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It's fricken cold on the porch in the shade! But pleasant day today -- did a couple 'to do' items, then walked around Belle Isle, then finished reading the next book for book club next month.

The book was called 'Peter Darling'. I suggested it to book club because it was the story of Peter Pan, but told as Peter being transgender, and it seems that Peter Pan is always played by a woman! So it was interesting to me....now, I don't have any history with Peter Pan -- don't know the story, except the Disney cartoon version....but this was pretty good...it had a happy ending. It got a little (ok...a lot) Harlequin Romance there for a bit, but I'm still glad I read it.

I saw a Skipper on the Asters that I had never seen --
Butterfly on Asters

I think it's a Long Tailed Skipper...definitely seemed to be a Skipper, although the long tails made it seem bigger, and confused me because I, at first, thought about a Swallowtail.

But I find the green 'fur' gorgeous, and also the iridescent tails!
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This is what I picture when I read Kafka's Metamorphosis! It's a cicada....the insects that make so much noise around here during summer! The cicada noticed me stalking it with my camera, and peeped around the dead stalk of garden Phlox...
He sees me watching.  Cicada on dried stalk.

And really, the cicada doesn't look all that different from Kafka himself!
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Kafka1906_cropped.jpg
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Very pleased to catch a Hummingbird Moth in the front yard this past weekend --
Hemaris thysbe - Hummingbird Moth

Goldfinch chowing down on end of season coneflower seeds --
Goldfinch

Robber fly -- omg, so ugly. So interesting!
Robber Fly

I believe this is a Red Spotted Purple --
Red Spotted Purple?

Alan the Raptor in the Fan --
Alan The Raptor

I like poppies in general, and didn't realize they were associated with World War I because of the poem, In Flanders Fields. Local museum has steps that match their exhibit --
Local museum has a WWI exhibit, and they have made their staircase into a picture of poppies.
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I was moving slow this morning, partly from the cocktails last night, and partly because I have some stiffness when I wake up...possibly lingering from the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, but it's difficult to tell. So, I decided to give myself today to totally hang out, relax and feel the world go by :)

I have a couch surfer arriving tomorrow for a night's stay. Usually interesting to have couch surfing guests...

Cabbage White --
Cabbage White Butterfly?

I love the waxing crescent after New Moon --
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The bokeh in the background reminded me of the halos in religious iconography, so I called this 'Our Lady of Perpetual Vigilance'...
Our Lady of Perpetual Vigilance

This one looked like stained glass --
Stained Glass

And some Dragonfly love --
Dragonflly Love

I have to go to work tomorrow after 5 days off! But until I retire, that's how it is! I didn't do the things I had originally considered doing while I was off, but it was still a nice few days off.

Last night, some friends took me out to dinner for my birthday -- it's a bigger one this year -- a definite (minor) milestone! Nice dinner and nice company!

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After I cut hedges on Saturday, I needed a more fun day, so I went to the Napoleon exhibit at the museum yesterday --
Napoleon


And then took the camera down to Byrd Park to hunt for some damselflies. I think this one may be an Ebony Jewelwing? The bugs were eating me alive (a phrase I taught my Brazilian friend yesterday, lol)...so I could not stay in one place long enough to get more pics...
Damselfly


And then a meal w/ my Brazilian friends and their church friends...to celebrate the upcoming baby!
karmicdragonfly: (Default)
A day of mowing the lawn, watering new plants, etc...but I started off by taking some bee pictures in the front yard. #Priorities

I titled this one 'Bee-rise' because it looked like a sun or moonrise, except it was a bee coming up over the cone :)
Bee-rise

I always like to get bees in flight. This one was shortly after taking off...not a perfect photo, but nice enough.
Liftoff!

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Visit

Visited Deege at their beach house yesterday. Here are a couple of animated gifs of a carnival in the town --




And here are some beach scenes --
Colonial Beach on the Potomac

Colonial Beach on the Potomac

Colonial Beach on the Potomac

Hollyhock

The only hollyhock I've been able to get to live in our humid climate is blooming this year. They are biennial, so any one plant would only bloom every other year. And since I can't seem to get any other started, this is my every other year treat!
Hollyhock

Charlotte VI

Introducing Charlotte VI....the latest Orchard Orbweaver that I have found in the yard!
Charlotte VI

Lunch with Nh today to hear about his new apartment...and w(h)ine with J made for an enjoyable weekend!

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Nossa!

