Photography · Writing

Back Yard Photographer – This has a story?

Robin’s bath time

Every picture has a story and every story has a picture. Yes, this is true. Even the photos that didn’t turn out as planned can have a beautiful story.

I grew up when we used film in our cameras. After using all the pictures on the roll of film, we would take our photos to a Fotomat to have the film developed. In about a week or so we would go back and pick up our printed photos. My family always made a big deal of this. We would plan to go out for supper after we picked up the photos, then we would look at the photos while we waited for our meal at the restaurant. There were the photos that would make us say things like, “I remember that! It was fun!”, the photos that made us ooh and ahh at how pretty the photo was and we had the photos that would make us laugh- sometimes to the point of tears running down our cheeks because nothing in the photo turned out like we thought it would. Yes, waiting a week to see the photos does seem like a long time now, but there was nothing quite like the anticipation of picking up that envelope of photos.

For the most part, my mom was the photographer of the family. She captured all the holidays, vacations and family events. Part of the fun of getting the photos was seeing who would be missing from the photo or who would be missing a head. Mom didn’t always get the picture exact, but that didn’t matter as there was always laughter and always a story. I remember Mom looking at the photos and commenting, “Well, that isn’t how I thought it would turn out” or “He look! I got Uncle ___’s chin in this picture!!” Yes, we joked with her about her photography skills and we would laugh at the photos and sometimes, unfortunately, we probably were a little too mean with our words. However, Mom took the comments in stride and kept on taking pictures. Thank goodness she did – we have many great family memories and many wonderful stories.

I try not to post, what would be considered, less than perfect photos, but sometimes that is just what I do to tell the story. Bird photos can be a bit tricky. For me, it takes several attempts before I get a photo the way I want it. This makes for a lot of photos to go through and decide which ones really aren’t worth keeping. This is surprisingly hard – even with the bad photos. Sometimes the fun of the photo is what could have been – trust me, I have lots of those! Even when the photo isn’t perfect, there can be a perfectly beautiful or humorous story.

The escape

The blue jay in this photo had spent quite a bit of time on the fence post looking around and squawking. I had been taking pictures of some of the other birds and then decided to take a photo of the blue jay. He must have known something was up when I turned the camera towards him because he took off.

The food tastes better here.

The oriole had been enjoying the hummingbird food from one of the other flowers, which was making for a nice picture. Happily, I started taking pictures of him. That is the exact moment he decided to reach for the other flower. He’s balancing with his wing, so there is a blur on his wing. I didn’t know orioles would drink the hummingbird nector.

High wire act

On the day that this picture was taken, there had been several northern cardinals visiting this bird feeder. They would perch next to the tree for a bit and then hop to the feeder. They stand on the tiny branch, instead of the perch on the feeder, to get to the food. I liked the red of the cardinal against the gray/ brown of the tree, so I tried to get a picture of the cardinal perching. Instead, I captured him in mid hop.

We would like some privacy!

While walking on a beach, I noticed this beautiful damselfly. I was a bit of a distance away when I took this photo. It wasn’t until I got home and looked at the pictures, did I see what I had actually captured. There were two damselflies, shall we say, enjoying their time together. It wasn’t until I zoomed the photo to see how I wanted to edit the photo, did I see the true subject. I never did crop this photo.

These photos aren’t as classic as my mom’s family photos, but I smile when I see them. I hope you get a smile out of these too. 🙂

Thank you for stopping by!

Photos are originals by Kim Lawless

Photography · Writing

Back yard Photographer – Parrots

After spending quality time with the lizards, I then decided to spend time watching the Parrots. I had fun getting their pictures. They were out in the open on perches. I tried to capture their personalities.

This first one sat on the perch and didn’t say much. I checked back on him again before I left this area and found he was busy with his toys. Maybe he is just shy. 🙂

This one was busy grooming himself, but he still had time to talk quite a bit. He was the noisiest one of the group.

The below fella likes to sneak up on his food.

This guy seems to be having lots of fun with his toys!

Having fun chewing!!

Two birds – Pretty in Pink

In the second picture, I think it looks like he is laughing.

That is it for the parrot pictures from this trip to the zoo. I hope you enjoyed the variety and the various colors. Maybe, just maybe, I caught them having fun. 🙂

Thank you for stopping by to check out my blog and pictures!!

All photos are originals by Kim Stites

Photography · Writing

Back yard Photographer – Dragonflies!

The other day a fellow blogger had posted some wonderfully beautiful dragonfly pictures he had taken. These photos were so sharp and detailed. I was (and still am) in awe of these pictures. I had commented that the photos I have taken of dragonflies looked like black dots because they were so fuzzy. He encouraged me by telling me to keep on trying. (Thank you for the encouragement!!)

I had thought I would go to my favorite walking trail, where I knew I would be able to get in plenty of practice trying to capture pictures of dragonflies. Well… I ended up getting to practice taking these pictures in my back yard! When I was working in my flower garden today, I saw some dragonflies!! I was beyond excited.

Getting my camera prepared to capture these beauties in flight, I saw one land on a leaf of one of the plants. I cautiously maneuvered closer to the dragonfly. With my zoom lense and the macro setting, I took a few pictures. Here’s the first dragonfly I was able to photograph. It isn’t as sharp as I would like, but I’m pretty happy with it just the same. And yes, he’s not flying, but that’s ok too. I like that he nearly blends in with the leaf he landed on.

In my front yard, as I was pruning the flowers, I saw this dragonfly land on a twig, I was able to see the design of his wings and thought they wre pretty unique. Since he was resting on the twig, I was able to capture this picture:

Not a perfect picture either – but it does make me smile.

I believe I was lucky that today was hot and very humid outside, so the dragonflies needed to rest more frequently. 🙂

I have no idea what kind of dragonflies these are, so if any one does – I would very much appreciate a lesson!

Still going to go to my favorite walking trail, so I might capture a dragonfly in flight yet!

Thank you for stopping by and checking out my blog. Hope you enjoy the photos and my little stories.

All photos are originals by Kim Stites

Photography · Writing

Back yard Photographer – Landscapes

With Spring finally hear (even though snow is in the forecast later in the week), I am soaking up as much time outdoors as I possibly can. While out, the landscapes transitioning from Winter to Spring caught my eye. There are hints of green and other Spring colors in each picture. Some are easier to spot than others.

Nature and all its beauty is a mood changer! I hope you get to enjoy some time outside – in your yard, on a deck, on a walk. You won’t be disappointed. 🙂

Thank you for stopping by and checking out the pictures! I hope you enjoyed them.

All photographs are originals by Kim Stites

Photography · Writing

Back yard Photographer – Spring?

Yes! Spring! The signs are here! Saturday morning I woke to sound of the Cardinals singing. This was like any other Winter morning. I looked outside to watch them in the trees, calling to the other birds. They waited while the other birds ate by the bird feeder. Soon they joined in. As I watched the Cardinals fly to the bird feeder, I saw a bird I hadn’t seen in many months – A Robin. This, bird was our first sign of Spring. It is a bit unbelievable how we went from being hit by a blizzard almost three weeks prior, to now getting to see the Robin and the snow almost gone. Things can change quickly.

Here are a few pictures of the Robins I saw as well as some Geese that flew over the house. Hope you enjoy these first signs of Spring. 🙂

Thank you for stopping by and checking out my photos! Are you seeing any signs of Spring? What are they? I would love to hear from you!

All photos are orignals by Kim Stites.