Sunday, July 28, 2013

Enchanted in the Garden...

I find nature truly enchanting. From the smallest of winged visitors, sampling the nectar and pollen of blooming flowers to the beautiful patterns and textures of the plants that grow, it's all magic to me! To capture these creatures in motion, senses must be alert as their visits are often fleeting. I listen for the sounds of the birds and insects, and I try to identify who's call is whose. Yesterday, the high-pitched chirp of the hummingbird stopped me in my tracks. I rushed inside, snatched the zoom lens and tiptoed out to the garden. I absolutely adore these little creatures and rarely catch a glimpse in time before they buzz away. Luckily, this day, I was fortunate and captured a little darling, savoring our magenta bee balm's blooms. It's the first moment  thatI have ever snapped a single photo of a sweet hummer, and I wanted to share the multitude of images I captured! After he buzzed away, I found more enchanting subjects to photograph. Like a web, each character is delicately interwoven with the other, and we as humans participate in the magic of the story by planting flowers that attract and feed these little guys. And rather than cutting those plants down as they fade, we allow nature to play out its course as you will see below.... Enjoy!

Hummingbird-drinks-nectar

* One of my favorite images, captures both the beauty and composition of both this amazing little bird and the flower it feeds from...

Hummingbird-flight

* A flash a chartreuse scaled feathers, twinkles as this little guy bounces from bloom to boom...

Hummingbird-backside

* As he visits a bee balm blossom, he hovers mid-air, flapping his wings up to 80 times per second!...How amazing is that?!

Hummingbird-flies

* And, the shape of his long, pointed bill is designed to perfection for extracting that delicious sugar from the tubular flowers he is drawn to...

Perched-Hummingbird

* He buzzed away for a moment's rest, perching above on a juniper's branch. I caught a still of this little guy at rest, and was later dazzled to see the small, shiny magenta medallion at the center of his neck. That's what  I love about photography. It often reveal's nature's little details and secrets that we miss in our daily lives...

Hummingbird-with-Beebalm

* Another quick swoop down for a sweet drink, and poof, he was off and away! I am grateful for the few moments I had with this marvelous little bird...

Bumble-Bee-on-Beebalm

* Across the path, our purple-hued bee balms are also in bloom, attracting a large, fuzzy Bumble Bee! Then, I started to wonder how many types of bees there are in nature? Surely, there are more than we realize. And so the hunt began....

Honey-Bee-in-Poppy

* I quickly spotted a Honey Bee diving head first into an orange poppy....

Sunflower-almost-open

* And, then I headed over to our large cluster of sunflowers, planted by our bird friends! Not long ago, they were a mass of seedlings, and now they have surpassed me and JP in height. Not only are they cheerful and bright accents in the garden, they are also an important food source for our winged visitors...

Twin-Bees

* A pair of twin bees with long antennae kept circling this bloom.....

Yellow-Legged-Bee

* And another type of bee with fuzzy, fat yellow legs was feasting on this sunflower.... At a glance, I spotted 4 distinct types of bees during that short interval of time in our garden. But according to an online search, there are over 20,000 species of bees in the world! Wow!

Lesser-Goldfinch-feeds

* And, clearly the bees are not the only critters attracted to these sunflowers.... Take a closer look and you will see a yellow-bellied bird that was painted to blend right in to this grove of flowers...

Lesser-Goldfinch-looks

* I hid behind our vine-covered trellis and captured several shots of this Lesser Goldfinch with a zoom lens. These guys started visiting our yard, after our sunflowers became a perennial part of our garden landscape.

Lesser-Goldfinch-with-Sunflower

* I watch them from our kitchen window as I cook and clean, and it's fun to see how they forage for food...

Lesser-Goldfinch-tongue

* This guy perches on a spent seed head and plucks out each sunflower seed. Years ago, mindless of my surroundings, I would have cut these old flowers down after their petals dropped. But, now it's such a joy to see the cycles of nature, to offer food to these delightful little characters who add whimsy and motion to the landscape.

Lesser-Goldfinch

* And they're so beautiful to watch...

Lesser-Goldfinch-poser

* And it's fun to imagine little stories about each character. This guy looks like he's striking a pose while smoking his cigar..... hehe!

Flower-Keepers

* And who else did I spot in the garden?..... A pair of flower-themed kitties were nestled atop our geranium-filled window box!  They like to explore the magic of nature too..... Actually, I created these characters, inspired by details that delight me in my garden. The two are a special order for a therapist who loves my art and who works with children. Her request for these characters was so compelling, that I could not resist making them. Now, "Petals Pete" and "Garden Gertie" are on a mission to spread joy and smiles to her little patients in New York.... And hence, that intricate web of life continues to connect us all together through the magic of nature. May you have reverence for it, may it bring you joy and may it inspire you!

See you in the garden....
~ Johanna


7 comments:

Elma said...

Just amazing!! You see such amazing little creatures that God has made!!
Your garden is so beautiful just like your art!!

Johanna Parker said...

Ahhh, thank you Elma :)

xo,
~ Johanna

Carmen said...

Those are gorgeous shots!!! Love the kitties, too. ❤

Johanna Parker said...

Thank you Carmen! :) I think I got lucky!!

Birgit said...

The photos are just wonderful, Johanna. You captured all the little critters so very, very well. :)

Much like you I enjoy exploring the magic all around us. Thanks for sharing the magic in your garden with all of us!

Sure enough I like "Petals Pete" and "Garden Gertie," too -- what sweet smiles they have!

Happy summer from Germany,
Birgit

Johanna Parker said...

Happy summer to you too Birgit! I'm glad you enjoyed my photos, and it's fun to imagine you exploring the magical gardens in Germany..... Enjoy!

Best wishes from the U.S.A....
~ Johanna

Melissa Kojima said...

Wow! Your garden is so beautiful! Thanks for capturing some of the beautiful creatures who play in it. The Lesser Finch is so amazing to me.

And what a special commission from a therapist. There's no doubt your kitty sculptures will spread a lot of joy!

Yes, happy summer to you and everyone!