Iris, Iris, Iris

Five years ago when I first came to Shriner’s Iris Garden, I was overwhelmed by the vast varieties of Iris there and did not know where to start. I often think Iris and Rhoderdendron are gorgeous flowers, but they are not my favorite macro subjects. I am glad that I decided to go back and seek new angles to photograph them.

Ruching (wrinkles), to me, is the most charming part of Iris. They look like dancing Flamingo with their beautiful skirts sweeping in the wind. The color combination in a flower is amazing and the delicate details are intriguing.  I have to admit that I have found my new love.

As much as I like the natural look, texturing flower images is one of my most favorite things to do, so I did. I cannot say I like one more than the other. They are attractive in their own way and I like them both. Nature presents her Original and we are here to offer our human touch.

Twisted

Ever since I began to experiment with Lensbaby, my visual world has been turned and twisted around. I am no longer an advocate of tack sharp images. To me, the beauty is in subtlety, in vagueness, and in obscurity.  Reality is usually not as pretty as fantasy.

Had a little fun with Lensbaby Twist 60 this morning. There are certainly many twisted hidden in this lens. I love it. Just to share with you couple of examples.

Palouse- Painted Earth

Almost all the photographers have pressed their footprints here. In case you have not been here, Palouse region is located in eastern Washington, Colfax and Pullman area.

Crop field is just one of the subjects, but it is also the one I have been so addicted to. The wrapped-around rolling hills with the ever-changing lines, curves, and colors can take your breath away.

Imagine how God is manipulating his color pallet and painting it away.

Columbia Gorge

If you come to Oregon, you don’t want to miss Columbia River Gorge.

Broader view from Women’s Forum

Last September, a 15-year old teenager’s fireworks triggered a significant wildfire in Columbia Gorge area. I have often wondered how the damage impacted the view pointers like Multnomah Falls, Vista House, and Women’s Forum.

View Vista House from Women’s Forum

View from Vista House

Passing through two days ago, I am excited to see ‘business as usual’ and all three viewpoints are open to the visitors.

Birding in Costa Rica (5) – simply cuties

The feeder with papaya and banana were taken over by the big birds. The little guy Rufus-naped Warbler was peeking and waiting patiently. 

The shining skin makes it look like a porcelain Strawberry Frog. The ‘carpet’ underneath is actually a patch of dry grass with brown spots in the jungle. Pictures can be deceiving sometimes, but most of the time is for the good cause.

At least a dozen shots were taken for this cute Collard Redstar. He was there for a good ten minutes and jumping all over the place.

I love the shot of this White-Collard Manakin . Wish he was closer and I don’t have to remove so much noise. The image gets a bit soft after noise reduction. Besides Motmot, Manakin is my another favorite.

Birding in Costa Rica (4) – Hummingbirds

The number and species of Hummingbirds are astounding in Costa Rica. It’s not hard to capture some shots except that perfect shots do not come easy, and I tend not wanting to shoot them off the feeder. I like them to be in the natural environment. It is more challenging but also more rewarding.  Just to show a few.

Birding in Costa Rica (3) – about Gender

White-Whiskered Puffbirds

They are a pair. But which one is male and which is female? The bird on the right is not only more prominent, more active and it’s the one who brought its mate the food.  I was surprised to know that she is the female.

It puzzled me how God created the male and female so differently. I guess it is a protection that they are the only ones who identify their mates.  They are small, about 4 inches.

Here is another case. The turquoise-blue colored bird is a male bird, and he is named Green Honey Creeper, named after the female bird. I am guessing. The male bird was found and called before the female came around.  I don’t blame the person who named and categorized the birds. There are just too many to be tracked.

Costa Rica Birding (2) – brawls

Squirrels are aggressors when pursuing their food. Acorn Woodpecker is more courteous, but he could not help not to voice his complaint.

Hummingbirds are everywhere. I seldom see two of them on one feeder at home, but in Costa Rica, the feeders are often fully occupied. When the feeder is overly crowded, the fight occurred.