Tag Archives: sunflower

Five for Five

Sunflowers brighten the view.

Gotta love the yellow.

Last Sunday morning during my five-mile walk in our neighboring master-planned community, several sights moved me to snap pics with my Nikon S6200.

Let’s call it five miles, five photos. I started off with the sunflowers, which finally are blooming everywhere this month.

Do you see what I see?

Do you see what I see?

Next there was this rabbit trying to hide in the grass. I usually see at least a half-dozen bunnies during my walk.

Looking a little blue

Looking a little blue

This odd-colored catfish caught my eye. For some reason it was lazing around near the lake’s shore.

Refreshing!

Refreshing!

The best friend of a walker/runner during Houston’s notoriously steamy summers? Sprinklers! I doused myself in one of them after I captured the scene.

Pretty in pink

Pretty in pink

Near the end of my journey, these purty petals almost blocked my way along the sidewalk back home. I think they wanted to be included in this post.

And so they are!

Beauty and Beastly

A monarch searches for the perfect horsemint to land on.

Remember how gorgeous these horsemint appeared back in April?

Blllch!

Now those purple beauties look downright beastly.

The color is gone.

As do a bunch of other wildflowers in the Houston area. The summer’s heat definitely is taking its toll on our flora.

Gotta love the sun if you’re named after it!

Fortunately, some plants thrive this time of year. Like sunflowers.

The petals are reaching towards the sky.

And black-eyed Susans (no relation).

No summertime blues in this group

Is it any coinky-dink that the wildflowers now flourishing are yellow . . . like the sun that beats down on us and heats the temperatures into the 90s every day?

I think not!

One-Word Wednesday

The sunflowers are finally blooming now that it’s almost summer.

Sunflowers!

With the promise of more to come.

An Episode of NSI

Bluebonnets are easy to identify.

When I’m out snapping pix of wildflowers, something besides the bees always bothers me:

Pretty in pink, whatever it really is

Identifying what in the world I’m shooting.

Pretty in dark pink, too!

Take the above two photos of the pinkish flowers. I think they’re penstemon . . . or are they foxglove? Or does it really matter what they are . . . as long as they’re in focus with nice bokeh?

Budding sunflowerishes

Where I really get confused is with the sunflower family. I can spot a “true” sunflower (they’re usually pretty big).

Love this view of the sunflowerish

But what about the ones that look like sunflowers but really aren’t? Are they black-eyed/brown-eyed Susans (no relation to me, of course)?

Looks the same but is it?

Why do some have a few petals while others have many? Some petals are wide, some are narrow . . . but all are yellow.

The same but different

Some even feature red markings on the petals.

When I identify them in my photos, I call them “sunflowerish.” I guess it’s as good a term as any. I’ve tried Googling, but I don’t find concrete answers.

What I truly need is an NSI squad: Nature Scene Investigation. Forget all that CSI stuff . . . help me ID these wildflowers! STAT!

Rabbit!

Wish all nature IDs could be this easy.

A Walk About Chicago

It’s pumpkin time!

While I was in the Chicago area this past weekend, my mom, her twin sister (Aunt G), and I visited my little brother (the hot-shot lawyer) and his wife in the big city. After brunch, we walked around their neighborhood to get a taste of the coming fall season. The temperature was in the mid-60s, which was just perfect for someone from way-too-hot Houston!

No one is out of their gourd with this selection.

First, we strolled down the street to check out a farmers’ market. There were plenty of fruits and veggies for sale.

This huge sunflower would give my local small guys an inferiority complex.

Some things were kinda unusual, like humongous sunflowers.

Purple power!

But other blossoms sure looked normal and purty.

A backyard yields an unusual-looking sculpture.

Once we’d had our fill of the market, we (along with pups Rootbeer and Scamp) meandered around the Lincoln Park neighborhood and headed into Old Town. When I was in high school in the late 1960s and early ’70s, Old Town was known for its hippies and head shops. I remember going there with some friends and buying “hippie beads.”

St. Michael gets a facelift.

This time, though, my baby bubba wanted to show us beautiful St. Michael Catholic Church, which is undergoing outside restoration in Old Town.

There’s plenty of room for lots of parishioners.

This was truly worth seeing! Even though the church was built in 1852, it’s gorgeous inside and looks well-maintained.

This is one of many stained-glass windows featuring someone not in my own bible.

Of course, our family isn’t one for churches, since we bat for the synagogue team. I’ve only been in those other houses of worship for weddings.

Baby bro, Mom, and Aunt G admire the altar.

But beauty is beauty, no matter whose religion it represents.

Sunflowers and More

A bunch of sunflowers grow near a neighboring community’s lake.

Few flowers make me smile when I see them as much as sunflowers.

The promise of a future sunflower looks intriguing.

It could be because yellow is one of my favorite colors. But it’s really because they look so friendly.

Good morning!

As I was walking through our neighboring community recently, I was thrilled to see several patches of sunflowers along the bike path. I couldn’t wait to return with my digital SLR to snap photos of them.

The view behind the sunflowers also is fascinating.

Of course, I knew that I wouldn’t just snap pix of sunflowers.

A cattail lives close to the lake.

When I was walking along the lake earlier in the year, I was saddened by the lack of vegetation due to a freeze.

A bee grabs pollen from a purple lake plant.

Fortunately, that was only temporary. Now the reeds and plants have grown back along the lake’s banks. And you know what else has returned to the body of water?

A red dragonfly flies above his blue brethren.

Dragonflies!

A blue dragonfly tries to blend in.

Always a challenge to photograph, you know I’m looking forward to clicking lots of pix of my favorite flyers.

A fly takes front and center on a flower.

This kind of fly? Not so much.

UTSA’s Wildflower Side and More

Little blue flowers bloom on campus.

Every time I travel, I have to make a big decision: Which camera lenses to take. Even though we were traveling by car to the University of Texas at San Antonio for orientation last week, I didn’t want to tote a heavy load around campus. Which meant I reluctantly left my beloved Nikon D700 and Nikon 105mm lens at home, because both can be tough on the biceps after a few hours.

Little purple flowers dot the bushes.

Instead, I opted for my Nikon D300 and Nikon 17-55mm lens. Although not as light as a point and shoot, this combination is great for all-around photography and so superior indoors.

Little reddish flowers brighten up the landscaping.

Of course, I knew the minute I didn’t pack my 105 that there would be great flowers to photograph on campus. And I was right!

Purple petunias blow their “horns.”

Beautiful buds bloomed everywhere I walked, it seemed. Mocking me, of course, because I didn’t have my macro champ.

A butterfly adds an orange glow to the greenery.

But I discovered that the D300 and 17-55 were up for the challenge!

Love these Indian blankets!

As we got close to my #1 son’s dorm, I noticed an area alive with wildflowers. I was in shutter-snapping heaven!

Sunflowers always make me smile.

Because the D300 has a crop factor that acts like a zoom (unlike the full-framed D700), I was able to get up close and personal with the flora despite my maximum lens length of 55mm.

These look like little sunflowers.

If you look closely on the top right, you’ll see that the combo even did a great job capturing some of the local wildlife.

This bee was busy.

I’d say the D300 and 17-55 were the bee’s knees!