Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pink Tiger Lillies

One morning this past week, when I got to work, my secretary excitedly told me she wanted to show me something. Then she came into my office carrying a vase containing two absolutely gorgeous flowers, and she exclaimed, "LOOK! I actually grew something!" I laughed and told her they were beautiful and that I would photograph them.

It wasn't an ideal situation for photographing flowers. I prefer to photograph them in natural light, versus office lighting and an office setting. So, we made do with the circumstances the best we could, and used a black notebook for a background to make the beautiful colors of the flowers stand out. Not the perfect setting, but I think they came out nice.

(c) Misty DawnS

(c) Misty DawnS

You didn't think I'd miss the chance for some macro shots,
did ya???
(c) Misty DawnS

(c) Misty DawnS

(c) Misty DawnS

(c) Misty DawnS

(c) Misty DawnS

Friday, July 29, 2011

Standing on Toes & Learning to Fly ~ Camera-Critters #173

In my "Barn Before" post, I told you about some straight line winds we had blow in last weekend. We didn't get any rain or storms... just some wicked winds.

After the winds subsided a bit, I went outside to look around. That's when the star of this week's Camera-Critters came hopping up to me. It hopped right up to me and then hopped up on my toes. It stood there on my toes looking up at me.

Those were some pretty strong winds, huh?
(c) Misty DawnS

After the baby Robin decided to step down off my toes, I went in the house to grab the camera. When I came back out and started photographing the youngster, its mom and dad were diving at me and throwing a fit. "Hey," I said, "He came and stood on MY toes!"

I photographed my new little friend and took the camera back into the house. I continued to go back outside to check on him. Hey, when a critter comes up and stands on your toes, you can't help but bond with it, ya know?!?!

He continued to work on his flying. At first, it was just short little hops while flapping his wings. After a while, he was able to go a little further. Finally, after quite awhile, he was able to fly up on a low limb, and Mom and Dad about knocked him back to the ground they were in such a fury to get to him.

I can imagine how they felt. This is probably what it looked like when the wind whipped their little darling out of the nest...

(c) Misty DawnS

Rest assured. All is good now. Sometimes it takes difficult circumstances to cause you to learn how to fly and rise above. :-)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Barn After

Well... what do you think???

(c) Misty DawnS

Barn Before

(c) Misty DawnS

So... I told you that I would post before and after photos of the barn today. Well, here is a before photo of the barn. You'll have to wait a bit for the after photo, as I am waiting for it to cool down a bit. I'm also hoping for an interesting sky behind the barn, like I was provided with for this photo. This photo was taken after we had some straight-line winds, and I happened to go outside and find the critter who will be the star of this week's Camera-Critters post.

So, you'll have to stay tuned for the "after-barn-roof-photo", and you'll have to come back to see the critter. :-)

Brace Yourself For Injury

This past December, Hubs had a birthday. We also had cows in one pasture separated from their calves in another pasture, and we desperately needed to get them reunited. Hubs woke up on his birthday and had a fever and ended up staying home from work.

I went to work and was having a slow day, so during my lunch hour, I decided to check Facebook. That's when I saw a comment Hubs had left to my cousin... "It's been quite the birthday. I'm sure when Misty finds out what I did, you'll hear all about it."

Ohhhh really? This prompted me to pick up the phone.


What'd you do?


What'd you do?

What do you mean?

HUBS!!! What did you do?

Ummmm, I'll tell you when you get home.

NO! You'll tell me now!

I'll spare you all the back-and-forth argument. I eventually found out that Hubs had tried getting the cows to move down to the pasture where the calves were, and he ended up rolling the 3-wheeler. He informed me that he hurt his shoulder.

When I got home, I had to help him get his coat off, because he couldn't get it off by himself. I'd bet my whole paycheck that he broke his collar bone, but Hubs is stubborn as all get out and refused to go to the hospital or doctor.

At the time, I didn't know about a donjoy shoulder brace, but boy do I wish I would have, because I think it would have really assisted in his recovery. He tried to keep his arm and shoulder immobilized, but that's honestly harder to do than you think.

