Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Partly Rainy, Partly Sunny, All-Around Good Day for Taking Photos of Outdoor Critters

This Sunday was another one of those (apologies to the late, great Nat King Cole) lazy, hazy, crazy, humid, soggy, half-sunny, half-rainy days of summer. Superdawg and I got in a decent walk. Then as I was recovering, I spotted a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird sipping from the nectar feeder I had just filled. So I decided to go outside, sit in a lawnchair a decent distance away, and snap its picture.

As usual, the hummer was elusive. I took a number of other photos waiting for it to hover in front of the feeder long enough for me to take the picture. One problem is that these aggressive little dynamos (which weigh about as much as a nickel) are forever chasing each other away from food sources. You wonder sometimes how they manage to take in all the fuel they need to sustain their high-energy lifestyle.

Then suddenly as I was peering through the camera to focus on the feeder, I was aware of some object flying toward me warp-speed, then stopping just short of my nose, and veering off. It was Mr. Ruby Throat himself! At first I thought this bellicose guy had revved up his engines to achieve his max 60 mph and had attacked me! However, on calmer reflection, I realized: My camera is red. Hummingbirds are attracted to the color red. It must have thought I was an auxiliary nectar feeder.

Anyway it was a pleasant day to try to improve my photographic skills. Except for that one encounter, the wildlife and growing things seemed to be laid-back and agreeable to being noticed. In fact, as I was stalking the hummer, I looked up and saw a Gecko peering down from a drainpipe observing my every move -- basically, stalking me.

Anyway, here is a small gallery from a lazy Summer Sunday:

Okay, I confess I borrowed this one from Google Images. But it looks very much like my feeder and the hummer that buzzed me. I'll get him one of these days. 

A busy butterfly on our amazing Lantana Bush. 

Our one-year-old Crepe Myrtle, the plant for which our fair city is named.

A pepper plant proudly bearing fruit. We are harvesting juicy tomatoes, too.

Mr. Gecko keeping tabs on me.

Another exceptionally gorgeous butterfly -- this one I took at Brookgreen Gardens


                                                               © Robert G. Holland

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