Lens Artists Photo Challenge # 210 – Picking Favorites

In this challenge guest host Sarah asks us to pick three favorite photos and describe why they are favorites. I had a difficult time coming up with just three images but here they are.

My first image is one one I took earlier this summer while I was sitting in my back yard. I was hoping to capture birds at the feeder or butterflies on the flowers. The birds and butterflies didn’t cooperate so instead I took a few shots of the coneflowers using my telephoto lens. I’m happy with the effect and like the purplecone flower in the background.

Summer Coneflowers

I couldn’t pick three favorites without including a bird image. This next image is my favorite hummingbird image. I captured him from above as I was sitting on my deck above the flowers.

Ruby Throated Hummingbird

My final image is of two Orcas I captured on a wildlife cruise from Valdez, Alaska. Valdez was near the end of our nearly two months of traveling by RV through Alaska. We saw plenty of humpback whales on two other wildlife cruises but we had not yet seen any Orcas. This wildlife cruise would be our last chance to see them before we headed south for home. I was thrilled when a pod surfaced close to our boat and I was finally able to capture a few shots. This one is one of my favorite photos from the trip.

A pair of Orcas on Columbia Glacier tour from Valdez

Many thanks to guest host Sarah for this Lens-Artists Challenge #210 – Picking Favorites

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #194 – Bokeh

In photography, a Bokeh is the blurred or out of focus background in a photo. I’ve achieved this affect many times by setting the camera to aperture priority or by using a telephoto lens for taking close ups of birds or flowers. I never knew there was a name for this effect until I read Sophia’s challenge Lens’Artists #194: Bokeh

For Sofia‚Äôs challenge I chose a few images of this year’s spring blossoms from around my yard.

Thanks to Sophia for the challenge Lens’Artists #194: Bokeh

Caribbean Islands Adventure 2022 – Part 4: St. Lucia

January 16, 2022

Another day, another gorgeous, tropical Caribbean island. Our ship was docked in the capital city of Castries. The above image shows some of the colorful buildings in Castries as seen from the ship.

Castries, St. Lucia

There is so much to see in St. Lucia it would be impossible to see it all in one short shore excursion. The 237 square mile volcanic island is very mountainous with lush green tropical foliage, most of the island is covered in rain forest, and the waters surrounding the island provide many opportunities for boating, scuba diving and snorkeling.

We had been to St. Lucia twice before on dive trips. Both times we stayed in Soufriere on the western side of the island. When we weren’t scuba diving we were exploring around Soufriere, taking in the spectacular scenery, and enjoying the delicious local cuisine.

On our previous trips we didn’t get an opportunity to visit the northern part of the island so we chose to take a bus tour to see it. As our bus climbed the hills on steep, narrow roads with hairpin turns we were treated to jaw dropping scenic views and learned about the island from our guide Amelia. Tourism is the number one economy on St. Lucia.

Our destination was a private home called Stony Hill with magnificent views and beautiful gardens. We enjoyed listening to a steel drum as we relaxed with a cold fruit juice and delicious snack of banana bread and coconut cake.

Stony Hill, St. Lucia
Pigeon Island, St. Lucia – the island is a National Park
St. Lucia

I love lighthouses so I had to capture the Vigie Lighthouse as we cruised out to sea at the end of the day.

Vigie Lighthouse, St. Lucia sits high above the Caribbean Sea guarding the entrance to Castries

Fun things to know about St. Lucia:

  • St. Lucia is the first country to be named after a woman
  • St. Lucia has the world’s only drive-in volcano
  • St. Lucia is the home of the Pitons Mountain Range, a UNESCO World Heritage site 
  • Some scenes from the movie “Superman II” with Christopher Reeve were filmed in St. Lucia. In one scene he is seen flying by Petit Piton. One of the dive sites at the base of Petit Piton is nicknamed “Superman’s Flight” (yes, we dove it many years ago)

Where do you think we’ll be next? Stay tuned…

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #181 – Double Dipping

Tina is hosting this photo challenge and she is “suggesting that in addition to our challenge you explore and link to some of the other creative opportunities our friends and fellow challengers make available in the WP blogosphere or any other sites where you post photos.” Many thanks to Tina for encouraging us to participate in other challenges. Be sure to visit Tina’s original post Lens’Artists #181: Double Dipping

All the photos in this post were taken this week near where I live. The caption of each photo contains a link to the original challenge.

The Hibiscus (above) and Camellias (below) are blooming where I live.

January Camelia Cee’s Flower of the Day

For John’s Cellpic Sunday the only requirement is to include a photo taken with a cell phone, IPad or other mobile device. The next image was taken on an early morning walk with my IPhone 7S and then cropped and edited on my computer.

John’s Cellpic Sunday

Natalie wants to know how our week has been. My week as been filled with preparing for a trip and getting out to take a picture a day for nine days in a row. Maybe this is the year I’ll reach the goal of taking a picture a day for 365 days. This shrimp boat is one of my favorites from the week.

Natalie’s Weekend Coffee Share

Terri’s Sunday Stills challenge topic is “The Future is Ours”. A flower bud’s future is to become a flower. We humans don’t know what our future will bring. I posted more about that in Every day is a gift.

Terri’s Sunday Stills The Future is Ours.

Many thanks to Tina, Cee, John, Natalie, and Terri for the inspiration for this post!

Wandering Dawgs will be taking a 2 – 3 week break.