24 December 2013

Pōhutukawa in flower

Pōhutukawa is a native tree with the nickname of New Zealand Christmas Tree because it flowers like this around Christmas time.

photo © Jenny Mespel

Metrosideros excelsa (pōhutukawa, New Zealand pohutukawa, New Zealand Christmas tree) is a coastal evergreen tree in the myrtle family that produces a brilliant display of red flowers made up of a mass of stamens. The pōhutukawa is one of 12 Metrosideros species endemic to New Zealand. Renowned for its vibrant colour and its ability to survive even perched on rocky, precarious cliffs, it has found an important place in New Zealand culture for its strength and beauty and is regarded as a chiefly tree (rākau rangatira) by Māori. The blossom of the tree is called kahika.

Have a great day: merry Christmas!

21 December 2013

Red battleground

« Phoenix, Arizona is America's largest battleground for real estate auctions.»

Property Wars is an American reality television series that airs on the Discovery Channel. Property Wars follows a group of men, located in Phoenix, Arizona, who bid to purchase foreclosed homes, without being able to look inside. In each episode the main cast members group in front of the home to see what condition it is in while their bidder is on location at the auction for the home.

Phoenix has a subtropical desert climate. Desert soils come in a variety of colors. Some soils have the same pale, brownish color from top to bottom, but others may be layered with browns, reds, pinks and whites. Argillic horizons of many older soils in the Sonoran Desert are a distinct, rusty brick red.

Here both – the architecture and the flora – totally fascinate me, northern.

Happy winter solstice to all my readers!

17 December 2013

Not exactly alike

Alexis America's artwork is notable for its naturalism and luminosity.

 Cheerful pinks (2010)

 Deco waterlilies (2010)

 Nenuphar (2010)

 Orange waterlilies (2010)

 Pink lily on black pond (2010)

 Three shiney reds (2010)

 Victoria (2010)

 White lilies (2010)

 White waterlily on blue pond (2010)

Wild orchids (2010)

« As an artist specializing in plants, I have the great good fortune of looking at them very closely. Here is an amazing thing one discovers: no two leaves of a plant are exactly alike. I attempt to convey that uniqueness in every botanical painting I make.  

My paintings are done in watercolor, as this medium best captures the characteristics of plants, the delicacy of petals. I build the color layer by layer, from light to dark.

Traditionally, plants are painted on a white background, but I began to feel that this did not adequately portray the vivid images I was seeing. So now I include a little of the world in which a plant lives.»

–Alexis America

09 December 2013

Cloth moth

Armyworm moth

A moth is an insect related to the butterfly, both being of the order Lepidoptera. Most of this order are moths. There are thought to be approximately 160,000 species of moth (nearly 10 times the number of species of butterfly), with thousands of species yet to be described. Most species of moth are nocturnal, but there are crepuscular and diurnal species.

Made of cotton, fake fur, fabric paint, embroidery thread, wire, absolutely fascinating textile moths by Yumi Okita.

 Banded tiger moth (Apantesis vittata)

 Banded tussock moth

 Black and white wing moth (Areas galactina)

 Dark gray moth

 Dimorphic macalla moth

 Eyed-hawk moth

 Eyed-hawk moth

 Red-tailed specter moth

Yellow tiger moth (Amaxia pulchramoth)

Yumi Okita also fabrics other kinds of insects. Web site here; Etsy shop here.

Green cicada

04 December 2013

Cuckoo squirrel

Squirrel cuckoo (Piaya cayana) is a large magnificent bird found in wooded habitats from northwestern Mexico to northern Argentina and Uruguay, and on Trinidad.

Alma de gato in Spanish, this species’ English name derives from its habit of running along branches and leaping from branch to branch like a squirrel. Squirrel cuckoo makes explosive kip! and kip! weeuu calls and the song is a whistled wheep wheep wheep wheep.

© Jeluba

Why those beautiful squirrel cuckoo photos appear on my blog today? you may ask yourself. Because: I have a computer folder called bird painting. With thousands of artworks grabbed on the web. I'm fascinated by bird illustration so I often look at them. A few days ago I came across this one, from great artist Walter Alois Weber (1906–1979). Wow.

Just wanted to share the way I share.

30 November 2013

Dew drop flies

Gros plan!

David Chambon is a French photographer who captures insects covered in hundreds of tiny water droplets.

« Amateur photographer for 10 years, I started with a Panasonic FZ-30 Bridge that made me really love photography. Then I bought my first digital SLR. I started reading on several photo forums and understood the importance of good material and especially good technique! So I learned the basics on the net. Today I am truly passionate about nature and spend my free time face down in the wet grass to capture what mother nature has best to offer. Over time I specialized in wildlife macro photography.» –David Chambon

Sorry for the translation, which is a bit wobbly, and thank you to Google translate.

Lentilles de contact

Morning dew


Mouche à m...

Robber fly

Sans titre

The fly

Two famous sites (!) have also featured David Chambon's insects covered in water droplets: This is colossal and Enpundit. The selected photos are different from here though. And see David Chambon's flickr gallery page.

Collier de perles

Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow;
he who would search for pearls must dive below.

Guillaume de Salluste du Bartas (1544–1590)