Sunday, June 30, 2013

Barn Swallow

I came across this little one resting.  I rarely get a decent photo because he is usually diving high and low at a high rate of speed across the lake.  Fun to watch but impossible to take photos of most of the time.  He had his beak open which I thought might have been a way of cooling off.  It was one of those hot, muggy days.

You can learn all about the Barn Swallow here.


I will be linking with Anni's Bird D'Pot,

Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday

and Michelle's Nature Notes

Saturday, June 29, 2013


The link to Today's Flowers opens at 12.15 a.m. every Saturday, Eastern Time (US).  The old link will close the previous Thursday at 11.30 P.M.

To see beautiful blooms from around the world you can click here.


These are photos taken at the Niagara Falls Botanical Garden (Canada).  I don't have the identity of all of them but maybe you will be able to.  Any help as always would be gratefully received.

These blooms were hanging down from a tree.  Added note: 7-1-13 - looking on line for something else I came across several photos of the Kentucky Yellowwood Tree and by comparing the leaves and the blooms, they looked identical.  Cladrastis kentuckea, I hope!  If you disagree please feel free to tell me.

 Chinese Peony - Paeonia
(Japanese Group)
Pride of Blasdell

Golden Columbine (Aquilesia crysantha)
Yellow Queen

I know these I just can't for the life of me think what they are right now.  (Added note: Judy at Lilac Gate thinks these may be False Lupins.  Thanks Judy.  Judy's blog link is here)

Mountain Bluet (Centaurea montana)  Compositae - Cent. Europe


(The following message will be repeated every week.)

I wish to show my appreciation for all the participants in the previous week's Today's Flowers Meme, by sharing their links here.  I always try hard not to make any mistakes but please let me know if there are any, the same if I have missed anyone.  I do make the occasional mistake and I have already been made aware of one or two.  Believe me, I appreciate it as I like to get things correct.  The links are in the order they were received on the home page.  Consequently, this list won't be alphabetical.  Clicking on the names will take you to their blogs.

With my thanks to last week's participants who were:

Hood Photography

Randi at Bland Rosor & Tistlar

Rajesh at My India

Squirrel Queen at The Road to Here

Bernie at Bush Bernie's Blog

Xavi at Jardins-Parcs-Paisatges-Muntanyes-Ciutats


Meta at Blommor och sant i foto

Liz at Mommy's Little Corner

The Modern Mom

Vilt Og Vakkert

Arija at Garden Delights

Gronn fryd hos Monique 

Carver at Carver's Sight or is that Site?

Charlene from My Nature Photography

Nature Footstep

Pupo at Ipsis Flowers

Mary at Things I Love and Thrifted


Karin's Fototraum

Karen at Pixel Posts

Birgitta at Birgitta B: welcome to my world of photoraphy


Judy at Lilac Gate


Sara at Love That Image

Mary in Austria

Foto Gunsside

Shiju Sugunan at Cranium Bolts

Laura at Shine the Divine

Jama at Sweet Memories

Anne at Stuff and Nonsense

Jana at Jana's Photo Journal

Lotusleaf at Garden Tropics

Deja Photo

Rollercoaster Mum

Tawny Moon Studio

R. H. West: Photography, Art and Inspiration

Trini Garden

Misty at My Dogs Keep Me Sane

Passion for Nature


Miriam Luiza at Abrindo a Coracao

Shell Louise

Magnus Karlsson

Tina's PicStory

Molly's Daily Kiss

Jungle of my life

Tammy at My Flower Journal

Pat's Addition

Doug at 2013 Doug Photo Blog

Dancing Aspens Farm Blog


Today's Flowers was created by our good friend Luiz Santilli, Jr.

TF teamPupo - Sandy Carlson - Denise

If anyone would like to be a guest and share photos on our home page, details can be found at the top of Today's Flowers web site, which you will find here.     


I will be linking up with the following blogs.

Tina's Weekend Flowers which you can find here,


Mona's Floral Love here,

   Floral Love

and also Laura's I Heart Macro here.

Shine the Divine

Friday, June 28, 2013


Throughout this blog you may have noticed that I have a fascination and liking for squirrels.  That fascination doesn't stop when I travel.  While roaming around Niagara Falls Botanical Garden I spotted this little fellow first, very similar to the ones I feed peanuts to in our garden....

but then I saw this little fellow.  He is my first black squirrel as I have never seen them this color before.

