I remarked a few weeks back that that particular day in my shooting history was pretty lightly populated, and this is the opposite; I shot a lot on August 5th over the years. This is among the first in the folders, a white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) buck, just starting to grow its annual antlers, looking at me warily as I leaned on the railing of my second-floor deck. Back then (this being 2007,) I lived bordering a large wooded section and was delighted to have visitors like this. Funny, we’re much more urban now, and we tend to see a lot more. It’s not like deer really thrive on the things that come with population, unlike raccoons and opossums, but they’re certainly enjoying the potted plants that we’ve kindly provided for them in our front yard.
[We have not provided anything for the deer at all, and are trying to convince said deer to leave the plants the hell alone, with mixed results.]
On to 2010.
Same place, not long before I moved in with The Girlfriend, and I was also delighted to have achieved a resident Copes grey treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis.) By resident, I mean, “within a flower pot,” which led to this charming pic. Again, reflections on changes, since I can usually find one roughly every other evening around here now, though as I said before, I was/am also happy that the greens are outnumbering the greys. And as I type this (early Tuesday morning, like a little after midnight,) Hurricane Isaias is rolling in, the sweltering temperatures have dropped a bit, the rain is near-constant, and the frogs are happier than shit. I should be doing video, but I have to be up early, um, later on today.
In 2015, I was out on this date doing a very long sequence of molting Chinese mantises (Tenodera sinensis) – as well as a cicada – but technically the series started the day before. I do recall that the night was very hot and humid, even this late/early (boy, the midnight date change makes my blog semantics annoying,) and I was sweating profusely despite sitting mostly unmoving on the ground alongside the various plants. But you really need to go to that link, because this is one of the best series that I’ve shot, and the detail is Too Cool.
I remarked therein that I regretted not capturing the very beginning of the process, for any of the subjects that presented themselves that night, and it took another three years to finally achieve that goal. The next goal – along these lines anyway – is to do a time-lapse animation of the process; video is pointless because it takes something like an hour for the molting to take place.
Later that day, by the way, came the bird photos found here – like I said, a productive day. But a year later in 2016, I was chasing rainbows. Well, no, I was actually standing still and letting the rainbows come to me, which sounds a lot less futile.
This is a supernumerary rainbow, rare but not hugely so – they’re just more subtle than this. It’s clearly altered, but only to increase saturation and contrast to make the perfectly natural effects more visible. I go into more detail in the original post.
Now, we have a twofer for 2016 and 2017, but as curiosities, because in the spreadsheet that I created to do these posts, I have the images listed by date, followed by the folders they reside within, and 2016 and 2017 were sequential in the Leaves/Plants/Trees folder, so these two images were ‘adjacent.’
So on the left, we have 2016’s photo of the rose bush showing the same rain that produced the rainbow above, while on the right, 2017’s shot of a balloon flower and decorative sweet potato vine in a planter alongside the front porch a year later, done mostly for the colors.
And finally, we come full-circle back to the Mammals folder for the second 2017 image, a shot that I thought I’d posted back then, but apparently not.
The eastern cottontails (Sylvilagus floridanus) visit the yard sporadically each summer, often as adorable juveniles, and provide some viewing entertainment in the evenings right around sundown. This particular one was sporting some growth on its nose, but don’t ask me what, because I’ve never seen anything quite like it – I can’t tell you if it’s simply scar tissue from some odd injury, or a genetic anomaly, or a malignant tumor. If they visited more often, I might have been able to at least see how this one seemed to be getting on, but I recall that we only saw it once after that. Sounds ominous, but the whole area is prime real estate to the rabbits and they freely roam around the neighborhood, so this one might simply have frequented other yards.
But yeah, August 5th has historically proven to be a good day for shooting; as I said, I’m typing this on the 4th, so I don’t know yet if this year will continue the trend. We’ll just have to see what else comes up in the next posts.
[This is how I get lots more page hits, as readers excitedly keep checking back. Drives me right to the top of search engines and ratings, let me tell you.]