The tomatoes were do delicious today! I left them on the vine longer -- out of laziness -- and they were very red and sweet! I covered them in a blue cheese dressing and some torn up basil leaves.

The tomatoes from out back were nicely red today!


There was a Painted Lady on the Asters yesterday...Still hoping for some larger butterflies!
Painted Lady (?) Butterfly
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My Flickr feed is turning into the bug and hummingbird show...I need to get out and take some different stuff!

I believe this is a hickory tussock moth (Lophocampa caryae) -- it is outside eating my geraniums :) I think the hair is intended to irritate your skin if you handle it, but otherwise harmless. As long as he doesn't completely strip my geraniums, I don't care if he eats!
White Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar

In other news, couch surfer #2 is coming back this week for another visit, as he makes his way around the US -- an extended move that will end up on the west coast. I don't know where he's planning to land, but I know he visited Portland a while back, and I can totally see him living in Portland -- he already has that vibe to him.
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When I took pics before of a Hummingbird Moth before, it was a Hemaris diffinis. Diffinis is smaller and looks like a bumblebee. So unless you are watching how it flies around the flowers, you might never notice that it is not a bumblebee.

Today I saw one that was bigger and green... I submitted the picture to the online database, and it was identified as what I thought it was -- a Hemaris thysbe.

I really am fascinated by these moths that come out during the day, and which hover and suck nectar like hummingbirds...but have the proboscis of a butterfly!

Hemaris thysbe

Hemaris thysbe
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I had a nice weekend -- hung out with the 21 year old friend Friday night, when we walked around the river and then had Ethiopian food for dinner. And another night, dinner with a couple of friends from undergrad - pizza and ice cream!


****
One thing that happened lately surprised me...I think some of my friends had "assumed" that the 21 year old and I were aiming towards something romantic...but....um....he's still at university! And the difference in our ages is more than his age, lol!

I try not to judge someone else who might be in that sort of relationship, but for me there's WAY too much age difference in our ages for me to date him! Basically, when he and I get around each other, I go into "uncle mode", and we jabber about our lives for hours, and we text a lot. But romance? Not in the plan...

I was actually thinking about why - and I think it's because he is not on his own yet - he's still a student, and he has to decide what his life will be, so I would be interfering with that. I think he's planning to stay in town...and I do hope he and I keep in touch, but I don't think a physical relationship would qualify as "right action" (read "right action" as "ethical conduct"), in the Buddhist sense, lol

But I like hanging out with him....and I'm gonna keep doing it, as long as he wants to! Young gay men need older role models -- the AIDS epidemic took a whole generation of folks my age and older, so I think some younger gay men have never interacted with a stable older gay man. Not suggesting I'm hanging out with the 21 year old because of altruism -- I really do like him...but I also like being "Uncle Bart"...or "Pops" as he called me the other day, lol!


....Another thought about when something similar happened -- I remember when I tried my hand at nude photography back during my last Sabbatical, where the model was like 27 or something. It was a totally professional, legit thing.

But at least one guy I knew totally assumed that the model and I had had sex -- even when I explained that it was just a modeling session, I could tell he didn't believe me. And I don't know why -- because if the model and I had played around, I would have said so!


****
Fast forward to the other end of the age spectrum, and my book club (the one I attended a few weeks ago for the 1st time) is coming up again, and I still have to read the book! In this club, I am the young one, where everyone else is about 10+ years older than me!


****
I haven't been out too much with the camera -- mostly sticking close to home. Here's a photo of a dragonfly in the garden. I took it with a 70-200mm lens with a 1.4x extender. And I cropped the result

Basically, I did a macro shot with a zoom lens -- it's not like dragonflies want you getting up in their face with a macro lens!

Blue Dasher in the garden.

I like how the yellow Coreopsis flowers show up in the bokeh blur in the background. I like how blue his eyes are (he's a "Blue Dasher"). I like that I can see detail in his wings, and also patterns in his eyes! And I like seeing the hairs on his legs, lol!

karmicdragonfly: (Default)
Between yardwork and errands today and yesterday, I took some pictures in the garden. I was pleased to see a Hummingbird Moth -- Hemaris diffinis -- a Snowberry Clearwing Moth.

They are difficult to photograph partly because they look like, and are the size of, bumblebees, so unless you are paying attention, you don't even know they are around. They are also fairly shy, and if you get within 6 or 7 feet of them, they tend to fly away. Also, they are moving a lot, so they are hard to shoot.

I used my longest lens here (and cropped the result), so that I didn't have to get too close.