He put up with me for a while as I took these photos....

but then decided he had had enough....

and disappeared....


but I sure did enjoy meeting him.


Thank you Misty for hosting one of my favorite memes, and please click here to visit other interesting critters from all over the world.

Camera Critters

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Whirlpool, Niagara Falls

When we were leaving Niagara Falls we decided to make a quick stop at a look-out point overlooking the Whirlpool on the Niagara River.  We were still on the Canadian side and looking across to the US.  We arrived at a time that a cable car was giving passengers a birds-eye view of the whirlpool.  No we didn't take the ride but it will be on our list of things to do when we go next time.  Truthfully we did not know of its existence but it is only about five miles down from Niagara Falls.

 The cable car got very close but did not dock.  It stopped for a little while and then made its way back to the US side.  No problems with getting through customs.  I think there is also a cable car on the Canadian side as you can see the two sets of cables.  

From a page on line found here I learned that the whirlpool is about 120 feet deep and 1000 feet across.  It circulates counterclockwise creating one of the largest natural whirlpools in the world.  The rotation is caused by the Niagara River taking a right turn, causing the water to rotate.  

It is also a great place for salmon fishing because fishermen can often be seen fishing at the whirlpool's edge.  Salmon spawn yearly up the Niagara River, passing through the whirlpool on their way to their spawning grounds.  The Whirpool serves as a rest area for the Salmon.  All I can say is you've got to know what you're doing and you've got to love your fishing!  

This page here gives you more information on the Whirlpool Aero Car.  It was designed by a Spanish engineer, Leonardo Torres Quevedo and has been operating since 1916. 

More information on the whirlpool here and just for a matter of interesting there is a great page on geological information on Niagara Falls here.....

and great information about the Niagara River here.

Skywatch Friday


My thanks to YogiSandy and Sylvia who are our hosts at SkyWatch Friday.  Please click here to visit other sky watchers.

Happy SkyWatch Friday!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bath time for a Blue Jay

It was very hot here in Virginia today,  91 deg F.  Supposed to be even hotter tomorrow.  The Blue Jay was enjoying a nice cool bath not long after I had filled the water bowl.  

I am linking with Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday which you can find here.   Thank you for hosting Stewart, this is a very enjoyable meme and one I enjoy participating in.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Butterfly Conservatory at Niagara Falls - Part 2

I had lots of butterfly photos to share from the Butterfly Conservatory, and have two other posts which you can see here and here if you missed them.  You can also click here to go to the conservatory's home page.  I am also linking up with Michelle's Nature Notes.  Click on her button to see other amazing things in nature from around the world, and thank you Michelle for hosting such a wonderful meme.

I identify the butterflies when I can.  If they aren't ID'd then you know I have tried my hardest.  I have a couple of books which I pour through continuously.  I also look online.  This is a big butterfly called a "Denise".  She can be found usually with an enormous smile on her face around other butterflies, the biggest smile she has is one around another big butterfly called a "Gregg".   He's the darling of all butterflies and they travel in pairs usually passing a big black box between them at various intervals.

You will notice that this photo is being used for my present header shot.  The beauty on the right is the Cairns Birdwing Butterfly.   The one on the left is the Postman (Heliconius melpomene).

The same butterfly - Cairns Birdwing - and the Zebra Heliconian on the right.

Still as yet unidentified.  A Swallowtail of some kind.

Zebra Heliconian

Another view of a Cairns Birdwing Butterfly

Zebra Longwing

Several Owl Butterflies enjoying a plate of sliced oranges and bananas.

A close-up of the Owl Butterfly.  What I always find fascinating is its proboscis which you can see drinking the juice from the orange.  When it is resting that same proboscis is wound up like a spring.

The same butterfly but this time it has a friend on the left.   From looking at similar butterflies I think this is a Grey Variable Cracker

I have searched and searched but haven't found this one yet.

A Leopard Lacewing

Orange Julia Butterfly

Golden Heliconid (Heliconius hecalet)

Rice Paper Butterfly (also known as  a White Tree Nymph)  Idea Luconoe

Here's the other big butterfly I mentioned at the beginning of my post.  A smaller butterfly decided to land on top of his head for a chat.  The larger one is called a "Gregg".  Don't know what the smaller one on top of his head  is called.

Emerald Swallowtail

Yet to be identified

This one also.

If I have misidentified any of these beautiful creatures, please let me know.  I am a novice at so many things, identifying butterflies is one of them.