Winter’s Glass Eye

In anticipation of spring I ordered extension tubes for my camera so I could take closeups of bugs and pussywillows and other wee things. But it ain’t gonna happen soon. Snow is still knee-high in our woods and more is arriving tomorrow.

I looked around for something, anything, to try out the new gear. I finally settled on our poinsettia.

This plant has been blooming since we got it in mid-December and it continues to put out new leaves and flowers and seed pods.

The tiny flower is called a cyathium (plural, cyathia). My plant is covered with them. The “glass eye” is a nectar gland, one per flower. Too bad there are no ants or bees to enjoy its sweetness. More camera fodder.

Poinsettia flower and nectar gland

If you’d like to know more about this interesting family of plants, check out this site. Scroll down to the second and third sets of illustrations and you’ll recognize the poinsettia flower parts.

I took these photos with my Sony A6000 and a 10 mm extension tube.

Poinsettia   Euphorbia pulcherrima


Goodbye Canon, Hello Sony

You’re taking pics. You’re lining  up great shots. You’re in the zone then … zzziiittt. Huh? What the heck is happening?

Turns out that what-the-heck is a camera lens that won’t retract. How the #$@% did that happen?

I tried everything to get it working again. Then finally realized that like my old pal, Olympus, my Canon was beyond repair. At least by me. I was in shock. Me? Without a camera? Not a good thing. Not good at all.

Then Serendipity stepped in. (I must say she arrived at the most opportune time.) My friend, Jeff, offered to send me his mirrorless Sony A6000, with lenses. Wow.

Having vowed, repeatedly, that I did not want to get caught up in lenses and camera bags and toting “stuff” again, I began to weaken.

I fell in love with that Sony. (Okay, I may as well admit it: I caved and bought myself one. With a telephoto lens. And when the purse strings weaken I’ll get a macro lens too. Oh, woman, thou art so easily swayed.)

I’ll get in touch with Canon and see what, if anything, can be done for my long-time lens-plagued companion. In the meantime, Sony & I will be outside getting acquainted.


Butterflies are as hard for me to photograph as bumblebees.

My camera has only one lens so getting tight is a must. The problem? When you are small and weigh less than a whisper, looming shadows spell trouble. You leave. Sigh.

So I changed tactics, heading out at either end of the day in search of late risers or early-to-bedders.

Persistence paid off.

IMG_5505 Northern Pearl Crescent

Northern Pearl Crescent Butterfly   Phyciodes morpheus

If At First …

Most days my camera and I get along fine.

Some days — and today was one — we don’t. This usually happens when I’m in macro mode.

After the storm ended I went out to shoot raindrops. It did not go well.

No matter what I did, the camera refused to focus. Sigh. Thoughts of trading up to a DSLR flash through my mind.

Okay, I said, we’ll do it your way. I let the camera decide. If it wouldn’t focus I’d take the shot anyway. (Two can play this game.)

The outcome? None of the photos were in focus.

But to my utter surprise, I love them. Instead of predicable sun-shining-on-raindrops, the photos spoke another language of shape and subtle colour. Other worldly. Always there, seldom seen.

Sometimes the best way out of a predicament is to re-focus your expectations.