Thursday, July 3, 2014

God's Handiwork

Before the heat and humidity zapped my will to live, I was able to spend about an hour at the local arboretum on the 26th of June. With sweat dripping into my eyes and soaking wet clothes, I know I looked a fright. Nearby were a few photographers planning a wedding reception with a bride, and every now and then they looked my way. I must've looked like some crazy lady as I scoured the plants for bugs, inspecting leaves with my readers, groping through tall stalks, kneeling on the pond's edge. Yes, I was ashamed at how awful I looked, but I kept my head down as much as possible, not only to avoid their pitiful stares, but also to at least come away with a few decent shots. Okay, enough babbling. Here is my offering to you today...
All I know is that this is from a magnolia tree. Sadly, I have no idea if it's a bud or a spent bloom.

I love this photo despite the fact that it's not technically correct in many ways,
but because I kept thinking how wonderful it would be if my world was a flower petal
and how lucky this little fella was to have such a wonderful space in which to live and explore.

Some type of beetle I think. I watched him climb from the bottom of the stalk all the way to the top.
I was like, "You GO, little dude!" Not out loud, though. The people there already thought I was not right in the head.

I don't think this creature appreciated me peeking in on him.

Finally! I was able to see two damselflies mating.
I have waited several years to witness this beautiful spectacle.

Uncropped--resized for blog.
When I first noticed this from a distance I thought it was a stick shaped like a heart. Then "it" flew off.
I'm sorry to say I violated the ethical codes of wildlife by stalking these two lovers. They finally got used to my presence
and stayed still on one leaf, so perhaps they weren't too traumatized by the paparazzo! lol

The storm clouds were gathering so I had to leave. I would have fainted eventually anyway.
Saw the arboretum fence and thought I'd better get the shot for Tex's Good Fences meme since I don't know
when I'll be able to get back outside again.
The beauty, diversity and complexity of our world astounds me, always. Yes, I complain frequently about the weather conditions, yet I always come away from these nature outings convinced of a creator, the one true God.
Romans 1:20 (CEV)
God’s eternal power and character cannot be seen. But from the beginning of creation, God has shown what these are like by all he has made...

I wish everyone a safe and happy 4th of July in the States! Double D and I will be attending a barbecue at my aunt and uncle's camp on the bayou.

Please click the photo to take you to the link-up and enjoy
fences from around the world.

Also linking with sweet Eileen at
Come join the fun. :)


53 comments:

Carole M. said...

delightful photographic moments; lucky you got this much when it was so frightfully hot; that does easily put you off getting out and about and doing like you did; cudos!

Jacquelineand.... said...

The wedding folks were probably jealous of your passion and dedication. Perhaps they should take a cue from it, since those are the very things which make for a good marriage!
Love the damselflies, and now I'm humming "Get Me To The Church On Time".

HOOTIN ANNI said...

I know exactly how you looked!! I'm in that sweating and fainting mode too around here. Oh the humidity. Hope those storm clouds produced some cooling [if very little] temps for you.

Love the mating capture. Well done! Well done. And the macro of the magnolia bud/blossom is outstanding.

Stay cool.

Felicia said...

I LOVE that first capture Gail and the rest are fantastic too.

I think its a spent bloom. I have one something like it.

EG CameraGirl said...

It has been hot and humid here too, unfortunately, so I think I can guess what you looked like. :)) Me too!

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

I'm so glad you bore that agony so you could provide us with our daily dose of God's beauty.

Loved those shots!!

cobie en bas van Es said...

dat kan je blijven verbazen daar zit alleen GOD,s hand in.

Hilary said...

What an entertaining post. You're too funny. :) I love the first one best of all.. it's a beautiful bloom.. spent or otherwise. And that little antenna-clad guy peeking back at you also made me smile.

Breathtaking said...

Considering the heat, you did a fantastic job of capturing some really interesting bugs, buds/ blooms, and beautiful dragonflies.
You made me smile too!Thank you!:)

Irma said...

Beautiful pictures and close-up, Gail.
My favorite is the first picture.
Today here too hot and even more tomorrow, then back less hot.

TexWisGirl said...

i know how humid it has felt lately in texas, so i know you must have been melting there. :) loved these insects! too cute! thanks for linking in the entrance, too!

