Tag Archives: photography

ladybug macro

In the Yard End of December 2017

Yesterday, December 30th I decided to get some photos of happenings in the backyard. Because much of the northern part of the country is suffering with snow, ice and unbelievably cold temperatures (you have my sympathy), I felt lucky to be outside in the warm sunshine and 60 degree temps.

Today I wanted to write this short post to share what it’s like to be able to avoid winter and watch a garden grow literally year round. This is new for me and I am not trying to brag. I miss New England even though you must suffer through the bad winters. It’s beautiful there and quite boring and dull here in Florida – until the monotony is interrupted by a hurricane.

curly poinsettia in the ground
Poinsettia 2017 leftover from 2016

I know that my poinsettia is not looking all that good, but who knew a poinsettia could grow in the ground and live from year to year? I discovered this by walking around my new neighborhood and checking out the plants in yards I passed. People were growing poinsettias. So after last Christmas, when I bought this odd looking one, I put it out back in the pot and continued to water it. Finally, just a few weeks ago, I planted it in the ground next to the hibiscus. I was able to bring it in last year when the coldest weather hit, so we’ll see how it fares in the ground. Because it’s next to the house I think it will do fine.

ladybug macro
Ladybug on Eggplant Flower

I caught this pretty little ladybug crawling over an eggplant flower and decided to try to capture it on my iPhone. The blinding sun made it difficult to see as I took pictures, but finally I got into a good position where the shade wasn’t a problem. Then I took a bunch of photos as the sweet little bug crawled around the backside of this purple flower.
Ladybugs are the best. They are a gardener’s friend. But don’t try to eat them, they don’t taste good at all. I accidentally had one in my mouth once – and yuk.

eggplant tall tree
December 30th – My eggplant tree

The Eggplant plant is still going strong. I’ve eaten one eggplant from it. The leaves are truly gorgeous and I photographed them in hopes of doing a drawing one day soon.

December garden pepper plant
Green pepper plant in December

Never in my life have I been able to grow my own green peppers. But this fall I have eaten many from this plant. I also have a smaller plant which currently has white flowers on it (below). And I’ve used some hot jalapeño peppers occasionally too. I’m used to pulling up my vegetable plants by fall, but now I guess I will just let them keep growing and see what happens.

white buds on pepper plant
December – buds on the green pepper plant

Here in central Florida we are expecting some cold weather next week. I know, I know… I’ll get no sympathy for temps in the 30’s when many people don’t see anything above single digits, with wind chills well below zero. BUT… this is Florida and our plants are still growing and not accustomed to freezing.
We will have to bring inside what we can and cover the rest.

Lime tree in December
Lime tree – buds and new growth in December

One tree I will be moving indoors is my Persian Lime. I’ve eaten limes for weeks now – in October and November – and now I see there is new growth and buds on the tree!

Learning to garden and grow fruit in Florida is new to me, but I am open to learning new things. This blog is a journal of sorts to reference because I forget quickly what was blooming and when.

Happy New Year!

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Pictures of Berries for Breakfast

I love to eat berries for breakfast. Usually I mix strawberries and blueberries into my yogurt and top with walnuts and coconut. Recently I have begun drinking fruit or vegetable smoothies, but later in the day.

Raspberries used to grow along the side of my house in New Hampshire. I only picked a few at a time because the birds would usually eat them first. The flavor of raspberries cannot be beat, but all those seeds get to me. Strawberries are my favorite fruit.

raspberries bowl on table
Photo by Daria Yakovleva @ Pixabay

At the end of June the blueberries would begin to turn blue. My favorite place to pick them was around Gregg Lake. It’s a quiet area and I was fortunate enough to live just up the road for three years of my life. Although the house was a rental, I enjoyed that area of New Hampshire immensely. The Girl Scouts ran Camp Chenoa which ran along one whole side of the lake, which meant that the area was mostly wooded with few residential houses. I used to write about that area at my old blog New England’s Narrow Road. I was not familiar with blogging back then, so the blog is a bit of a mess. I liked to share photos of that area of the country and I still link to it from time to time.

