Friday, April 20, 2012

Foto Friday . . . Nature, nothing but beautiful

I seem to be in a state of contemplation lately, well, I guess I should say more than normal, ha!
Spring just does that to me . . .

I spent an entire day at one of my favorite places, Maas Nursery.
For some it's just a place to buy plants,
for me it's a photographic haven, all 8 acres of it. But more than that it is a place that I can
simply enjoy nature at it's best, and yes for hours on end. 

I was deciding what photos to include today and   
this is where my contemplation came in . . .

I love ALL things nature, truly. Anyone who knows me knows I get excited at the
smallest, and some the strangest things and I understand that not everyone has the same
affinity for nature that I do, I am a bit of a nerd that way. There is a lot we will probably agree on that is beautiful, but I think when it comes to creatures somewhere the road splits.

So I was wondering to myself what constitutes beauty in nature? Is it texture, color, shape?
Certainly all of these add to an objects beauty.
So why is it that most find beauty in flowers, a landscape, a sunrise, but have more difficulty with things that have legs. You know, insects, spiders etc. They too come in a lot of textures, colors and shapes.

And I had this thought....
For me, I think the most beautiful thing about nature isn't its aesthetic beauty, but its rhythm, and how it
all works together in harmony. In nature there is no waste, and everything and every action has a purpose.
And sometimes when we have knowledge about something we have a better understanding and are better able to connect to it or at the very least tolerate it. Hopefully to protect it.

And isn't this true of people? If the real beauty of people lives on the inside then maybe the real
beauty of nature resides there too and a little knowledge could change everything.
What if we could change the "ewww factor" to a "WOW"!
I know, I know, but can I get a maybe?

As I was walking around I noticed there were dozens of swallowtails that would keep coming back to a certain plant, but I sure had a hard time getting close. So I decided to just stand there and wait . . .  and my patience paid off. Holy cow, I thought I was going to hyper-ventilate . . . not only did it land right in front of me, but she was laying her eggs, and it was just incredible to watch through my lens!

Of course I had to share with anyone that walked by, lucky them, haha!

[Photo Art Friday]

And here they are, just check out the texture on these!

I had a few stare downs, and I always won. : )

And sometimes things in nature are hard to watch.....

I found a remnant wing from a gulf fritillary . . . you can see where it's missing some scales.

[Photography life - texture]

Check this out -I was working in my garden and noticed the mulch was moving, slowly.  As I looked closer I realized it was a small caterpillar. It's called a looper and they camoflauge themselves by sticking things to their body. He was only about 3/4" long and as I got to watch him as he was sticking more things to himself.

You all know I love my spray bottle, lol! I was out on my front porch looking for spider webs, with my spray
bottle and then noticed this guy, an assasin bug that had gotten in my line of fire. I couldn't resist the water drop bokeh on his legs.....and check out his his mouth parts! They don't call it an assasin bug for nothing - he uses it to stab his prey. I would love to capture that!! They are beneficial to the garden, however I have heard they have a very painful bite!

And I couldn't leave you without a flower . . . a lovely clematis.

[P52- things that grow] [Shoot, edit, submit]

"Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully,
he can learn more than what is in our books for they speak with the voice of God."
- George Washington Carver

So what constitutes beauty in nature for you?
When and where do you perceive beauty?
And do you do it only when you have time or do you make time?

Have a beautiful weekend!
Love, Kim

P.S. - I really am curious, please share


                         Photo Art Friday project 52 p52 weekly photo challenge 

Happily Mother After


Amanda said...

OMG OMG I am hyperventilating looking at you photos!! AMAZING and soooo lucky to even see such a thing much less to get to photograph it so perfectly! Your photography is PERFECT! NEW FOLLOWER here!! Just GORGEOUS!!!

Karin M. said...

Wow .... these are fantastic nature photographs. I like your excellent photos.
Love greetings, Karin

Unknown said...

Holy Moly Kim...these are ALL fantastic. Can't believe you got to witness that first hand! But for me, that first photo takes my breath away. I love how you captured the motion of the wings in flight..the flutter. Gorgeous.

kelly said...

seriously! a butterfly laying her eggs? that's amazing!! how wonderful that you were able to capture that. incredible photos - thank you for sharing!!

Donna said...

