Friday, December 26, 2014

Morning Fog Envelops an Abandoned Farmhouse

Morning Fog envelops an Abandoned Farmhouse in rural Butler County, Alabama

This and other photographs from rural Alabama can be found on the website, here.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Abandoned Farmhouse in the Fog, Butler County

An Abandoned Farmhouse in the Fog in rural Butler County, Alabama

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Low Drifting Fog over the Foothills, Fort Payne

A low, drifting fog overlays the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in Fort Payne, Alabama.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Frosty Morning at a Cattle Pool, Shelby County

Frosty Morning at a Cattle Pool in Shelby County, near Columbiana, Alabama.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

2014 3rd Annual Gardendale Turkey Trot

The 2014 3rd Annual Gardendale Turkey Trot raised money for Firehouse Shelter and was supported by a number of local businesses and organizations, including: Run Gardendale, Buffalo Wild Wings in Gardendale, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Mordecai Sports, and Alabama Power. 

Participation in the event has grown significantly each year, starting with about thirty folks in its inaugural running in 2012, and growing to more than 90 runners in 2013 (gallery). This third edition of the Gardendale Turkey Trot saw more than 115 registered runners, with dozens of others who showed up on race day.

This was my first occasion not to run in the event, which was disappointing but allowed me to thoroughly photograph the run and most of its participants.

The photographs can also be seen at the gallery: 2014 3rd Annual Gardendale Turkey Trot

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Darby, a Free Spirit among the Wildflowers

Darby romping among the Partridge Pea and other Wildflowers on the Rails to Trails

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Spiders of Summer: Orchard Spider Eating Captured Prey

An Orchard Spider (Leucauge venusta, an orb weaver) consuming a Fly
that it has ensnared in my Tomato Garden.

This same spider was photographed earlier in the summer, here.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Spiders of Summer: Orchard Spider Approaching Prey

An Orchard Spider is bearing down on a Fly that has been caught in its Web.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Spiders of Summer: Corn Spider in the Rose Garden

This Corn Spider (Argiope aurantia) has been regulating the insect population 
in our knockout rose garden throughout summer.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

NYC: Manhattan Skyline from the Top of the Rock

On our last night in New York City, we went to top of the Rockefeller Center ("Top of the Rock") to observe Manhattan from a height. Toward the center of the frame is the Empire State Building, while the Freedom Tower lies over its shoulder, and Lady Liberty is indistinguishable in the distance.

This and other photographs of New York City can be found at the gallery: NYC.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

NYC: Picture Time at Bethesda Terrace in Central Park

On the final day of the trip in New York City, we made the trek over to my favorite structure at Central Park, the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain.

Picture time at the Bethesda Fountain and Terrace in New York's Central Park

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Cacophony of Commotion in Grand Central Terminal

Some are rushed and others more deliberate in New York City's Grand Central Terminal.
This and other photographs of New York can be found at the gallery: NYC.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

NYC: Central Park Stroll and a Dog on a Park Bench

Although walking had become largely painful at this point due to the excessive mileage we had put on our feet in such a limited window of time, we couldn't help but meander through Central Park on our last day in the city. And what would happenstance bring us but a dog on a park bench.

A stroll through New York's Central Park and a Dog on a Park Bench

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

NYC: Workers Repainting the Brooklyn Bridge

Workers seen taking a break from the renovations and repainting
of support cables to the Brooklyn Bridge. 

This and other photographs from New York City can be seen at the gallery: NYC.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

NYC: Downtime in the Hotel between Excursions

Perusing our Midtown Manhattan hotel's literary offerings in some downtime between outings

Monday, July 7, 2014

NYC: Hazy Orthodoxy in Distant New Jersey

An orthodox church in New Jersey seen in the hazy distance from Midtown Manhattan

Saturday, July 5, 2014

NYC: Paddling the Reservoir at Central Park

Paddling the Reservoir at Central Park beneath the Skyline of Midtown Manhattan.

See this and more photos of New York City at the gallery: NYC.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

NYC: Grant's Tomb on the Upper West Side

The thing about visiting the tomb of President Ulysses S. Grant is that you need a good reason to be up that way. For example, we ate breakfast at Tom's Restaurant (the diner in Seinfeld), then walked up to Columbia University, and up and over to Grant's  Tomb. If you're wanting to go to a place where the tourists start to spread a little thin, you're getting close.

The other thing about visiting this monument is that if you want to catch a particular train that will take you down to the east side of Central Park, you might have to walk through the heart of Harlem to get there, and that might be uncomfortable. And if you're really looking for a place without tourists, you've found your mark. [Note: You might also hear on the news the next morning, as we did, that two men were stabbed to death in close proximity to where you had been walking to the subway.]

