Archive for July, 2012

A Trip To The Pond

Praying Mantis in Prairie at Rock Springs Conservation Area – Macon County Illinois

This morning I broke away to do more photography.  The temperature was great after all the hot days we have experienced lately.  The sun was out and very little breeze was blowing.  After driving around in my truck looking for some butterflies and not having any great luck, I pulled into Rock Springs Conservation Area.  As you enter the site there is prairie along your right side.  Stopping along the drive, I saw many dragonflies, but none would let me get close enough to photograph.  Then I saw a shadow on one of the grasses.  When I investigated, it turned out to be a praying mantis.  So the dragonflies were out and the mantis was in.  For about twenty minutes I photographed it.  I needed the time too, as the wind was blowing softly and to get a focused image, I had to be patient.  No problem there, I was here to relax.

Driving on, to another part of the site I parked my truck and took a short walk to one of the ponds.  Again, I was looking for dragonflies.  Again, they were everywhere.  I would sit in one spot waiting for one to come back to its perch.  Nothin doin, but that was ok.  I sat and listened to the birds and frogs sing their soft songs.  Listening to them, watching fish swim in the clear waters, and sitting in the sunlight was relaxation at it’s best.

Eastern Tailed Blue Butterfly Sitting Next To A Pond On The Mud At Rock Springs Conservation Area

Suddenly a little movement a couple of feet in front of me caught my attention.  There was this little bitty butterfly flying around landing close by.  Then there were two of them.  This is the first time I have seen this one.  They are common, but I have not done much macro in the past so I have not looked for them.  The Eastern Tailed Blue butterfly is only a half to three-quarter inches tall.  So camera comes off tripod and I am laying in the mud on my side a belly to photograph this one.  It looks like things are getting better after a slow start today.

After moving around some trying still to photograph some dragonflies, I was ready to go home.  I was sitting on the ground and less that two feet from my feet I noticed a Pickerel Frog sitting a foot from the waterline.  I have no idea how long it had been there as it blended in well.  Slowly I scooted closer and closer moving my tripod with me to make the frog look bigger in the picture.  This frog was great.  It sat there as I slowly moved closer and closer.  I spent maybe thirty minutes working this thing.

Pickerel Frog At Rock Springs Conservation Area

The frog at first seemed to be laughing at me.  It would open it mouth and nothing would come out.  Several times this happened before it calmed down.  Inching closer I captured more images.

Pickerel Frog At Rock Springs Conservation Area

As I started moving to get up and go home, I moved my tripod away from Pickerel.  He turned sideways, and was making it easy for me to get another angle.  Slowly I moved the tripod back into place, stretching the legs to make it sit lower.  I did not plan on spending this much time photographing and did not bring an extra memory card with me.  I had two pictures left on the card.  Time to start deleting some of the play around shots I took to adjust exposure earlier.  Now I have fifteen images available on the card.  That is all I needed.  Another view of the frog at the pond.

Pickerel Frog At Rock Springs Conservation Area – Macon County, Illinois

Not a bad day considering how it started out.  I was driving around looking for things to photograph.  Then changing things around, I went and sat next to a pond.  Soaking up the sights, sounds and sun, my photo subjects came to me.  Yes it was a good day.  After all this, enjoying nature, and relaxing, I then spent the evening at church praising the God who made the sights, sounds and critters that brought me joy today.

Longing For Cooler Weather


Cool Spot To Sit In The Fall At Great Smokey Mountains National Park

  It is hot and it is Summer.  Oh, how I long for cooler weather.  The last few days  I have wanted to get out and take some pictures, but the heat would take away the fun of it all.  So tonight in my cool, air-conditioned office, I sit and play around with Photoshop.  Of course I look for something to help me cool off.  The Smoky Mountains in the fall are always a great place to do that.  For now an air-conditioned room and a picture to remind me of a cool and tranquil place is what I enjoy.  I hope you do also.

Another From Tallgrass Butterfly House in Pana


Going through some more images from last weekend and I came across this one.