Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

August 2, 2014

Another First for this Summer

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 10:28 pm
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It’s happening again, the blog posts are stacking up! Today is actually a very special day, my younger daughter Sarah’s 17th birthday. However it is after 10 pm as I am writing this post, and I never posted yesterday’s photo. I will address Sarah’s birthday post tomorrow when my head is a little clearer and my body is hopefully a bit less tired!

Friday, August 1st was day 43 of summer. It was a day of running around, cleaning up and getting ready for Sarah’s party – none of which would provide a very interesting photo. I did get to photograph my first tiger swallowtail butterfly of the summer now that my one remaining butterfly bush is in bloom.

I feel like I’ve been having some issues with focus and exposure lately and I’m not sure if it is my camera or me! I’m guessing it is probably me. I did notice the exposure dial was not set in my normal position of “P” this evening, and I don’t know how long it has been that way. I’ve gotten lazy in my photography technique lately. Time to start paying better attention.

July 30, 2012

As Summer Wears On

Hard to believe it is nearly August.  Summer is passing too quickly!  A friend posted this on Facebook recently and I couldn’t agree more:

Four weeks from today I will be back in school, so I’m trying to remind myself to enjoy every moment.  Here are some moments I’ve recently enjoyed:


We celebrated my younger daughter’s 15th birthday with family and friends.  Her actual birthday is this Thursday, so I can’t help thinking about how 15 years ago at this time I was so huge and uncomfortable.  It was a nasty hot summer – kind of like how it has been around here recently – and nothing I did seemed to feel better.  15 years ago!  Wow!


And now:


We got some much needed rain this past weekend – unfortunately during Sarah’s birthday party.  I think the absolute heaviest was exactly when my husband was cooking at the grill:

Police department issued rain gear came in really handy!  Photo credit to Meghan and her iPod – she was more on the ball that I was.

In the quiet moments between shopping and cleaning and otherwise preparing for the party, the butterfly bushes provided more photography opportunities.  A couple of yellow tiger swallowtails have been happily cavorting:

yellow swallowtail 1

yellow swallowtail 2

yellow swallowtail 3

I found this species very interesting too:
Butterfly Bush collie

I think its Latin name is “collius buddlejollius”  😉 (okay who remembers that obscure reference from an earlier post?)

July has been pretty full of good summer fun – check my archives if you’d like to see what I’ve been up to – and August has plenty more to offer.  Meghan is going to have her senior portraits taken next week (YIKES!  I’m having a really hard time wrapping my head around the fact that my older daughter will be a senior in high school in 4 weeks!  How the heck did that happen?) and our family vacation to Maine comes up in less than 2 weeks.  And don’t forget – the “Ends of the Earth” photo hunt is in August too.

July 24, 2011

Portrait of a Summer Evening

I don’t have to tell you it is hot.  Seems most of the country has been experiencing a heat wave over the last few days.  Thankfully, at least around here, it seems to be breaking today.  Highs should only be in the upper 80’s and we have a chance for showers throughout the day.  Due to the heat of the day, evening has been the more pleasant time to head outside, and it is a nice time for taking pictures.

The girls came outside for a swim and hand-stand practice:


The day lillies glow in the evening:


One of my dahlias showed a deep red that I have difficulty capturing in the daytime:

The sky was painted with swirly clouds:


And some of my favorite summer creatures came around for a photo session:


Tiger Swallowtail butterfly


Hummingbird moth


and my hummingbird took his evening post.


Daphne says, “I don’t care what you think, Mom, it is still too hot!”

July 23, 2010


The butterfly bushes in my yard have gotten quite large this year and they have become the spot for meeting visitors to my yard, including the elusive hummingbird, who has been taunting me on a fairly regular basis now.  Lucky for me, butterflies seem to be happier to hang around and pose for a few pictures!  While I’m still waiting for a traditional monarch shot, I’ve gotten a few other interesting pictures, starting with the Great Spangled Frillitary a few weeks ago.

After the GSF, my next visitor to stay for a portrait was a Tiger Swallowtail:



It stayed around long enough for me to take a bunch of shots.  These were my three favorites.  I don’t remember how much I was thinking about the white balance and exposure compensation and ISO this day;  I just remember excitedly clicking away.  Is it just me, or is there something about dSLR’s that makes you just want to shoot again and again and again?  Maybe its because I’m new to them. 

 On this same day, another critter that I discovered for the first time only two years ago, appeared for a sip at the butterfly bush.  Its called a hummingbird moth.  Have you ever seen one of these before?



They are the size of a moth, sip from flowers like butterflies, and have wings that move as fast as, and allow them to hover like hummingbirds.

I danced around the butterfly bushes and the deck taking photo after photo of this fast-moving Pipevine Swallowtail.  It would land, I would focus, it would move.  I went up and down the deck stairs, to the tops and the bottoms of the butterfly bush chasing this butterfly around hoping for a nice shot.  Its movement was quite erratic and the wings rarely stopped moving so I found it challenging, but ended up with a few shots to share:

After I chased it around for a while, and realized it seemed happy to feed at my bushes for a while, it dawned on me, uh, Karen, why not try a fast shutter speed?  Oh yeah, I can do that easily now…

Stop-action on those crazy fast wings!  Yahoo! 

While this last one isn’t perfectly focused, I thought it had a bit of a moody, “artsy” feel to it with the edges of the wings in focus, the body blurred and the blue sky background:

I’m still hoping that my camera-shy hummingbird will make an appearance one of these days while I am outside with the camera at the ready, but for now I’m happy that at least the butterflies gave me the time of day!