Nectar Ecstasy!

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I feel very blessed to spend time bird watching these hummingbirds in the comfort of my backyard.

My love for hummingbirds goes back 20 to 30 years ago. 20 to 30 years ago, I set up hummingbird feeders, since they worked logistically in my home. I did not shoot photographs since the feeders were by our windows. So there was a reflection from the window as well as its location which prevented me from photographing the hummingbirds who came to enjoy the sugar water.

I enjoyed watching the hummingbirds visit our feeders, but did not pursue ideas how to photograph the birds in action. Since I was working as a photographer for an electronic retail corporation, I did not seriously consider expanding my photography skills to shoot nature.

As my professional career evolved with this retail corporation closing, my professional photography job ended. I obtain other employment which ended after a number of years due to budget issues.

So when one door closes, we learn to welcome new opportunities to learn and roll with life changes.

Currently, I enjoy sitting in my backyard and waiting patiently for my new hummingbirds friends to come for their meals from my flowers. I get energized during my time watching and shooting the creatures who visit my garden. I can identify this bird’s ecstasy.

Creating my own environment to shoot pictures is a work in progress. I am so excited to watch the changing environment with the different birds, bees and butterflies.

What is your passion that makes you excited or experience ecstasy?

I learned don’t give up on past loves or interests. But consider how to build ideas and projects based on your passions. Maybe you have more time during your pandemic life. If this is true, do you have time to go back to old passions and consider how you can convert these loves into goals or projects?

Pandemic life is difficult. But can we grow pursuing our passions to experience ecstasy and excitement with achievements of new goals?

Photos inspire excitement and ecstasy!

Perfect Pose

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This hummingbird was shot recently, as I was waiting patiently for his visit. He was circling around my backyard trying to decide which flower to drink from. I love hanging out in my backyard to see which of my new friends will show up. If I am still, he may come up close to take a quick look at me. He doesn’t like my big zoom lens. But I hope he is getting accustomed to seeing it.

This hummingbird posed perfectly for my photograph. I am learning how to shoot quickly to catch the bird as it is seeking nectar. I love the pointed triangular wings and the green back side and tail. The green perfectly matches the leaves on these plants.

What is the perfect pose? A perfect pose is a natural position of the subject. The perfect pose also tells us something about the subject. This hummingbird’s perfect pose shows us how he is looking at the flowers for his nectar snack.

I am envious of this hummingbird’s perfect pose. He looks so straight and perfect. He does not look like he will encounter any backaches or neck pain. I realize my natural pose is not ergonomically correct. I tend to slouch, and my neck is not as erect as it should be. Thus I have experienced neck and back aches occasionally.

Humans have to work on our natural pose for photographs by standing erect and to correct our stance to look good. If we are moving or doing an activity, then our pose will be more natural. Having good posture will save us from pain agony, as we grow older.

Seeing this hummingbird’s perfect pose is a good reminder to me how I need to practice a perfect pose to correct and prevent future pain. Also a perfect pose might give me an extra inch of height if I will stand up straight.

Photos give good reminders!

Bumble Bee Zeroing In on Lavender Flower

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We do not usually consider bees as fuzzy creatures. Most of us think about the stinger on a bee and wanting to get away from this flying insect.

This photograph shows us the softer side of the bee with it fuzzy exterior. It reminds of a cuddly stuffed animal since this bee is round in shape. The photo also shows the bee’s wings in action and the long pair of antennae on top of the bee’s head.

This bee has a nice orange chunk of pollen collected in its pollen baskets on the hind legs. Bees are goal oriented to take care of the needs of their hive. I do not know where their hive is, but the bees are pretty regular to return to sip from my flowers.

It is important for us to also show our “fuzzy” side to other people. Do we show compassion? Do we seek to help people with their needs if it is within our capabilities or if we have the resources? Or are we too focused on our own world to be sensitive to the needs of our family, friends or other people we are in contact with.

Let’s hope the people in our lives see our fuzzy nature and not our “stinger”.

Photos Teach!

