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Posts Tagged ‘sky’

How do you capture a field of sunflowers in a single image? That was my challenge yesterday, when I visited McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area in Montgomery County in Maryland, where there are 48 acres of sunflowers in a total of seven fields.

I am still going through my photos from yesterday, not sure if any single image captured the feeling of the endless rows of sunflowers. I am happy, though, that I was able to capture this iconic (or perhaps cliché) image of a single sunflower isolated against the sky.

BlueSkySunflower lorez

It should have been a simple shot to take, but initially the sky was overcast and white—good for most kinds of photos, except for this kind of image. I was taking photos with some friends and we joked about having to Photoshop in the sky, but eventually the clouds broke up a little and enough blue showed in the sky that I was able to get this shot.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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We had some sunny weather this past weekend and temperatures soared to the upper 40’s (about 8-9 degrees C). As I was walking through my local marshland park, I heard an approaching loud noise, and before I knew it the sky was full of blackbirds. I turned my camera skyward and snapped off a few shot.

From the photos, I can’t identify all of the types of birds, but there seems to be a mixture of Red-winged Blackbirds and grackles and maybe a few others. What I find most fascinating, though, is the variety of wing positions, sizes, and shapes that you can see. Unlike the geese that I see flying in beautiful V-shaped formations, these blackbirds seem to be utterly lacking in organization as they move from place to place.

blackbirds_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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You might think that I am going to talk philosophically about a bee, but my title is meant to be taken literally. If you click on the photo, you can actually see reflections of the sky and bushes on the shiny surface of the abdomen end of this bee.

I am pretty sure that this is a carpenter bee for two main reasons. First, the abdomen area is shiny and hairless, unlike a bumblebee who is more hairy. Secondly, the bee is sucking nectar out of the side of the flower rather than going in from the front, a process sometimes referred to as “nectar robbing.” Carpenter bees are notorious for circumventing pollination in certain plants by slitting open the side of the flower.

Perhaps others can see more reflections on the bee. It’s like looking at clouds and trying to see shapes—it’s a lot of fun and everyone sees something different. Life is like that sometimes.

Click the photo to see more details

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio glaucus) photographed today at Green Spring Gardens, Alexandria, Virginia.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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