Monday, June 30, 2014

NYC: Central Park and Midtown on an Early Morning Run

On our recent trip to New York City, one of my desires was to run through Central Park, and I knew that if I didn't go on that first morning, I wasn't likely to go at all. So I got up with the sun, lit out from our hotel, and encountered a park entrance a few blocks north. While it was as enjoyable a run as I had hoped, the thing that stood out most was that there were some really foul stenches emanating from that place, in addition to the nice natural smells.

View of Midtown Manhattan from New York City's Central Park in Early Morning

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Purple Tulip, a Turkish Delight

An interesting note about tulips: They were first introduced into the Western world via the Ottoman Empire (modern-day Turkey). This and other photographs of tulips and various other flowers can be found in the gallery, Flora.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tree and Pasture in Rural Montgomery County, Alabama

Tree and Pasture in Rural Montgomery County, Alabama

See this and other Alabama landscapes at the gallery, Alabama the Beautiful.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Farmhouse and Pasture in Montgomery County, Alabama

Farmhouse and Pasture in rural Montgomery County, Alabama

This and other such rural landscapes can be found in the gallery, Elsewhere in Alabama.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Spiderlings on a Knockout Rose in the Rose Garden

It was a couple of weeks ago now that I went out to check on the plants in the rose and vegetable gardens. 

On one of the knockout roses, I saw a web covering a couple of the blooms. My first thought was that a tent caterpillar or other such critter had invaded.

But upon closer inspection, it became apparent that there were small beings crawling all over and around the webbed bloom. Spiderlings had been hatched and were frenetically scattering to and fro. 

I can't say they were cute or cuddly, but they were superbly interesting to watch.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Encountering a Runner with my Furry Companion, Darby

While Darby and I were out for an afternoon run this past weekend on the Rails to Trails at Black Creek Park, on the return leg of an out-and-back, we approached a fellow runner. 

As she got closer, I observed what appeared to be an expression of recognition on her face. So I immediately went into "Do I know her?! I don't know her?! Maybe I should know her!" mode. 

As we got within a few yards of one another, she pulled to a stop and asked, "Is that Darby?" I must have appeared bemused when I affirmed that it was. She proceeded to tell me that she had recently moved here from Hoover and had come across this blog while in search of places to run. She had read the blogs featuring Darby at Black Creek Park and on the Rails to Trails.

So recent transferee from Hoover, if you're still visiting here, we hope you enjoy our little stretch of woods, and Darby and I are glad to have met you!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Lowland Marsh on the Cahaba River, Bibb County (Part 2)

Lowland Marsh on the Cahaba River in Bibb County, Alabama

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Sunday, May 11, 2014

An Inchworm, Caterpillar of the Geometer Moth

An Inchworm, Caterpillar of the Geometer Moth (Geometroidae sp.)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Orchard Spider, an Orb Weaver

This young Orchard Spider (Leucauge venusta), who belongs in the Orb Weaver family, had hanged her web over my equally young tomato plants, and if I had a way to encourage it to stay there for the duration of the summer, I would have done so. While the bottom of its thorax is black-green-orange, the top side is predominantly silver with black and green accents. These spiders can be found through North and Central America.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Burrowing of the Carpenter Bee

I recently constructed a wooden structure to house my smoker and grill. I immediately stained the entirety of the outside and parts of the interior of the cabinet. But there were a few parts of the interior that I didn't get to, having run out of stain and sealer.

It didn't take long for the carpenter bees that heavily populate our area to locate the new pine and begin burrowing. Their jaws are incredibly effective and surprisingly noisy.

Now I'll have to hurry to finish the project, lest nothing be left to stain.

A collection of other posts involving bees or carpenter bees can be found here: Carpenter Bees.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Winter Dark Firefly (Ellychnia corrusca)

While outside tending the garden the other day, I noticed this bizarre-looking fellow slowly scaling the brick wall. Of course, I had a camera nearby, and of course, I took the opportunity to photograph him (or her).

The Winter Dark Firefly (Ellychnia corrusca) come out in late winter and early spring. They, like the more common fireflies seen in the summer, are bioluminescent. But the Winter Dark Firefly is much larger in size, coming in at about a half-inch or so.

