Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bees, Arachnids, and CPR

Today was hot...and oppressively humid. It was almost too sweltering to walk outdoors, but the pond at Madison Park called to me and my camera. I know my days are numbered before it turns too cold for creatures or flowers to exist for my photographic pleasure.

There is an abundance of flowering weeds along the path. The wild blossoms are filled with bees, probably storing precious nectar for the winter ahead. Honeybees gather pollen from flowers as a source of protein. Most bees in a colony are nectar collectors, but a certain percentage of them are designated pollen gatherers. Bee pollen is created when the bee collects the pollen with her jaws and front legs. She then moistens it with a dab of honey she brought with her from the beehive, plus special enzyme-active saliva, with her legs, which are covered with thick bristles. The she combs these fine particles from her coat and skillfully presses them into her “pollen basket”, a section located on her back legs. When her baskets are full, the microscopic dust will have been tamped down into two single, golden granules. Once their pollen baskets are full, they return to their hive to store the pollen in a comb.

Busily feeding on a ladybug, the arachnid shown below ignored the click of my camera. Obviously its' lunch was more appealing than scrambling out of my view.

I typically carry two cameras -- Nikon D200 and D300. However, I left one of my CF cards in my computer after downloading and forgot to place it back in my camera. Today I had only my D300 and 300mm zoom lens. I took a few photos of a ladybug that didn't turn out very well without my macro lens. It gives me a reason to return to the pond (like I really need a reason, right?) in search of another ladybug. I shoot simultaneously in Program and Shutter modes. I rarely shoot in Manual, although I know I need to practice adjusting my manual settings. I'm usually in too much of a hurry to get a shot, particularly if my subject is mobile. I am not known for my patience. Ask Doughboy.

In less than a month, the three Divas and I will travel to Stamford CT for CPR. No, I'm not referring to cardiopulmonary resuscitation. This CPR is an abbreviation for Creative Photography Retreat (click here for the CPR link). Sponsored by Creative Keepsakes University, the focus of CPR is to improve the student's photography skills using their SLR or dSLR camera, with a focus on scrapbooking. The Divas and I have traveled together to other events, but never have we experienced an event where photography is its sole focus. We are so excited! We're leaving a day before the event so we have a day of play and photography at a location TBD. We may venture into New York, or experience the fall colors of Connecticut, or who knows?

Whatever we do and where ever we go, we always have a fabulous time together. There are sure to be several posts as a result of our experiences. Stay tuned...


Deb said...

Oh I am so envious! You three will have a great time and learn lots of new skills. (although, frankly, my dear, you are pretty damn good already)
Perhaps next year will allow me to venture into some good photography classes cuz Lord knows I need em!
Keep the photos coming...can't wait to see your vision of fall through your eyes!

Judyann said...

Can't wait for the trip. Hopefully, we'll get some expert instruction and will return with lots of new ideas.

Country Girl said...

I am envious, too! I'd love to go on a photography retreat. As always, your pictures in this post are wonderful. I am so inspired to get a new lens.

Janette said...

Hello Sunshine,
Thanks so much for your prayers for Jocelyn. I also saw you left her a note on her blog. You are so kind. She made it through surgery. When she woke she knew her Husband and also knew she had Children and Grandchildren. Praise the Lord. =) The tumour was in the memory part of the brain. We still don't know if she has use of her left arm and leg yet. BUT as you saw she has lots of people praying for her.

I am very excited about Tara's wedding. Tomorrow is decorating the hall and the rehearsal and then the wedding on Saturday! :)

Beautiful photos as always. I wish I lived near that pond. Have a great weekend. Thanks again for you friendship and your prayers.

Chere said...

Debra, These photos are amazing. How did you spot the spider with the lady bug? Great shot. Glad to here that you do shoot in an auto mode sometimes. It makes me feel better. I am really excitied about being in Conn., in October. We will have endless things to take pictures of. Can't wait for the four of us to be together, kick back and laugh. We will have to drink Jamie's glass of wine or beer for her. Keep the beautiful photos coming.