Saturday, January 25, 2014

Going ... going ...


The summer sun is sinking low;
Only the tree-tops redden and glow:
Only the weathercock on the spire
Of the neighboring church is a flame of fire;
All is in shadow below.

O beautiful, awful summer day,
What hast thou given, what taken away?
Life and death, and love and hate,
Homes made happy or desolate,
Hearts made sad or gay!

On the road of life one milestone more!
In the book of life one leaf turned o'er!
Like a red seal is the setting sun
On the good and the evil men have done,--
Naught can today restore!

[Henry Wadsworth Longfellow]

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Live and let live (?)

I spotted this out of the corner of my eye this afternoon - had it not been sitting on the walkway I'd likely have missed it since it was barely an inch (2 1/2 cm) long. Of course I had to capture it (only digitally of course). After I shot it (digitally of course) I had to decide whether to let it carry on with its day or not.

You might wonder why I'd consider not letting it go, but I wondered whether it might be a polka-dot wasp moth - they produce caterpillars which are voracious eaters of oleander bushes and ours comes under regular attack. But I wasn't sure. I might have to check the oleander tomorrow to see if that's where it headed - if so, it's unlikely another reprieve will be in the cards.

I haven't yet bought a macro lens for my full frame Canon, but the cheap little 50mm f1.8 ('nifty fifty') got me a reasonable set of shots which I cropped so you could see this specimen. Another beautiful piece of Creation (as long as it leaves our oleander alone).

Update: after some sleuthing around the internet this morning I discovered what this moth was called - Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth (Empyreuma affinis). So, my suspicions were correct and I'll have to check out the oleander ... hopefully before it has !

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Come Sail Away

"I look to the sea,
Reflections in the waves spark my memory,
Some happy, some sad,
I think of childhood friends and the dreams we had,
We lived happily forever, so the story goes,
But somehow we missed out on the pot of gold
But we'll try best that we can to carry on ..."
Come Sail Away [Styx]

 I hope you're carrying on into 2014. If you need a momentary break from winter, then close your eyes and come sail away with me (click on the link below the photos) ...