Lens-Artists Challenge #252 What’s Buggin’ You?

This week, Donna of Wind Kisses is hosting the Lens-Artist Challenge with a focus on, What’s Bugging You? She thinks that the true challenge here is that encounters are rarely purposeful, and bugs are never willing participants. Some will flitter around and finally land on a leaf. Some pollen collectors will ignore the photographer and some will look straight at you.

Plenty of things are buggin’ me, but this post is strictly about the ones found in nature. I captured most of these images in California. The arachnids I discovered on The Big Island and in Kauai. All except the first one were found outside of a dwelling. Unfortunately, last night as I sat down to watch television, my Moxie kept looking at the lampshade. And there I discovered a VERY unwanted intruder. I captured it in a jar and took a photograph.

Who is this uninvited intruder?

Now I get to the real purpose of this particular blog. Insects I come across in nature. They are usually found around flowers, and I do appreciate their reason for being. The only one that I did not capture, and I have found no reason for being is the mosquito. In some seasons I appeal to them more often. Other times, I can go a long time before their nasty bite comes along. I am not a fan of putting on insect repellant either.

Busy Bees

Photography leads to learning about my images. I did not know the difference between honey bees and bumble bees.

This is the first photograph I sold. It was taken at Effie Yeaw.

I believe this is a honey bee
Honey Bee
Carpenter Bee stay away from my house.
Bees ready to pollinate the sunflower fields

Wasps – Don’t get in their way!

Wasps have black and yellow rings around their body
A wasp

The Fly – Not the dance by Chubby Checker

A solitary fly

Damsels and Dragons in distress?

Golden flecks on this one
Found this one at the Sacramento Zoo landing freely on this plant
Once a dragonfly lands it returns to the same spot. This one wanted to pose.
Landing on a zinnia bud
Balancing on a lotus flower bud
This damsel/dragonfly casts a shadow on the lotus leaf

Beetles – Not the Sixties group

I see a face, do you?
On a cactus in Sedona, Arizona
On a California Poppy in Carmel, Ca.
A pair of ladybugs or ladybird beetles
Another beetle. There are so many kinds.

Butterflies and Moths

Monarch lands on a Coneflower
Sun captures this moth
Lands on a Zinnia

The religious kind – Praying Mantis

Posing on a hydrangea
I’m looking at you
Just hangin’ around

Arachnids: Spiders and their webs

A local arachnid found in a local Sacramento garden
Aloha from Kauai
Locally grown in Sacramento
Found on a California Poppy
Beautiful web design catches the morning sun.
Beautiful web design with dew drops in the morning sun

Water bug

Just doing the backstroke at the Empire Mine water lily pond

On Friday I find out what kind of visitor I have invading my domain. I hope the resolution will be painless for all concerned.

Just some of the little creatures I captured along the way as I explore the world around me. Do you have any favorite bugs?

Lens-Artists Challenge #251 Buildings and Other Structures

Anne challenges me, to find fascinating structures that capture my attention, tell a story, or are just beautiful.

This gives me the opportunity to look at photographs from my New York City trip. I am originally from New York. Born in Manhattan but lived in Queens, and after the age of ten, I lived a suburban life on Long Island. Plainview to be specific. There is a vast difference between those 2 views. In 1978 the family left Queens, New York, and moved to Southern California. This was fortuitous since my husband worked on the 82nd floor of the World Trade Tower 2. Two years later we relocated to Northern California and settled in Sacramento. Did I know that my apartment in Northridge would be flattened in an earthquake? I now live in Fair Oaks part of Sacramento County for over 5 years.

In March 2020 we had tickets to New York City. At the very last minute we canceled, and New York City closed down. I don’t know why I don’t buy lottery tickets!

Leaving Kennedy Airport in Queens for Manhattan.

The architecture of the old TWA building.

But I still feel like a New Yorker, and when we visit we stay in New York City at The Lucerne.

This is a landmark building on the upper west side
The Lucerne on 79th Street
A condo was built in the space between

We made sure to visit different parts of the city each time.


The Empire State Building

On this very foggy day, we were told that there would be nothing to view from above. We came back another day for the view.

