I spotted an Ailanthus Webworm today when I looked out my window at the morning sky. I love finding examples, such as this moth’s beautiful coloring, of God’s artistry in the world around me. The moth is out of his element, since he is a tropical moth. How has he survived the frosty temperatures? Perhaps the cold was my ally in getting a good photograph of him. I gently raised the screen with the moth still on it, hung my hand and camera out the second story window, and snapped a photo.
The tiny ailanthus webworm is thought to be native to South Florida and the American tropics (south to Costa Rica),which were the habitat of its original larval host plants: the paradise tree (Simarouba glauca) and Simarouba amara.
This moth gets its name from the Ailanthus tree.
I know I must be one of many who decided that carving a pumpkin was a perfect definition for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge:
“To change in appearance or form, especially strangely or grotesquely; transform.”
I’m so entranced by this word I know I will be on the lookout all week for more instances of “transmorgification.”
“This week’s challenge is all about reflections.” ~ WordPress Photo Challenge
When I read the title for this week’s photo challenge this strange photograph I took on Block Island, RI came to mind. Block Island beaches are a beautiful mix of sand and gorgeous rocks. During one vacation my husband and I were on a hunt for heart-shaped rocks. Little did I know, as I gazed at this beautiful green rock and photographed it, that the wet surface would reveal my image when I downloaded the photo. If I tried to mimic this again, I doubt I would have the same result as I did in this lucky shot.
The Daily Post Photo Challenge Frame:
“This week, I’d love for you to look at things a bit differently. Whether it’s through an actual picture frame, a few stalks of grass, or even the spokes of a bicycle tire, find an alternative frame to the world around you and share what you see.”
I love watching the birds from my back window. Look through my window with me and get a close-up view of a male goldfinch eating sunflower seeds. A good way to attract goldfinches is to grow plants they use as a food source. Some of these are: sunflowers, echinacea, zinnias, black-eyed susan, rudbeckia, and thistles. I thought this photo was perfect for this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge. It inspired me to look up an old song from the 1960’s, “Look Through My Window,” by the The Mamas and the Papas. I think it’s a perfect way to celebrate the first Throwback Thursday of September.
“Could it be mid-August already? For those of us who live in less-warm climes, summer’s long, sunny days are a prized commodity, something to look forward to all year long. But even during this all-too-short season, some things are more prized than others.” – Daily Post Photo Challenge
While photographing butterflies this week something rare flew into my lens view…a hummingbird moth. The moth flew so quickly most of my photos turned out very blurry, but this one of the moth sipping a drink of nectar from a pink zinnia delighted me. The hummingbird moth is my entry for the WordPress Photo Challenge subject of something “rare.”
Here is a quick fifteen second video of his/her flight.
Numbers “Equations. Clock faces. Cash registers. Numbers are everywhere: this week, share a photo that puts them front and center.” The Photo Challenge at WordPress
On the drive to Fortescue, New Jersey, and the Delaware Bay last weekend, we saw a Bald Eagle having a meal in a cornfield. Bald Eagles are thriving in our state and 40% of them live in the lower counties. Years ago, the only eagles I encountered were in the Philadelphia Zoo or on the wildlife television channels. What thrill it is now to see them flying high, or to zoom in with my camera as an eagle brings down prey in a field.
Horseshoe crabs are also considered an endangered species, but since they have been protected, they are impossible to count. The infinite number of eggs they lay on the local bay beaches keeps the crab population growing, and provides food for shorebirds, many of them also endangered.
Horseshoe crabs often upend in the waves. Unless they manage to turn themselves over, and many of them don’t, they will perish in the hot sun.
While my husband fished, I turned over dozens that lay with their undersides exposed. It’s amazing how fast these creatures can move when they are heading back to the cooling water of the bay.
WordPress Photo Challenge -This week, get inspired by the many connotations of the word “Spare”
The carnivorous plants in the Longwood Garden Conservatory always have a spare appearance to me, but looks matter little in trapping their prey. Many carnivorous plants depend on sweet mucilaginous glands to lure insects in.
Moral of the Story: Sweetness is often more alluring than glamour.
Earth is the subject of this week’s Word Press Photo Challenge. I’ve chosen two photographs that also illustrate endurance: a patch of Irish moss thriving in a small bit of earth between two bricks in my front garden, and an ant hill built deep within the earth.
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” ~ Galatians 6:9
On Friday, when I checked the topic for the weekly WordPress Photo Challenge, I was thrilled to find the title word of harmony.
“The combination of simultaneously sounded musical notes to produce chords having a pleasing effect; the quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole.” ~ WordPress Photo Challenge
Harmony, melodious, musical…all these words bestow on me an instant uptick in mood when I hear them. In my files, I knew I must have dozens of photographs perfect for depicting harmony, but none came to mind, and I couldn’t understand why I felt so blocked. Until today…
Today dawned warm for early March, the sky cloudless, almost like someone had colored its expanse with a Pacific Blue crayon. I took my grandchildren to a nearby playground, just three and almost four, they are the best of friends. Without any hesitation, they climbed the stairs and skipped across the bridge that spans two sliding board sections. As they crossed, they spontaneously began to sing, “London Bridge is falling down.” At such a young age, not in harmony of course, but in definite harmony with the spirit of the day and each other.
