Where have all the flowers gone?

So I took some photos of daffodils battered by the cold weather yesterday.  They were blooming, but drooping.

Here they are today.

I have nothing more to say.

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Spring Flowers

I recently moved and inherited some daffodils along with the move.  But the weather has been cold, rainy, and some sleet fell last night.  Snow is in the forecast for tomorrow.

Still, they are flowers and I have to take pictures of flowers.



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Snow and Butterflies

Today we had the tenth annual Day of Insects at Reiman Gardens in Ames, Iowa.  It was a day of short presentations.  Yesterday we had some workshops and a meal.  As usual, it was mostly insects enthusiasts giving little overviews of what they do.  There were photographers, professional naturalists, master gardeners, and other people who are interested in insect conservation.

Although the number of people who signed up broke previous records, about a third of them were not able to show up because we had a winter storm going on.  I enjoyed the presentations, but did not really take any pictures of them.  I did go in to the butterfly wing and took some photos there.  Although the butterfly wing is open all winter long, it seemed a little surreal to see the heavy snow outside with the butterflies fluttering around inside.

There was enough sunlight that the butterflies were very active.

I am tired of the snow and am ready for warmer weather.  But if we are going to have winter weather, it was not bad to spend it here.

As always, it was great to visit with people with similar interests.  I did miss some of the folks who were not able to make it because of the weather, and at least one who is no longer with us.

To M.J., Nathan, Anita, and all the others who make this event happen:  Thank you.

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When it Snows…

We are slowly moving into spring, and I am sure I am not alone in wanting the winter to go away.  But late Friday night and early Saturday it snowed.  We ended up with four inches of snow here.  Other areas nearby had from nine inches to almost none.

So I was fed up with snow.  Sunday I did the one thing I know that gets me past hating snow.  I crawled around in it and took pictures.

Moss is a good subject in the early spring.

Sometimes the point of photography is to make me feel better.  And I could even smell the spring coming on.

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Catch of the Day

I am doing a workshop for a local event called Day of Insects.  My workshop is actually  on March 23, 2018, a day prior to the main event.  I am no kind of expert on snails, but I am an enthusiast.  I have photographed a few of the terrestrial snails and can work through the identification process.  I will do my best.

Today I walked along the shores of Saylorville reservoir and found a small bag full of snail shells.  Most represent terrestrial species, but I did see a few aquatics.

Not much scientific value to these shells.  They are heavily bleached by the sun.  Also, they almost certainly did not originate from the location they were found.  The light shells are easily washed downstream, so some could have originated miles from where I found them.   Still, I was somewhat surprised by the diversity I found with little effort.

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The Constant Drip, Drip, Drip…

We had some freezing rain this morning.  This afternoon has been cloudy and misty.  There is snow, ice, and water on the ground.  The short walk from my apartment to my mailbox was wet and pretty unpleasant.

Icicles have formed on the trees, and the water follows a drip line down the tree.

There is a steady drip, drip, drip of the water as it melts and coalesces from the mist.

The moss seems to like it though.

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Snow and Lichens

So it is the middle of winter and I have recently relocated.  I haven’t had the camera out for a while, but with the little bit of snow we got today and the lichens, I had to take a few photos.

Just a short session of photo therapy.  But it felt good.

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How do Snails Move?

My life has taken some turns that I don’t like and didn’t want, and as a result I have had many sleepless nights.

I have been able to calm my nerves by working on some projects that take my mind off of my problems.  I will be conducting a snail workshop at this year’s Day of Insects at Reiman Gardens in Ames, Iowa this March.  I am an enthusiast, not an expert.  So I have been putting together information and materials for that.

In my extensive research (ok, several minutes of googling) I have not seen anything that explains how snails move.  Not just sinusoidal waves on a slime trail, but how do their muscles work?

Most animals have a skeleton.  It is either internal or external, or some kind of hydrostatic thing.  Muscles must pull against something.  Snails are capable of moving in ways that are different than the movements that other animals are capable of doing.

Maybe it has something to do with the rough patterns visible on the foot.

So I spent a sleepless night last night, wondering how snails move.

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Bird Feeder Action

Yesterday was cold.  So is today.  We have a bird feeder near one of the windows, and the birds were visiting it a lot.

They would often fly up to the feeder, then flutter around looking for just the right spot.

I enjoyed my little exercise in photography.  I am not close to being competitive with the bird photographers out there, however.

Have a Happy New Year.

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A Little Snow for Christmas

We got a little bit of snow yesterday.  Just in time for Christmas.

Christmas blessings to you and yours.

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