Weekly Topics

Common Hazel flower

Flora and Fauna Friday this week is the second part of my posts on the Common Hazel (Corylus avellana).

Last week my post was about the male Common Hazel catkins that produce the pollen to fertilise the female flowers.

This week my post is about the female flowers. The flowers are tiny, the entire bud in this photo is approximately the size of the head of a match. The red styles that form the visible part of the flower are 1 to 3 mm long.

Flora and Fauna Friday: Common Hazel
Photo Challenges


This is my very late contribution to the Tuesday Photo Challenge – All You Need Is Love prompt.

I admit I had forgotten about the challenge until seeing the contribution from Cee Neuner.

Blackbird is a song on The Beatles White Album.

A small selection of Blackbirds.

January Squares: Up #11

A male Yellow-headed Blackbird.

One Word Sunday: Inspiration

Male Red-winged Blackbird.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Old and New

Male Common Blackbird.

One Word Sunday: Inspiration

Female Red-winged Blackbird.

Weekly Topics

Female Pine Grosbeak

My Saturday Bird this week is the Pine Grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator), a large finch with a long tail.

The species breeds in the far north of North America and Eurasia. It is an irruptive species meaning numbers can vary greatly if the birds move south for the winter. Often absurdly tame allowing close approach they will land within a few feet of an observer.

This is a female photographed in light snow at Greenwater Lake Provincial Park, Saskatchewan, Canada in the winter. Males are pinkish red and gray.

Saturday Bird: Pine Grosbeak
A Month of Squares

January Squares: Up #16

Riding Up on top.

This is my day 16 contribution to Becky’s January Squares on the theme of Up.

Two young Common Merganser riding Up on top of their mothers back.

January Squares: Up #22
Photo Challenges

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

This is my contribution to Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge: Word that contains the letter U prompt.

I decided to go with a natural history theme and had a few ideas for the challenge before thinking of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

As this bird doesn’t have a ruby coloured throat it’s a female. Given how smart the birds plumage is I suspect that it’s a juvenile female hatched from an egg earlier in the summer. It was photographed on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario in August.

CMMC: Contains the letter U

A is for Abstract

This is my contribution to the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: An Alphabet Challenge – Subjects That Begin with the Letter A prompt.

I enjoy these sort of challenges as it allows me to come up with a theme. Sometimes I take a sideways look at the prompt and head off in a direction that only has a tenuous connection to the challenge.

I had a couple of ideas for the challenge before thinking of abstract images. Possibly because I had photographed a few abstract images of ripples on the local bay this past summer and autumn.

I briefly considered a post exclusively of ripples but decided that would be more appropriate if the prompt was the letter R.

In the end I decided to go with a small selection of photos taken over the past 35 years.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: A

Lichen on a tree trunk with a cheap CCTV lens on the camera.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: A

Foxtail Barley. Detail of the seed heads, it was more about the colour than the plant.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: A

A motion blurred female Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: A

Ripples on Georgian Bay. Photographed in 1985 and possibly my earliest photo of ripples.

Weekly Topics

Holly berries

My Flora and Fauna Friday post this week is Holly (Ilex aquifolium) berries.

Technically they’re a fruit rather than a berry. They are a popular winter food source for a variety of birds as well as being a traditional Christmas decoration.

These berries were photographed on a mature female tree in a garden in Hatherton near Nantwich in southern Cheshire, England.

Flora and Fauna Friday: Holly