For the Love of Photography – Sunny Sunflower

For those of you who have been following me for a while, you may remember a post from a few years back titled For the Love of Photography “The Accidental Sunflower Garden” .  The post was about two (2) beautiful sunflowers growing wild in our backyard thanks to a few leftovers from our backyard critters.  They were so much fun to photograph that summer.  One photo even managed to make its way into my Etsy Shop as both a greeting card and matted print.

So, you can image my delight when the same thing happened this year!  Lucky for me, this time they were growing on the lower section of our yard and within easy reach of my macro lens.

When I discovered them, there were three (3) scraggly little stalks each growing at different heights. From a distance they weren’t much to look at except for a few buds and one (1) bright yellow flower standing tall with its face pointing towards the morning sun.

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As I moved closer to the tallest stalk, I noticed the brightest flower was surrounded by a few other buds each waiting for their chance to shine.

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Sunflower Macro

Rain droplets on the Sunflower petals

 

Clearly, the sunflowers had another purpose in their short lives.  The garden insects quickly found them and began to nourish on their sweet nectar and delicate petals.

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Green bug devouring the Sunflower petals

Fortunately for me, the bees didn’t seem to mind my camera lens snooping around them.

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Bumble Bees gathering nectar

But my favorite shot is the one below with the detail of the disk florets beginning to take shape.  Don’t you just love the geometric shape growing from the middle outward?

Sunflower Macro Photography

Disk Florets beginning to take shape

It’s been a few weeks now and the flowers are beginning to shrivel up and the stalks are slowly drooping towards the ground.  I’ll miss my little sunflower garden once the blooms have all faded away.  Hopefully, if they’re left undisturbed, they’ll dissolve into the earth and will come back bigger, stronger and brighter next year!

Donna

Website: Donna Robinson Photography

🛒Etsy Shop: Donna Robinson Photo

 

Thoughts – Staying Focused

My 52 Week Photography Challenge took a detour…….well it pretty much stalled.  I have no clue why except that I just grew busy with life and other activities.  It’s really ok because it served it’s purpose for jump starting my photography in 2019.  And, it definitely gave my father something to do this winter when it was just a little too cold for him to venture outside and tinker in the yard (read my post here  52 Week Challenge: Week 2 – “My Everyday”). The remainder of the challenge list has some fun/interesting topics coming up so perhaps I’ll get inspired and hit the reset button…..we’ll see ;-)!

Photography Challenge or not, I am still (err) focused on my photography and continue to find other outlets and opportunities to broaden my skills.  I finally pulled together my website (Donna Robinson Photography) and I have shot a corporate event and a newborn photo session, too!  Plus, I have a part-time job helping a friend of ours (a personal trainer) with his social media, shooting his instructional videos and shooting other content for marketing purposes.  So, yes, I’m still actively following my passion!

 

And then there is always our backyard.  Between the garden, the birds and the critters there is always something to photograph.  The camera and “the big lens” as my husband refers to it, comes out every evening as we sit on our patio and catch-up about the day.

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This beautiful blue tipped hawk was out shopping in our yard one evening.

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The squirrels are always entertaining at how nimble they are.  But, we had to scale back on the bird feeders because they were devouring our supply too quickly!

 

My husband moved the bird bath to the front of the flower bed and the activity has definitely picked up!  This little guy spent 2 – 3 minutes cleaning up!

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Let’s Ride!

But our favorite critters are the chipmunks!  They are fast and efficient in how they gather their food.  We’ve actually given three (3) of them names because of their consistent patterns for gathering food:  “Lefty” because he comes out from the rocks on the left side of the house; “Malcom” because he comes in from the top middle of the wall; and the “Righty” because…….well you get the point.

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This little guy found water in the base of this lantern.

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Seriously?!?!  When have you ever seen a chipmunk in a tree?  Needless to say, he didn’t reach the bird feeder………but, he found the stash we left on the ground for him.

Michael’s convinced that he can get them trained to eat out of his hands by the end of summer.  He may be right……one little guy is getting brave and comes closer to us every night!

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Now I know why some of my petunias didn’t make it!?!?

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The “Little Begger!”

 

How do you “stay focused” on your passion?

Until next time, Happy Summer!

Donna 

 

 

“Happiness is a Butterfly”

My garden is starting to look a little ragged.  Some of my knock-out roses were hit by aphids this year, the birds, squirrels and chipmunks have made a complete mess with their seed droppings and my little bicycle planter is bare.  Despite it all, however, the butterflies still find my garden pretty enough to feed on.

We seem to have had quite a few more of them this year and I couldn’t help myself the other night when I saw several of them hovering over one of my butterfly plants.  At one point there were 4 or 5, but by the time I made it out with my cameras (plural because they were just too beautiful not to go back for the macro lens), there were only these three (3) beauties hovering around.

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For as still as I tried to be, it was pretty difficult trying to capture them together.   I finally settled on following this little guy around.

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I never realized how long their “stingers” were for drinking the nectar out of the flowers.  If you look closely in the photo below you can follow his arched stinger to the flower bud.

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“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”

-Nathaniel Hawthorne