Thursday, November 21, 2013

Five feet from my front door . . .


. . . there is a magical place.
It may not be a national treasure, but it's my treasure none the less.
 And I am so grateful for it.


"Nature is man's teacher. She unfolds her treasures
to his search, unseals his eye, illumes his mind,
and purifies his heart; an influence breathes from
all the sights and sounds of her existence."
- Alfred Billings Street


Sometimes it's hard to get anything done . . . because of the five feet out my front door.
When it comes to critters I seem to have an eagle eye, and you know when I was younger, I could
see caterpillars crawling across the road . . . while I was driving. Yep, that was hazardous. 

We did some tidying of the garden about a week ago and then a few days later I went out to tidy up
all the mess on the sidewalk. But, the only thing I ended up accomplishing was with my camera. This little guy
hopped across my path and started it all. Believe it or not this toad is only about an inch. Do you have any idea how hard it is to pose a toad in a small puddle and ask it not to move? And he was already feeling so defeated by our photo session that I decided I would keep to myself the fact that his nose looked like that of a cat.


I have had lots of spider webs lately too, or more like spider condos, one built on top of another and another. This web was only about 3 inches wide and the spider couldn't have been more than 1/4". Yep, I had to get within an inch of my life to get this. Did I mention it was a little windy...whew!


Oh, and these jumping spiders . . . are just the most curious spiders ever, seriously. When ever I'm outside
sitting on the front porch there they are, they just show up and always end up checking out my books, my coffee, AND, they seem to love my camera! This one, was no exception. It was so hard to get this because he/she/it kept getting closer and closer and would raise up it's front legs like they do before they jump and I would have to back off. But, at one point it was just a little quicker than I was. Yep, through my lens I watched it jump out of my frame and towards me. They usually just end up on my lens, but I couldn't find this one. He either missed entirely or ended up in my hair? All I know is that they have the cutest eyes with so much personality. You can beg to differ, that's okay I still like you! ;)


It was a total critter smorgasbord. I found this little green tree frog just chillin' between two stacked pots. I think he was enjoying the 90 % humidity that day, me not so much!


This is the ever elusive Tersa Sphinx Moth that comes out at dusk. You know, when there just isn't any viable light to take a photo. I had to bump my ISO into oblivion just to get this one. I'm still waiting on those three pupa to make an appearance into the world.
UPDATE: Right before I went upstairs to post this, I checked on those pupa like I do everyday, AND
guess what? One pupa is empty. I found it hanging on the stripped milkweed plant in the Monarch enclosure!! Whoo Hoo


And, I'm still seeing butterflies in the garden. Thank goodness for purple lantana as it has a very long growing season here. This is a Gulf Fritilary and a little hard to capture as they are always flittering. Have had some Long Tailed Skippers too but they have been hard to get as well. Still seeing a few Monarchs, and have one more chrysalis. I'm hoping it will hold out until my in-laws get here this weekend so that they can watch it emerge. Two more (the last ones) from that batch I found in my back yard are now j-hanging.



Hope you all have a great weekend. I will be getting ready for my in-laws who will be joining us for Thanksgiving. In fact this will be the first time any family has joined us at our home for turkey day. I don't dare go anywhere with my camera in the next two days, too much to do, so little time.

Until next time...
Love, Kim



36 comments:

Sue Williams said...

Enjoyed reading your post and seeing your discoveries; I moved my jade plant to a different location this morning and found a chrysalis, so I share in treasure finding with you. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your guests.

kathyinozarks said...

Hi Kim What a delightful post-I loved everything!

TesoriTrovati said...

Oh, Miss Kim! I love your photos! You are able to capture some amazing natural moments. I really need to get my new camera lens (since I dropped my camera and mine broke!) and I really want a macro lens... of course all I ever take are shots of beads and jewelry, but still! I could do this (highly unlikely) if I had the right lens! ;-) Thank you for sharing this wonderful moment of Zen to start my day. Enjoy the day. Erin

Susan said...

Looks like your having a very fulfilled morning with your camera! You have such a passion for nature and critters…you really need a bumper sticker that says
"Caution, I brake for caterpillars" lol! Thanks for sharing such a great post and photos!

