May Challenge: Wildflowers… Entry #9 Lady Slipper Orchid

Somehow I just knew I could count on Tess sending more than one photo!

“Sorry that I’m sending four pictures AGAIN. I just wanted to let you see how this wildflower looks. This flower is a Lady Slipper Orchid. I got the chance to see this flower which is extremely rare and grows in the forest of eastern Philippines. It got it’s name due to it’s slipper shape. There are different kinds of wild orchids in the Philippines but this is the only one that I have seen for the first time.

The owner got this five years ago when they went for an excursion inside of the cave near the area where this was found. She said that this orchid only flowers once a year and the flower will last for almost one month and a half. These pictures look dark for I took this at eight in the evening and there was no light in the area where it is planted and I used my flash.”

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May Challenge: Wildflowers… Entry #5 Red Yucca

Looks like Robin W. (you know, the other Robin) is becoming passionate about her wildflower find… and rightfully so! It is drought tolerant and attracts hummers!! I think it’s about time for a planting party!

“Red Yucca is neither red nor yucca. It’s a pinkish bloomed agave. It’s native to Texas in the Edwards Plateau area through the Chihuahuan desert and does well here. I may add some along the south side of the house as the greatly disliked yaupon holly bushes die.”

Red Yucca  Neither Red nor Yucca (Photo by Robin W.)

Red Yucca
Neither Red nor Yucca
(Photo by Robin W.)

May Challenge: Wildflowers… Entry #3 Wildflower Collage

I was thrilled to get Debbie’s entry for this challenge and she made a lovely collage of wildflowers and included her dog. What a great idea!

“Sienna, our dachshund and I went out to snap pictures of wildflowers after our walk in the park this morning. I found the Indian Blanket, and I’m not sure what the white flower is. I used the links that Donna and Fay had provided but never could make up my mind what it was. The pictures of the bluebonnets were from last year and just had to include one of our precious Sienna.”

The unknown flower she is referring to is Queen Anne’s Lace. Though it looks delicate, it is tough as are most of the wildflowers that grow in Texas. I love to see a field of these blowing in the wind.

Wildflower Collage (Photo by Debbie)

Wildflower Collage
(Photo by Debbie)

May Challenge: Wildflowers… Entry #2 Bee on a Purple Flower

Robin Z. sent this beautiful wildflower my way with this message…

“So, this past weekend The Boyfriend and I took a roadtrip to Vicksburg, MS. What a lovely place. We stayed at a fantastic Bed & Breakfast, the Bazsinsky House. http://www.bazsinskyhouse.com/ The gardens on the grounds were full of beautiful flowers. However, the theme for this month’s challenge was wildflowers so I started exploring the property. This may actually be a weed but it’s purple & pretty so I say it counts. Since I have no idea what it is, I added one with a bumble bee.”

I went in search of the wildflower and sent her this message…
“Bee”-utiful (HA!) It looks like it may be a wood sorrel.

Bee on a Purple Flower (Photo by Robin Z.)

Bee on a Purple Flower
(Photo by Robin Z.)

May Challenge: Wildflowers… Entry #1 A Country Sunflower

Even though Donna was away for the weekend, that did not stop her from entering the wildflower challenge… as a matter of fact, it gave her another reason to shoot the flowers!

“I was excited to see your email! I read it the weekend I was away with my Mom at a bed and breakfast in Salado, TX. I knew I was going to get my shot there as we had admired all the wildflowers on the way down. So here is a Maximillian Sunflower in the city of Salado.”

A Country Sunflower (Photo by Donna)

A Country Sunflower
(Photo by Donna)

April Challenge: Birds… Entry #11 The Emotional Lives of Animals

The decision as to what to post was a difficult one as I have taken most of my best bird photos at White Rock Lake at Sunset Bay. There is always a proliferation of pelicans, gulls, ducks, coots, cormorants, doves, pigeons and if you are lucky, some monk parkeets. It’s a fantastic place to practice bird photography, especially when people are there feeding the birds.

A little over a week ago I had the opportunity to visit Santa Clara Ranch in south Texas with some members of our nature photo club. It was a new experience for me as I had never experienced shooting from a blind, and this was not a blind that you had to hunker down in and be uncomfortable. The blinds were built into the ground so you could sit on a chair and shoot from ground level. Next to each blind was a watering hole which hopefully would attract the wildlife. Now that is my kind of shooting.

Evidently from what the photogs who had been there before said, the activity was not as much as usual but for me, I was thrilled as I got to shoot critters I have never before seen in the wild. No… we did not get to see the bobcat but it was still great fun. There were 5 blinds so a lot depended on where you were and what time of day as to what you might see.

I was also reading a book called The Emotional Lives of Animals by Marc Bekoff. This is the second of his books that I have read and I have two more to read and will probably look for a couple more after that. He is passionate about animals and… I get it! Sitting there in the blind shooting with a camera, I found it very hard to understand how anyone could shoot an animal with a gun.

So for my entry, I have chosen to post a collage of a couple birds as well as other wildlife with a quote from Marc’s book. I will be getting a print made and matting it and framing it for my grandson who loves nature so much and is learning photography.

The Emotional Lives of Animals (Photo by Fay-la-la)

The Emotional Lives of Animals
(Photo by Fay-la-la)


To read more about my adventure at the ranch: http://theinquisitiveeye.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/5/santa-clara-ranch