Yellow Spring Mystery Solved

Macro Mysteries Solved photography logo by Merry Hearts Medicine

Were you able to identify the subject of the mysterious photo from the last post?  Guesses have included flowers or bugs.  The object did come from the outdoors, but it didn’t come into our house in the condition you saw in the photo…


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Critters and Varmints




1.  (US & Canadian) a dialect word for creature

— Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition

Having family in the Missouri and Arkansas Ozarks, I’ve learned various “countryfied” words to add to my vocabulary.  Not that I actually use all of these words, but I do know a few funny ones such as:

  • “poke” (n. a sack or bag.  “Hand me that there poke and I’ll stick these taters in it fer ya so you can tote ’em home.”)
  • “sumpin” (n. something.  “Ma, I’m bored!  I need sumpin to do!”)
  • “ain’t”  (v. is not, are not, has not, have not…you get the idea.  “Ain’t you got supper ready yet?”)
  • “reckon” (v. think.  “You reckon we oughta head home?  It’s gettin’ purty late!”)
  • “feller” (n. a man.  “BillyBob?  Ain’t he that feller that bought BettySue’s old place down at Turkey Creek holler?”)
  • “purt-near” and “plumb” (adv. almost & adv. completely.  “I heard you was feelin’ puny.  You back to your old self yet?”  …  “Well, purt-near, but not plumb.”)

The list could go on for miles, but I’ll only mention one more one for you to enjoy:


[vahr-muh nt]

Chiefly Southern and South Midland U.S.

  1. vermin.
  2. an objectionable or undesirable animal, usually predatory, as coyote or bobcat.

— Unabridged (Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.)

Today I’d like to share recent photos of creatures that those in the Ozarks might label as “springtime critters and varmints“:

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After fencing in the garden to allow us to enjoy the bunnies AND fresh produce, I found out why she hung around the garden so often:  she had five babies hidden right in the center of my garden!  It’s crazy to me how wild rabbits make their nests in open areas; it makes me wonder how many I may have injured while using the riding mower in the yard.


Spring Macro Photo Gallery

As I’ve said before, observing and interacting with nature adds joy to my life.  I’m in awe of the complex patterns and relationships in nature, the efficient recycling through stages of decay and regrowth, the balance of interaction between each member of a local ecosystem, and the ebb and flow of the seasons.

Spring is the season currently budding out in my neck of the woods!  Let’s get up close and personal with the beauty of this wonderful season…

When I’m attempting to capture such natural beauty with my camera, I often think about how the hand of our Great Designer can be seen in His intricate creations.


Photography 101: Glass

Day 17:  A piece of glass is required to meet today’s assignment, with the idea of incorporating it into the photos in an interesting way.

vase of daffodils bottom lit; flowers seem to glow, streaks of light on wall

This glass vase full of several types of daffodils from our yard looks interesting when up lit by a very bright LED flashlight.

The Photo 101 assignment mentioned trying photos with and without the flash.

vase of daffodils bottom lit using camera flash; not as interesting

Pretty daffodils, but the photo is not nearly as unique when I use the flash. I can hardly see that the flashlight is on in this photo.

You can add a lot of drama to your photographs with a simple LED flashlight, even without using it to blind your friends!  (Lol.  You can read a previous post for that story.)

vase of daffodils with led flashlight lying beside it

vase of daffodils bottom lit closeup; flowers seem to glow

Using PicMonkey editing tools, I adjusted the color temperature more cool (blue) and added dark edges to this photo.

Flowers are blooming, trees are budding, sparrows are settling into our new birdhouses, and robins are staking out territories in the yard.  Aaahhh…I enjoy spring!  Don’t you?


Photography 101: A Pop of Color

Day 11:  Today, the Photo 101 participants were guided to focus on the effect of color in an image.  We were encouraged to display a bold (or even a pastel) color against a bland background.

I saw a very bland background as soon as I looked out the window this morning.  The world was blanketed in fog.  The plastic birdhouses I recently made were definitely a strong “pop of color” against the haze.

dewdrops and spiderwebs on a tree branch in front of a red birdhouse

The dewdrops and spiderwebs were interesting against the glow of the foggy morning, so I photographed some blooms on the red maple tree to see if they had enough color to be interesting.

red maple tree bud and spider webs covered in dew

I did increase the saturation on this one to bring out the color in the bloom.

These daffodils were a welcome, cheery pop of color in the yard this morning.  Spring is in the air!

bright yellow daffodils covered in dew in front of a stone fire pit

My daughter asked where I took this photo because she didn’t recognize the area. Can you tell what is in the background behind these spring flowers?

The assignment also mentioned using pastel colors, so I lined up our chicken eggs to compare the colors.

white, tan, brown, blue, and green chicken eggs lined up across a plate


Photography 101: Street

Day 2:  The theme for the second day was “Street” and the focus was on capturing an establishing shot (“a wide-angle photo that sets up a scene”).

Now that the rain, sleet, and snow have finished falling, I was able to go find a winter scene for this assignment.

a small-town street covered in snow with ruts and footprints

I didn’t capture a focal point in the foreground on this shot, like the assignment mentioned, but I did get a wide angle view.  I guess you can just imagine yourself in the foreground, getting ready to make a snow angel near the brick building or getting ready to pelt the photographer with a snowball! ha ha

I experimented with three camera settings for this assignment:  “Snow” (Yes, I have a snow setting on my camera…Who knew?), “Auto,” and “Aperture Priority” (which I mentioned in the previous post).

  1. The Snow setting, of course, helped control the brightness of the glare off the snow, and it gave the best results in most of my shots.
  2. The Auto setting gave a somewhat unattractive blue tint to the snow, especially when I tried to take close-ups.  It showed the most detail on tree branch shadows in the snow, though.
  3. The Aperature Priority setting, I have decided, is best for taking shots in darker situations, rather than bright daylight in the snow.  The details of the snow were washed out with this setting, and the ruts in the street looked pinkish.

Here are photos of water running in a ditch, using the different settings:

Here’s a few more photos I took, just for fun.  They were all taken with the Snow setting.

Opinions and ideas on this post are most appreciated!