I thought this black and white photograph of them, wearing my oversized sunglasses, was a perfect choice for Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge – Twins.
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
II Corinthians 13:14
I’ve heard some say they have a hard time believing in the Trinity. I believe. How could I not? There are three trees behind me in my shadow photograph. I can’t see them, but I know they are there. Why? Because of the evidence of their presence. The evidence of the presence of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit surrounds me every day. I only have to take pause from the unending busyness of life to dwell with them in my spirit.
“And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.”
—Percy Bysshe Shelley
Spring was evident everywhere yesterday. The calendar says “winter,” but the budding woods proclaims, “Spring.”
State of Mind
“This week, let your inner world and the outside one converge in a photo.”
“Photos show us the surface of things, but they often tell much deeper stories about the objects they depict — and about the people who take them.” WordPress Photo Challenge
One of my greatest pleasures is walking in nature in every season. These photos were taken in Ceres Park a beautiful woods covering fifty-two acres a few miles from my home.
The signs of Spring were all around us: wet, soggy ground, the budding of undergrowth, the touch of sunlight setting even the bark of the trees aglow. The mosses seem to be awakening first, sending up stalks that will soon bud into capsules filled with spores.
Ceres parked is dotted with marl lakes. The mineral turns the water a magical green. I will have to go back to capture the true iridescence of the water another day. The heavy rains of last week muddied them a bit, but if you look closely, you can see swathes of green within the waters.
Seasons-“Share an image evocative of the weather or represent the current “season of your life” in metaphor.
– WordPress Photo Challenge
In February, my area of the world becomes a landscape of grey and brown. The absence of foliage creates in me a renewed appreciation for the form of tree limbs against the winter sky.
Vines, hidden by leaves in warmer months, fascinate me as they twist and turn around the tree branches that support their winding attempt to reach the sun.
The sweet-smelling blossoms of the Autumn Clematis, growing along the banks of the creek, have disappeared, leaving behind mahogany (Color Your World – 120 Days of Crayola) seeds in a cloud of snowy fluff.
Shallow puddles and ponds form an ephemeral mosaic.
Daylight is once again lengthening, bringing the slumbering wildlife out of their burrows for water and food.
The emerging leaves of celandine is a sure sign that Spring is on the way.
These beautiful churches, created with stone, fascinate me. I love to look upwards and imagine myself in another century, amid the many souls who have walked beneath the steeples, crosses and outer walls of these amazing houses of worship. I hope when I am gone on to a better world these churches will still stand, a testament to the eternal nature of God’s love.
“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” ~ Psalm 90:2
The exterior molding surrounding the stained glass window is a soft gold.
Beautiful churches can be found in many towns all around the world.
“This week show us something you’re optimistic about, or perhaps a talisman that helps you stay positive and hopeful, regardless of what life (and the weather!) throws your way.”
Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall…I dream of seashells and sunshine. A “little bit” of snow can’t diminish my Optimistic Attitude!
I also feel my spirit lift when I glimpse the beautiful “Cerulean” Sky.
Color Your World – 120 Days of Crayola – Cerulean
“This week, let the alphabet be your inspiration: find a string of letters. Try a multi-photo gallery to collect images of single characters. Find some beautiful typography, or look for letters hidden in natural forms. I’m excited to see your ABCs!” Alphabet
What fun it was to gather photographs for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge. It prompted us (see our reflection in the collage) to take a long overdue stroll through Mullica Hill, New Jersey, a town known for its antique shops. All the alphabets in the above “sampler” were on Main Street. We had a bit of trouble with the Z, but found it in the graveyard of the Quaker Cemetery.
A few natural CIRCLES photographed on a January walk.
“God must be the very first thought and the very last thought in the life of every disciple of Jesus. God must be the centre as well as the circumference of our lives. We live and move in Him, within the circle that He has drawn for us. And within that circle we will always find Him.”
~ Zac Poonen
“From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.”
Today was the perfect day to put our bicycles in the back of the truck and head for Ocean City, NJ. Quite a few people took advantage of the warm temperatures, and although the sky was overcast, the boardwalk had a good crowd walking its length. In the distance you can see Atlantic City in a haze of foggy mist.
The surf was rough today…according to the Ocean City Surf Report the waves were 7 to 7.5 feet, and the water temperature was between 52-55 degrees. Dozens of wetsuit-clad surfers were gathered in the water waiting for the perfect wave.
I’ve never seen the waves so large in Ocean City.
It’s mesmerizing to watch the surfers “TRANSITION” from calmly waiting to flying across the face of the wave.
At times the transition means wiping out.
No big deal, the surfer paddles back out and begins again.
“What comes in threes? Submit an image for this week’s photo theme, Trio.”
Between five and six this morning, I ventured outdoors with my camera to take some photographs of the gorgeous moon illuminating the sky. My moon shots were blurry, but while I was attempting to photograph its luminous face, my camera flash bounced off the moisture in the air and captured a sense of the magical within the foggy skyscape.
Ornate “Forget about subdued and restrained. This week, let’s embrace the breathtakingly extravagant.” ~Wordpress Photo Challenge
Even though it’s functional and quite ordinary, the inside of a watch has an intriguing beauty. Take a photograph, crop, bump up the color, and it’s downright ornate.
PicMonkey has many free photo applications for editing photographs.