Hubs also has terrible back trouble, and I've been looking at different back braces for him too. *sigh* The man is just falling apart. hehe Seriously though... he works very hard and does a LOT of physical labor. I just don't want him to be in pain.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Still HOT On Many Levels

(c) Misty DawnS

It's still HOT with a capital H and O and T. HOT! Seriously. My dogs who generally want nothing to do with being in the basement, because that's away from Hubs and me... well, lately, they gladly go running for the basement, because it's cooler down there. Hubs and I spend any time in-house in the bedroom, cuz that's where the air conditioner is.

At work, Hubs, co-worker, and boss have been putting on a metal roof on a barn. Yeah - sounds like fun in this heat, huh? They've been starting at 6:30 a.m. and ending around noon. Guess what. It's OUR barn they've been putting the roof on. I'll try to take a photo for you tomorrow. Luckily they are almost all done. Just some minor details left, and no one got seriously sick or injured.

My work, has been stressful. It's been heating up in it's own sort of way, but not temperature, if ya know what I mean. I think I just need to provide document scanning services as part of my home-based services and focus more efforts at working from home... just sayin.

Anyway - before and after barn pics for tomorrow. I hope.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It's All About What You Focus On

(c) Misty DawnS

We've been suffering through this "heat dome" for over a week now. My suffering has been more psychological than physical, as it's just too dang hot to be outside, so I'm usually holed up in my bedroom (that's the only air conditioned area). Or, I'm at work, in an air conditioned office. Hubs has been really suffering the brunt of the heat though, as he's been busy making hay... riding around in a tractor cab with NO air. Yeah, I hate to even think about it, let alone know that he's out there doing it. I wish he didn't have to do it, or at least could wait until it's cooler. But, when you're a farmer, you get the work done when you can. Right now, he's at work... putting a metal roof on a barn. They started early to avoid the heat (so no one will get sick or injured and need, but Hub's won't be avoiding the heat, cuz when they're done working, he'll be back in the airless tractor cab. *sigh*

Since it's been too uncomfortable to be outside, I haven't taken many photos lately. That normally leads to a bit of depression. So, I have been focusing on some of the photography websites I'm a part of and trying to figure out which direction I should go. I've been struggling with some doubts about some things lately, and I'm trying to snap myself out of that. That's why I chose this photo... it's all about focus. Changing focus. Getting focused... and then going for it. Hubs is my example... he's focused on what needs to be done, regardless of the difficulties associated. Roni is my example as she inspires me with her talent and proves that you really can reach for the dream. Bear is my example with his talent, his patience, his friendship and the things he teaches me. All of you - my online friends - help me focus by not giving up on me.

Thank you.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Milkweed & Monarchs

For my Macro Flowers Saturday post, I shared some photos of "Tall Green Milkweed" with you. So, as a follow up, I thought I'd share a photo of the flower of the pink milkweed plant, which is what we're used to calling "milkweed" around here.

It's a very unique, interesting and pretty flower. I always feel drawn to photograph it, because it always catches my eye. It's very intricate and detailed.

(c) Misty DawnS

When I was doing a Google search on Milkweed, I was surprised to find a link to which had several different varieties of Milkweed I had never heard of. They also stated (about the Monarch butterfly) "Monarch larvae feed exclusively on Milkweeds. That means if there is no Milkweed, there would be no Monarchs" Makes me want to run out and plant LOTS of Milkweed! Some people buy phenphedrine, Misty buys Milkweed seed. hehehehe

Friday, July 22, 2011

Tall Green Milkweed

The Asclepias hirtella (Pennell) Woodson is also called "Tall Green Milkweed", and I think it is one of the most interesting flowers I've ever seen. It grows back behind our pond in the raspberry and blackberry rows.

