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Posts Tagged ‘Sierra Foothills’


Years ago, when I was in the Big Trees State Park, there were loads of hazelnut trees. I thought that the leaves on this tree were very pretty. I attended a native plant sale at our county fair grounds years ago, and the master gardeners had hazelnuts for sale. I bought one. It has not produced nuts, which was disappointing. I was surprised this year when upon inspection I discovered that it finally has nuts. Here are photos of the developing nuts…

This is what first caught my eye.

Developing hazelnuts

Developing hazelnuts

Looking around my bush, I noticed that there were a lot of them hiding under the leaves.

Hiding under the leaves

Hiding under the leaves

There were single nuts.

A single hazelnut

A single hazelnut

And, a pair.

A pair of hazelnuts

A pair of hazelnuts

Even triplets!

Triplets

Triplets

Here is what the bush looks like.

My hazelnut

My hazelnut

I am really excited that this shrub is producing. Stay tuned as I wait for the husks to dry and the nuts to fall. Hopefully I will get to them before the squirrels!

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In the late summer, early fall, the praying mantis lay their eggs. Over the winter to late spring, they do their thing inside the hard casing and finally emerge. They grace my garden and eat the pesky bugs no one wants on their plants.

Let’s start by checking out a praying mantis egg casing.

Praying mantis egg case

Praying mantis egg case

Weird looking isn’t it? This casing was on the bottom side of one of the branches on my liquid amber tree.

Here is the praying mantis that I discovered, which let me know that they are back!

The praying mantis is back!

The praying mantis is back!

This is a baby and is about the size of a quarter. It will grow to a length of 3-3 1/2 inches long.

This is a baby

This is a baby

Now about the size of a quarter

Now about the size of a quarter

If you look closely at the photos you will see lots of detail. This little guy is watching me. Click on the photo so you can see the pupils in his eyes.

It watches me

It watches me

This one looks funny with its butt up in the air.

Sticking its butt up in the air

Sticking its butt up in the air

Because this is just a baby, it has not yet developed its wings.

You can tell the sex of the mantis by the wings. This next photo shows the typical stance of the praying mantis.

Typical stance of a mantis

Typical stance of a mantis

It has been watching me the entire time I took these photos, and as I try to get closer, it moves away from me.

It moves away

It moves away

I hope that you enjoyed today’s photos. Thanks for dropping by, and have a splendid Saturday. Be well… ^..^

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My husband and I both enjoy the birds that visit us here at our home in the Sierra Foothills. They have been a great source of enjoyment, and the subject of many of my recent photos. So, for today, I thought that I would share with you some recent photos of these birds speaking out.

Are you looking at me?

Are you looking at me?

Check out all that food!

Check out all that food!

Where's the seed?

Where’s the seed?

He's hogging all the food!

He’s hogging all the food!

Are you listening to me?

Are you listening to me?

I hope that you enjoyed the photos! Thanks for stopping by and be well… ^..^

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This week Brie Anne over at WordPress has chosen the topic “Muse” for this week’s photo challenge. She asks what subject keeps bringing you back to it, and inspires you. My muse has always been water. And, without further ado, here is my muse…

Lighthouse

Lighthouse

Nature designs a water and sand pattern

Nature designs a water and sand pattern

Water crashing on the rocks

Water crashing on the rocks

Swirling waters

Swirling waters

A view of the river

A view of the river

Air bubbles

Air bubbles

I hope that you enjoyed the photos! Thanks for stopping by and be well… ^..^

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For today I decided that I would share with you some of the views in my garden. Most of these have been blooming for a while, which is early. This is due to the drought. I hope that you enjoy the shots. The final photo is something a bit different, but sweet!

Gallardia

Gallardia

Hydrangea

Hydrangea

Clematis

Clematis

Another clematis

Another clematis

Gerboa

Gerboa

Red hot poker

Red hot poker

This last shot is not a flower, but a hummingbird. Did you know that one of their favorite foods are ants? We watch the hummers as they dart around our gravel driveway eating ants. I caught this little bird with an ant in its bill.

A hummer catches an ant

A hummer catches an ant

Well, that is it for today. I hope that you enjoyed the photos! Have a wonderful day and be well… ^..^

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We have had very odd weather here. Yesterday we had 3 tenths of an inch of rain accompanied by a huge lightning storm! I am posting the stills today that I shot yesterday. I have lots of video footage to review to find all the lightning that I was able to film. I will take stills from those videos to share the lightning with you at a later date. This storm was indeed impressive! Click on the photos to see greater detail. Ready to take a look?

The storm is coming our way…

The approaching storm

The approaching storm

Looking towards the west, you can see where the sky is clear with a few clouds heading that direction.

The leading edge heading west of us

The leading edge heading west of us

There are many layers which look really cool.

Layers

Layers

The storm slides in.

