These shiny butted bumblebees (or possibly carpenter bees, I'm not positive) were just swarming all around the balloon flowers. I was right in the middle of them, but they paid no attention to me. Good thing, too. I remember trying to catch them as a child when they would go down inside a deep flower and I would grab the end of the flower and close it up. Actually I only think I did that ONCE! Now the only thing I try to capture is their image.
Every third Saturday night, at least during the summer, owners of antique and restored vehicles gather in a parking lot in Columbiana, Alabama, and sit around admiring each other's vehicles and swapping tales. I wandered around a couple of weeks ago and tried to get some photos of shiny stuff (there was plenty of it around). This was the engine in a restored Corvette.
Like Dusty said on his blog the other day, these guys are incredibly hyperactive and difficult to catch. This one had staked out this twig as his home base (at least for a few minutes) and was using it as his lookout position to guard his little corner of the lake. When any other dragonfly, or mosquito hawk as I grew up calling them, came near, he would dart at them, chase them away, and return to his perch. Since he routinely landed near the same spot, I set up the tripod, focussed on that spot, and waited with the shutter release cable in my hand. He would land and I would trip off several shots. Until that afternoon I really did not know there are so many different kinds of dragonflies, many sizes, and colors, but all the same basic helicopter shape. And all very adept at changing directions abruptly in mid-air.
The 2 Things Challenge this week is Star/Appeal. I have enjoyed taking some photos of the night sky, so I guess you could say it "appeals" to me, and this cluster particularly appeals to me. It is Pleiades, otherwise known as the "Seven Sisters." It is one of the nearest star clusters to earth, and it's been around a while. I even remember it from when I was a child. The thing is, we used to think of it as the Little Dipper. It is not the Little Dipper, but we were kids and didn't know any better. Neither did our parents. I was almost disappointed a few years ago when I got a star book and looked it up. But then I thought the real names, Pleiades, and Seven Sisters, were just as appealing as Little Dipper would have been. Now I look for it it the winter sky whenever I'm outside, in the country, away from the city lights. Fortunately this one is bright enough to be seen even through some of the light pollution.