This has been a difficult summer for my photography. Blazing bright sunlight, temperatures that rarely dipped below the mid 90s, and serious allergy symptoms made the prospect of nature photography undesirable. When I did venture out, it was mostly in my backyard. Luckily, I have a bit of color there and recently captured some of my favorite wild and cultivated subjects.
Click on the photos to enlarge.
Male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail enjoying the nectar from my Sweet William plants. He was not as calm as the female I photographed a few days ago, but finally paused long enough for me to take a handheld macro photo. f2.8, ISO 200, shutter speed 1/640.
A cooperative effort this year produced our tasty heirloom tomato varieties. I started seeds in February and nurtured them to the seedling stage. Then Larry took responsibility for watering, pruning, natural insect and fungus control, and harvesting. I cooked two large batches of spaghetti sauce to freeze, many entrees and salads using fresh tomatoes, and batches of roasted tomatoes that we enjoy adding to heirloom bean dishes. We also gave tomatoes to several neighbors every week.
The squirrels in our backyard are mostly a nuisance; eating the birdseed and sometimes chewing the feeders. But they are cute and I caught this happy guy munching sunflower seeds.
I started Sweet William plants from seed this year and decided to plant them in large pots. They bloom continuously in pretty shades of purple, pink, white and a multi-colored blossom of pinks. We keep them in the shade most of the time because of the heat, but they bloom well with morning sun and little other care except watering. Their lovely fragrance is one I have not enjoyed since childhood.