The Birds and The Bees

Ahhh fall. What a wonderful time of the year! The cool crisp air, amazingly blue skies and all the colorful foliage of the trees. I both love and hate it at the same time. On one hand, it always reminds me of my childhood and the excitement I always felt for the upcoming holidays of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. 🙂 On the other hand, I have to say goodbye to all my favorite annual flowers and most of my little garden critters. Of all of them, I think the ones I miss most are the hummingbirds. Little sis and I always have feeders in the front and back yards for the little guys. This year when they headed south for the winter, we were busy and left the feeders up longer than usual. The hummingbirds had been gone about a week or so when sis noticed movement on the feeder by our front window. It was covered with bees drinking from the feeder. I have never seen them do this in such large numbers before. I would see one or two occasionally but nothing more. After watching these little guys, with much fascination, as they emptied the feeder in just a couple of days, I decided to snap a few pictures.

Honey bees (Cropped & Crossover)(watermarked)

Bees drinking from our hummingbird feeder.

Hummingbird (Corrected-Orton-watermarked)

Here is a pic of one of the last hummingbirds to visit us in our backyard this year.

Flower Power

Big Sis and I have been experimenting with a new look for the photography recently. Honestly, it’s been a little nerve wracking trying to tweek the photos because most of the time Big Sis and I are divided about what looks good. We’ve joked for years that we’re like Yin and Yang because if she likes something, I usually don’t and vice-versa. But it’s been an eye opener seeing how these photographs can transform.

Just wow.

Here are a couple of flowers that really make a statement.

Pink tulips (Orton only)

Yellow water lily (Cropped & Altered)

Orchids

One of the most popular flower shows that our local Botanical Gardens showcases each year is the orchid show. This past year was the first time I (Lil Sis here) had actually gone to view the flowers and, Holy Guacamole, was there some serious orchids there. 

I have to applaud the Gardens here because they try very hard to showcase the orchids is as natural of a way that they can. They go to great lengths to inform and educate the viewers on how these plants grow in their native habitats. Did you know there were some orchid species that only grow in Madagascar? Yea, I didn’t either. 

Big Sis took numerous photos at the show and I wanted to show you 2 of my favorites. There are many more and I’ll be posting more soon but as a quick preview here you go.

 

Orchid 2

 

 

Flower trio cropped & adjusted

Dreamy Yellow Butterfly

Earlier this week Big Sis and I made a trek down to the Shaw Nature Reserve, located in Gray Summit, Missouri. Every Fall the monarchs fly through on their trek South but, unfortunately, there has been a steady decrease in their numbers in recent years. 😦

The ranger we spoke to told us that they had been afraid that the monarchs had dwindled to the point of nothing but thankfully, they had started to see them the weekend before. Excited, we headed out to the prairie sections of the reserve to see what we could find. Sadly, we found very few monarchs. We spotted some but just 5 years ago their numbers were in the thousands flying through but we saw less than 50 this time, and we were walking for over 4 hours. I fear that this may be the last year that we see any.

However, we took 100’s of photos. Yes, I said 100’s and we’ve been pouring through them all week. We’ve been experimenting with a new look to the photos and we’re really excited to share them!

What do you think of this dreamy yellow butterfly?

Here we've played with the color a little.

Here we’ve played with the color a little.

 

Here we've only cropped him.

Here we’ve only cropped him.

 

Which photo do you prefer? Let us know!