I enjoy taking macro (close-up) photos of flowers and Spring is the best time to capture these beauties. The first photo below was taken on April 10 in an area of our front yard where we are growing a variety of wildflowers. Most of our flowers are native to our area and can be found in the woods and fields near by, but these Bleeding Hearts will not be found in the wild. They are much showier than the native variety. That is what makes them great photo subjects.
From the font yard we travel to the Smoky Mountains and a photo that was taken just 9 days later. We had spent a couple days in the park photographing wildflowers while hiking some of the trails. Driving down Newfound Gap Road toward the Sugarlands Visitor Center we came upon a bunch of cars and people on the side of the road. This can only mean one thing, a Bear Jam! Not wanting to miss out, we found a spot down the road, walked back and found there was a mother with a couple cubs about 50 yards off the road.
The bears were often hidden behind trees and this is not a great photo, but the our memories of this time are a funny story. This particular cub was sleeping high in a tree, oblivious to the crowds of people below with cameras and cell phones positioning to get a better view. As we were watching the bears, a well meaning but confused lady walked up and explained to us that the cub in the tree must be in distress and someone should do something. We couldn't convince her that cubs sleep high in the trees and was just fine. Frustrated with our lack of concern she moved on to plead her case to the next person. Eventually the cub realized mom was moving on and he better come on down or be left behind.
The next wildlife subject was also not in distress but was getting his fill of sugar water at our Hummingbird feeder.
There is something about birds of prey that draws our interest in ways that other birds just can't. Hawks, Eagles, and in this case, Osprey, fascinate June and I.
This bird took up residence in Warriors Path State Park this past fall. Following it around gave us many photo opportunities, such as this one with dinner in it's talons. I enjoy photographing birds and catching them in flight is a fun challenge.
The final photo in this set of favorites is not flowers in a perfect setting or wildlife in their habitats. I did not go out looking for this subject to photograph but instead found this literally right under my feet.
I like the simplicity of this photo. The horizontal lines contrast with the randomness of the leaves. The wood is almost black, contrasting with the golden leaves. No brilliant sunset, expansive mountains, or wildlife here. Just simple fall leaves.
I've got 10 more favorites to share in the next couple days. Come back to find out what others I like and why.