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

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #147: Gardens

Mother’s Day was very special this year. We spent the weekend with our daughter and her family in Virginia after not seeing them for a year and a half.

On Mother’s Day I spent the morning enjoying the beautiful gardens our daughter has created around their house. While she was busy planting plants I wandered around snapping pictures. There aren’t many flowers yet but when they bloom the colors will be spectacular.

Their back yard has a steep hill that used to be all grass. Over a period of several years she has transferred much of their back yard into a beautiful, peaceful space with a chair for relaxing and watching the birds, butterflies, and an occasional bunny that come to the garden.

In the front of the house are more flower beds. Underneath the Dogwood tree is a chair for lounging and nearby is a birdbath for the birds.

It was wonderful to spend Mother’s Day with my daughter and her family. After she finished her garden chores we went for a walk around a nearby pond. Our son-in-law prepared a delicious dinner and my daughter made a carrot cake for desert. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Many thanks to Amy for challenging us to show the beauty of gardens this week. Please be sure to visit her original post at Lens-Artists Challenge #147: Gardens

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #146: Focusing on the Details

A few weeks ago we spent a few days in middle Georgia where I enjoyed wandering around the fields of an old dairy farm. As I walked around I saw spring flowers and new growth all around me.

It was easy to spot this brightly colored thistle growing in the middle of a field.

New growth on pine tree

Many thanks to Patti for this Photo Challenge: Focusing on the Details. Please be sure to visit her original post at Lens-Artists Challenge #146: Focusing on the Details

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #143 – Colorful April

Spring is emerging with colorful flowers all around my yard in coastal Georgia.

I was late planting seeds this year so only a few flowers are blooming in the butterfly garden. I have spotted a few Monarch butterflies but have not been able to capture a photo yet. The Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds have come back to the feeders but I haven’t been able to capture them, either.

Right now purple and orange are the only two colors in the butterfly garden. The milkweed in the garden will soon be blooming. I’m looking forward to adding a few new plants and watching the plants emerge from the seeds.

Most of the azaleas have dropped their petals but a few late bloomers are still showing off their brilliant pink color. Tiny white blossoms stand out on a huge rosemary bush.

We are adding some green to a flower bed in our front yard by adding three citrus trees. Our granddaughter and I had fun getting muddy when we planted a naval orange tree on Easter. The tree is small now but hopefully will grow quickly and produce fruit in a few years.

Many thanks to Amy for this weeks Lens-Artists Challenge #143: Colorful April

Thanks also to Marsha for her challenge Sunday Stills: Emerging

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #142 – You Pick It

Ann-Christine’s choice for the challenge this week is “You Pick It”. My topic is Spring has Sprung!

I’m not a cold weather person and winter just lasts too long for me. All winter I look forward to seeing the colorful blooms of azaleas and Dogwoods signalling the beginning of spring. Usually by St. Patrick’s Day the azaleas are in full bloom and the vibrant pink blossoms are on display all over town. They were a little late this year but to me they seemed more beautiful than ever.

Spring Azaleas, to
Azalea blooms

The blooms on Flowering Dogwoods are another sight I welcome each spring.

Dogwood Blooms
Dogwood Blossom

I also welcome the signs of spring in the animal world. Egrets, Wood Storks and other long legged wading birds like to build their nest in the spring and a great place to see them nesting is in the trees at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge. Alligators are coming out of their hibernation in the spring and if you are lucky you may even spy some baby alligators at the refuge.

Nesting Birds
Nesting Wood Storks
Baby Alligators

Happy Spring Everyone!

Many thanks to Ann-Christine for this weeks Lens-Artists Challenge #142: You Pick It