When we first moved here, Hubs once asked me, "Have you seen that cool looking ball-like flower back by the pond?" Of course, my reply was, "Yep, and I've already photographed it." hehe

Here is a photo of it before the blooms have opened.
(c) Misty DawnS

Here's what the "ball" looks like when the blooms have opened.
(c) Misty DawnS

Here's a closeup, macro of the blooms.
(c) Misty DawnS

After you're done shopping for equestrian riding apparel, you'll want to click on the badge below.
This meme is full of beauty!
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Spangled Skimmer ~ Camera-Critters #172

(c) Misty DawnS

Y'all know how I am obsessed with dragonflies, so you won't be surprised that I'm posting another photo of one of my beloved dragons. Besides... I told you earlier this week that one of the dragonflies I photographed last weekend was a "lifer" for me (meaning it was the first time I had ever photographed this species). So, it's only fitting that I share the "lifer" photograph with you... right? The dragonfly in the above photo is a Spangled Skimmer dragonfly, and, let me tell ya, it's a beauty! Those white spots on the wings just flash and shimmer when it flies around, causing it to really catch your eye.

I had been watching this species of dragonfly fly around my pond, but they wouldn't sit still long enough for a photograph. I was absolutely thrilled when one finally sat still... even if it did require me to do some fancy leaning and standing on my tip-toes to get the photo. It was worth it! Nope, this photo won't be going in the recycle bin composter. It is one of my current faves now.

To join in this fun meme, which is all about critters...
click on the badge.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Camera Feels Effects of Heat Dome

(c) Misty DawnS

I used to participate in Looking at the Sky on Friday, which isn't active right now. So, I decided to go ahead and post a sky photo anyway. Cuz I was in the mood to post a sky photo. So I am... posting a sky photo, that is.

Besides, this photo reminds me of what it's like to be outside and enjoy it. Best weightloss pills aren't needed around here right now, because you walk outside and the weight just melts and sweats right off of ya. I'm not kidding! It's pretty unbearable.

The other day, my new camera was whispering to me, and it wasn't saying very nice things! It whispered "Hey you! What'd you get me for if you're just gonna leave me in this bag all the time? You coulda just left me in the store with my REAL friends!" Seriously! My camera is even feeling the effects of this "heat dome". Poor neglected camera.

Ummmm... let's keep the fact that my camera whispers to me between us, O.K.? Thanks.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dragon Hunting

(c) Misty DawnS

If you know a little bit about me, you know that I'm crazy about my dragonflies. This year, the bug population has been quite lacking, except for the unwanted bugs. Yeah, there's no shortage of ticks, black fly gnats, and biting flies. However, I've seen very few butterflies. I've seen some dragonflies, but not the normal species I usually see. Also, the dragonflies are constantly moving... more than usual. This morning, however, I finally had a good "dragon hunt".

I braved the heat (we're under an excessive heat warning for the entire week), and went back to the pond. It paid off for me, because I was able to photograph five species of dragonflies! One of those species was a "lister", meaning I had never photographed that species yet. But, you'll have to wait to see that one (and boy is he pretty). The dragon in this photograph is an Eastern Pondhawk. The Eastern Pondhawk is a common dragonfly around here. Yet, it's one of the species I hadn't seen yet this year. So, apparently...

There Baaaaack.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fish For Dinner? ~ Camera-Critters #171

(c) Misty DawnS

We're under an excessive heat watch for the next week. I think I should follow this Great Blue Heron's lead and just stand in the water all day. Although, after several days of excessive heat, I imagine the water will end up pretty warm and won't be too refreshing. Besides, I prefer my fish cooked unlike what this Heron is planning on for dinner.

I saw this Great Blue Heron standing in my neighbors' pond when I was on the way back from taking some baler twine to Hubs. I had to stop for a quick photo, although I didn't think it would come out very good, considering I was quite a distance from it. However, the new camera (Sony a580) continues to impress me. While it's not the best photo, the camera sure did allow me to get an "O.K." photo out of something that I wouldn't have otherwise.

