April in the Rear View Mirror

Here’s what happened in my world in April, 2023.

Month of the Military Child

I can’t let April go by without mentioning that April is the Month of the Military Child. Military children are also sometimes called Brats. I am proud to be a United States Air Force Brat.

Trip to the Country

After what seems like a long, cold winter we took a short road trip to the country in early April. We couldn’t go by the Georgia Football Barn Sign on Georgia Highway 15 in Tennile with stopping to snap a few photos. The trees were just beginning to display their green leaves. We spotted a few deer and wild turkeys but I wasn’t able to capture a photo.


I was happy to see that these plants survived the freeze we had around Christmas.

Backyard Birds

Painted Buntings and other birds started appearing at my backyard bird feeder and in the surrounding salt marsh. The hummingbirds are also here but so far I haven’t been able to get a photo of them.


Our Book Club book for April was “The Blessing of the Celtic Curse”, the first in the Saints of Savannah series. The author, Leigh Ebberwein was our guest at our April meeting. We all loved the book and enjoyed hearing her stories about writing the book.

I also enjoyed reading “Remarkable Bright Creatures” by Shelby Van Pelt, “My Sisters Grave” by Robert Dugoni and “Still Life” by Louise Penney.

Shared with Natalie’s Weekend Coffee Share

Lens Artists Photo Challenge #239 – Finding Peace

Tina’s challenge is Finding Peace.

I find peace in nature – a beautiful morning sky, bird watching, spring flowers, walking in the woods, seeing wildlife in their natural habitat, or the beach.

Waking up at sunrise and seeing a brilliant sky brings me peace.
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
Spring azaleas
White azaleas
A walk in the Georgia woods

White Tail Fawn, Middle Georgia

The beach at sunset at St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
Sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean.

Many thanks to Tina for her challenge Lens-Artists Challenge #239 – Finding Peace

Lens Artists Photo Challenge # 224 – Exposure

In this challenge Sofia asks us to work on exposure. We can use our camera’s shutter speed or play with the aperture settings when we are shooting. Another way to work with exposure is to change the exposure when editing.

This is a great challenge for me because I tend to be on the lazy side and let my camera do the work using the automatic feature. This method is great when I’m shooting wildlife that moves and I don’t have time to change settings quickly. Often, when taking photos of other subjects I’m not happy with the results if I let the camera do the work.

The two images below were taken just minutes apart. I used the camera’s automatic settings for the first image. I used the manual settings to change the shutter speed to 1/20 to achieve the overexposed look for the second image.

In the images below I played with different settings to capture the first camellia of the season. For the first image I set the aperture to a low 4.6. I set the shutter speed to 1/4000 for the second image.

Many thanks for Sofia’s Lens-Artists Challenge #224 – Exposure

Lens Artists Photo Challenge # 221 – Flower Favorites and Why

For this challenge Ann-Christine asks us to show our favorite flowers and share why they are our favorite.

How can I pick just a few flowers? I love them all. Flowers make me smile all year round.

Winter brings Camellias and Hibiscus blooms to the garden.

In spring I love to see the Azalea, Dogwood, Day lily, Magnolia and Hydrangea blooms.

The colorful blooms of summer are not only beautiful but often attract butterflies and other critters.

Fall in the garden is filled with butterflies drinking their fill of nectar from the last remaining blooms.

From Texas to Alaska to Virginia and here in Georgia wildflowers always brighten the landscape.

Roses always make me happy.

Many thanks to Ann-Christine’s Lens-Artists Challenge #221 – Flower Favorites and Why

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