Zentangle® – July 2017

31 days in July and 31 Zentangles. I enjoy the Zen time while I am making each one and then the choosing the tiles for the monthly blog post…it is a pleasure to look at everything I created in the month and marvel at the joy I always feel in the process and the product. Maybe Zentangles are like little celebrations that get better with accumulation and a little savoring. Most of the tiles in July were the square ones…and the golden cardboard from canned Seltzer water.

The business cards were the ‘quick’ ones I did when I just wanted a little break – make a Zentangle – then go back to whatever was dominating the day.


The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Mt. Pleasant in July 2017 – Part I

I took several walks around parts of Howard Country Conservancy’s Mt. Pleasant Farm last week while I was preparing for photography sessions with summer campers. There was a lot to see and I’m doing two blog posts about the enjoyable walks taken over 3 days. One morning I walked down through the meadow where I saw lots of butterflies but the ones that thrilled me the most were the monarchs. There haven’t been any in my neighborhood this year so it was something to see that there were still a few in our part of Maryland.

There were wild flowers too – which I couldn’t resist photographing.

When I got down to the Davis Branch, I watched a mud dauber wasp making a small ball of sediment to add to his nest

And I noticed that there were more larger cobbles on the ‘beach’ that before the heavy rains of last summer.

I walked over to the area where some stream restoration work was done last spring and found more dragonflies that I’d ever seen in the area. They all seemed to be the same kind but they seemed to be everywhere I turned.

There was a flock of goldfinches using the riffles constructed during the stream restored as a bird bath! Hopefully there will be some new paths that provide some better views of this part of the stream after the stream restoration is stabilized; I didn’t want to wade through the tall grass and risk ticks (Lyme disease).

On the way back up the hill, I paused to photograph the maple tree within a tree. It’s a favorite spot to share with elementary school hiking groups.

Just as I got to the top of the hill, there was a horse nettle flower that had managed to not get mowed by growing very low…and after I got home I noticed a bug was in the picture too.

Zooming – July 2017

I limited myself to 10 zoomed images this month – and it was quite a challenge to choose the 10! Now that I am looking at them, I realize they reflect the places and sites I’ve enjoyed the most this July. 4 of the 10 are butterflies from Brookside Gardens’ Wings of Fancy exhibit. I have enjoyed photographing them (when I am not on Flight Attendant duty) and appreciate the increased optical zoom of the camera I have now.

There are also some plants from the boardwalk between the Brookside Conservatories and the Nature Center: a horse nettle flower and a fiddlehead fern. Zooming allows me to stand on the boardwalk rather than contorting myself into a lower position and leaning off the boardwalk to get close to the plant.

I enjoyed another walk around Kenilworth Gardens this July. Somehow dragonflies and water lilies always draw my attention.

Finally – a walk in my neighborhood had its own photography opportunities. There was a leaf that fell on the sidewalk…tilted a little to show its changing color. And in a tree near the pond, there was a spider wrapping up a large catch in its web.

Gleanings of the Week Ending July 29, 2017

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

When you can’t remember where you are or how you got there – Transient Global Amnesia. Evidently accident and emergency units are accustomed to seeing 2 or 3 cases a month. The good news is that usually it happens once…and not again…and that the memories return except for the brief period of the episode. Brain imaging studies show abnormalities in the hippocampus during the episode. The description sounds like a hippocampus re-boot.

New Kingdom Egypt: The goldsmith’s tomb – On an island in the Nile River in Sudan, there is evidence of a multicultural settlement: Egyptian and Nubian….with a focus on gold.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week # 97 – My favorite is a Green Bee-eater with a dragonfly.

How to Feed the World Without Killing the Planet? – A thoughtful piece about how we can all eat well into the future and not contribute to mass extinction.

Treated Fracking Wastewater Contaminated Watershed with Radium and Endocrine Disrupters – A study of sediments of Conemaugh River Lake – a dammed reservoir east of Pittsburgh – revealed that the highest concentrations of endocrine disrupting chemicals, carcinogens and radium peaked 5-10 years ago during a peak period of fracking wastewater disposal. High radium levels continued 12 miles downstream from treatment plants. Bottom line: treatment of fracking wastewater is not protecting our water supply. Aargh!

Plant Sources of Protein – This is done by serving size. I wish they had done it by calorie so it would be more obvious which sources are more protein dense. I found a reference that includes a table that shows grams of protein per 100 calories for some foods here although the list is not as extensive as I would like and includes too many highly processed items.