There are several varieties of these lightning bugs, each with different color markings, including black, brown, red, yellow, and orange. Like other members of the beetle family, the Winter Dark Firefly defends itself by unleashing a smelly substance from its legs onto perceived predators.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Nest Building with the Queen of the Paper Wasps

Now that Spring is well upon us and the flowers are budding and the vegetable plants beginning to bear some blooms, the flying insects too are out in full force. But despite the purported benefits of wasps for gardeners such as myself (ie: they aid in pollination and eating harmful insects), I have a really difficult time allowing them to live in close proximity to my little vegetable patch, where they will fly by my ears and cause me to dance like a lunatic all season. But I would like to encourage them to visit when I'm not around.

Queen Paper Wasp (Red Wasp) building her nest alongst my Vegetable Garden

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spring's First Knockout Rose in Morning Light

The thing about getting a new macro lens, in my case the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens, is it causes you to want to photograph everything up close, really close. In this case, here's the first Knockout Rose of the Spring, pictured in early morning light.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Violets on the Rails to Trails, Black Creek Park

Although there a now hundreds of violets, and assorted other flowers, that litters the side of Black Creek Park's Rails to Trails, these were the first that I observed, as late Winter evolved into early Spring several weeks ago.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

More Blue Were the Reflections at Black Creek

The later the day got, the deeper and more blue were the reflections on this early Spring day
at Black Creek, near Black Creek Park in Fultondale, Alabama.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Early Spring Reflections at Black Creek

Reflections in Early Spring at Black Creek, near Black Creek Park, Fultondale

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Darby at Full Speed, Ears Flailing at the Rails to Trails

Even when running at full speed, ears flapping furiously, the apparent smile on Darby's face gives evidence to the notion that this creature knows how to soak in life's simple pleasures. On this day that included swimming in Black Creek, hiking in the woods, hopping through piles of leaves, and running the Rails to Trails at Black Creek Park, all of which gave rise to the need for a bath (in which Darby found no pleasure).

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Darby Navigating the Waters at Black Creek Park

In keeping with recent Darby-themed posts, my Golden Retriever and I recently went on a walk at Black Creek Park, at which one of us could not help but navigate and submerge herself into the creek's still-frigid waters.

Golden Retriever at Black Creek Park in Fultondale

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Darby, Surveying the Landscape for Adventure

Having frolicked through the frigid waters that eventually flow into Black Creek, alongside the Rails to Trails in Fultondale, Darby ascends the banks and surveys the landscape to determine the next adventure that's on her horizon.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Darby, the Queen of her Domain

Darby is the Queen of her Domain, and the Ottoman in her Purchase.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Decrepit Culvert at Black Creek, Fultondale

Presumably, when the railroad above this culvert was built many moons ago, the structure here was much more squared than what it has become now. In apparent danger of eventual collapse, this culvert allows the passage of one of the many streams that feeds Black Creek in Fultondale, Alabama. Hopefully, despite appearances, it has many good years of service left.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Late Winter Dandelion in Monochrome

A Dandelion has sprouted in late Winter, the forebear of Spring to come.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Ants Scavenge a Dandelion in Late Winter

Before Winter's heavy curtain falls revealing the promise of Spring, the storehouses deep within the labyrinth grow thin and the pangs of hunger set it. The laborers are sent out to scavenge for whatever can be found in this dreary hour. Dandelions and other winter flowers are combed for any treasure they might contain. Finding little, the ant invaders move on tirelessly attempting to meet the needs of the tribe.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Darby Surveying with a Snow-Powdered Nose

After romping through the snow with an overly zealous fervor, Darby takes the time afterward to survey the destruction her raucous behavior has visited on the previously pure sheet of snow. Her keen sense will notify her if she has left any patch undisturbed, where she might go root about with her snow-splashed nose.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Romping in a Winter Wonderland with Darby, Fultondale

With a second winter storm in as many weeks that visited us in Birmingham in mid-February 2014, this time dropping four inches of powdery snow, our Golden Retriever could not be contained inside. Renewing her enthusiasm for water in all its forms, Darby can be seen here at full tilt making laps around the yard as though it were the Talladega Super Speedway.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Moss-Tinged Bark on an Evergreen, Marshall County

Moss-Tinged Bark on an Evergreen near Lake Guntersville in Marshall County, Alabama

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Serpentine Landscapes in Marshall County

Serpentine Landscapes in Marshall County, Alabama

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Great Blue Heron in Flight at Lake Guntersville

Great Blue Heron in Flight at Lake Guntersville, in Lake Guntersville State Park, Alabama

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Great Blue Heron and American Coot, Lake Guntersville

Panorama of a Great Blue Heron and American Coot
at Lake Guntersville, in Lake Guntersville State Park, Alabama

Find this and other photos of bird and wildlife in the Galleries.

Friday, February 21, 2014