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Posts Tagged ‘purple flower’

Yesterday I took a break from bird photography and visited Green Spring Gardens, a county-run historic garden, with a macro lens on my camera rather than my long telephoto zoom lens. It is still a bit early for most flowers, so I was happy to spot these little purple flowers that had pushed their way to the surface. I think they may be crocuses, though I really don’t know flowers very well.

I got really low to get an interesting background and almost got stepped on by a runner—maybe it’s best not to wear a camouflage jacket when lying on the ground.

purple buds

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Although it is already October and the weather is getting cooler, the local bees have not yet called it quits for the season. I am not sure what kind of purple flower this is, but the bumblebee was busily burrowing its head into its open blossoms.

I was happy to be able to catch the bee in action, capturing an “artsy” image of the moment.

October bee

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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A handsome little skipper feeds on a gorgeous purple flower and the result is simply beautiful.

skipper_purple_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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I am always happy to visit the garden of one of my neighbors, Cindy Dyer, a fellow photographer and blogger, at this time of the year, because there is always something new in bloom. Yesterday’s treat was this simple little purple flower. I have no idea what it is, but I love its shape and colors.

flower_tiny_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Yesterday I returned to my photographic roots at Green Spring Gardens, a county-run historic park, to shoot flowers and bugs, the subjects I started with six months ago when Cindy Dyer, my mentor and muse, helped me get serious about my photography. It was cloudy and cool (about 47 degrees F (8.3 degrees C) and I didn’t expect to see many insects active. There was quite a variety of flowers blooming, including many that have been present all summer. Perhaps when we have a hard freeze, some of them will die off, but for now they provide a blast of bright color that contrasts with the now fading fall foliage.

Bee in early November

I was surprised when I encountered this bee, the only one that I saw all day. It seemed to be moving slowly in the colder weather, but was industriously working on this purple flower. Judging from its relatively hairless abdomen, I think that this might be a carpenter bee rather than a bumblebee, though I am not completely sure about the identification.

I have always mentally associated bees with spring, but now, as I look more closely at nature, I realize that I have to question all of my previous assumptions. That’s probably a good thing for me to do regularly, and not just in my photography.

Bee working in the cold

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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The weather is getting cooler and it’s getting darker earlier, but it’s nice to see that there are still lots of insects around to photograph. Here’s a recent shot of a bee, still busily at work in mid-September.

Bee in mid-September

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I continue to be mystified by the names of the insects that I photograph. Yesterday I spotted this very striking butterfly that I later learned is called the Common Buckeye butterfly (Junonia coenia).  What makes it common? If it’s so common, why have I never seen one before? The vivid colors and prominent eyespots make it anything but common to me.

Common Buckeye butterfly

Here’s another view of the butterfly. The internal tear in the wing makes it clear that it is the same specimen. If you want to learn more about the Common Buckeye, check out this article on the BugGuide website, which is rapidly becoming one of my favorite places to browse and research.

Common Buckeye butterfly

One interesting fact about the Common Buckeye is that it was featured on a 24-cent US postage stamp in 2006. If you want to see what the stamp looks like, visit the Arago website. Arago, named after François Arago, a 19th century French scientist and friend of James Smithson, is a resource of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum.

One of the nice things about living in the Washington, D.C. area is having access to the Smithsonian Museums, most of which have free admission.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Have you ever gone through your photos so quickly that you missed your best shot?

Earlier this week I was really excited because I had finally gotten some shots of Monarch butterflies and I posted a number of photos of them. As I looked over my photos from Monday again this evening, I saw a shot that surprised me. It surprised me because it was really good and it surprised me because I missed it the first time.

Other than using unsharp mask, this is the image that came out of my camera without any cropping at all. (Naturally I downsized the resolution for the blog.) I like the composition, I like the focus, and I like the background.

It doesn’t take much to make me happy.

Monarch butterfly (click for higher resolution)

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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This unidentified little purple flower attracted my eye when I was shooting at a local garden with some friends. I had my macro lens on my camera and I had my tripod with me, so I carefully set up the shot the way my mentor, Cindy Dyer, has taught me to do. I tried to isolate my subject and keep a relatively unobstructed background. I shot at f16 to have a decent depth of field.

The final image is simple, modest, and pleasant, like the flower itself.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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