Yellow — 6 images

Just because the sun shone all day today!

So today’s post is featuring yellow flowers only, selected from the images that I’ve captured since arriving here in the French alps last month.

Click on images for larger view. Macro view of dandelion flowerThis is a dandelion flower. Almost empty dandelion seedhead, artistic

Below is an evening primrose ( Oenothera biennis) with a fly and a small snail. Snail hanging out on evening primrose

This is a yellow sow thistle  (Sonchus oleraceus)A trio of yellow prickly sow thistle flowers

A hoverfly approaching a rose…Yellow rose with hoverfly approaching

…and a rather large hoverfly resting on goldenrod blossoms. Large hoverfly on goldenrod flowers


A few hours in Geneva, Switzerland — 12 images

Earlier this week we spent a few hours in Geneva. The sun decided to show its face for us, so after errands were taken care of we meandered up into the Vieille Ville before making our way to the tiny island, Ile Rousseau, in the middle of the Rhone River just where it exits Lake Geneva, adjacent to the city’s main shopping area.

Click on images for larger view.  Looking east in Geneva's Rive districtLooking east in Geneva’s main shopping area. The lake is just a couple of streets over to the left, the Old Town is up the hill to the right on the highest hill in the city, and the Rhone River is behind me a couple of blocks. Geneva is a really compact city, very easy to walk around. This street is closed to cars but sleek trolley cars run regularly on their way to various areas of the city.

Geneva looking up to Vieille VilleLooking up the hill from the shopping district towards the Old Town and, below, looking back down the same street from the Place du Bourg-de-Four in the Old Town. Looking down to Rive from Old Town

Below, rue Saint-Leger leading off from the Place du Bourg-de-Four, heading away from the lake. Rue Saint-Leger at Pl du Bourg-de-Four

Below, two views of the Cathedrale de Saint Pierre. While the cathedral itself is 850 years old, there is also an archaeological site under it that dates back to the 4th century.  Seen from the south, in the Old Town…Cathedrale de Saint PierreCathedrale de Saint Pierre

…and looking up at it from the shopping district:Cathedrale St Pierre from Rive

Streetside tables at the Hotel Les Armures, near the cathedral in the Old Town. Street side tables at hotel Les Armures

Left Bank as seen from l’Ile Rousseau in the middle of the Rhone River:Geneva Left Bank from l'Ile Rousseau

Promenade du Lac that runs along Left Bank waterfront…Geneva's promenade du lacWaterbus approaching Left BankAbove, a waterbus approaches the city’s Left Bank. These little ferries are part of the public transportation system and carry pedestrians from one side of the river/lake to the other, within the city.

Below, a waterbus heading out from the Left Bank and about to pass under the Pont du Mont Blanc. Waterbus about to pass under pony du Mont Blanc Waterbus passing the Jet d'EauAn iconic image of Geneva…a waterbus crossing the lake in front of the city’s  most famous “landmark”, the Jet d’Eau. This image was captured on a different day, with a mist hanging over the city, the sun breaking through, and I gave it an artistic treatment.

These were just a few images to give you a quick look at Geneva…


Lessons in taking a bath — 6 images

We spent the day in Geneva yesterday and had lunch on the little island, Ile Rousseau, in the middle of the Rhone River just where it exits from Lake Geneva. There is a snack and wine bar located there where we bought excellent paninis and decadently delicious patisseries that we ate while sitting outside in the sunshine. 😊 The island is also where the local wildlife — swans, geese, ducks and gulls — hang out and I thoroughly enjoyed adding to my collection of bird  images, especially the swans. I’ll feature them in a future post.

Naturally, whenever outdoor eating is involved there will be house sparrows, and the island was no exception. I took enormous pleasure in watching the young sparrows getting a lesson in bathing in the water on the downstream edge of the island, where they were somewhat protected from the ferociously strong current as the waters of the lake are funnelled into the relatively narrow banks of the river.

Click on images for larger view.

In the shallows…House sparrows bathing at edge of riverHouse sparrows bathing at edge of riverHouse sparrows bathing at edge of riverHouse sparrows bathing on edge of river

A black-headed gull in non-breeding plumage watches a very young sparrow at the water’s edge. Gull watching young sparrow bathing

After the bath…Soaked young house sparrow on branchPoor bedraggled little things weren’t very good at drying themselves off, some of them didn’t even have a full complement of feathers — and the water was COLD! It was very entertaining watching the adult sparrows showing the babies how it was done and then watching the babies’ cautious first efforts. 😊 


Going up…

I processed some images for today’s post, but I was a little pressed for time and I don’t like what I did with them.  I’ll redo them for another day as it’s getting late and I have to be up early. For today I’m posting an image I processed recently featuring a ladybug. There don’t seem to be many of them around here.

Click on image for larger view. Ladybug climbing stem, artistic


Lining up for a landing — 7 images

Before leaving for my trip I had become increasingly frustrated by my 55-250mm kit lens, the lens I use the most, because I was finding the auto focus was becoming decidedly inconsistent and unreliable. Altho I shoot in manual mode, I do tend to use auto focus a lot because I like to shoot moving critters and because I don’t totally trust my eyesight to get it right all the time. I was thinking I would have to get the lens serviced, but didn’t have time before the trip.

But since I arrived here the auto focus has been behaving beautifully! It must have liked the flight over…😊 Today’s post is a series of images that I probably couldn’t have captured with this degree of sharpness in the weeks leading up to my trip…or even in the past year. It’s SO nice to be able to find a subject I want to capture and have a decent expectation that it’ll be in focus! I was delighted with the clarity of this series of images that I captured earlier in the week, a hoverfly (Syrphidea) sizing up a pair of blue flax blossoms (Linum perenne).

Click on images for larger view.  Hoverfly approaching blue flax flowerHoverfly approaching blue flax flowerHoverfly approaching blue flax flowerHoverfly on blue flax flowerHoverfly on blue flax flowerHoverfly approaching blue flax flowerHoverfly approaching blue flax flower



Lunch on the Col de la Colombiere — 5 images

A couple of weeks ago we drove up to the Col de la Colombiere for lunch at a rustic little restaurant at the end of a rough little road that led uphill from the — uh — main road at the summit. The location was a farm, the facilities were minimal, and we sat on hard wooden benches, but the raclette and fondue were delicious, and the view spectacular.

Click images for larger view.

North from Col de la ColombiereThe weather was threatening throughout our visit, but the rain held off and the sun peeked through from time to time. This is the view from the restaurant looking north to the Col de Romme in the distance. the village of Le Reposoir is down in the bottom, behind the trees.

Col de la ColombiereLooking south from the restaurant towards the Col.

Donkeys at Col de la ColombiereThese donkeys were grazing in a field on a slope facing the restaurant. The little foal lying in the grass in the lower part of the image was extremely young, I would guess a couple of days old or less.

Col de la Colombiere dogFarm dog waiting outside the barn.

East from the restaurantLooking east from the restaurant.


A crab spider with attitude

Crab spider on knapweed flowerThis is MY flower — GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT??

Click on image for larger view, highly recommended for this image.


Walking near the Arve river earlier this week, looking for flowers or insects to shoot, I came face to face with this little character (Misumena vatia, I believe) who positioned himself at the edge of the flower (common knapweed?) and seemed to just DARE me to take even one step closer! The white on the face with the dark eyes (?) and the position of the four front legs made him look as if he was really annoyed… I was going to include him in a post on spiders I’ve seen on recent walks but decided he deserved his own post.