Tag Archives: butterfly

Snapping Away at Cullinan Park

Dewberries look tasty.

My friend Jess has encouraged me to shoot at Cullinan Park here in Sugar Land for as long as I can remember.

This was one of the few wildflowers I spotted.

So last Saturday morning, I decided to finally check it out . . . with Jess as my guide.

A large, white flower absorbs the sunshine.

The two of us had a great time walking the trails, chatting away and listening to the birds chirping. I discovered that Cullinan Park is a local, natural treasure.

A heron takes off across Oyster Creek.

As I prepared to leave for the park, I had one main thought: What camera equipment will help me best document this adventure? How will I be able to shoot both near (macro) and far (telephoto)?

Sidebar: My second thought? Don’t forget the bug spray!

A butterfly enjoys the local cuisine.

I opted for a two-camera approach. On my Nikon D700 was my trusty Nikon 105mm macro lens for closeups. Attached to my monopodded Nikon D300 was my Nikon 70-200mm lens for long-range photo ops. I used both and was glad I had brought everything along.

A large dragonfly just hangs around.

Although the park isn’t very big, it’s filled with interesting sights and sounds. I was hoping to see some dragonflies, and I wasn’t disappointed.

A green dragonfly tries to blend in with his surroundings.

We spotted a few of the flyers in the woods among the butterflies.

A blue dragonfly rests on the lake’s plant life.

But we scored big at the park’s lake. D-flies were buzzing about, enjoying the water and plants.

A green dragonfly is happy to pose.

Although I was sad that there were no alligators to shoot, just watching the dragonflies flit about made me smile.

Is this curious caterpillar hungry?

After our adventure, Jess and I sat on benches, resting and talking. This little critter shared where I was sitting, so, of course, I snapped some pix with my macro lens.

I wonder what he’ll be the next time I stop by Cullinan Park. Which I’m sure will be sooner than later.

 

Nature’s Freeloaders

A monarch looks for the perfect horsemint to land on.

During my latest photowalk last Sunday, I made a discovery:

A bee poses.

It’s not just bees and butterflies that like wildflowers as much as I do.

Can you “spot” the bugs (one is hiding)?

Bugs enjoy the flower-power scene, too.

Are you bugging me?

It’s a treat when I lean in close with my Nikon 105mm macro lens to see something looking back at me, especially if it doesn’t have a stinger attached.

Wonder what these guys are.

I guess they’re just nature lovers, too!

One-Word Letter Wednesday

A bee enjoys a mealy blue sage on Texas State’s campus.

B!

The wildflowers also attract a butterfly.

High Flyers and Low Crawlers

Can you find the caterpillar among the bluebonnets?

It’s been a fun week bringing to the blog a taste of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Butterflies love Indian paintbrush.

From wildflowers to cacti to sculptures to out-of-focus hummingbirds, the Austin venue has something for all nature lovers. Including different kinds of critters.

A turtle ignores me.

Turtles swim silently in a small pond near the entrance.

A chrysalis harbors new life.

Chrysalises hang on in screened eclosion boxes where they’re safe from predators.

Silk moth caterpillars hang out on leaves.

An insectary houses caterpillars that will develop into silk moths. I’d never seen so many of the little crawlers in one place before.

A bee hovers over Wright’s skullcap flowers.

My experience with wildflowers has been that beasts usually accompany the beauty. Most of the varmints have been bees, of course, who like the flowers as much as I do.

Is the bee reading the informative sign?

Looks like they want to learn more, too!

Hit and Miss

Even the sign looks pretty.

The Mister and I made the three-hour drive Saturday to Austin to visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. It was my vision of paradise!

Sidebar: My vision, not my sons’. They both laughed when we suggested they come with us (we could’ve picked up my older son at UTSA with a slight detour), both separately telling us to “have fun.” I guess that’s when you know you’re getting old.

A butterfly stares from a pink coneflower.

After snapping away at gorgeous wildflowers and things that flew around them for several hours, I came away with one conclusion.

Another butterfly stops to say howdy.

Although I was over the moon at some of my photo hits, like these two of butterflies that actually wanted to pose for me (which is such a rarity here in the Houston area) . . .

Missed it by that much!

. . . I’ll spend much more time lamenting the misses, like this one of a hummingbird that suddenly was attracted to some Wright’s penstemon I was standing by. I just couldn’t lock on it with my Nikon D700’s manual focus before it flitted away. Oh, how I so wanted a crisp, in-focus photo of that darned hummer!

If only it could’ve been cooperative like my other flying friends!

Gonzales’ Wildflowers Wow Me, Too!

Indian paintbrush surround a disc golf basket.

I haven’t traveled all over the great state of Texas.

Indian blankets

In fact, I don’t like to leave my 10-mile radius in our town outside of Houston.

Winecups

Still, I can’t imagine any Texas towns that are prettier than Gonzales during the spring when the wildflowers are blooming.

More Indian paintbrush

It just so happens that driving the back way home from San Antonio takes you smack-dab through this historic, little village. I detoured a bit to see how the flora looked along the disc golf course.

Indian paintbrush amid the bluebonnets

And I was richly rewarded! I’ve never seen so many clusters of Indian paintbrush. They look so wonderful mixed in with the bluebonnets . . . probably because the University of Illinois’ colors just happen to be orange and blue. Hail, alma mater, ever so true (so true).

A butterfly enjoys a false garlic.

The skippers and butterflies, though, seemed partial to the maroon winecups and white false garlic.

I wonder if they’re Aggies!

One-Word Wednesday

A butterfly visits my neighbor’s plants.

Monarch!

Thanks for posing!