Wow! Your photos are amazing. You must have been thrilled to see the swallowtail laying her eggs. I love the first photo where she is flying. Any one of these photos is perfect, but to have so many. Gorgeous.

Stephanie said...

The butterfly laying the it!

Jeanne said...

These are all great1 BUT the one of the lizard eating that bug is incredible. What a moment to capture. Love these shots

Lori @ Foto Friday said...

AMAZING! Just Amazing Kim! I love the first shot, but they all are equally incredibly amazing!
Love love the Foto Friday submission, thanks for linking up!

Ida said...

OMG YOu hit the "jackpot" on these shots. They are truly amazing! Thank you so much for sharing.

Deanna said...

Holy Toledo is this one fine post. Not only the images but your words resonate with me. Eventho some things are hard to look at (ie the poor butterfly) that is how nature survives and manages to keep life in tandom without spinning out of control like we humans do sometimes. Your laying of eggs is witness to that, one butterfly dies, but others are born. The cycle of life. Your 40mm lens suits you just fine, no need to spend money on a macro.

Nancy C said...

You must have super-human eyesight, Kim! I don't think most people would be able see all of these wonderful happenings going on -- wonderful photos -- those eggs are amazing!

Cherie said...

This is my first time here, visiting through PAF, and I can't believe my eyes. What stunning photos. What made my jaw drop open was the butterfly laying eggs! We coax butterflies into our garden with their known host plants, this particular one likes dill. I can't believe you caught this on film! What kind of a lens are you using? Spectacular clarity. The clematis is GORGEOUS!

Linda Kittmer said...

What an incredible collection of photos! I loved reading about your observations. What lens are you using to capture such amazing close-up shots?

Sherri B. said...

I am speechless at your incredible!!! Amazing!! For me, nature is beautiful not only visually, but also in a very spiritual way. When I feel depleted by the stresses of life, I can walk in nature and my spirit feels full and replenished again. It's wonderful. Thanks again for sharing your fantastic captures!

Janith said...

The bokeh, the DOF, the sharp detail in the "butterfly birthing" photo are all so perfectly coordinated to capture the moment and turn it into something mystical and wondrous. Just beautiful! Did you use a tripod? And what macro lens?

Serendipityissweet said...

Holy cow! These are amazing!! Wow.

Deborah said...

absolutely fabulous, thank you for sharing your "great eye"

Anonymous said...

these are so very beautiful....AMAZING!! This is the first time I've ever seen a butterfly lay!

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Magnificent captures. I can hardly comprehend a nursery so large and full of life. I make time to appreciate beauty in nature most days, even if for only 2 minutes within our own backyard. A matter of slowing and looking with new ideas, thinking about what I'm seeing and the marvels of God's creation and not about other things.

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Were these taken with a 100mm macro lens?

Cathy said...

Man Kim, these are extra, extra wonderful.... As I scrolled through each one I thought... well that was amazing, only to be WOWED! by the next one. What lens did you use??
Thanks so much for sharing these.

Pat said...

Wow! These are amazing nature photos! Well done!

Unknown said...

These are amazing!!! You know I like the critters ;) Wow I am just blown away by the awesome shots here, Kim!

Lisa Gordon said...

How beautiful each of these are Kim!
You have captured such wonderful detail.

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

Well ... if I can't get out I will come to YOUR blog to enjoy beauty and wonder!!! What a post Kim. I've seen things here I have never witnessed before. What a treat. Thank you for the beautiful images and the educational piece you add along with each one. Thank you so much for sharing your artistry and knowledge with Photo Art Friday.

Rosie@leavesnbloom said...

GASP! any nature photographer would be envious of those terrific shots. woohoo talk about being at the right place at just the right time with a macro lens - Kim you rocked those!

Psst I'm linking to your tutorial post for colorme weekly on Monday if that's all right by good not to share!

kareninkenai said...

Thank you, Kim. Lovely grouping this week especially. Beautiful macro captures. Thanks so much. Visiting from Bonnie's PAF. Karen

Unknown said...

Do you ever wonder if those little critters take one look at you and say to each other, "Oh no! Here comes the spray bottle!" ;) Amazing shots this week!

Madison said...

Your clematis is really fantastic - the sort of shot I dream about taking, but not quite getting there - thanks for sharing!

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