It was a long, hot summer, but even so it had its precious moments. Earlier this spring I traded in my outdated but much loved Canon 5D Mark II camera and lenses and replaced them with an Olympus OM-D EM-1 and three lenses. I don’t have as many megapixels to work with, but there’s a lot less to carry, and I’ve been happy with the images from my mirrorless camera.
The smaller camera goes with me more often than the heavier Canon did, and walks at the farm always provide interesting shots. The stock ponds are beautiful when they are full as they are this year.
And then there are the critters. When I first saw this caterpillar dining on a milkweed, I thought it might be from the monarch butterflies that were once so plentiful. Not so, unfortunately. This guy is the larvae of one of the numerous varieties of swallowtail butterflies, the giant swallowtail, I think. I’ll keep looking for the monarchs, though. We’ve planted lots of flowers that should provide good food for them on their migrations.
Some flowers we didn’t plant, but they provide a lot of nectar. These blossoms are from the flame sumac, and they were full of honeybees.
There were lots of farm chores as well. Our coastal Bermuda field yielded 53 round bales this year. They were so heavy that John had to move them into the hay pen with the skid steer instead of the tractor.
And some of the critters I photographed were in my own backyard. Ribbit, for example, just got bigger and bigger, almost doubling in size before he finally left us in September.
Then, a few weeks ago we had a visit from this beautiful Polyphemus moth. A member of the family Saturniidae, or giant silk moths, they have an average wingspan of 15 cm and distinctive eye-like spots on their wings. This one hung around for an entire day and gave me lots of opportunities for photos. Aren't those antennae amazing!
And when she woke up, she was ready to play ball,
then have some toy time.
Colt got to accompany us several times to work sheep with Michele McGuire at Paws 4 Ewe Farm. Cooling off in the pool with Rue was a treat as well.
Of course, like everyone else we looked forward to the solar eclipse that would happen on September 21. We were not in the path of totality, but got a good look at it anyway. We first made a pinhole camera, but were disappointed at what we could see with it. Then John pulled out his welding helmet. It gave plenty of protection so we could gaze, and photograph, to our hearts' content.
I particularly liked the green cast given by the helmet, especially when a few wispy clouds drifted across the sun. It was beautiful, even if we didn't get the Full Monty, so to speak.