June 19, 2013
I’m always amazed at those people that can plan out and execute a beautiful flower garden. My favorite type of gardens are those that have color all year-round and designed in a sense that they don’t feel forced. As much as I enjoy a nice, formal English garden, I prefer the natural variety that draws you into the relaxed setting, as if it came about by itself. Of course, the more natural it looks, the more work that probably went into it.
With some time and effort, a simple walkway can be transformed into an oasis of greenery in a city full of concrete and brick.
June 4, 2013
Animals, Nature, Texas
Some of the most interesting things are small and that includes the animal kingdom. Photography speaking, the only problem with small animals is that they are harder to photograph. Throw the low lighting of an indoor setting and the difficulty of photographing them just increased.
These little (I mean tiny) tree frogs were recently seen at the Texas State Aquarium. It’s too crowded to bring a tripod, so a monopod, braced up against the glass is about all you can hope for for support during the longer shutter speed. Pray that the subject doesn’t move and take a few shots, just in case.
May 23, 2013
Animals, Houston, Nature
They say everything is bigger in Texas. And after seeing this rodent, I’m likely to believe it. Although this “Nutria” or “Coypu” is a probably closer to a beaver or otter in habits, it sure looks like a big rat.
Nutria are large, web-footed rodents that are more agile in the water than on land. They live in burrows, or nests, never far from the water. Nutria may inhabit a riverbank or lakeshore, or dwell in the midst of wetlands. They are strong swimmers and can remain submerged for as long as five minutes.
Nutria (also called coypu) are varied eaters, most fond of aquatic plants and roots. They also feast on small creatures such as snails or mussels.
Nutria can be rather social animals and sometimes live in large colonies, reproducing prolifically.
This nutria was one of many in McGovern Lake in Hermann Park in Houston. They would swim along the ducks, who weren’t bothered by them at all. Even the large coy fish in the lake didn’t make a fuss when swam by overhead.
May 21, 2013
Wandering through the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden in Nacogdoches, you come across a tree lined path that leads to a wooden bridge over a waterway. The path returns back to the college campus, away from the quiet solitude of the gardens. These gardens are a great place to stroll and think, especially early in the morning when few are around.
May 20, 2013
Like many people who visit the zoo, I enjoy watching the big cats. The lions, leopards, and cheetahs are some of my favorites. Most times I visit, they are sleeping out of sight somewhere, but occasionally, you get a glimpse or two.
This cheetah at the Houston Zoo looked up from a nap as if to imply that I might want to move on and go gaze at someone else.
May 17, 2013
Several days ago I posted a blue flower from the Houston Zoo. Continuing on this mystery-flower-theme is entry number two. There were many of these orange flowers blooming, so I’m guessing it must be a spring or early summer blooming flower. (I figured that out all on my own).
Most times, I just walk around and enjoy the color and varieties, not caring much about their names. At least, not until I have to sit down and write something about them. Help a guy out and leave a comment if you know the name or anything else about this pretty flower.
May 14, 2013
A botanist I’m not. I can tell a flower from a tree, but don’t ask me what type of flower it is. I can recognize the majors; roses, daisies, sunflowers, tulips and such. But if it’s something unusual, I’m speechless.
Walking through the Houston Zoo, there were several flowers that screamed, “Hey, over here! Forget the mean looking lion and come check me out.” It’s hard to ignore such a pretty flower like this, so I accepted its invitation to admire its beauty and take a quick shot. Feel free to comment if anyone knows what kind it is.
May 9, 2013
Florida, Nature, Sky
As part of my on-going attempt of looking at the closer details, I found this iris by the lake at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando. My first several shots were the old habit. Set up the tripod and grab the sunrise, the big picture first. After I get that out of my system, I reminded myself that I need to find something smaller to isolate on, or at least include it in the scene. While it’s not an extreme close-up, I think it does add to the appeal.
April 24, 2013
For some reason, I’ve never been attracted specifically to nature photography. Sure, things like flowers and trees are part of landscapes, but it takes a deliberate thought process to isolate and capture the smaller items. On a visit to Stephen F. Austin State Uninversity in Nacogdoches, Texas, we ended our stay with a walk through the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden. It was a pretty spring Sunday morning and we had the place to ourselves. Many of the azaleas were still in bloom, but there were some unexpected surprises.
This flower is from the Chinese Snowball tree. The large flower heads start out lime-green before they change to white and they get 6 to 8 inches across. This tree was about twenty feet tall and full of these beautiful snowballs.
February 12, 2013
Animals, Houston, Nature
Just a short hop from the Garden Angel and the Blue Frog on a Post, sit these two frogs under an umbrella. One seems interested, while one is playing hard to get. I’ll let you be the judge as to who that represents. I’m not sure what the umbrella is for, since these two should be hoping for rain. Maybe it’s to keep the sun down while they wait for the drops to fall.
Order a print of this photo.