 

Great Memories of the NLCS Games at Candlestick in 1989 Before the Earthquake

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This was the classic and great series between the SF Giants and the Chicago Cubs. This was game 4 of the NLCS on October 8, 1989. The weather was warm and Candlestick Park was buzzing from the sold-out crowd in attendance. It was really exciting to be at the game as Candlestick Park did not have full capacity crowds for most of its baseball games, and the weather was usually not this warm for a late afternoon game.

This was the play-off game before the World Series and the big earthquake. 

What memories flood my mind while looking at these old pictures. It is thrilling to see a baseball stadium filled with real people.

I watched the 49ers play against the LA Rams at empty Levi’s Stadium. Of course during these pandemic times, the stadium did not have any fans watching. There were only the cardboard pictures of fans displayed in seats. There was a roaring fake crowd cheering as the game progressed. It is not the same to watch the game without live fans.

Then on October 17, 1989, there was the huge Loma Prieta Earthquake which shook the San Francisco Bay Area. I was in the downtown area when I experienced the tremendous shaking. Fortunately, I did not get conked on the head. I managed to stay on my feet during the severe land waves created by the earthquake out on the street and avoid falling debris from a building 60 feet away from me. In that short time, there was a great amount of destruction. Even though, this area is accustomed to earthquakes, we still were not prepared enough for this amount of shaking.

After the earthquake stopped, I could not take Bart. So I just walked and walked to get to my car. Fortunately, my family did not experience bad destruction to our property from the earthquake.

This photograph reminds us how in one moment we can be enjoying a fun championship game. Then 9 days later, we witnessed great destruction and loss. 

Today, we can identify the earthquake experience with our pandemic times. These unexpectant events which result in hardships teach us to realize preparation for bad times is needed. The commonalities from these 2 events is the need for extra food, medications, bottled water, and necessities like toilet paper. Sometimes, we should not wait until the last minute to restock important supplies. If possible, we all need emergency funds to help, if we lose jobs or our home.

Lastly, having a network of family and/or friends is important regardless of our circumstances. If we have a network of people in our lives, then together we can be a lifeline to one another in an emergency.

Photos teach us about good times and subsequent hard times.

 

Honey Bee Seeking Sweet Lavender

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Our neighborhood Honey Bee was busy getting nectar for her hive and pollinating our Lavender Plant. It is pretty fascinating examining the flight of the honey bee. The eyes of the bee are pretty big. It’s wings seem so thin yet are powerful for the fast flights.

I get energized sitting in my backyard to find good shots of the 3 B’s — Bees, Butterflies and Birds (basically hummingbirds). I am learning patience as I sit in my chair looking out for these buddies who are also getting to know me. They are trying to figure out if they can trust me. Unfortunately, my big lens is intimidating to the hummingbirds. I notice the hummingbirds come more frequently if I do not have the big camera lens around my neck.

I am trying to learn how to gain the trust of the hummingbirds. I try to be still when they fly close to me. I am trying to wear colors which will not be offensive to them. I watch my actions so not to scare them away.

This is also a lesson in life. Do our actions allow for people to trust us? I am trying to attract these critters to my garden and me, so I can shoot photos. Can we seek to show our integrity and genuine concern to others, so they will feel comfortable to seek help and advice for us? Some may think it is better to not be involved in other people’s lives. People are too much work. It is easier to just have a small pod of people. Yes we can only see a small pod of people of the pandemic. In reality our sphere should not just be limited to our pandemic pod.  But our sphere can expand if we are interested in helping people.

Just as I do not want to scare off the bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, I also do not want to scare off people in my life. Just as the bee is attracted to the lavender for sweetness, can we show “sweetness” to people during these pandemic times?

Photos teach us about sweetness!

Fall is upon us again

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I took this picture a little more than a year ago when we visited my wife’s relatives in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Canada. We were too early for the peak of the Fall Foliage there, but I did see the beginning of the changes. I took this picture on the Hub Trail in Sault Ste Marie. My love for the diverse colors of fall leaves never gets old. I can spend endless hours shooting photographs and looking at the various leaves.

Unfortunately, I live where there is little change, when it becomes fall. Due to the pandemic, we do not go anywhere other than doing necessary errands like grocery shopping.

We went up to Sault Ste Marie last fall on a whim. We even thought about the possibilities of meeting our relatives in the spring to see other sites. Little did we know a pandemic would restrict our activity and travel.

