Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #226 Textures

When I am out and about, I often focus on textures. Getting up close and personal with my subject matter. So this week’s challenge was just up my alley. Jude (Cornwall in Colours) says, “Study the texture and forget about what it is you are photographing, imagine reaching out and touching a photograph. What would you feel?  Is it hard or soft, smooth or rough? Texture becomes the subject here.” And so I will meet this challenge.

Animal Textures

Giraffe close up
All the textures of the Lion

Peeling Textures

Plant Textures

Man-Made Textures

Natural Textures

Unidentified Objects

Years ago I subscribed to a magazine for my young son, and on the last page there would be an abstract close-up photo with the caption, “Can you guess what this is?” So I began to photograph with this in mind. Some of these you will be able to figure out easily, others may be trickier.

So, how well did you do?

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #225 Wildlife Close to Home

Anne (Slow Shutter Speed) challenges me to look for non-domestic animals that live in my neighborhood. I live in Fair Oaks and much of the surrounding wildlife preserves and nature centers Anne has done a wonderful job describing. So I will look in my backyard, mostly.

Squirrels

This little guy (not sure of the gender) loved to eat the cactus that I called “Bob & Bea”. Bob and Bea were neighbors who lived across the street and gifted us this plant. One late, late evening I got a call that I had to come right away. I rushed right over for this emergency. This cactus blooms once at night and they didn’t want me to miss it. In my backyard, this plant bloomed over and over. Oh, back to the squirrel. He/she would come every day and eat just a little. Until there was no more plant. At the time I didn’t mind the company.

In my current house, my neighbor’s trees host many squirrels. There is an oak tree, a blackberry bush, and many other tidbits to munch on. But here in my yard, these industrious workers look for places to bury their acorns. My flower pots with their lovely soft soil are perfect. Not so cute when the dirt is dumped out of the pot, or the plants are uprooted. My dog Moxie is fascinated by squirrels. She doesn’t chase them away, she watches them quietly.

Birds

This summer a pair of Spotted Towee birds built a nest in my oleander bushes. I learned to recognize their particular bird call. While enjoying some of the berries I captured this image with my new iPhone 13 Pro.

While looking out my window this turkey surprised me.

Insects

Using my Fuji 80mm macro lens I was able to shoot some visitors to my garden. This dragonfly showed up for his photo shoot on time.

This fly knew it was better to settle outside on my succulent than in my house.

Green Acres Nursery opened up a short distance from my house. Sometimes I will visit with my camera, and sometimes I visit with Moxie. Both are welcome there.

Not quite wild, but unexpected

While visiting a local park with my grandson we came across some goats. Goats are used here to clear fields to prevent fires.

Thanks for checking out the local wildlife found in my Fair Oaks backyard and surrounding areas. What animals can you find in your local area if you stop, look and listen? Do any of my animals specifically capture your attention?

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #223 Flights of Fancy

For this week’s challenge Journeys with Johnbo has me considering sharing images of interesting or unusual subjects that represent notions or ideas that seem incredible even today or seemed unrealistic at some point in the past.

An idea, narrative, suggestion, etc., which is extremely imaginative and which appears to be entirely unrealistic, untrue, or impractical; thinking which is very speculative.

My usual dream state is very practical, and not very whimsical. When I was a child I had a recurring dream of being able to fly and living in a department store. Now, most dreams I have are realistic, and lean toward darkness. But in my photography I look for fun and imaginative images.

Taken at a fountain I saw this figure pop into view.

The bark on this tree calls out to me.

Funny little person is ready to drive away.

I think I see some dogs starring at me.

Is this a duck?

This airport monitor just saw something frightful!

This rock formation on Maui talks to me in all kinds of ways.

Some more whimsical images.

Sometimes I feel like my dogs are trying hard to talk to me. What wisdom can they impart?

This last image expresses my my dream state of being able to fly away!

Now you can see that my photography gives me room to take flights of fancy.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 222 The Mountains are Calling!

This week Amy (The World is a Book) has challenged me to go to the mountains, and so I shall. 
Traveling has been limited to Sacramento lately. Not exactly sure why. But these photo challenges gives me a good reason to check out my library. The highest mountain I ever visited was the Himalayas when I visited Nepal in 1965. At the time Kathmandu had traveler restrictions, and two small hotels. The Royal Nepal Airline had 3 planes, not a modern jet plane. We traveled between the peaks. A pretty scary ride. But alas I don’t have any photographs.
Sacramento is located two hours from the Sierras and Lake Tahoe. Heading east Donner Lake is a beautiful, quiet stop.

Donner Lake in the fall
Donner Lake in the winter
Yosemite in the Sierras
Yosemite
A weather change as I leave Yosemite
Flying over the Sierras
Outside Bodie located in the eastern Sierras. Do you see what I see?
Bodie California – the Sierras in the distance

Heading east the Sutter Buttes make for a rural landscape.

Cow posing.

Northern California’s Coast range provides many photo opportunities just as long as there is a place to pull over. Otherwise commuter traffic makes this prohibitive.

Stopping on this winding road between Livermore and San Jose.
Anne will always remember this drive!
Coastal Range taken near Big Basin Redwoods State Park

My first trip with my dslr Nikon D70 was to Seattle, Washington.

On a clear day I see Mt Rainier from my Seattle hotel room

So this ends my tour of my Western United States mountains that call to me. Any image catch your attention?