Saturday, July 12, 2008

Rainy day pictures

Our summer rains are here, posing a problem for the stroller, as well as for those wonderful Prescott outdoor events such as the Indian Art Fair at the Sharlot Hall Museum grounds today. I didn't go. Instead, I explored my own outback with the camera. Example: rain drops in a puddle. Thanks to the miracles of modern technology, 1) I was able to zoom in on the water while comfortably sheltered on my outdoor staircase landing and 2) I tried out the sports setting on the camera shutter to take a sequence of exposures rapidly (for a digicam) in hopes that I would get at least one shot like that above. It worked!

With water, water everywhere, no problem catching a drop or two on a fat succulent leaf.

Of course, this is also the time of year that Arizona woodlands grow a fast crop of mushrooms. The pretty red above was brought to me by a neighbor.

My old weathered landscaping wood is home to a few fungi, as well.

However, up the hill in the shade is a fallen log that is host to an absolute swarm of mushrooms. Reason enough to be sure you always have a fallen log somewhere in your yard.

A rainy day is also a good time to compare stumps. Above, a pine log, which has shrunk a lot more than its bark, which will peel off one of these days quite soon, I would guess. The oak below grows more slowly and must contain a lot less moisture, as it doesn't seem to shrink like the pine, nor does the bark show any inclination to peel. Another difference I noted is that the oak has a distinctive heartwood center, while the pine wood looks to be more uniform.

A good day for flower close-ups, too. The gallardia above is a composite, meaning that the real flowers are concentrated in the center, surrounded the pollen-coated pistils. As for the poppy pod below, it took the close-up photo te reveal just how hairy a plant it is! The poppy is a welcome surprise from a scattering of seeds I made a couple of years ago; this is the first time that plants have emerged.

And this is a small, insignificant local penstemon with a lovely collection of little lavender blossoms that begs for a macro setting. I've seen the little linarea-leaf penstemon in many sunny locations, mixed in with the grasses and other low growing plants.

No rainy day post would be complete without a critter picture! We've had a fair number of raven familial to-dos in the past week; for example, the #1 bird filled his/her beak in the neighbor's gutter and #2, an adolescent who still expects to be fed by the old folks, was shouting.

Our monsoon season even brings the occasional rainbow. This fragment caught my attention, especially with those strange dark diagonal streaks. Tomorrow? A political Bar-B-Q. I'm sure we'll be in a ramada ... just in case.


meggie said...

Very nice pics. I always feel sad for the dead tree, when I see stumps.

OmegaMom said...

Beautiful pics, mamasan. I particularly like the two shrooms on the log.

Anonymous said...

The photos were so good today that I can't even point out a specific one for comment.

Anonymous said...

The penstemon are gorgeous! Thanks for the macro shot.

P.S. The eagles are gone from Lynx Lake for this season, and the trail is reopened on the east side.

~Anon in AV.

The Artful RV Adventurer said...

Thank God for monsoons. What pleasant summer relief and much needed fire retardant. Good post G.

Granny J said...

meggie -- but look at the size! The trees lived long and well.

dotter -- I only wish we had some of those deadly big, bright red shrooms at lower elevations.

boonie -- you're making my head swell! I thank you.

anon av -- we have another wee penstemon that appears to grow only in limestone soils.

mark -- the two or three weeks before the rains arrive are always a bit of an agony: hot, hot, dry and worried about fires and whether or not we'll have good rains this year. And then they arrive and all is well with the world, except if you planned a picnic.

smilnsigh said...

Lovely photos, all. But I'm especially *jealous* of the rain drops in a puddle one. I try and try, and don't seem to _get_ a great photo of a puddle.

Oh well, just keep trying!

Miss Mari-Nanci

Granny J said...

SnS -- I really think the secret was using the sports setting to take a sequence of pictures, on of which might catch the droplets. Check to see if you have a setting like that.

Lane said...

Love those micros! Beautiful art shots!

Granny J said...

Niece -- them's sure flattering words!

Photo Blog Blog Top Sites Blog Directory for Prescott, AZ

Local Blogs - Blog Top Sites