Sliding in

Sliding in

It gets really dark. It is early evening, around 5:30 p.m. It should be very bright still as sunset is around 8:00.

It got really dark

It got really dark

From where I sit, I take a photo looking up.

Looking up from my chair

Looking up from my chair

The clouds appear like a hand with fingers spreading out.

Fingers

Fingers

A bolt of lightning as it starts..

One bolt

One bolt

Then one more. This one spreads quite far.

Then another

Then another

Well, that is it for today. We are to have another storm come in this evening.

Thanks for stopping by today! Have an amazing Saturday and be well… ^..^

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As my husband and I have our evening cocktails, we observe one of the local natives: A western fence lizard. I decided that I would share photos I took the other night of this foothills critter. Please do click on the photos so that you can really see the detail on this amazing creature.

Meet the western fence lizard

Meet the western fence lizard

Did you see the blue stripe on his underbelly? This lizard hides in the night blooming jasmine in our front yard. We were please to see him out and about. Here is a photo of this little guy looking right at me. I think it was the sound of the camera as I snapped photos that attracted his attention.

He is looking at me

He is looking at me

Here is a photo where he is watching possible prey.

He spies prey

He spies prey

His prey: A honeybee.

Predator and prey

Predator and prey

He gives up on this bee and heads over to the hose.

Hiding on the hose

Hiding on the hose

While in this spot, he catches a wasp. I missed it, but I did get photos of him consuming his meal.

He caught a wasp

He caught a wasp

As his mouth is clamped down on the wasp, we watch the back end of the wasp wiggling. He quickly swallows and clamps down again.

It's almost gone

It’s almost gone

It now gone. He is smiling!

It's gone

It’s gone

What surprised us next was when he burped! If you look closely at this photo, you will see the hind legs of the wasp sticking out.

Burping after lunch

Burping after lunch

Satisfied after eating, he scratches an itchy spot by rubbing his head on the cement.

Taking care of an itchy spot

Taking care of an itchy spot

Well, there you have it. This is part of our early evening entertainment. We are very fortunate with what we get to see and experience here.

May you have a wonderful Wednesday, and thank you for stopping by. Be well… ^..^

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In the mornings, my husband and I sit outside enjoying our coffee and watching the birds. In the quiet, the air is filled with bird song. Last year was the first year that pigeons showed up here. This might have something to do with the drought. They are much larger in number this year.

What makes us laugh, is how they scare themselves and then fly off. So, today I will be featuring photos I took the other morning of the pigeons doing just that! I hope that you enjoy these photos!

A scrub jay and the first pigeon fly in

A scrub jay and the first pigeon fly in

There are now seven

There are now seven

Now they number twelve

Now they number twelve

I count eighteen

I count eighteen

Twenty eight and counting

Twenty eight and counting

As this one lands, they all get scared

As this one lands, they all get scared

They begin to lift off the ground

They begin to lift off the ground

More fly up

More fly up

The rest take flight

The rest take flight

As we sat there with our cups of coffee, we witnessed the pigeons doing this about 5 times. So, I decided to take a video. As soon as I turned the camera on, they never came back! Figures!

I hope that you enjoy today’s post! Have a fabulous day and be well! ^..^

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We have a lot of butterfly activity this year. They came early due to not having a real winter. I feel greatly rewarded when I catch shots of these quick fluttering insect. So, for today I wanted to share some of the amazing butterflies in my yard…Click on any of the photos to get better detail!

I found this one in a corner of my greenhouse. It is a White Swallowtail.

A White Swallowtail Butterfly

A White Swallowtail Butterfly

This Gray Hairstreak is on my rose bush.

Gray Hairstreak Butterfly

Gray Hairstreak Butterfly

Here is the Woodland Skipper drinking juice from a marigold.

The early bird butterfly

The early bird butterfly

This one is called a Holly Blue.

A butterfly in the forest

A butterfly in the forest

I caught this one on the rocks. It is a Buckeye Butterfly.

Buckeye Butterfly

Buckeye Butterfly

This next one is a White Sulfur butterfly. Notice that there are two tiny eyes on the wing.

White Sulfur Butterfly

White Sulfur Butterfly

Aren’t they neat? I hope that you enjoyed these photos! Have a splendid weekend! Be well… ^..^

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We have had more cloudy days in May than we had from January to April. The clouds are dark and heavy looking. The sad part is: No rain. The other day, with the dark sky, and the sun just setting, we witnessed turkey buzzards flying in circles. Here are a few of the shots that I captured of them…

Circling

Circling

Looking down

Looking down

Wings fully spread

Wings fully spread

All lit up!

All lit up!

The sun's reflection

The sun’s reflection

Heading out

Heading out

The turkey buzzard is such an amazing bird. My husband said to me the other day, “Can you imagine flying like that looking to find something that has died?” I can’t, but there has to be enough to keep these birds going.

Thanks for stopping by today! Have an amazing day, and be well… ^..^

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