The underground railway that became a secret wartime base – In Bristol.  A railroad built to tunnel up a cliff from the port to a spa area in the late 1800s…that closed in 1934 but then during the bombings of World War II it housed the BBC Symphony Orchestra and a little later an alternate broadcast center. It became the nerve center for the BBC in the west of England for the rest of the war. The tunnel became a derelict by 1960 and is slowly being opened for tours now.

Prairie Noise – Some pictures and a short video of a cicada ‘singing’ – it’s the sound of summer to me both from growing up in Texas/Oklahoma and where I live low in Maryland.

Recovery: Bringing Back Bumble Bees – 46 indigenous bumble bee species in the US are at some risk of extinction. Bumble bees are frequently more efficient pollinators than honey bees. We in the US have been slower than other countries to recognize their importance and act to stop practices that make their survival more difficult.

59 Retro Posers Celebrate the Colorful Diversity of America’s National Parks – Eye candy for the week!

Ten Little Celebrations – July 2017

A lot has happened this July…and it was easy to pick 10 little celebrations to highlight:

A successful first road trip. I finally got a road trip in my Prius Prime. I didn’t celebrate the blow out that happened on the original start to the trip (I did celebrate that the blow out did not cause an accident) but the trip that re-started the day after was so enjoyable that thoughts about by car turned positive again.

A morning walk at Mt. Pleasant Farm. I’ll get around to posting about this walk because it was so enjoyable: temperature perfect for hiking, a flock of gold finches bathing in a riffle of the Davis Branch, dragonflies everywhere, Monarch butterflies in the meadow, a ground hog ambling out of the path ahead of me, a riot of vegetation – including ripening blackberries. It was very much a celebration of summer.

Great Blue Heron interaction with a dragonfly. Sometimes being in the right place to witness the interaction of two very different organisms is a celebration. I could photograph this one. It was a juvenile Great Blue Heron it is seemed perplexed about what to do when the dragonfly perched while the heron was looking for lunch. Eventually the heron moved…the dragonfly moved. This went on for a few minutes before the dragonfly got the idea to find another place to land.

Summer camp photographers at Mt. Pleasant. I celebrated another group of 5-12 year old photographers that took excellent pictures. I have a post planned for early next week about the adventure from my perspective. One of the counselors commented that the campers seemed so engaged with the activity. There is something about having a camera in hand that is almost magic.

Milkweed bug instars. This time of year, I am always thrilled to find a plant with a lot of instars of milkweed bugs. It almost always happens in July. They start out very tiny and almost all red and go through several stages getting larger and larger and ending up as adults that are orange and black…and with wings!

Our street. I am celebrating that the street repaving in front of our house is complete…and it wasn’t too traumatic while the work was going on.

Melons. We are getting melons from our CSA – always worth celebrating so rare we have gotten sun jewel melons, cantaloupe and yellow watermelon. Hopefully we’ll get some red watermelons in August.

Then there were celebrations associated with volunteering a Brookside Gardens’ Wings of Fancy exhibit:

Butterfly laying an egg on my ring. OK – I’ll admit it was a very confused butterfly. But it was magical to have a butterfly become a part of my ring temporarily! I transferred the egg to the host plant afterward.

A 90-year-old birthday girl in Wings of Fancy. The lady was in a wheel chair but thoroughly enjoyed her family’s outing to the exhibit. Everyone that was in the conservatory celebrated with her!

Hummingbird moth at Brookside. I had been seeing the hummingbird moth on the walkway up to the ticket taker for the exhibit…and finally managed to get a picture. Celebration!

Birding through a window – July 2017

I didn’t do much birding through the window in July because I wasn’t home enough….but there was a startling visit by an American goldfinch. It flew right up to the window and perched on the frame and – seemingly – looking directly at me! I was fortunate to have my camera near the keyboard of my computer so I moved as little possible to pick it up and take some pictures! Birding through the window is always opportunistic but this month it seemed to be even more than usual. I haven’t noticed the bird returning so it must have satisfied whatever prompted it to look through my window.

3 Free eBooks – July 2017

My picks for this month are about gardens…and all published between 1912 and 1914.

Rusinol, Santiago. Jardines de Espana. Madrid: Renacimiento. 1914. Available from Hathi Trust here. There is a timeless quality to gardens. Do we enjoy them in the same way today – when we aren’t distracted by the modern world? The depictions of Spanish gardens of 1914 would fit into modern notions of pleasant outdoor places as much as they did a century ago. I particularly liked the limited color illustrations.