Photo credit: jill111 @ Pixabay
Photo credit: jill111 @ Pixabay

As I’ve said, strawberries are my favorite fruit. My grandparents grew them in their big garden and I remember helping pick the berries in summer. Now that I live in Florida, this (January and February) is strawberry season. Maybe the season hits twice here, I don’t know. There are many boxes of strawberries at pretty good prices in the store, but they are not organic. I buy organic everything as much as possible, but especially when it comes to the “Dirty Dozen”, and that means strawberries.

bowl of strawberries
Pretty table photo by jill111 @ Pixabay

Are you craving berries yet?
The photos here are all credited to their photographer, and every photo is free to use for any purpose. They can be found at Pixabay, or click on the picture to go there.

winter snowfall snowstorm

Remembering Life in New England

winter forest photography
My Backyard – Long Ago

This winter photography recently sold in my Zazzle store as a postcard. It seems fitting as a reminder of how far I’ve come. Since I am no longer living in the northeastern U.S., and back down in the humidity of Florida, this scene makes me a bit sad.  I was born in New England, and I love it there.

I took this winter photo back in 2007, and it reminds me of great hope and huge loss. After spending 27 years in the humid, bug-infested south, I was back home in New England and loving every moment of my first winter with snow in years. I took pictures every day I think. This is a scene from my back yard after a nice storm had passed. I say “nice” because it dropped a bunch of that sparkling white stuff I had been longing to play in and witness. I wanted a white Christmas, and New Hampshire nearly always cooperated in the eleven years I lived there.  I love the change of seasons and winter is part of it.  It’s a long season, but we are all in it together, and somehow get through the worst ones.

We had moved together as a family, but ultimately I ended up alone, with a son dependent upon me to provide a decent life. I couldn’t take a little boy away from his father, no matter how much that father lacked the qualities to actually be a father. So I stuck it out until my son graduated and wanted to move away. Then it was his choice. I did my part. But it wasn’t easy getting by alone in a place known for it’s costly living expenses. By the time I left my New Hampshire home, I had moved 5 times, finally settling into a little fixer-upper for my final years there.

The beautiful snow had lost it’s charm after the hellish winter of 2014-15. And my final winter had very little drama – or snow. It was okay with me.

I’ll never live in New England again, short of winning the lottery. I have some pictures left that remind me of the great hope in my heart when I moved there. The opportunity to spend time in such a beautiful place one last time, is what I will be thankful for. And I’ll visit when I can. But I may never see such a beautiful winter scene in person again. Nor will I walk in the deep snow and enjoy the silence of snowy woods. But I did it once. And that was good.

Where to Find Beautiful and FREE Nature Pictures

colored Easter eggs
Find this free image at Pixabay
Anyone needing to use some beautiful pictures of nature that are free, pay attention. There are many stock photo sites out there where you will find some awesome pictures that are supposedly “free”, but not all of them really are. In fact “royalty free images” will cost you something and you have to buy points in order to download them from the sites. It can be confusing.
I have nothing against purchasing someones photos or designs. The stock places carry a wide array of very usable items. Those people are trying to make a living selling their images, and who could blame them. I get very irritated when I find that someone has helped themself to one of my blog images. Some people are clueless when it comes to that sort of thing.

But there is a place where you can download beautiful images and it really will cost you nothing. That place is called Pixabay. The Pixabay people are quite picky when it comes to what photos they will approve. I’ve had many declined. I’m not surprised, as I am not a fabulous photographer. And after browsing the Pixabay site, I have seen that there are others who definitely are.

You’ll find lots of nature photos and splendid macros of insects and flowers. Also graphics and clipart which is generously offered. Seasons, mountains, buildings, wildlife and so much more will grab your attention. And they can be used commercially free of charge! (Not all images can be used this way because of trademarks / brands.)

I use Pixabay for my work, and whenever I need an image for a post that I don’t have myself. Pixabay is a relatively new site so they don’t always have what I am looking for, but people are contributing from all over the world, and the landscape photos are stunning.
They occasionally hold contests for contributors, and give out awards to the deserving. It might be a place you will enjoy visiting.