Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Heady Day In Heaven - 777 Photos



Lady's Slipper orchids, the largest colony I have ever seen. May, coastal Maine 2012
'
This is an iris without a name, but none the less for glory, in my coastal Maine garden. Years ago, I received it as a cull from a customer's garden. The name had long been lost to her, and has remained so for me. If any of you know what kind it is, would you please let me know?
 A Flower Crab spider waits on a Tree peony petal to ambush its prey. These spiders are smaller than my tiniest fingernail. I took this with a 60mm macro lens.

This is a male Bobolink in flight. It's the first one I've ever photographed, though I've seen them before. I stood for over an hour in an open field to get this shot. I wasn't wearing a hat and it was HOT out there!

This vintage Chevy with boys in ball caps went by on the country lane where I was standing in the field photographing birds.

There were several pairs of Eastern Bluebirds cruising the field for insects. A farm nearby had Bluebird houses on posts which were all occupied by these fabulous birds.
 

     On Memorial Day, I went for a ride to see Lady's Slipper orchids in what had been reported to me to be a huge colony. I didn't have to go far from home, only twenty or so miles. They werent' kidding about the enormity of the colony, either. The elderly couple who owned the land said that they had counted 346 blossoms on their single acre.
     I drove through numerous meadows, what we in Maine call "hay fields." Twice a summer, they will be mowed for hay. Before they are mowed the first time, Bobolinks make their nests there. Lots of other birds cruise the fields for food, too. I saw Savannah sparrows, Meadowlarks, Tree swallows, Barn swallows, Brown Headed cowbirds, Red-winged blackbirds, Mourning doves, Blue jays, Eastern Bluebirds, Starlings, Crows, and a Broad-winged hawk, all in one field. They zoomed and zipped from grass tops to utility lines, snatching bugs and seeds and arguing with each other. Shimmering, hot air rose from the grass and buttercups. I stood in the field in the blazing sun for about an hour, long enough that the birds forgot that I was there.
     A dog was let out from a nearby farm. In typical farm dog fashion, it barked incessantly while trotting along the farm's fence line. The chortling and cheeping of birds nearly drowned it out. A vintage, orange Chevy pick up went by, the cab crowded with ball cap stereotyped farm boys. On the breeze the aroma of manure was carried from a barn. I got one good, solid whiff of hot dogs on a grill somewhere. Mixed with the bird songs, girls laughed in the distance.
     Up the road from where I stood is a put in for small boats. When I drove by, headed home, people were putting canoes and kayaks in the water. A woman in cut off shorts, her recently exposed to daylight thighs already sun burned, craned her neck to kiss a man in Teva sandals. Two kids struggled a red canoe from a car roof while swallows swooped across the stream surface.
     At the end of the day, I had taken 777 photographs. I had started in my garden amongst the flowers, up close looking for insects, travelled through woods, fields and streams for more flowers and birds. I was richly rewarded. I saw birds I've not had the pleasure to photograph before and flowers familiar to me but more numerous than I'd ever imagined possible. It was a heady day in heaven.
       

29 comments:

  1. The Bobolink in flight shot is great!Love the Lady's Slipper orchids.Have a great day!

    Shantana

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  2. Hi Robin, you painted a perfect early summer day! Love your Lady's Slipper. I showed it to my husband who exclaimed he'd seen one just like that in our yard. He promised me to find it again. Thanks for sharing your impressions and photos.

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  3. Faaannntastic !!! Great photos as usual and a very well laid story.If you go there for more bird shots in your kayak,please wear a PFC.

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  4. Naturestop, thanks! I was working really hard to get flight shots of them. There were lots of them, but as you probably know, just because you can see them zipping around doesn't make it easy to photograph them. They move REALLY fast!
    Hilke, thank you for that. It was my hope to give the feel for the day. I'm glad I was successful in that endeavor.
    BMC, thak you for your concern for my welfare. I'll take care. :)XO

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  5. Christine Geery (OS)May 30, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    I haven't seen Lady's Slippers in so long. Thank you./r
    Christine Geery
    May 29, 2012 06:19

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  6. Beautiful Robin. I especially love the Iris. I wondered how you were going to post 777 photos!!
    trilogy
    May 29, 2012 05:13 PM

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  7. Gorgeous photos and writing, Robin...I could really smell the hot fields and grass. That iris-without-a-name is just lovely!
    clay ball
    May 29, 2012 07:26 PM

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  8. Love the title and all that follows it. What is the name of the flowers in the last photo, Robin?

    Between you and Sarah Brennan, I am simply melting with joy. Merci, ma belle amie.

    R♥
    FusunA
    May 29, 2012 09:47 PM

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  9. Thank you, Trilogy, Christine G, Clay ball and FusunA. I'm delighted that I could give you all shot of summer day with my words and images. It was sort of an experiment to see if anyone would be lured by the title, yes, : How WAS I going to post 777 images! And also to create the flavor of the day in just a few of them along with the prose. So thanks for making me feel successful with that. FusunA, the flower in the last image is purple Verbena. It is a common container plant here. It's an annual for us, though it does grow perennially elsewhere in the country. It can be used as a ground cover, too as it roots along the stems quite easily. It likes full sun, average soil and even watering. If it dries out, the leaves get brown edges. XO

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