Nature Notes: Early Fall Backyard

rudbeckia with blue background
I really would have liked to have photographed some of the blue jays I saw yesterday. Instead, here’s a rudbeckia from a yard in which I emphasized the blue background with Photoshop.

aster tiny flying insect
When I put this photo of tiny asters on my computer, I noticed a tiny flying insect enjoyed the flowers even more than I did.

ugly red berries
Ugly red berries (maybe you like them?) are growing on a tree in my backyard.

sparrow discovers bird feeder
I finally filled my bird feeder again. I left it alone all summer, as birds seem to love my compost in the summer. But I’m trying to get in the habit of filling it, so in the winter the birds will know they can show up for a nosh. This sparrow seems to have already helped himself – do you think he is digesting his meal before flying off? Or is that only something humans do?

Next week is Sukkot and the week after Simhat Torah-Shemini Atzeret, so I won’t have much time for blogging or Nature Notes. On Sukkot we do have some contact with nature – in particular, we sit outside in a sukkah for all our meals. One can see see the stars through the roof of the sukkah (assuming it’s a clear night). Can any of my Jewish friends explain to my non-Jewish readers a few other natural elements of Sukkot?

Rudbeckia: Red and Green

rudbeckia with oregano behind
I do like photographing rudbeckia, also known as black-eyed susan. The green plant with the white flowers behind my yellow rudbeckia is oregano.

reds behind rudbeckia
The brick red behind these rudbeckia is from fall leaves of our bald cypress tree.

For more flowers, visit:
flowers Today

Review with Orange Lilies

orange lilies in front of yellow rudbeckia

On My Blog

robin crying with open mouth rudbeckia being held with fingers leora camping mizuna roof in illustrator daisy like flower tiny weed bud in July of rhododendron sauerkraut made with red cabbage elegant woman in pink painting

Elsewhere in the Blogosphere

Rudbeckia in the Hand

rudbeckia being held with fingers
I had some shots of my rudbeckia (black eyed susans) even closer up, but I found this one in particular to be a charming composition. The black eyed susans grow all over my front yard. I encourage them (by not picking the little seedlings when the full grown plant self seeds).

For more macro shots, visit Macro Monday.

Snowy Sepia Rudbeckia

snowy rudbeckia in sepia
I love photographing rudbeckia (black-eyed susans); they are like sculptures in the winter snow. To achieve the see-through border, I added a 9px stroke to the Photoshop layer that had the sepia effect. Since the layer had an opacity lower than 100%, the border is also transparent. The default stroke effect is a bright red color; using the eye-dropper tool, I selected a color from within the photograph for the border.

Review with Rudbeckia and Verbena

faded rudbeckia and verbena
Fading Rudbeckia with Purple Verbena in the Background

On My Blog

milkweed lily pads fall leaves and a gourd in our sukkah
cardinal apple on a tree RPRY Art Show 2010
washington monument Next Year in Jerusalem blueberry orange cake
It’s been a while since I did a review, so perhaps this should be a month in review (or two months?). Jewish holidays can do that to you – you can’t remember what it was you were planning in mid August, and all of a sudden it’s October. I was very busy putting up the films for the Rutgers New Jersey Jewish Film Festival in September – if you live in New Jersey, I hope you will see one of the films!

More on my blog:

Elsewhere in the Blogosphere

Lilies and Rudbeckia

lilies in front of rudbeckia
I like shooting photos so the object in the front is clear and the background has a blur (or bokeh). Here are orange lilies in front of yellow rudbeckia.

rudbeckia in front of lily
The rudbeckia are shown in front of the day lilies. I have rudbeckia (commonly Black-Eyed Susans) all over my yard.

For more flowers, visit:
flowers Today

Review with Nasturtium and Rudbeckia

rudbeckia and nasturtium
Rudbeckia in foreground and Orange Nasturtium in the back

Busy, crazy week – birthday boom bash for my daughter on Sunday, busy, busy, busy with work, then this morning my daughter wakes up with a fever and a virus! The nerve of her – I hope she gets better soon. She is missing the last two days of school.

Where the Fortress Looms: After discovering the fabled Ruin Rui in Ruins, Patrick finds mutated pins and dead racers everywhere. Bruce is the last rebel left. Or is he?

Elsewhere in the Blogosphere

  • Ilana-Davita teaches us about the philosophy questions in France. Here are a few: Can a scientific truth be dangerous? Can art exist without rules? Is the role of a historian to judge?
  • Ima2Seven called this post Health Nuts but of course I think the people who are nuts are the ones eating the junk food. It’s been a big struggle for me to get my family to eat healthier. I told my daughter I wanted to bring apples and carrots for a party (not being totally serious), and she told me the other kids would laugh at her (they seriously would).
  • Dr. Weil on ADHD Without Drugs
  • Jew Wishes reviewed The Story of a Life by Aharon Appelfeld.
  • Therapy Doc writes about depression and loss in I’m Not Depressed.

Review with Yellow and Pinks

rudbeckia and lamb's ear flowers
Yellow are rudbeckia, and the pink are lamb's ear flowers

On My Blog

buildings in New York City gray catbird strawberry grown in the backyard
mexican primrose sun on a gate in Rutgers Gardens Lake in the Pine Barrens
red radish from the garden unicyclist on Jewish star unicycle in Salute to Israel Parade Central Park, south side

How to Pay a Shiva Call

Millet recipes (I tried the millet cakes – as a pilaf, it was delicious, but it failed to become cakes. Maybe I’ll cheat and add eggs and a binder like matza meal).

Elsewhere in the Blogosphere

Yellow Fading Snapdragons

We had our first snow fall last night (really a sprinkling), and now my snapdragons are really fading.

Goodbye, colorful yellow and pink flowers that look like little bubbles. Come back in the spring. And bring the rudbeckia with you.


For more yellow photos, visit Mellow Yellow Monday: