Late Bloomer

Flora, Macro 3 Comments »

New England Aster almost ready to bloom.  Common in fields and forest edges in Tennessee’s late summer/early autumn months.

Tickseed Sunflower

Flora, Macro 3 Comments »

Found along fields and roadsides in late summer and early autumn in Tennessee.  Here’s another:

Nature’s Remedy

Flora, Macro 2 Comments »

Nature almost always provides a remedy for her poisons.  In the case of Poison Ivy, the remedy is a plant called Jewelweed (also referred to as a Touch-Me-Not).  And yes, it sometimes grows in the same areas that you’ll find Poison Ivy.  This time of year Jewelweed is flowering with the small pretty yellow flower (seen above), or with a brighter orange flower of the same shape.

This is a very powerful remedy and will normally stop the itching and spreading of Poison Ivy very quickly.  Simply crush up some leaves and rub them on the infected areas.  Or, if you know that you’ve come in contact with Poison Ivy, rub the Jewelweed leaves on your skin, and you may not get infected at all.  You can also slice open the stem of the plants and rub the liquid on your skin.  I’ve read that Jewelweed with the orange flowers (called Spotted Touch-me-nots) may be more effective than the Yellow Jewelweed, so if you see both growing in the same area (which is very common), opt for the plants with the orange flowers.

You can also freeze and save Jewelweed for later use.  Chop up leaves and boil in water until you get a dark orange liquid (again using the plants with orange flowers).  Strain that liquid and pour and freeze in ice trays.  It will keep in the freezer for up to one year.  Just rub that ice cube on the infected areas and you’ll be amazed at the healing properties.

By the way, everything above the ground on the Jewelweed plant is edible, and the flowers also make a good digestive tonic.

Ebony Jewelwing

Critters, Macro 1 Comment »

I believe this to be an Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly.  In comparison to Dragonflies, Damselflies normally have a very narrow abdomen and while at rest their wings tend to lay together just above the abdomen (as this one did, however I captured this image just before it took flight).  Damselflies also have eyes that are far apart, while Dragonflies have eyes that normally touch.

Garden Spider

Critters, Macro, Photography Tips 3 Comments »

I believe this big spider is referred to as a Yellow Garden Spider.  Found on a Holly bush on my front porch.

Photography Tip: I shoot most of my macros with a Tamron 90mm f/2.8.  However, if you are interested in shooting close-ups, but would like to try a less expensive route, then you might want to get a reversing ring for your 50mm lens.

The above shot was done with a Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens and a BR-2A reversing ring.  The lens attaches to the ring (where a filter normally goes) and then the ring mounts on the camera, making the lens backwards.  This gives you about 1:1.1 magnification for approximately $150 total (lens plus the ring).  There are some downsides though…

You must manually adjust your aperture, and there is also a fixed focal point.  So in order to focus you must physically move the camera closer or farther from the subject, making focusing difficult with an obvious very narrow depth of field.  Finally, you must also get very close to your subject.  In the above photo, I was just a couple inches from the spider…  the image has not been cropped.

Knockout Rose

Flora, Macro 2 Comments »

One of my favorite shrub-type plants.  If you think you can’t grow roses, you should try these.  Knockout Roses bloom all summer long, and are beautiful.

I took this shot early in the morning, while the dew was still on the plant.

Bumble Bee

Critters, Flora, Macro 1 Comment »

A Bumble Bee flying over a white Azelea.

This was a tough capture.  I closed the aperture to f/13.0 so I’d have a better chance to getting the bee in focus, and then I raised the ISO to 800 to ensure a very fast shutter speed.  The rest of it was pure luck.

Dandelion Detail

Abstract, Flora, Macro 1 Comment »

Common Dandelion…

Rue Anemone

Flora, Macro 8 Comments »

I apologize for the site being down for a few days.  I think everything is fixed now.

Here’s a macro of a Rue Anemone, which is a tiny little woodland flower found in the spring.

Spring Awakening

Flora, Macro 4 Comments »

Spring colors are popping out everywhere. I have a feeling I’ll be using the macro lens a lot in the next few weeks!