Category Archives: Nature

Sights and smells of the great outdoors.

Photo Challenge: Fuzzy

Fuzzy Spider Web. Photo: TLClark, 9/21/19.

I left the camera at home when heading out the door for a walk this morning. It looked like it could rain and I wasn’t very hopeful about finding anything fuzzy for Frank’s Tuesday photo challenge. After noticing cattails and milkweed and a few other potentially fuzzy subjects I circled back home, grabbed the camera, and headed out again.

Spider in Fuzzy Web. Photo: TLClark, 9/21/19.

Spiderwebs were the surprise of the day! I definitely did not see them until getting off the path. With prey as big as the predator the spider web in the next photo caught my eye first. Just beyond it was a web that had caught all sorts of fluffy, fuzzy stuff (top two pictures)!

A Spider with Breakfast. Photo: TLClark, 9/21/19.

Neither the cattails nor the milkweed were particularly fuzzy. But here are two other plants ready to spread their white fuzzy seeds.

Photo: TLClark, 9/21/19.
Photo: TLClark, 9/21/19.

Photo Challenge: Focus

Barbed Wire, Neumann Ranch, Eastern Montana. Photo: TLClark, 8/13/2012.

I was eager to play with my camera in response to the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Focus. But rain one day and wind the next made focusing more of a challenge than I cared to attempt. I perused my digital photography files instead.

The barbed wire photo was a surprise! I took pictures rather than help Dad water the garden at the Neumann Ranch that day. There are other fence pictures in the batch none that fit the challenge so well.

Wild Plum and Leaf, Neumann Ranch, Eastern Montana. Photo: TLClark, 8/16/2012.

Picking wild plums is a fond memory of my childhood. In a good year there were more than enough plums to eat your fill and fill-up a bucket so Mom could make plum jelly. It was fun to find plums ripe enough to pick six years ago when back for a visit.

Wheat, Eastern Montana. Photo: TLClark, 8/26/2008.

While I live in corn and soybean country these days, the grain grown where I grew up was wheat. I remember wishing I had more time to try again after reviewing the wheat pictures I took there more than a decade ago. Nevertheless this particular one seems to fit the challenge: a few heads of grain in focus, the rest caught in the wind.

Pink Flowers and a Butterfly at Reiman Gardens

Butterfly on Flower, Butterfly House, Reiman Gardens. Photo: TLClark, 8/23/19.

We always take time for the Butterfly Wing when visiting Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University. Before opening the door the guide told us the butterflies “are active today.” He was right – just a few of the 500+ butterflies were in the mood to pose.

Wild Rose, Reiman Gardens. Photo: TLClark, 8/23/19.

The staff was out watering the flowers, hence the water droplets on the rose (above).

Flowers, Reiman Gardens. Photo: TLClark, 8/23/19.

It was bright sunshiny day – the light was almost too harsh for getting decent pictures of some flowers. But it was fun to try!

FOTD: Yellow Flowers at Reiman Gardens

Flowers, Reiman Gardens. Photo: TLClark, 8/23/19.

A beautiful morning with no obligations was the perfect opportunity to visit Reiman Gardens on the campus of Iowa State University. Bright sunshine made for great shadows – but also meant I had to pay attention to where my shadow fell!

Flowers, Reiman Gardens. Photo: TLClark, 8/23/19.
Flowers, Reiman Gardens. Photo: TLClark, 8/23/19.

Thanks, Cee, for the Flower of the Day photo challenge!

FOTD: Flowers at Iowa State Fair

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Sunflower, Discovery Garden, Iowa State Fair.  Photo: TLClark, 8/13/19.

A week ago I shared photos of zinnias in the Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair. Here are a few more flowers taken the same morning. Hope they brighten your day!

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Helenium, Discovery Garden, Iowa State Fair.  Photo: TLClark, 8/13/19.

The Discovery Garden has signs identifying most of the flowers. Couldn’t miss this one!

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Disco Belle Hibiscus, Discovery Garden, Iowa State Fair.  Photo: TLClark, 8/13/19.

Another fair goer gushed about how easy the hearty hibiscus is to grow – even for someone like her who does not have a green thumb.

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Hearty Hibiscus, Discovery Garden, Iowa State Fair.  Photo: TLClark, 8/13/19.

There a small water garden complete with water lilies, cattails, and goldfish tucked into a corner of the Discovery Garden.

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Water Garden, Discovery Garden, Iowa State Fair.  Photo: TLClark, 8/13/19.

Thanks, Cee, for the Flower of the Day photo challenge!

FOTD: Zinnias at the Iowa State Fair

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Zinnias, Discovery Garden, Iowa State Fair.  Photo: TLClark, 8/13/19.

One of our customs when attending the Iowa State Fair is to stop and enjoy the flowers in the Discovery Garden.  Click here for information about the garden.

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Zinnias, a Marigold and a Fly, Discovery Garden, Iowa State Fair.  Photo: TLClark, 8/13/19.

The zinnia with a fly isn’t a dahlia and a bumble bee as shared by Cee in her Flower of the Day photo challenge (click here) but her rules are simply to post a picture with a flower.  It’s a great challenge to follow for a little color, a little happiness no matter what your day holds.

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Zinnia, Discovery Garden, Iowa State Fair.  Photo: TLClark, 8/13/19.

The red zinnia caught my attention when at the garden but it wasn’t until looking at the pictures at home that I realized it was the rolled-up edges of the petals that made it look red and white.

Photo Challenges: Outdoors & Flower of the Day

Outdoors is the Jansen Photo Challenge this week and I couldn’t resist a second post.  And since it’s three flowers, it also works for Cee’s Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge.

Outdoors - Flower - Red red

Photo: TLClark, July 3, 2015, Pilgrim Heights Camp & Retreat Center, Iowa.

Outdoors - Flower - White

Photo: TLClark, July 3, 2015, Pilgrim Heights Camp & Retreat Center, Iowa.

Outdoors - Flower - Blue

Photo: TLClark, June 9, 2012, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Iowa.