Gail Dixon said...

We are kindred spirits. Love this post! That first frog does have a rather striking nose. The jumping spiders are so small and you did such a great job of nailing the focus on all four eyes. Love these photos!

Tamar SB said...

You have such a heart and eye to see the smallest parts of the world and how gorgeous they really are!!

Kim Cunningham said...

Seriously, how do you do it?! You capture nature in a way that just touches me. You know what my new vision is for you? Submitting your images to publishing companies for children's nature books. Ain't kidding! That frog face is just so adorable.

Silvina Soave said...

Has logrado unas capturas excelentes!!Una serie maravillosa.
Abrazos.

Jeanne said...

Your shots are really amazing something wonderful to see everywhere isn't there!!

Snap said...

nature study at Kim's! lovely shots -- i have a backyard full of little toads ... i talk with them daily. I haven't seen any tree frogs -- i keep looking.

Sherri B. said...

What a beautiful group of photos...you bring these little critters to life for those of us who don't notice them (or in the case of the spiders, are scared of them...lol). Thank you for sharing!

Janet Bocciardi said...

The magical miniature kingdom of Kim!

Brenda said...

I'm not a critter person but your images capture the amazing wonder of nature - all five feet from your front door.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration.

Barbara said...

You are the Pied Piper of little critters and I love them and how you are able to photograph them. So sweet even the spider.

Dotti said...

So wonderful that you're still getting butterflies! What a long butterfly season you have. But that little spider photo fascinates me. Kinda weird and kinda cute all at the same time.

June Caedmon said...

Enjoyed your post, Kim! I spent 20 minutes following a wooly caterpillar around the front yard the other day. . . 'nuff said. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Cathy said...

They must know they are safe and that you love them. Your photos are magic and you always find the best critters.

tiarastantrums said...

yes, you really are able to capture some great shots!!

The Artful Diva said...

you sure did et some great shots here - I simply must go out in look in my yard for inspiration!

Viv@within the Frame said...

fantastic shots Kim i love the little toad

Lisa Kerner said...

wow! these are really brilliant. i can't pick a favorite.

tiarastantrums said...

thank you so much for your kind comment - I am trying - I really am. I think it is the approaching holidays that are making me blue

Michelle B said...

I can't believe that all those creatures are so close to your door! You did a great job capturing them. You are also very brave to get that close to a jumping spider!

Kathryn said...

It always amazes me how close up you're able to get to these creatures. Have to say the jumping spiders completely freak me out. The thought of one jumping on me would have me screaming like a banshee.

Deanna said...

More great captures of your critters...love it. And fyi, there is a book out you might be interested in entitled Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver all about butterflies.

Sylvia said...

Gorgeous photos, amazing captures !
Have a great time with your family,
Sylvia

molly said...

I LOVE that first frog image.

Mollyxxx

Kelly said...

You and I should flight behavior together-EVERYONE who knows me and my monarchs say it's a must read! You had me at the frog photo-I adore him.

Sharon said...

What a fun set of nature photos! My favorite is the first one. What an adorable little guy. Enjoy your Thanksgiving with your family!

Ida said...

Wow can I come live with you? You've got awesome nature there with all those critters. Loved the little toad and the tree frog. Fabulous spider web shot too. I've got to say though that those jumping spiders scare the heebie geebies out of me!

Sophi Belle said...

Awesome pics! The froggie is sooo cute! <3

Anita Johnson said...

This is wonderful...AND magical! that spider has a face!

Roxi -Coppercurls Designs said...

Such gorgeous photos as always. Love that little froggy. Enjoy the inlaws. Ours will be quite quiet.

RaD said...

I love jumping spiders too! I've read they are the friendliest spider you can encounter and that you can get them to jump on your hands if you are patient enough because they want to know more about you too. I'm not big on insects crawling on me so I just look at their remarkable little eyes!

Carmel said...

Absolutely stunning images.... nature, you and your camera all at there best.

Linda R said...

Oh my goodness.. So many fabulous photos. Hope you have a fabulous Thanksgiving my friend.

Hugs~

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...