This orchid was a housewarming present that my friend received, from a family member. She’s not good with plants anyway, but there was a particular irony in the detailed instructions given with this beauty. There are 2 other plants in the approximately 8X8 basket this is potted in, and the orchid rises up and curves above them. The instructions for the orchid indicate water is necessary about every 3 weeks. The instructions for the foliage plants in the basket? Water every 2-3 days. Of course.
This is a portrait of the uninvited “tourist,” the invasive and prolific Quagga Mussel. I didn’t even notice the little sand spider near the bottom middle/left until I blew this up…ewwwwww! I punched up the detail and saturation on this with Topaz Adjust. The dried water-junk leaves a white film on the rocks on the beach, making it hard to see the bits of color underneath, especially in bright light. The biggest of these little critters is about the size of my fingernail, and I have teensy hands. They’re everywhere. You can hardly set your foot down without crunching their little dead shells on the beach, and there must be a zillion times that under the water.
This was not a high contrast shot in the least. It was totally blasted out from the afternoon sun and the fact that these agaves (or yuccas, whatever they are) were dying and faded. I was going to try to punch it up for the repeating patterns theme…I was playing around with it and got this version with the sketch presets, which I’d previously decided were worthless. Now I’m loving it.
One, two, three, they climbed the log. Another gem from my favorite wildlife park.
What better exemplifies this scene than a snake? We found this little feller crossing the road in Northern AZ so we stopped to take his picture. My buddy who is a reptile guy says he is either a Prairie Rattler or a young Arizona Black Rattlesnake (as they are not black until they are mature and this was a little guy). Hubby thought it was a sidewinder because that’s how it moved but my reptile guy says most young/small rattlesnakes move that way. I decided to forego a longer exposure, trying to get his rattles blurred because he was moving so much, and as luck would have it my quick shutter caught his tongue out. I know I look like I’m up in his face but this was with 300mm zoom. 🙂
I intended to do nothing but crop this because it was great. The colors were nice and everything was the way I liked it. Then, just because, I started playing with Topaz Adjust and of all things the recover highlights preset really made it crazy beautiful.