Villiers-Stuart, C.M. Gardens of the Great Mughals. London: A. and C. Black, 1913. Available from Hathi Trust here. Lush and full of architectural elements like pools, fountains, and canals…I wished the scanning had been higher quality for the illustrations.

Thomas, H.H. The Garden at Home. London: Cassell and Company. 1912. Available from Hathi Trust here. Less formal gardens – with beds blooming profusely and roses on trellises. Is this the type garden we still strive for around our homes?

Volunteering at Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens V-X

In the training for volunteers at Brookside Gardens’ Wings of Fancy, they told us it would take about 10 shifts to feel comfortable with all the roles; I have that many now and have decided that it’s all about getting comfortable enough to accept the variability in the people that come to the exhibit and the environment (temperature, humidity) during the shifts. There has been something unique about each of my shifts so far…and I’ve enjoyed the 30 minutes I have walking around the gardens before each shift – taking pictures there and then locking my camera in a locker while I am busy with my shift. So – here are some images and notes from my July shifts at Wings of Fancy!

Before the 5th shift, I noticed moisture on a very thorny plant and a small green insect (grasshopper?) that was decorating a yellow flower (also full of water droplets).

I walked toward the anniversary grove and saw a very trusting chipmunk. During the unique event of the shift inside the butterfly exhibit were owl caterpillars. They had hatched from eggs laid on a canna plant. They were so tiny compared to the butterfly they will eventually become!

The walk before the 6th shift was frustrating. I only had my cell phone with me and there were so many insects that I saw but couldn’t photography well without the zoom of my camera. I did take a picture of the construction going at the Nature Center next door to the Brookside Gardens Conservatories. Inside the butterfly house there were mystery caterpillars! They had hatched from eggs laid on a plant in the basil family – not one that is normally deemed to be a host plant. But the caterpillars were growing like crazy eating it. They were thought to be tropical swallowtail caterpillars. One had already made a chrysalis.


I brought my camera to use on my walk before the 7th shift. I took a couple of zoomed pictures of some flowers along the boardwalk between the conservatories and the nature center.

But best picture was of a very black dragonfly…a picture I would have missed if I’d only had my cell phone. Inside the caterpillar house there were still 3 cecropia moth caterpillars but they were all huge. It won’t be long before they will all be cocoons and we’ll need other stars for the caterpillar part of the exhibit.

I took even more insect pictures before the 8th shift – all along the walk up to the ticket taking station to the butterfly exhibit. There were bees and skippers all over the cone flowers.

And a milkweed bug on some milkweed. The unique event of the shift was that the volunteer contingent was short the ticket taker so I moved from being a flight attendant to ticket taker. It was good to be outdoors for the shift but I prefer the flight attendant role.

Before the 9th shift, I walked over to the anniversary grove and saw the chipmunk again. As I walked back toward the Conservatories, I saw a flower that was poised to unfurl

And a wasp exploring on a nearby plant.

I walked through the parking lot to check the boardwalk and found  Joe-Pye Weed before I got there….and it was full of butterflies. I took picture of two spice bush swallowtail butterflies. One was very battered and the other in better condition.

Inside the caterpillar house the new stars were Monarch and Queen caterpillars. They were too small to tell apart (without a magnifying glass – which we didn’t have). All the cecropia moths had made their cocoons.

The walk before the 10th shift started at the Joe Pye Weed. There were at least 8 eastern tiger swallowtails on the plants! The ones with more blue around the bottom edge of the wings are females; the ones without blue are the males.

There are beginning to be some precursors to fall from the trees

Although there are still a lot of flowers full of pollen for bees (like this hibiscus).

The unique part of shift was the key lime plant was drawing tropical swallowtails to lay eggs. Many of the visitors not only got to see eggs already on the plant but butterflies in the act. As I was explaining what was happening to a group, a butterfly landing on my hand and laid an egg on my ring (a very confused butterfly, obviously)!

Previous posts re Volunteering at Wings of Fancy: prep, I, II-IV.

Strategies for Beating the Summer Heat

We had some hot days recently and I’ve been utilizing every strategy I can think of to beat the heat. The easiest is to stay in an air-conditioned place, of course. But that isn’t always possible.

I keep bottles half-filled with water (and sometimes a splash of lemon juice) in the freezer that I can fill just before I got outdoors…helping stay cool (and hydrated) by always having cold water with me.

