Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Insects Were Everywhere

I am not for sure what this is. I'm voting for wasp, but I can't swear by it. It could be a long horned beetle (possibly sawfly) mimicing a wasp. Those are my best two guesses.

Below is a sandhills hornet. I believe it's on a milkweed plant. I have never gotten close enough to a hornet to notice that they have kind of a beard on the bottom of their chins as well as hairs all over their backs. I presume this helps with pollen collection.

Below I managed to click the shutter button just in time to capture an insect collision between this fly and hornet.  Pretty cool.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fairy Lake Montana

I finally made it up to Fairy Lake. I've only been trying for two years. The first attempt we made, it was too muddy and we nearly sank in. The second attempt it was two dry and we nearly bottomed out the car. I think they may have recently graded the road. It was definitely worth the persistence.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Most Generous Man in the Whole World

This blog is to say thank you to my husband for all of his generosity! You rock honey!

Covered with frost after he rode home from work. I almost always have the one and only car we own.

Original post here: Another Rarity

What he looked like after shaving all his hair (boo hoo) and even his beard (gasp!) off for St. Baldricks which is a fundraiser for children with cancer.

Original post here: More Hair Loss

Here he is patiently holding still so that I may photograph the dragonfly that landed on his arm.

Original post here: Cool Visitor

This and That

This is the birthday cake for my son. It's the island that the bionicles are from. The white is snowy mountains.

This is an aphid giving live birth. Top aphid on the left. Orange spot coming out of abdomen is a nymph. Note the other nymphs along the plant stock. Click on the link below to learn more about it and the orange ball of stuff on its appendage.

To see the image larger, click on it.

Lovely water droplets on a leaf.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'm a Photographer Not a Terrorist

This is a set of photos I took in support of the "Not a Crime" campaign being run by the British Journal of Photography. This grassroots campaign is designed to protest the recent treatment of photographers (professional photojournalists, amateur photographers and tourists) in Great Britain. The claim is there have been incidents of harrassment in our country as well. I will be putting a banner on my blog and my website. Below are links to my flickr contribution and the protest site.

It helps to be able to write backwards. Did OK until terrorist.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Out in the Yard

This is a set of shots that were taken while we were doing yard work. The middle one is a mouse our cat got. The last one my son took with my zoom lens. Not too bad considering the camera starts heavy and only gets heavier with that lens on it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Frost on Our Trampoline

The same morning I took pictures of the dew on the flowers, I came home to find frost on our trampoline. It made some very interesting patterns.

Flowers and Leaves

I haven't had a chance to post for awhile, since my parents were out visiting.

I took these while out hiking on Sourdough Trail in Gardner Park. The dew was really nice that morning. The third picture is a nice study in shadow.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Strength in Numbers

Ants are too much. Dragging around objects that weigh 5 times their own body weight. Breaking through asphalt to build a nest. Sigh. How does that work anyway? Little ant jack hammers chipping away. Do they just dig until they drop and everyone else crawls over the bodies until sunlight can be seen? Why my driveway? Oh, sure it has a few weak spots. We'll definitely be repaving next year.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

When It Rains It Pours

The Face of Courage

We got some very bad news about our dog this past Friday. She has osteo sarcoma. In English, that's bone cancer. This is the second pet we will lose to cancer. Last time, we spent $10,000 on cancer treatments only to have our cat succumb after her second chemo treatment. She was gone in two months. Nowhere near close to the year she may well have survived. This time, we have decided that we will do what we can to make our pet comfortable and when the time comes, we will say good-bye. This has not been an easy decision, nor was it made lightly. I will treasure the moments left and do my best to be as brave as my girl.

Rain patterns on the window. Fitting weather for such a bummer day.

More rain patterns.

Mess of the Month - August

Well, this is August's mess. Pretty non-descript. I think we ran out of steam for trips and art projects. I've been relaxing here and there with some books.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Out and About in Bozeman - Sweet Pea Parade

These are photos of some of the floats in the Sweet Pea Festival Parade. ( Not necessarily in order.

These flowers on the side of the Fort Ellis Fire Truck were a nice touch.

I snapped this photo of the Children's Museum float before the parade started.

This was a pirate dog. He/She is a part of the Museum of the Rockies float. This year they were promoting their treasure exhibit.

This is Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter's float.

Goodbye Mushrooms

Take a good look. They'll be gone soon.

During the 5K race, they announced that they will soon be overhauling the drivethrough at First Security Bank. The announcer called these covers mushrooms. Works for me.

Now, I'm not one to defend 1970s architecture. Some of it is darn hideous. And I can't say I feel one way or another about the impending destruction. However, it never occurred to me to think of them as mushrooms until then, and now I kind of miss them. I will say this, you can tell 1970s architecture. My husband just called it distinct. Like or Lump it, it is that.

More Sweet Pea

Here's some more shots of stuff at Sweet Pea. The first one is the dragonfly that landed on my husband's arm. You can see the original post here:

This was the only shot I had of what the dragonfly was eating. My husband thinks it was a flying ant. He said that whatever it was flew off. Yikes. I didn't know things could fly when they'd been half eaten.

This was taken at the bubble station. One of my son's favorites.

More on the Dino Museums

These shots are from the museums in Bynum and Choteau. (

The sign says: I'm an Anatotitan. Please do not feed the giant ducks.

The reference is to the fact that it is a duck billed dinosaur. There were a couple of more skulls there with similar creative "don't touch" warnings. (Click on the picture for a larger view. It's a bit fuzzy as I didn't use a flash.)

This is the ribcage of a seisomosaurus. This reconstructed seismosaurus skeleton is the Guinness Book of World Records largest, scientifically accurate dinosaur reconstruction - Seismosaurus halli (earth-shaker lizard).

This was at Choteau. Unfortunately none of my inside shots there came out.

This is a Triceratops sculpture at Choteau. They have four different sculptures out front there.

Back at the Ranch

These are a couple of miscellaneous shots I took last week for lack of a better description. The first one is a reflection in the windows at the Bozeman Public Library. The reflection in these windows is awesome. I feel like I'll never be able to capture it correctly.

The next one is two grasshoppers and a granddaddy long legs on my mailbox post. You can see one of the grasshoppers has really crammed himself into the crack in the wood.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Livingston Model Railroad Club

This is the second post on our trip to Livingston. These are from the railyard and the Livingston Model Train Club.

My husband took the shot of the model train coming through the tunnel. He also took the shot of the maintenance car with the lights on the side. They could be reflective strips, too. I'm not for sure.

The only shot that's mine is the close up of the maintenance car. My husband thought it had something to do with spreading gravel or cutting something up. Those are his two best guesses. To me it looks like a giant can opener. If anyone knows, please leave me a comment. I'd love to know it's function.

Sacajawea Park Livingston Montana

The next couple of days are probably going to be all over the place for this blog. Also back and forth and not so much in order. These shots are from a recent trip we took to Livingston. We went to see the Train Club run the electric trains over by the depot. I should have a post on that in the next couple of days. Before heading home, we stopped to check out Sacajawea Park. The first two photos are from that, the last one is me shooting the trucks driving down the other side of the freeway.

Thought the sunset behind this tree was pretty.

Also the reflection of this street lamp off the river.

This is cool. You can see the shape of the truck outlined by the lights. I call it Ghost Lights.