One World Trade Center

2014 was too soon to visit the site. There were still a lot of memories and a lot of construction.


2023 we visit One World Trade Center

Bird’s eye look at Manhattan

Going up to the One World Trade Observatory. Look at the view.

Amazing architecture

Madison Square Garden
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. “The Met”
This full facade was moved to The Met from Wall Street
Macy’s on 34th Street. Just think of the Thanksgiving Parade.

So much remains, and so much changes. A couple of weeks after we visited The American Museum of Natural History an addition opened up. I visited this museum often when I was growing up. My Aunt Li, Uncle Henry, and Cousin Ricky lived about 10 blocks away. And as it happened my mother selected an orthodontist around the corner. So trips to the city were frequent. Without the new addition, I was still in awe of the changes made to this museum and the Hayden Planetarium located there.


Grand Central Terminal – outside and inside

The Oculus

2014 The Oculus under construction
The Oculus

So many memories, and so many new places to see.I hope you liked this whirlwind tour of New York City.

Lens-Artists Challenge #250 SKyscapes or Cloudscapes

This week Amy of The World is a Book challenges me to select a few cloudscape photos.

Having had a long period of drought, I value a cloudy sky. I especially like those puffy white clouds that I can imagine all sorts of stories. Usually, the summer skies can be a bit drab. Beating hot sun, and not a cloud in the sky. At that time a nice cloud cover is welcome. Sunsets and clouds are beautiful. A cloudy winter’s day can give me a feeling of moodiness. Clouds with the anticipation of rain can be welcome. Or if it goes on for too many days, it can make me want to stay in bed longer.

I often take a photo of the clouds with the thought that I might want to exchange a boring, bland sky for a cloudy one. It never happens, but I do have a fun library to look at when it can to this challenge.

Puffy clouds to imagine stories

What can you imagine is happening?
Something is up in the clouds
Can you see it?
A Sedona sky at sunset

Clouds at the shore

Maui Hawaii at sunset
Maui Sunset Cruise
Sacramento Wildlife Refuge
Laguna Beach before it rains
McKinley Park

Sunsets and clouds

Sailor Bar off the American River
Wonderful cloud formations in Sedona Arizona
Another from Sedona, Arizona

Clouds take their place in landscapes

Clouds in winter

Sacramento winter
This moody Livermore sky would work for a scary Halloween theme

Airplane View of clouds

That is all folks. When you go outside be sure to look up! Or out, or down!

My photo collection has over 200 cloudy images. It is fun to go back and review my collection. One of the perks of participating in these Lens-Artist challenges. What are your thoughts?

Lens-Artists Challenge #249 Public Art

This week’s Journeys by Johnbo challenge features a focus on the arts. Public art in all its forms and locations. Whether in a park or a parking lot, an outdoor theater, or a street corner, art in public places can be found in communities worldwide.

Sidewalk Art

Found outside a store. It has a message.
Hanging out in Roseville, Ca.

Airport Art

Baggage Claim at the Sacramento Metro Airport
Big Red Rabbit seeing travelers at the Sacramento Metro Airport
Indianapolis Airport

Art Found in a Park Setting

Dancing in Eureka, Ca.

Memorial Art

Cyclist Street Memorial
911 Tribute in 2018 Sacramento, Ca.

Art representing place

One day this sculpture appeared on the corner of Eastern and Marconi. I went home, grabbed my camera, and headed back. A while later it was gone.

Before galloping away

A couple of years later, this rooster appeared at this remodeled shopping center. So far, this rooster has found its home in Fair Oaks.

Fair Oaks Rooster
Historical Monument in front of Mono County Courthouse
Entitled Double Check in Zuccotti Park in Manhattan
George M Cohan on Duffy Square in New York City
Maui, Hawaii
Claude Chana Prospecter, founding father of Auburn Ca.
“Welcome” to visitors of Rough and Ready, Ca.

 Animals in Public Art

Napa, Ca.

Public Art that enhances its surroundings

Found this creative exhibit of public art in South Sacramento in a vacant lot.

Have I shown you something that you yourself have seen? Are there similar works of public art where you are? There is always surprises to see! Enjoy.