Camellia Sasanqua “Falling Star” and Viceroy Butterfly F5 1/60 35 mm
January and February is the peak blooming season for camellias in our neck of the woods, although the blooms start showing as early as October in the Southeast. This image of a Viceroy butterfly drinking the nectar from Camellia Sasanqua “Falling Star” was captured in my backyard this past October.
I’m certainly no expert on these plants, but if need to know more, there’s always help nearby. The local branch of the American Camellia Society, Coastal Carolina Camellia Society held their 68th Annual Camellia Show in Charleston, SC on January 28. At that event 1067 different blooms were shown. The variety of Camellias seems endless! For those who may be interested in the American Camellia Society, the National Convention will be held April 5-8 in Newberg, Oregon.
Sharing this one with Cee’s Photography, Feb. 21, 2017 Flower of the Day.
Dogday Cicada emerging from its exoskeleton f/5.0 1/400, ISO 560, 35mm
I spend quite a lot of time photographing in our garden throughout the spring and summer. Let me first say, I have ALWAYS been creeped out by bugs. But if you spend enough time in a vegetable garden, you’re likely to encounter quiet a few. So, while keeping a safe camera lens distance from them, I like to capture their images and I research what I found.
I was astonished to catch this moment. It’s a Dogday cicada just coming out of its nymph shell.
‘Gingerbread House’ Advent Calendar
Advent Calendar Doors open, filled with candy and Scripture message.
Detail with Scripture Message for Advent Calendar
In my faith tradition, the four weeks leading up to the celebration of Christmas are called Advent, meaning, “to come to”. We are taught the Advent season is a time to direct our attention to the coming of Christ at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.
It isn’t easy to stay focused on these spiritual matters in our culture. For most Americans, the Christmas season began the day after Halloween and is a sensory overload of marketing from TV shows, movies, store displays, and an email inbox overflowing with ‘unbeatable deals’ with ‘last chance’ sales.
Holiday traditions are important to me, and those traditions include celebrating the hopeful spirit of Advent. So I was thrilled to receive this charming wood Advent Calendar several years ago. Advent begins on the Sunday closest to November 30 (the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle), but most Advent calendars begin the countdown on December 1.
According to the German folklorist and historian Esther Gajek, the history of the first printed Advent Calendar is traced to 1908 and Gerhard Lang. Lang, a native of Maulbronn Germany recalled the homemade calendar his mother made with little candies. He was working in the printing office Reichhold & Lang, when he produced little colored pictures that could be placed on a cardboard marking the countdown to Christmas. Later, he produced calendars with little doors to open.
The kids especially love to open the doors of our Advent calendar. So, in addition to a bit of candy, I bring them into the Spirit of the season with a bit of Scripture printed on cardboard.