. I soon realized that it was a mother osprey with her babies. I took some photos as the mother spread her wings over her babies. The babies took turns popping their heads up to look towards me. It was interesting to see how similar the babies looked to their mother, even though they were much different in size.September 7, 2019 at 9:04 pm #43898blessings capturedParticipantSeptember 7, 2019 at 9:36 pm #43900LizParticipant
I used the link above to attach my photos, so here is my story.
For many years, as a family, we have visited Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. There are numerous gardens, plants, flowers, buildings, fountains, a meadow, and an arboretum. There is so much to see, that it cannot be fully taken in during one visit. If one just looks at the plants or flowers, the small things get overlooked. You may not see the bull frog amongst the knees of the bald cypress trees, or the heron in the outlet near the Italian fountains. Time does not always permit one to take a leisurely pace through the gardens, but when you do, the reward is great.
My husband looks forward to visiting during the summer when the waterlily display is open. This year we went at the end of July. The display was in full bloom and we were not disappointed. One of the largest attractions is Victoria ‘Longwood Hybrid’ (Longwood Hybrid water-platter). Victoria is a waterlily developed by Patrick Nutt that first flowered at Longwood Gardens in 1961. It belongs in the Nymphaeaceae (Waterlily) family, grows 5-6 feet in diameter and can hold 80-100 pounds, if the weight is evenly distributed. When looking at these spectacular species, you need to get close to see the thick spikes on the sides. While doing so, I had the opportunity to snap the shot of the Blue Mayfly.
Once leaving the waterlilies, we passed through the doors and into the Palm House. The air becomes more humid, and the smell of rich soil fills the air. A tropical forest for the eyes to behold. A spike of a palm frond holds the delicate dragonfly. What a treat!
Though we have been to the gardens numerous times, there is always something that captivates the eye. To be able to take the time to see the little things is a true blessing. God has created beauty and man has gathered it for a magnificent display at Longwood Gardens. If you have the opportunity to visit, you will be glad you did.September 7, 2019 at 10:00 pm #43901
The big cherry tree in my front yard blooms around April each year. Baltimore Orioles and humming birds like to drink from the flowers, but only would stay for a short time, then quickly leave. I had heard that Baltimore Orioles like oranges, so I cut an orange in half and poked it onto a metal hook that had once held a bird feeder. Sure enough, almost immediately after the oranges were put there, a couple female orioles came over and started eating the orange pulp and sipping the sweet juice. They stayed there quite awhile and came back the next few days until they had finished eating the oranges.September 7, 2019 at 10:13 pm #43908blessings capturedParticipantSeptember 8, 2019 at 7:52 am #43918John M.Participant
I was told that a pair of ospreys had built their nest on the end of my neighbor’s dock, so I grabbed my camera one May morning and drove over there to photograph these majestic birds and their nest. I was excited because I had never had the chance to get that close to large birds of prey, and I was hoping they wouldn’t attack me! While walking to the dock, the female osprey saw me and flew off the nest to land on a nearby tree limb. Just a few moments later, the male osprey came swooping in with a shrill scream of displeasure at my presence and started flying in circles above me. As I snapped pictures of him flying around me, I noticed he didn’t seem afraid of me but neither was he acting aggressive. Approaching the nest, I laughed when I saw the ospreys had built it around a plastic owl decoy that was placed there to scare birds away! It looked so funny sitting in the nest as if it were watching over the three brown speckled osprey eggs inside. Satisfied I’d taken plenty of photos of the nest, I left the dock and waited by the edge of the water. The osprey finally came and landed and I took this photo of him perching on the nest.September 8, 2019 at 8:43 am #43922Esther MachenParticipant
It was a beautiful day after several days of overcast weather, so I decided to take my camera outside
and look for something interesting to take a picture of. I was happy when I saw a dragonfly flying
towards a nearby bush. As he landed, I notice the dragonfly had a fly in his mouth! I was able to get up
really close and take some shots of him before he gobbled it up. Then he moved to another branch and
perched there. I was enjoying watching him when I realized that if I took a picture from a lower
perspective, he seemed like he was laughing. He looked so happy after a yummy snack. After going back
inside, I researched this dragonfly and he was a male Great Blue Skimmer.
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