This beauty was sunning him/herself this morning in the garden. Temps dipped into the chilly upper 30’s over night and all the flying critters were slow to get moving this morning.
I know how they felt.
I am shocked at how quickly the month of September has flown by. I've been AWOL for most of it, locked in the drama that is my life. Or non-life, since it's pretty mundane.
Yesterday was unseasonably warm – and as the day progressed, the humidity continued to rise, leaving it clear that a storm was brewing. A tornado watch was issued in the late afternoon lasting until 1am. Summer was going to be ushered out in style.
We were safe in our house, thunder in the distance, when the storm front blew in around 10pm. Unfortunately, it brought death and destruction in the form of an F2 tornado to a community less than 20 miles away. A 10 year old girl lost her life when the house she was visiting collapsed on her. So sad.
Work's been very busy and extremely stressful. But, honestly, things like last night's storm help to bring reality back in to check.
Another example of reality… Thursday I visited Stillwater, a community on the edge of the St Croix river between Minnesota and Wisconsin. I took several photos of one of the town's historic landmarks – the Lift Bridge. It was a glorious day, sunny and warm, although there was a stiff wind blowing from the south.
Two people, a mother and daughter, lost their lives today when the car they were riding in apparently experienced brake failure and plunged off the open bridge. Tragic. The driver, another daughter, survived.
It could have been even more tragic – the sister ship of the one shown above had just passed under the lift. Had the timing been off only a few seconds, the car would have rammed the boat's second level and killed or injured dozens. (These boats are usually packed with tourists, wedding parties, etc.)
This flower is from the Datura plant.
A few years ago, we purchased a couple plants from our favorite garden shop in Afton, MN. Now, every year we have self-seeded plants growing. Not an easy feat especially when you consider that this plant is native to tropical locations – not the northern tundra.
The scent of this flower is heavenly. It lingers on the night time breeze.
Was it today?
Is this my Prince Charming?!
I always thought Mr. Right would be taller.
And not so green…
I don't care HOW desperate I am to find my sweet Prince, there were no kisses for this little guy.
Once the pressure of "to kiss or not to kiss" passed, I think he was as interested to watch me as I was to watch him.
Wet, his skin gave off a shiny, almost iridescent green. The bumpy, leathery texture of his skin is visible in blow-ups of these shots. (I almost feel like I should wash my hands to prevent warts. OK, so maybe he's not a toad…)
How did he find our pond? We're a couple blocks from both a pond/nature area and creek. This little guy had to hike quite a ways to happen upon our pond.
You know, he does have nice eyes…
I took the plunge last weekend and bought a spectacular 50-200mm lens (plan on branching out and looking at the 'big picture' instead of just macros) for my new Olympus and a tripod with a fantastic head to help steady the camera and capture hard-to-reach models…
Which is probably a good thing since I've recently been experiencing sore/stiff/painful elbows (arthritis?!).
I am in love.
This is the bloom from the Prairie Dock in the side garden. It's probably 8 or 9 feet up… Previous hand-held shots were "OK", but having both the longer lens and the tripod made it "better". (And I didn't have to climb up on a ladder – I don't DO ladders either well or gracefully!) Now if only I could flick a switch and control Mother Nature's breathing – her exhaling has made it breezy around here of late and I don't have any special 'boxes' or tents to erect around my models.
Sorry for the uneven lighting. Since I tend to shoot 'em as I see 'em (I don't manipulate my models in the field unless it's absolutely necessary), this is how it appeared in the garden.
This is a neat plant – in earlier days, Native Americans (a.k.a. "Indians" to the non-PC crowd) used the resinous material exuded by this plant as a chewing gum. While I have been tempted to go out and knick the plant to try this out, I'm actually not a big fan of chewing gum (unless extremely stressed) because it plays havoc with my jaw. (Good grief, I sound like a little old lady with the arthritis and TMJ…)
Summer television is notorious for showing reruns of shows. I'm not particularly fond of reruns, although there is such an abundance of shows to watch throughout the year, it's actually nice to be able to catch up on shows I haven't seen. And, yes, some of the shows aren't worth a second watching.
In this case, I like the reruns. In fact, I can't get enough of them…
[Click on a picture and it should open in a separate window, larger than the version you see on the blog itself.]
Er, the photos are back. (Any absence on my part is strictly related to my own laziness at not posting…)
The uploading of photographs has been resolved. (Moved to our other server altogether.)
Only bad thing about the new server is that my “neighbors” are some of the most popular bloggers in the blogosphere – and when they’re sucking up the bandwidth, there’s a risk that my site will go down. Hoping that’s not the case, but one cannot control their neighbors.
I'm feeling flat today – you know that blah feeling that permeates the soul – that general lethargy that zaps your spirit and reduces your energy level to "battery empty" status? Yep, that's me.
The odd thing is that I'm on vacation for the rest of the week and should be feeling a sense of joy to have been released from the shackles that is my current job. The cell block door slid open last evening shortly before 6, the guards bidding me adieu until Monday morning. A 120 hour long furlough was granted for good behavior. Well, honestly, the warden probably would have preferred that I stay confined to my
cell cubicle rather than leave the prison company grounds until Friday. But my being there won't solve his immediate challenge of not being able to distinguish his elbow from his ass.
I should be happy to know that I don't have to encounter either of my bosses (yes, there are 2 now, one sadly incompetent beyond hope, the other dominant, strong-willed, and pushier than I like or respond positively towards – I'm a Taurus by birth who WILL become stubborn if pushed too much!) for the next three days (five, if you count the weekend). I'm thankful that the Grammar Police don't read my blog and therefore can't chastise me for my frequent use of run-on sentences. 😉
I think it's safe to say that I'm in that dark, dark PMS place where everything is miserable, devoid of hope and just plain not good enough. Run, people. Run! But leave the M&Ms, for the love of God.