Glancing out the window of a recent evening, I again caught sight of that now familiar glitter on the water. There was only one problem: a big bush partially blocked my view. Knowing how transitory such events are, I grabbed the camera and rushed outdoors for a better shot. Silly me. Of course, the startling effect had vanished; I had lost the critical angle of reflection.

Dashing back in, I got off one good shot through the open window before the glitter faded. If you squint, you can imagine a star-shaped galaxy in the vast blackness of space, perhaps as photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope. Of course, this photograph was taken right here on earth, on June 15, 2012 at 7:46 pm.

For a fuller understanding of this glittery effect, I invite you to read (or reread) my earlier post on it.

See related posts: Glitter*, Glitter III, Glitter IV.

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Words can add nothing to this sublime canvas. I tried punching up the contrast in my photo editor; the result was more dramatic, but ultimately less appealing.

This photo was taken at 5:56 am, on June 17th, 2012. It appears just as it came out of the camera. The view is toward the southeast.

Click image to enlarge it, and browser’s back arrow to close. See related post: Day of Dreams. Comments are welcome.

 

This is the first sailboat I’ve seen on the pond in many years, and a good sight it was, too — so colorful, and so swiftly gliding over the water, with just that one, small sail to propel it.

It looked to me like an inflatable raft, and I wondered how it could have a centerboard, needed to stabilize a sailboat in strong winds winds and currents. My neighbor assured me that even though it was inflatable, it did indeed have a centerboard. OK…I’ll take that on faith.

The owner looks like he may have a few of the comforts of home aboard. I wonder what music he’s listening to? Whatever it is, I doubt it can best the natural music of the wind, water and birds. Anyway, my hat’s off to him. I’d like to see many more sails on the pond.

The photo was taken June 16, 2012, at 3:06 pm.

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Do cottontail rabbits deserve the ire of gardeners? After all, it is the gardener who puts out all those delectable posies. What’s a hungry rabbit to do?

This year, gardeners got some relief: all the groundhogs departed early, perhaps discouraged from bearing pups by the long, cold spring. Animals in the wild seem to know when it’s propitious to start a family, and when it’s not — an observation from an old friend, more attuned to such things than I.

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Our yard is in-between its spring and summer blooms right now, so the worst this rabbit could do is eat a few tender leaves, which I don’t begrudge it, if it doesn’t bring the whole family.

The tail’s white underside is not visible in these photos, but if you look at the first and last photos carefully, you’ll just make out hints of the white, which we usually see only when the rabbit is running away from us.

Here in New England, we normally encounter one of two species, the Eastern Cottontail or the New England Cottontail, which are indistinguishable in the field. The latter is in decline due to habitat loss and competition from the non-native Eastern Cottontail. For a good, quick comparison of the two, and ways to prevent cottontail damage, read Cottontails from MassWildlife.

The photos were taken on June 24, 2012, late in the day (note the time stamp under each). The image quality is a bit off because I was shooting through the double glass of a thermal window, while fighting reflections off the glass.

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See related posts: Northern Pintail and Groundhog Pup.

 

If you think this is an arresting photo, how about the one I took five years ago, of four Great Blue Herons lined up in a row?

The Great Blue on the left tried to land on the large, eponymously named Heron Rock, but was rebuffed by the heron already in possession. The latecomer is actually now poised on a little rock just beyond the big one.

After a few minutes of dithering, and turning to the earlier bird for appeal, the rejected heron fluttered over to a more substantial stone, a few feet further north.

The photo was taken early evening of June 14, 2012, at 5:40 pm.

Update: This post was first published as “Great Blue Twosome.” Sorry for confusion.

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At the entrance to our driveway, we’ve seen many volunteers come and go over the years. Some were invasive plants like tiger lilies that we had to pull up, to keep them from spreading throughout the yard. Others didn’t survive. We talked about planting a rock garden there, but never got to it.

Finally a volunteer has come along that fills the spot, and that everyone likes. I almost pulled it up until my neighbor told me it’s Queen Anne’s lace, a member of the carrot family that is currently in favor among gardeners. It’s far more impressive in real life than pictured at left. The flowers move about gaily in the breeze, reminding me of a sculptor’s mobile. They also change position and appearance from day to day.

Of course, I’m not a gardener and don’t know much about these things — that is, until I decide to photograph a flower; then I do a little reading so I can write intelligently about it. I know that some readers of this blog are devoted gardeners. I’d be delighted to hear if any have Queen Anne’s lace, or “wild carrot” as it’s also called, in their gardens.

I found these flowers difficult to photograph, as they were moving constantly in the breeze, and had no big, hard edges for the camera to focus on. I had to take forty-odd shots to get these two. To my chagrin, I failed to notice two, big, gold horseflies on the flower in the top photo, until viewing the photos later on the computer screen. Luckily, I had a digital fly swatter in my kit bag.

Both photos were taken on June 13, 2012, a little before 6:00 pm.

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