To join in this fun meme, which is all about critters, click on the badge.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A New Perspective ~ A New View

(c) Misty DawnS

I was SO excited to photograph this Ebony Jewelwing, because not only had I never photographed an Ebony Jewelwing before, I had never photographed ANY species of Jewelwing. So, I chased the bug through the tall grass and wildflowers, dismissing the thought of ticks, which kept coming into mind. I HAD to get a photograph! Had.To.

Well, I got a couple photographs (after several minutes of chasing), and when I returned back home, I excitedly put the photographs on my computer to view... only to realize that I didn't get the wings in focus. My heart sank. I had never seen a Jewelwing around here before, and I have doubts if I will again. So, I just chalked it up to a missed opportunity and was thankful that I did, in fact, at least photograph a new-to-me species.

However... when scrolling through photos on my computer today, this photograph struck me in a whole new way. I kept going back to look at it. I was viewing it in a different way than how I usually view my "bug photos". Rather than looking at it as a "photo of a bug" which needs to have all details in focus, I saw the overall photo... the soft and whispy background... the yellows and greens... the yellow flower to the right of the image and the fact that it looks like the Jewelwing is appreciating that flower's beauty. Then, magically, a photo which I had at first been very disappointed in, became a whole new photo to me when I looked at it in a different perspective. So... I now share it with you to see what you think.

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Tiny Beauty

(c) Misty DawnS

I've yet to figure out what the name of this pretty little flower is. It grows back by my pond. It's a very, very small flower and grows close to the ground.

These flowers are so tiny that it's easy to not even notice them. However, when you take a closer look, you discover that they are very beautiful and intricate.

I'd love to be spending time back at the pond today, but it's very hot and humid. I think even the bugs are sweating!

Friday, July 8, 2011

You Know Your Hubs Loves You When He Gives You Bugs ~ Camera-Critters #170

Hubs came home from work the other day and came into the room where I was typing my Virtual Assistance work. He asked how much more typing I had and then explained that he "brought me something".

So, when I finished working, I went to find Hubs. He proceeded to hand me a plastic bag and say, "Put it on a tree, in the grass, wherever you wanna put it and photograph it to your hearts content. I knew you'd like it, but knowing my luck, it's probably some giant African cockroach or something."

I laughed, and then he said, "Well, if you and Bear find out that it is something like that... ummm, could you kill it after you photograph it?"

Turns out it's a Black Eyed Click Beetle
So, it got to live. hehe
(c) Misty DawnS

I asked Hubs what the other guys working thought when he said he needed to bring the bug home to me. He laughed and said the guy who owns the house where they were working asked, "What are you, some kinda bug guy or something?" and Hub's co-worker replied "No, but his wife will be all excited and have about 20 photographs of that thing in no time!" Ha! I guess everyone knows me and my issues.

I guess you really know your hubs loves ya when he gives ya bugs :-D

I'm re-posting this photo, because it's a fave of mine,
and I posted it for the CC while I was on vacation
and forgot to have someone sign me in on the linky.
(c) Misty DawnS

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Clover Like No Other

(c) Misty DawnS

I've always been a fan of macro photography, both looking at other's macro photos and taking my own. Purchasing the Hoya close-up filters has opened up a whole new world for me, and my passion for macro photography has become overwhelming.

I know that most people don't share a liking for bugs like I and, therefore, probably cringe when I say I'm doing more and more macro photography. However, as you can see from the above photo, macro photography isn't just bugs. :-)

This photograph means so much to me. It reveals the beautiful details in the 'small' world which we overlook. Honestly... did you ever notice that a simple clover flower is so intricate and beautiful? I confess that I certainly never did... until now. There are thousands and thousands of clovers back by my pond... I had absolutely no idea what I was missing, until I took this photograph. It really makes me want to take the time to take a closer look at everything else I've been overlooking or taking for granted.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Eye-Grass Coordination

Tis always important your
eyes are color-coordinated with your perch.
(c) Misty DawnS

It's not immediately noticed, but I like the shadow in this photo, in addition to all the small details.

With my other camera, I had to focus several times (yes, I use auto focus) to get it ready to press the shutter. With the Sony a580, it focuses with one half-press of the button, and I find myself thinking, "No, that can't be right. Must be something wrong." LOL I'm quite pleased with the photos I've taken so far and looking forward to more.