Hummingbird moth (Hemaris diffinis - Snowberry Clearwing Moth)

Hummingbird moth (Hemaris diffinis - Snowberry Clearwing Moth)


And I was also pleased to see a Monarch Caterpillar -- Danaus plexippus -- feeding on the Swamp Milkweed out front. It means I did the right thing planting the Swamp Milkweed -- which I did to give Monarchs a food source.
Monarch caterpillar (Danaus plexippus) feeding on Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
karmicdragonfly: (Default)
It was a really nice dinner with friends the other night this past week...the restaurant had a great vegetarian option -- that's unusual for burger place -- and just really nice conversation.

***

Wine with a friend tonight, who has bought a full frame sensor camera -- and wow, it worked really nicely with my fisheye lens! It really is tempting me to trade up from my crop sensor to a full frame!

***

I met a guy for coffee today...I knew he was young...but OMG -- so young, lol! I immediately went into 'uncle mode' because he is so young -- he's 21...There's more difference in our ages than he is old! I can totally hang out with him -- and give him some support as he 'grows up' as a gay man. He was pretty painfully shy -- which brought out my Uncle mode even more!

***

I was taking pictures of a Goldfinch munching on my Coneflowers today...I never realized that birds would 'squat' before they took a dump, lol! But this finch totally did a wing and leg thing and took 2 dumps -- I didn't catch the actual dumping in my photo, but you can see the pose he took, lol!
Goldfinch, ahem, having a private moment after a large breakfast

***

Speaking of Uncle mode...one of my great nephews sent me a text today...he's 8. So I texted a few things...and sent him some pictures. He seemed to like the picture of Milkweed Bugs on my Swamp Milkweed plant --
Milkweed Bugs (Oncopeltus fasciatus)
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My house has a new resident -- it appears to be a leafcutter wasp.

As I was walking around the house this morning, I saw this bug fly into a hole in the mortar. I watched it come and go a couple of times, but it was too fast -- I couldn't see it well enough to identify it! So I brought the camera out. Again, it was so fast that I couldn't point the camera (and have the camera focus) fast enough. So then I brought out the tripod and shutter switch. Still not a great pic, but enough for me to ID the bugger!

The green you see is a piece of leaf it has cut to bring back to line the nest --


The good news is that they seem to be excellent pollinators. And it doesn't seem that they will do great harm to the house. The bad news is that once one finds a 'good spot', they mark the spot, so others know about it. Although solitary nesters, they tend to have nests near each other. So, I suppose this could become a problem in the future. But for now, the nest is safe with me!

***

The heat has been fierce lately, so I haven't wanted to work in the yard. And by the time I was up and about today, I didn't want to go to the river and be in the sun. So, I decided to visit the butterfly exhibit at the local botanical garden again.

If I thought it was humid outside....wait until I got inside the butterfly exhibit, whew!
It wasn't humid in there....not not at all  😜


I wanted to "pan" the camera, in the way I do for bicyclists....but butterflies don't go in a straight, predictable line! I still think this photo is interesting, although not what I was aiming for --
It's hard to photograph a moving butterfly!


I had seen the 'eyes' on the wings of these butterflies before, but the angle of this this photo really made them stand out! I was surprised at how much my eye was drawn to the fake 'eye' instead of the actually head of the butterfly!
The Eye!


Another butterfly in the exhibit --
Butterfly


I have not seen many butterflies in my garden at home this year -- small ones -- Sulfas and Skippers, but not many large ones. I'm hoping when the Asters start to bloom that I'll see a few more.

Sad!

27 Jun 2017 17:38
karmicdragonfly: (Default)
The painter painted the porch, and it looks really nice!

But I got home and noticed a dragonfly had gotten stuck in it! You know I like dragonflies a lot!

And he's still alive! But I can't get to him. And even if I could get to him, I think I would end up pulling off a leg or wing or something.

☹️


Awww!  Sad!

Update

I emailed the painter about it -- not because I expected him to do anything, but just as a personal note. He felt bad for the dragonfly, so he came by the next day and used a long stick to free him! And as far as I know, the dragonfly kept all his wings and legs!
karmicdragonfly: (Default)
I am still not recovered from my trip, so I decided to have a quiet weekend. Today, I walked a little, and got a shot of an Ebony Jewelwing --
Ebony Jewelwing (?) Damselfly

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"O seguro morreu de velho, mas o desconfiado ainda está vivo." -- "The safe one died of old age, but the suspicious one is still living."





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