Hearts in the shade

Tucked away in the shade in a corner of the back yard, under the trees, are some bleeding heart plants. I love how they catch brief touches of the sun when it’s shining and the way the light is filtered through the mantle of leaves overhead, the way it was today. It makes me acutely aware of how relatively quickly the sun is moving, even though it’s not obvious, as I barely have time to set up my tripod before the light has moved off the petals, and the opportunity has evaporated.

Trumpeter swan

I was out at the migratory bird sanctuary last week, and got to see and photograph up close a trumpeter swan…a first for me! They don’t usually hang out in the sanctuary. I was very excited. He was gliding around in the long slough that runs alongside the entry road, just inside the sanctuary gates, and didn’t seem bothered at all by the attention he was getting from me and a couple of other visitors. When I paid my entry, I commented about the swan to the attendant, and she said he’d been there for three days, and hoped he wasn’t hurt because the rest of the swans had now departed the surrounding area for points north. When I got home that night, and downloaded my day’s photos onto my computer, I went immediately to the swan captures. I think I’m not mistaken in thinking this poor guy is hanging around because he’s having trouble flying — it looks to me as if his flight feathers have taken a real beating! I had noticed when watching him that he kept refolding his wings, as if they didn’t feel right to him. In the stretch image, you can really see how many of his feathers are lacking vanes, or at least have really ratty looking vanes. I can’t help but wonder how he ended up like that. Hopefully, he didn’t suffer any injury as well. If he’s otherwise okay, and doesn’t go for walkabouts, he at least is in a safe place until his new feathers grow in. At this time of year there should be plenty of aquatic plant material for him to eat, there are a couple of cultivated fields adjacent to the slough (inside the sanctuary) for him to meander around, and if he swims up to the other end of the slough he will find the parking lot and lots of visitors happy to give him some grain.

He looked so elegant and regal swimming around in the slough, I do so hope he’s going to be okay.

Pink from a garden

Near to where I live is a 7 acre semi-public garden that is only open to the public a few times a year. It contains a number of unusual trees, a former orchard and some flower beds. This year the open days have been extended to Saturdays during the spring season, so I visited it for the first time yesterday and spent a little time there with my camera. The garden is secluded behind hedges and one gets a sense of being far removed from the outside world. The garden is currently undergoing improvements, and the small water feature I’d hoped to photograph was under reconstruction and off limits. Still, it was a nice opportunity for me to get some shots of spring flowers other than rhodos, tulips, daffodils, etc.

The main attractions yesterday were the rhodos and woodland flowers, but I did find a beautiful soft pink camellia hiding in a corner, as well as several magnolia trees. I will process the flowers for later posts, today I’ll feature the camellia and magnolia with a couple of images that I processed on my iPad because my iOS apps offer me different artistic options, particularly watercolor effects, that I’m continuing to play around with to test their capabilities.

More dandelions…

…to brighten a cool, breezy, wet day. I forgot I had these images so I’m posting them while I’m still thinking about dandelions.

Spring means dandelions

I know so many people who detest dandelions, but I love them. And of course, the bees love them, too. They’re one of the first bursts of color in the spring, and seeing a field of sunny yellow faces can really lift my spirits between the bouts of heavy rain at this time of year. Not only are they such a glorious shade of yellow, but their flowers have those wonderful little curlicues among the larger petals, tho you don’t see that if you don’t take the time for a close up look. I find they are always a very rewarding flower if I spend a little extra time on post-processing.

Pond for two

Two Canada geese on small pond
I saw this pair of Canada geese as I was driving by the field where they were checking out this little pond located in a low spot. Maybe they were thinking it would be a good place to raise a family. I liked the tree growing in the middle of the pond. It was perfect timing for capturing the image as the pair moved onto the bank a few seconds later.