I keep telling myself that I'm going to get up early tomorrow to try to get some dew drop photos. Only problem with that is I have a strong love of sleeping in when I don't have to get up for work. Hmmmm - such a dilemma!

The Chosen Chicory

(c) Misty DawnS

This is the very first photo I took with my new camera! Yup, Hubs and I had been talking about my upgrading for a while now, and I finally, on my birthday, decided I should do it. I ordered it a few days after that, and took my very first photo with the Sony a580 yesterday morning.

I'm really loving this camera, and I've only scratched the surface of what features it has to offer. I'd be scratching further on the surface right now... if it would stop raining! LOL Yep, it has been raining all day and looks like it's going to continue for most of the day. Talk about torture! haha At least I got to get out and get a few photos yesterday... and I'm sure there will be many more. :-)

Friday, July 1, 2011

My Bag & Inside

I have an Epiphanie... more specifically a Lyric Epiphanie (in slate blue).  I want another (or three) Epiphanie bag; A girl has to have options, right?!?!

In my Lyric:

Sony a350 (back-up camera)
Sony a580 (We're inseparable)

Sony 18-250 (Oh how I LOVE this lens.  It gives me everything I need!)

Filters & Accessories:
Hoya Close-Up Filters (Macro or bust, Baby!)

A few things you may notice or questions:

No, I do not use a tripod.  All of my photos are shot in-hand.  I realize professionals say you MUST use a tripod.  I don't.

No, I don't have a lot of bells & whistles as far as accessories and multiple lenses.  However, I do love my current set-up.

Why yes, I AM a Sony girl!
All of my digital cameras have been Sony, starting with a Sony Mavica, which took a floppy disk for storage;
My next dream camera is a Sony NEX 7;
My laptop is a Sony Vaio, and we recently got Hubs a Sony Vaio;
Even the flat screen TV I got Hubs for his birthday/Christmas gift is a Sony;
Did we plan it that way?  Not really.  I guess we just like Sony products.

Critters On My Fridge! ~ Camera-Critters #169

My morning routine:
- Hit snooze when the alarm goes off...
- Hit snooze when the alarm goes off again...
- Drag myself outta bed when the alarm goes off the third time, while turning it off and cursing it at the same time.
- Stumble to the shower and take a half-awake shower while wishing I could just go back to bed.
- Stumble outta the shower and to the coffee pot for the first cup of coffee. Must. Have. Coffee.
- Then, I always put an ice cube in my coffee (cuz I don't like hot drinks that burn my mouth - it's a thing with me).
- Then, I carry said coffee into the bedroom and proceed to get ready for work.

Thursday morning, this routine was being performed just as it is every other morning until the ice cube part...

When drowsily reaching for the freezer handle, something on my refrigerator MOVED. O.K., now let me be clear that NOTHING on OR in my fridge is supposed to MOVE. So, this was enough to simultaneously cause me to gasp, jump back, and suddenly become WIDE awake.

Then, I saw what it was that had moved, and this caused me to simultaneously go "awwwww", begin talking to said critter, and cause Molly-Collie to stare at her mommy wondering if she needed to go wake Daddy up, because Mommy may have lost her mind.

But, seriously...
How could I resist?
This little critter was stuck on my fridge door,
just under the water & ice cube dispenser.
Maybe it was thirsty?

(c) Misty DawnS

No, I have no idea how it got in my house. That's exactly what Hubs asked me when I told him. Heck, it was such a tiny tree frog that it could have come in on Molly when she went potty for the night. Or, it could have even come in on Hub's boots when he came in from mowing hay until after dark.

After photographing it, I went to pick it up, and it jumped off the fridge. This initiated about five to ten minutes of the "Misty chases froggy/Froggy hops away just as Misty tries to grab it/Misty chases froggy again/repeat/repeat" game. I finally caught it and took it outside.

Seems I've been performing a lot of critter rescue missions lately.

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