If it’s sunny, hats help. My favorite has a wide brim all the way around so it protects my face and the back of my neck from sunburn. Taking a little shade around with me is worth the price of hat hair for the rest of the day.

Wearing skirts rather than jeans or capris or shorts is cooler. It’s not practical for hiking in tick infested area…I wear thin pants that I can tuck into my socks for that. Sandals or flip flops are my shoes of choice if I can’t go bare foot

If the humidity is not high, taking a spray bottle to mist my face and arms helps (and I can use it to enhance spider webs and flowers for photographs). It’s not helpful at all if the humidity is high.

Ice packs on my neck or shoulders are helpful and I have some fabric covered ones that I keep in the freezer for hot days. They work even if the humidity is high!

Green Bank Observatory – Vicariously

My husband went to at star party at Green Bank Observatory (West Virginia) last week. I didn’t hear much from him while he was there since it’s in the National Quiet Zone (no cell phones or other communication networks). He took a few pictures and I’m experiencing the place vicariously. He arrived home on Friday afternoon after heavy rain in the morning and continuing clouds in the forecast caused him to fold up a few days early.

The observing field – where people set up their telescopes and tents – one of the radio telescopes within site.

A jerry-rigged sun shade between the back of the car and the tent. It took him time to make his sunshade; the first after was evidently hot and sunny – and the field is very open (good for observing but there are no trees, shade is only what the star party participants can make for themselves).

It required some ducking to get into a shady spot.

But once inside there was plenty of space for a chair and much of the equipment stayed in the car when it wasn’t in use at night. Fortunately, the telescope tube was back in the car before the deluge on Friday morning!

Gleanings of the Week Ending July 22, 2017

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

View and Print 3D Models of Smithsonian Artifacts – An article about Smithsonian X 3D – a website worth browsing through – a museum available from home!

Deepest dive ever under Antarctica reveals a shockingly vibrant world – From National Geographic – great pictures as usual.

The one trillion-ton iceberg: Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through –  Lots of ice…leaving the Antarctica ice shelf.

Periodic Table in Pictures and Words – Hopefully this is use in intro to chemistry courses rather than the older form of the periodic table.

Can the Monarch Highway help save a butterfly under siege? – Making I-35 the safe corridor for Monarch migration. It won’t help the situation in Maryland where the Monarch population as dropped dramatically over the past 10 years.

The Chemistry of Frozen Desserts – Thinking about cool foods for summer heat…

Photography in the National Parks: Favorites for each season – National Parks are always good bets for photography…but going at the right time of year can make them even better.

Preeclampsia: New study documents its enormous economic and health burden – Rates of preeclampsia are rising…driven in part by maternal age and obesity….and it costs a lot. Hopefully continued research will improve prediction and treatment.

Birds around the world in 31 incredible photos –  From National Geographic….Celebrating the diversity of birds.

Study: Bumblebee Species Declining Worldwide – Researchers evaluated 40% of the 260 identified bumblebee species worldwide…and 30% of those evaluated were dwindling. Species that inhabit small geographical ranges appear to be at higher risk…and more vulnerable to warming climates.

Adventures with CSA Veggies – July 2016

By the beginning of July, I was becoming overwhelmed with vegetables from our weekly medium share from Gorman Farms Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). I was not eating all the veggies each week in June and the crispers were never empty. I was thrilled to have guests right after the 4th of July; I sent home all the excess with them – filling the ice chest they had brought for the purpose.



I have strategies to keep veggies for a little longer: basil in a glass of water on the counter and

Greens (like carrot tops) in bins that I save from salad greens purchased in the winter.

Now when I see the board, I’m already thinking about what I’ll make. I’ve enjoyed make dark red (chocolate) pudding with beets and zucchini (summer squash since I pick the other colors than dark green if given a choice) bread already. Something as simple as slices of cucumbers and turnips with hummus makes a great summer snack (or meal).

We haven’t gotten tomatoes yet (maybe next week), but I was in the mood for something tomato yesterday and made an excellent soup with leeks, potatoes, summer squash, basil and carrot tops….in a spicy ‘spaghetti’ sauce. Yum!

I still may have to shred some of the summer squash to freeze for fall and winter baking before I pick up next week’s share!

Moving In

I took some pictures of the new apartment before the containers arrived in State College. My daughter had a rocker recliner and some kitchen stuff that she brought in her car from Pittsburgh (for at least the next year, her job is in State College and her husband’s is in Pittsburgh so they will learn the highway between their two apartments very well). She already had Internet service working. Things were empty and quiet. 

