Virginia White-tailed Deer - Strolling in my yard

Dear Deer..... What can the matter be?
I'd expect that a drive in the country would bring me the opportunity to photograph our native Whitetail but I live a few minutes from the Richmond City line and this doe is a daily visitor to my yard. She still wisely employs a wary demeanor. Isn't it amazing how our local wildlife have adapted to an urban environment? Nature rules!
Nature Art Image by Carolyn Hietala


Life in a neglected birdbath.

A very small insect emerging from its pupa.
The possibility for any future insect procreation ended when the rainwater eventually evaporated. Now freshly cleaned, the bath is strictly for the birds! This is either a Sad or Happy occasion I suppose..... depending on if you are seeing it from an insect or bird point of view.
(Insects are possibly biting gnats in the family Ceratopogonidae)
Nature Art Photograph by Carolyn Hietala


INSECT EYE CANDY! An Iridescent Beauty..... Salticidae - Jumping Spider - Tutelina

I couldn't help spotting this small arachnid creeping along the Cherry Tree leaves..... once you see one they are not easily forgotten..... real eye-catchers in our insect world ;0)
canon rebel xt / sigma 150 / macro / cropped / bright sunshine / backyard woodland iridescent arachnid / richmond virginia
Nature Art Photograph by Carolyn Hietala


Bristly Locust - Macro images can bring us even closer to the beauty of nature.

Bokeh Of Soft Dreamy Pinks

It's amazing how different our views of the world can be when captured through the eyes of a macro lens. The tiniest creation can become so magically important. I used a Sigma 150 with my digital SLR Canon EOS Rebel XT camera to take these pictures.
Photo's taken in my Richmond, Virginia (Chesterfield County) backyard flower garden.
Nature Art Photographs by Carolyn Hietala


Huckleberries - One Of Virginia's Native Pleasures

Yummm..... have you ever had Huckleberry pie?
They aren't ripe yet (dwarf variety - G. baccata - fruit is shiny black) but I have every intention of picking at least one serving of these delicious berries this year.
My dog Maggie ate them last year with a little help from the birds. I put up a temporary fence around the patch to keep Maggie out so am hoping the birds leave me some!
Maggie is already munching on the blackberries even though they are still mostly green..... yes I do feed her well..... ha. Since I found her abandoned and living in a hole in an embankment at Swift Creek Reservoir, I guess she had to eat anything she could find to survive. Her favorite indoor treat is a great big raw carrot. ;0)
Richmond Virginia - Chesterfield County
Nature Art Photograph by Carolyn Hietala

Waiting for "permission" to return to the bird feeder

It wasn't me..... promise!
I've been here the whole time.

The bird feeder is on the other side of this tree. NOT innocent. Sibling to the "partner in crime" is shown below resting on the fence.

As always..... permission is granted
whenever I'm not in plain sight!

Eastern Gray Squirrels - Residents of Richmond, Virginia

Nature Art Photograph by Carolyn Hietala


Wild Turkey strolling in my backyard yesterday. What's next?

Spotted in Richmond Virginia - Chesterfield County
(click on image for larger view)
This turkey strolled through the backyard around 7 pm last evening. I had no choice but to take this image through window glass from inside the house as I didn't have time to go outside..... shortly afterwards it disappeared into the woods. I apologize for image quality as it was moving along at a fast pace.
I know nothing about turkeys and have never seen one in my yard... ha.... t'was exciting! It was about a 20 pounder so couldn't miss its visit. What's next? Only a bear could be as unexpected a visitor now ;0)
Nature Art Photograph by Carolyn Hietala


We have Copperhead snakes in Richmond, Virginia and they are not often seen. This shy one was discovered while I was weeding my flower garden.

Copperheads are generally not agressive unless threatened and prefer to lay quiet or flee if disturbed. This one slithered into the woods and will probably never be seen again except in one of my paintings! Warning: They are venomous!
Nature Art Photograph by Carolyn Hietala


Honeybee - Blackberry Blossom

Pollination In Progress.....
Yea for the bees!
Nature Art Photograph by Carolyn Hietala


The softer side of Bok Choy..... edible flowers & buds.

Chinese Cabbage
Whatever name it goes by..... it's DELICIOUS!
Chinese white cabbage, Asian greens, Brassica rapa, Pechay, white vegetable, baechu, wongbok, nappa, pak choi, etc., etc., etc.

canon rebel xt / sigma 150 / macro / in shade / image is uncropped / edible plant flowers & buds / richmond virginia
Nature Art Photograph by Carolyn Hietala


Bok Choy - Beautiful Yellow Flowers

Chinese Cabbage
Pretty to look at but I prefer it on my plate. Had some for lunch today.....
white stems cut and gently sauteed in a covered wok with a small amount of water and olive oil..... then mix in the leaves, cook only until wilted. I just season mine with Smart Balance and pepper ;0)
canon rebel xt / sigma 150 / macro / filtered sunlight / cropped / grocery store food / richmond virginia
Nature Art Photograph by Carolyn Hietala


Diary of the Red-shouldered Hawk - Richmond, Va.

I am keeping a visual record of my resident Red-shouldered Hawk on Flickr. Here is the link to those images.....

The hunting pattern has become rather scheduled for my resident raptor:

The meadow/wetland/adjoining woodland is its hunting ground for most of the day in the front yard..... then around 4:30 p.m. until dark it frequents the backyard.

It takes all catches off into the woodland to eat or maybe to feed its young if nesting.
I have noticed that it will not arrive to the backyard spot if I am within about 25 feet so I'll avoid the area until I see it hunting (or hear the local birds harassing it) before I get the camera and go outside. It appears this bird gets so focused on searching for prey that it becomes oblivious to my presence unless I approach too loudly or close..... then it flies off to return later to continue the hunt until leaving just before sunset ;0)

canon rebel xt / sigma 150 / full setting / cropped / evening backlighting / backyard woodland / richmond virginia / chesterfield county

Nature Art Photograph by Carolyn Hietala

Leave your backyard "au naturale"..... don't rake the leaves!

Want to attract one of these birds?
Don't rake the leaves!

Only a small portion of my backyard is grass which is right next to the house and the rest is left "au naturale." If you don't want snakes then break out the rake though..... personally I don't mind them as most are presently very small "safe" species. I located three under the leaves yesterday. I bet this hawk is eating the larger ones but if it spotted a little snake it wouldn't hesitate to make a meal of it I'm sure ;0)
This image is from another angle of this raptor taken yesterday which turned out much nicer with the light touching more of the bird. I was downhill so I lost its feet in the pic ;0(
canon rebel xt / sigma 150 / evening sun / full setting / cropped / backyard woodland / richmond virginia / Red-shouldered Hawk / raptor / bird of prey / chesterfield county
Nature Art Photograph by Carolyn Hietala
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