Fleeting Beauty

Well, only eight days after I posted this, the peonies are gone….tattered petals lying in piles on the much. Another example of how the most beautiful things never last for long (autumn leaves, sunsets, rainbows).

Did you know rainbows ended at nuclear power plants?

I’m keeping that in mind as I enjoy my favorite new visitor to our bird feeders: a male Rose-breasted  Grosbeak. As usual, my photo was taken through a window. And this time the light wasn’t good either. But anyway, here he is.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

He’s a beauty, isn’t he? We saw one of these down in Ohio during the Biggest Week last month, but this is the first time one has ever been to our feeders. And he’s been here for four days in a row so far, so maybe he’s staying around for the summer.

The little male Indigo Bunting has been back this week too. And just a few minutes ago I was privileged to watch a male Red-bellied Woodpecker feeding his two youngsters in our sassafras tree. I’ve read that the parents will continue to feed the fledglings for up to 10 weeks after they leave the nest, so I hope I’ll get a few more peeks at these cuties before the parents chase them away.

I’m very excited to report that my long-awaited photography class started yesterday. It meets once a week for six weeks, including a couple of group photo shoots in the city park. The instructor has us all using the full “manual” setting on our cameras; I normally use the aperture-priority setting, so this is already a step forward for me. With the aperture-priority mode I only had to choose the aperture setting, while the camera selected everything else for me. Now I have to set the ISO, the aperture, and the shutter speed myself. It feels like alot to think about, but I think my overall understanding of photography will grow by leaps and bounds this way. Don’t you just love learning new things? I do.

(Click to see larger for better detail)

And since my 50th birthday is coming up in a few weeks (gulp), I’m pretty sure I can justify asking for a new camera lens, right? (Note to RJ, my photography enabler: Wow, I might eventually have as many lenses as you!) I considered sky-diving as a way to mark the occasion, but now I’m thinking a camera lens would last longer than that experience. It’s not that I’m chicken or anything…. I’ve wanted to skydive for a long time, but I always wonder if I’d be too afraid to jump when I got up in the plane. Maybe one day I’ll find out. But for now my camera and I will stay firmly planted on the ground.

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