I am so excited to share this new hobby of mine, this keeps me occupied while I wait for the next episode of Game of Thrones!! I have this great obsession with photographing butterflies. In my gardens I have about 12 butterfly bushes and other plants to attract the lovely creatures to my back yard. I have plants which provide nourishment and a host plants for their eggs and developing larva. Tons of milkweed, coneflowers,lantana,rudbeckia and many others. Usually during the spring and summer months, my plants are filled with butterflies. For some reason, this year there have been hardly any. In the early part of the season, if I had 3 butterflies fluttering around, I considered myself very fortunate. I started to research the shortage of butterflies in my area, West Chester, Pennsylvania. The only clue I could find suggested the mild winter temperatures we had this year. The monarch butterflies migrate south. The swallowtails overwinter in their cocoons in this area. The article I read was from 2009 which was also a mild winter. The article suggested that perhaps because of the mild temperatures in January and February, the butterflies were tricked into thinking it was time to emerge from their cocoons only to find no nourishment available to them and they died off. A mild winter is great for us but not so great for the swallowtail butterflies.
While researching the decline of our divine creatures, I came across many articles about the decline of the monarch butterflies. I started to read up on them and realized their decrease in population was due to the deforestation in Mexico where they migrate, the change in the temperatures and pesticides. I read up on many programs that are trying to revive the population. I joined up with a research group at the University of Minnesota to monitor the monarchs in my backyard ( which is not many).
Once I received my kit, I was on the hunt for monarch eggs. Lo and behold, I actually found some on my milkweed plants. Unfortunately, sometimes those eggs disappeared and then others appeared. It was very hard to keep track of the eggs. I decided to give up trying to count the eggs and waited for them to hatch. I started collecting the caterpillars as they hatched and raise them in an enclosed netted cage. To this day I have released 8 healthy monarchs, 7 females and 1 male. Right now I have 24 cocoons waiting to hatch and about 15 caterpillars feeding on my milkweed cuttings. It is really interesting to watch them grow and go through the different stages of development. From egg, to instar 1-5, to pupae and finally emerging as the majestic butterfly.
I feel great about helping nature and the environment by increasing the population of these beautiful creatures. I also love photographing and documenting their progress. If you have the chance stop by my butterfly gallery and browse through the new Monarch prints I have posted.
Thanks for reading!
I don’t know where the summer has gone. It is almost the end of July and it feels like the summer just started. I have been working in my gardens, flowers and vegetables, and taking a lot of pictures. The weeds have been a real pain to keep up with, digging and pulling–too much rain!
Tomorrow my niece is stopping by for a photo shoot with her and her dragon lizard, Navi. That should be a lot of fun!! Hopefully Navi will cooperate and I will be able to post some pictures of her later this week.
One thing I have noticed this year is the low number of butterflies I have in my gardens. The butterfly bushes usually have a numerous amount of these beauties fluttering around. If I have 5 on the bushes at one time that is a lot. However, I do have two Monarchs (one male and one female) fluttering around! Anyone else notice the drop in the butterflies in their area? If so, I would like to hear your thoughts on the population drop.
I did post some new black and white images and some color images of flowers from my garden. If you have a chance, stop by and browse.
That’s it for now! I shall return!
This time of the year is one of my most favorable time of the year to photography nature. Birds, insects, flowers, sunsets it is all challenging to capture the center of attraction at the right moment. I started nature photography in my backyard. We have a very diverse sample of wildlife coming through our backyard. One of my biggest challenges is the hummingbirds. They are exceptionally hard to photograph, especially when they are getting the nectar from flowers and not at a feeder. Sometimes I sit outside for a couple hours and come away with unusable photos. People ride by my house and see this thing sitting under a beach towel (red of course) with this black object jutting out the front. I must look a little kooky to some of my neighbors, but hopefully by now they have gotten use to me. I have managed to capture some really nice hummingbird poses. These I have hanging as decor in my house and I have often presented them as a gift for someone special in my life.
Be back tomorrow for more blogging!
I know this has nothing to do with my photography but I really thought this was an important issue that needs the support of everyone. There is a farm in our area 300plus acres owned by the heir of the acme stores. The property is not only beautiful but it also has some historical significance. This is where the Brandywine Battle was started during the Revolutionary War. The property is in the process of being sold to a developer, Toll Brothers, who builds cookie cutter houses– I think 312 of them-not sure on that number. There is a petition going around, trying to stop this from happening. I have added a link for anyone to sign to help stop this development. These developers are striping us of our trees and wildlife!! Please help and sign the petition. You do not have to be a resident of the township! Thanks!!
Click the link to sign
I just added some new images in my galleries. I added some macro rose images that I took yesterday after a rain.
Since I was unable to do my gardening yesterday because of the rain and muddy conditions, I was playing around and created some orbs in black and white. I wasn’t crazy about the original colors, but I really like the pattern it produced, so I change to Black and White and then Black on White. Check them out if you get the chance!
Just a reminder, the Chester County Studio Tour is this saturday and sunday. The County Collector pieces will go on sale at 10:00 AM on saturday for $75. I will be at Lisa Fedon Studio (#18), 205 Byers rd. , Chester Springs, Pa.
Don’t forget to vote for you favorite artist www.countystudiotour.com/
go to event info , vote 2017 Chesco, and vote for your favorite artist. You have the chance to win some county cash, to be used towards the purchase of art from participating artist. Hope to see you there!
This is the image I have decided to offer on my COUNTY COLLECTOR PIECE for the Chester County Studio Tour. The piece measures 6 X 6, it is a metal print float mounted on a black frame. All COUNTY COLLECTORS PIECES are priced at $75.00. It will go on sale at 10:00AM Saturday, May 20th. I will be at Studio 18, LISA FEDON STUDIO, 205 Byers Rd., Chester Springs. Hope to see you there!!
I start the creation of my orbs from one of my photographs. I use photographs which display a lot of vibrant colors and ones that I feel will provide an interesting pattern. After I decide which photograph to use, I open it up in photoshop and apply an “twirl” filter to the photo. After that process, I go back into filters to distort and change things up using the polar coordinates. When that process is complete, I transform the shape to a circle, add some light effects and then create the shadow directly underneath or off to the sides. The latest orb I created, The Altar Orb, I put the orb on a textured background and it gave the print a 3D look.
I have a lot of fun creating the orbs from my photos. Some of my clients have requested certain colors for the orb which is a challenge I readily accept. I love being creative, changing things up to surprise my clients!
Be sure to stop by the Orb gallery and check out “THE ALTAR ORB.”
Be back soon!!
FOR LOCAL PURCHASES: If you are within a 20 mile radius of my location, I will gladly arrange a meet up with you to pick up your art work saving you the shipping fee. Just email me and I will instruct you how to make the purchase online minus the shipping fee.
Sunday, April 9th, I will be displaying my artwork in conjunction with a wine tasting at the Galer Estate Vineyard and Winery, 700 Folly Hill Rd., Kennett Sq., Pa. The tasting room is open 12-7 PM and my work will be displayed 2-6PM. Hopefully I will see you there!
For more info https://www.galerestate.com