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

Hey, if those bugs are out in the open and public, the snap away. YOU have some amazing shots there of GOD's creations; especially the magnolia bud. Its stage is when the flower has bloomed, the petals have fallen off, but that is not the end of the pod, it has more changes to do and they are spectacular.

You and I would scare people to death if we went shooting together. When I get hot, I sweat and my face turns eggplant purple... I even frighten perspective home buyers away. My neighbor is trying to sell their house, I was out the other day with purple face and one perspective looker, saw me and gave me a half hearted wave and ran to his car. I guess he thought he was going to have to give me mouth to mouth resuscitation. I do look a fright and people do get a very concern look on their face when they see me.
Happy shooting this 4th holiday.

hootnonny said...

Amazing images. The second R-rated image looks like a heart!

Bet you were having more fun than the bride!

bailey-road.com said...

Looks like that gate opens up to a nice, shady area, out of the hot sun.

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

As long as GOD is the god of my understanding, I am okay with the concept. The world is certainly a marvelous place. Check out my daughter's blog. You might enjoy it. Heart Tugs and Soul Musings link on my blog.

eileeninmd said...

It is hot & humid here too! Lovely images and a great fence find! Have a happy 4th of July weekend!

Lady Lilith said...

Cute bugs.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

As usual,your pictures amaze me.I do believe that a camera helps us to appreciate the intricate details of nature in a way that we would not otherwise. Through that experience we are drawn closer to God and that is wonderful.

barbara l. hale said...

I am having difficulties in this morbid weather, too. Just ten degrees cooler and a bit less humid and I would quit bellyachin'. But you did manage to get some great pics in spite of it all.

Carola Bartz said...

Such lovely photos - I have enjoyed every single one, especially the bugs!
Just don't care what others think of you! They obviously don't read your blog (they're missing out!).

(GBS) NewsFromTheHill said...

Amazing photo of the damselflies!!
Were you at Emory Smith's? So fun to hear about Louisiana (even the stories of the heat!). I grew up in Oak Hill adjoining Mr. Smith's and kept my horse in what's now the back meadow and more subdivision. I loved roaming his trails.... he was always so gracious to the neighborhood kids.

Brian King said...

Fantastic shots! Love the detail!

Michelle said...

Your macro shots are always so excellent. I love seeing the damselflies.

Barbara Shallue said...

These are all amazing. Thank you for getting up close and personal for us, so we can see the miracles and beauty of the world around us. Or at least around you. :) I love that the lovers form a heart!

DeniseinVA said...

Incredible what we can now see so closely. Brilliant macros Gail. I feel a bit of a wimp to complain about our humidity when I know it is much worse down your way. Not over the jet lag or the time difference yet :) but it helped getting up at 2.00 am and driving down to my in-laws for the 4th of July. We got there by 8.00am and as we are all experiencing the same zone time, they welcomed us as the early birds we were, especially as we walked in with doughnuts and coffee :)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...



So those other people at the Arboretum may have wondered about you, but your readers know you are a remarkable photographer who will brave the damp hot jungle to bring us priceless photos. Thank you!!!!

Stay cool if you can and thanks for leaving us these little miracles until you can get back outside. All the photos are amazing, but the damsel fly 'hearts' take my breath away!

Indrani said...

Absolutely fantastic macro captures. Love the world they have.

ladyfi said...

Just lovely!

Margaret Adamson said...

These are fantastic close up shots of all the insects. HAPPY 4th July.

Barb Brookbank said...

Beautiful captures, Gail! I love your "bugs"! I applaud you for staying in there for so long, I was almost sweating reading this...

Beth of "E." Lizard Breath Speaks said...

they look like a heart, is that the reason for the x-rated material? just kidding. i see dragonflies getting silly all the time. but i guess they are a different type or breed? i love the bug ... sorry can't recall the name. you really do get to see such amazing creatures.

happy 4th! ( :

Debbie said...

Don't look up, No eye contact, that's my motto and I use it often!!

These are all beautiful images, well worth the sweat. I really like the fence as well, the perfect ending to this wonderful series!!

Melissa said...

Very cool bigs as usual. Glad you got the damsel fly photo. They do look like a heart. I didn't know there was an ethical code about this, I guess the idea is that you would scare them away from mating?

Betty Manousos said...

OMG!! you're so talented!

fabulous macro shots! simply fabulous!!

happy 4th of july, gail!
xoxo

Roan said...

I'm always walking around looking up. Looking for those ever elusive birds. I'm sure people think I'm nuts. You have provided a beautiful array of critters, especially the damsels. They do look like a heart.

Slamdunk said...

Thanks for battling the elements to get us these shots. The heart-shaped bug is certainly an eye grabber. That was worth the trip there.

I hope you enjoy the barbecue and happy 4th back at you.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Gail, I think all your sweat and effort was well worth the stunning images captures of a bug's life. Yesterday, I saw 2 dragonflies attached as they were flying by. It's not the first time I have seen them mating this way, but so much appreciated your capturing an image.

Starla said...

Oh My Goodness!! What incredible detailed shots!! I will admit that I don't think to look for the itty bitty creatures. I guess I need to think outside my BIG view box and look inward more!

maryaustria said...

Such fantastic photos! Absolutely amazing!

LC said...

Loved this post that captures the joy and beauty of God's creation as well as the idiosyncracies of his creatures who plan outdoor wedding events in our climate of hot, humid weather.

Reminded me of an August wedding in a Biloxi courtyard that was so hot the candles melted so that they eased over and hung upside down from the candlelabra.

Renae of Simple Sequins said...

Ok awesome bugs and shots. really but,

But, listen to this: This NYC polish is so divine. It doesn't chip. I am going to get more shades in this brand and kick OPI to the curb. I have already kicked Essie to the curb. (even tho my Aunt has the same name. hahahahahahaha

Marie said...

I was thinking the damselflies looked like a heart, and then I read that you thought the same thing! What incredible photos! Wonderful macros of a world we rarely see and hardly appreciate.

(The bride should have planned her wedding for May...SHE's gonna be hot and sticky walking down that aisle!)

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

Hey Gail,
I bet Tammy@SimpleSouthernHappyness can tell you about the magnolia buds!! She has taken some excellent macro shots of them in different stages!! Loving your dragonflies!! They indeed are making the shape of a heart!

catskillblogger said...

You even make bugs look attractive. LOL

Pantherka said...

Really wonderful photos. So many beautiful animals I see in your blog. It's awesome.
Greetings.

Helma said...


Wonderful to see.
Your first picture is fantastic but also pictures 3 and 4 are beautiful.
Pretty sharp, bright and amazing colors.

Petra said...

Gail, I had to smile when reading your opening paragraph. Sometimes when I feel out of my comfort zone when taking a photo, I make enormous effort to block all the thoughts telling me that everyone must stare at me and judge me and my only wish is to accomplish the photo no matter what they think. The result is what matters, right? :)

The first photo from the magnolia tree is wonderful. Though I know a few magnolia trees I haven't noticed this on them, whatever it is... Next time I need to pay more attention!

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

I can picture you doing that!!!

Sally Crowe said...

Beautiful photo's and commentary. I hope you're enjoying this Sunday morning. :)

Barb said...

These shots are fabulous - thank goodness you braved the heat, humidity, and stares. The lovers and their heart connection makes my own heart flutter. You hit the jackpot with these. Enjoy the air conditioning - you deserve it.

Laura Delegal - Leroy Photography said...

Perfection as always. The first two are my favorite. The magnolia has bloomed but you are seeing it grow seeds. Each curly-Q of fuzz contains a seed. The covers will pop open and contain red seeds. :)

Joke (Joke's Camera) said...

Such a wonderful post, Gail. In my thoughts I can imagine you -soaking wet of the heat- looking for a subject to photograph. It made me smile. Picture 4 is my fave. I agree, the creation of the world/nature is amazing, every time again. By the way, pic 1 is an overblown flower of the Magnolia (I think the Grandiflorum). The leaves are just fallen off and after a while it will become a seed pod. Greetings, Joke

orchid Miyako said...

Oh, first of all I felt the same with your word sometime that you might have looked funny scoring for photogenic subject at the arboretum :-)

As you may know my husband looked so amazed with your dragonflies picture; and it sure looked heart shape. Your phrase "violating...." was so educating for me p;)

So sorry missing your post. Thank you very much for the wonderful photos and Take Care. We are experiencing heat and rain and big typhoon is coming p;)

Sending you Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*