The sunroom that overlooks a meadow and trees (and some other apartments) was to become her office.

And then the unloading began. I tried to fold the furniture blankets as the furniture was moved in; a pile of them and old sheets we had used for padding around larger picture frames quickly accumulated.

Sometimes the box labeling enabled to movers to put it close to where it needed to be unpacked – like in the kitchen.

There was one box that that we laughed about – no label at all.

My husband arrived shortly after the unloading was done; he quickly the bedframe together. The pile of furniture blankets went into the back of his car to be stored in our basement until they are needed again.

My daughter commented that she is already thinking of this apartment as a retreat compared to the very urban Pittsburgh apartment. The State College apartment had good sound proofing and the apartment complex has forest all around it. The nearby trees are mostly various kinds of oaks but there are understory trees too (maybe some sassafras!). And there is a ground hog (or two) that wanders around on the mowed area between her apartment and the meadow; she’s already named the ground hog ‘Chuck.’

Moving in Containers – Part 4

It was a cloudy morning in State College, Pennsylvania when the last two containers loaded in Tucson were scheduled to be delivered and unloaded. The unloading would require steps down to the door of the apartment building and then a half flight of stairs up to the apartment (unlike the Tucson apartment where there were no stairs and dollies could be used).

The crew arrived with the two container (the U-Haul covers removed) and backed into the loading area. My daughter unlocked the locks on the containers.

Surprise! U-Haul had not taken the bolt they add from either container. Fortunately, my daughter had tools in the apartment so the bolts only delayed the unloading by about 5 minutes.

The two-man crew worked quickly – noticing the box that I’d labelled ‘last box’ in Tucson and finding one that wasn’t labelled at all (a mystery box…and demonstrating how tired I was by the last boxes to be packed). I began folding up the furniture blankets as they unloaded since we planned to keep them and the boxes for the next move (which could be in another year or two).

The dolly did end up being useful to hold the door to the container open while it was unloaded. It took the crew just over an hour to unload the 2 containers.

The ‘moving in containers’ experience (hiring people to load and unload) has been a positive one and is probably the way we’ll move in the future.

Previous Moving in Containers posts: Packing up in Tucson (one and two), Unloading in Pittsburgh (three).

Prius Prime – Month 6 – Finally a road trip

I was filled with anticipation last week – ready to make my first road trip in the car: a 3.5 hour drive between my home and my daughter’s new apartment in State College, Pennsylvania.  The trip would push the miles on the car over the 2000 mark and use up the first tank of gas. I took some pictures of the sunflower on my deck before I left at about 6:30 AM.  The unpleasant surprise came about 30 minutes later as I was driving on I70 (at about 70 mph): a rear tire blew out! I managed to get the car off the side of the road and then pulled further off when I looked at the tire. The car does not have a spare and the tire was too damaged for the temporary repair kit to work at all. I called my husband and my insurance company (since towing is part of our policy). Aargh!

While I waited for my husband and the tow truck, I took pictures. I did not take any pictures of the flat (too upsetting); it was calming to take pictures of the roadside vegetation,

critters on the still intact tires, and

closeups of some flowers.

The car was towed to the dealership and the car was ready to drive again my mid-afternoon (paid for by an extra warranty we had purchased when we found out it had no spare). I decided to start out again the next morning; charging up the car again overnight. This time it was more like I expected. I left even earlier – at 5:30. My first rest stop was the South Mountain Welcome Center. There is one on both sides of I70 about an hour into the trip so planned to stop there coming and going.

The next stop was a Sunoco – not for gas yet; it was a rest stop. I did buy gas in State College even though, the car still had about 1/4 tank of gas left. I later calculated that the car got about 2060 miles on the first tank of gas…but maybe for plug in hybrids that is a meaningless metric. Most of my trips from home are short enough to be completed as an EV which is why I decided to buy the car in the first place.

A few days later I headed home and stopped at the South Midway rest area on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. I like it better than the other options. This road trip is one I will make frequently enough that it’s worth it to find places that are easy on/off the highway and open all the time.

I stopped at the South Mountain Welcome Center and



Noticed the rocks on the façade of the structure and the encouragement to venture off the highway. Maybe I do that next time. As I came down off South Mountain, I got the only bug splats of the trip on my windshield!

Previous posts: My new car – a Prius Prime, week 1, month 1, month 2, month 3, month 4

Hungry Cecropia Caterpillars

The Cecropia Moth Caterpillars in Brookside Gardens’ Wings of Fancy exhibit are very large and I can hear them eating when the area is quiet. They are eating cherry leaves in the Caterpillar House but evidently eat maple and birch leaves as well. They are native to our area; I saw one at Mt. Pleasant Farm back in September 2014.

The moths have one generation a year – overwintering as a cocoon. Like large moths, they don’t eat as adult so the adults live a very short time…laying as eggs. The caterpillars eat until they are large enough then make a cocoon.

The caterpillars at Brookside are provided with so much food that they are making cocoons in July! One got ‘ready’ while I was volunteering in the Caterpillar House. It became desperate to leave the food plant – crawling around the rim of the pot that the cherry branches were in and then falling off into the big tray below. The caterpillar was gently moved to a display cabinet where it made its cocoon on a branch. I didn’t see the making of the cocoon but the next day, it looked like a wad of wilting green leaves and few days later it was brownish. Hopefully the cocoon will overwinter and become a cecropia moth next spring!

Milkweed Flowers

I started out the season with a lot of milkweed plants. The went from sprouts to green globes of buds

To pink tinged buds, and

Opening flowers.

The bees love the flowers and often there are more than one bee on each globe in June.

There was one bee that seemed worn out from all the foraging.

The frustrating part of it all this year is that we don’t have any monarchs after those first few that were probably released by local schools. The leaves on the milkweed were pristine without any Monarch caterpillars to eat them. My husband did not like the plants in the front flowerbed to I cut them down over a few days and ate the flowers (they need to be rinsed twice in boiling water to remove the toxicity…and then I ate them in a salad rather than smothering them with butter and eating them hot).

Gleanings of the Week Ending July 15, 2017

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

How climate change will transform business and the workforce – The way we work and the skills employers need will be changing…is climate savvy going to be become as important as tech savvy?

How to see if home prices are rising or falling where you live – The link is to an article….that contains the link to a zoomable map of the US. My house is in an area that has seen 20-39% increase in home prices since 2000.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #95 – I liked the picture of the two pintails…the tails clearly visible as they are taking off: matched choreography.

Greenland’s summer ocean bloom likely fueled by iron – It turns the water of much of the Labrador Sea turquoise!

Surf through newly digitized images to see Rome’s ever-changing history – Many images collected by Rodolfo Lanciani and then supplemented. I am looking at this source as well as books by Lanciani on Internet Archive.

Owls’ wing could hold the key to beating wind turbine noise – I guess humans are not keen on wind turbine noise, but will reducing the noise increase the deaths of birds? I include a demonstration for pre-schoolers that includes the sound made by flapping a turkey feather and then an owl feather….and they are always surprised at the silence of the owl feather.

How Abstract Photography has evolved and still continues to inspire art – A little photographic history…and maybe some ideas for you own photography experiments.

Scientists unveil reconstructed face of ancient Peruvian mummified female leader – And she was only in her mid-20s when she died.

Whole Grains: Good for the Gut – And whole grains have more flavor too.

Women of Color Face a Staggering Amount of Harassment in Astronomy – Not good…and it’s even worse in physics.

Tiger Swallowtail on Pickerel Weed

The Tiger Swallowtail is one of the most common butterflies we see in Maryland; we have a lot of tulip poplar trees which are food plants for its caterpillar. I enjoy photographing Tiger Swallowtails and indulged when a male Tiger Swallowtail was fluttering about a stand of Pickerel Weed at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens last week. It seemed to start out at the bottom of the flower stalks and work upward in a spiral around the stalk. It never methodically sampled every flower…but tended to move on to another stalk when it got to the top of one. The whole sequence of 41 images below happening in about 3 minutes! It was a busy butterfly. I liked getting the different angles of the butterfly feeding…the varying levels of zoom. There was a bee that stole the show in one (#7 in the slide show).

Blooming Buttonbush

I couldn’t resist the alliteration…it matched the status of the buttonbushes around the ponds at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens when we were there last week. I took a series of pictures that show various stages of the spherical inflorescence that is covered with white flowers.

It’s hard to photograph one without bees when it is in the white flower stage!

The color change as the flowers get fertilized and the fruit begins to form is appealing…white to white and brown with a green background to pinkish tinge on the surface of the ball.

Buttonbush is native to Maryland and is something I might plant if I had an area suitable for it to thrive. I don’t think the woods behind my house is wet enough for buttonbush…or the deer would browse it into oblivion. I’ll enjoy it every time we visit Kenilworth instead.