When I shoot leaves, I seek to shoot with a dark background to show off the colors. It is important to take advantage of contrast to optimize your photo.

This lesson applies to life. We need to optimize our moments in life. This pandemic teaches us to appreciate our “now” time. Be present in your moments. We do need to prepare for the future and the unpredictable predicaments. Making most of “now” means being creative to find solutions for today’s problems. Finding new ways for fun during our “now” time is a necessity.

Feel free to share your new fun ways during this “now” pandemic time.

Learn life lessons from photographs!

Friendly Humming Bird Frequently Visiting Our Garden

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I really enjoy watching and photographing Humming Birds flying into our garden to take a sip from our flowers. The top photograph shows the Humming Bird’s wings in a cool formation that looks like the Cherubim’s Wing on top of the Ark of the Covenant.

The second photo of the hummingbird sipping the sweet nectar from the red flower is a good side view. The wings look perfectly pointed out to stay in position in front of the flower.

The hummingbird seems to enjoy visiting me in the backyard. I will be tending to the plants and flowers when I hear the bird approaching. It will get close to me and almost touch. He seems to be checking me out. I am careful not to move abruptly and to allow the bird to approach. I am slowly learning how to allow this bird to interact with me.

It is exhilarating to have my hummingbird encounters. I wonder how Adam interacted when he first saw the newly created animals and birds in the Garden of Eden. How did he decided on what to call the many creatures. I wish I could have watched the expression on his face as he encountered and name each creature.

It is amazing when the birds come close to watch me and see if it is safe to approach.

It reminds me how we need to be approachable to people. There are people which offend us with their words and actions. But how do people see me? Am I approachable? Do I cause other people to feel uncomfortable by my persona? Or do people feel relaxed around me?

Hopefully, since the hummingbirds are coming to me, people find me non-threatening and will also feel at ease with me.

Making people feel comfortable is important especially due to our pandemic era. We have enough stress in our world and thus should not be a source of stress to others.

Enjoy photos to relax!

The Elusive Red Admiral

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The Red Admiral butterfly is one of my favorite butterflies. Since I was a child, I have loved butterflies. I love the interesting patterns in their wings. The wings’ unique patterns fascinate me.

During this pandemic year, I am having a good time trying to create a garden to attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. Working in my garden relaxes me and allows me to escape from the worries of the world. I can focus on the beauty of nature and watch my flowers grow.

I love the experience of watching out to see what creatures will find their way to my garden. This butterfly posed perfectly for me.

We could learn a lesson from the butterflies. They each look unique in the colors and the patterns in their wings. Do they exhibit preferences for each other depending on the pattern of their wings? Obviously not! Their goals are to exist by taking care of their essential needs to live.

Can man learn from the butterflies that color does not matter? It does not matter the color or the “pattern” of our skin.

Our goals should be to learn to take care of our essential needs to live and care for one another.

Butterfly Photos Teach Us About Life!

4K Scoreboard Perspectives at Oracle Park

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I have always admired scoreboards at ballparks. The first scoreboard I saw as a kid was at Candlestick Park. It was really cool to see the scoreboard in person as a kid.

The incredible 4K Display Mitsubishi Electric Scoreboard installed at Oracle Park in 2019 is a marvel to behold and sets the standards for scoreboards across Major League Baseball. It is the benchmark for scoreboards.

I attended this SF Giants vs Arizona D-Backs game on 5/24/19. I thought I only attended opening day in 2019 and forgot I also attended this second game. Good thing I took these shots to remember I was there.

As my custom, I enjoy walking around the ballpark taking pictures before the game starts. The new 4K scoreboard in 2019 was quite a sight to see. In addition to showing various images and advertising upcoming SF Giants events in the center of the scoreboard, there are of course the advertisements from the various local corporations.

I am a fan of slogans. I like what Charles Schwab’s slogan on the scoreboard – “Own your tomorrow”. Of course, Charles Schwab wants us to prepare for retirement and invest for our future which is very good advice. Back in May 2019, little did we know what we would be dealing with sheltering in place and a pandemic a year later in May 2020.

There was little the average person could do to prepare for a pandemic in terms of battling a virus the doctors and scientists are attempting to understand.

But we can heed the advice to “Own your tomorrow”. This pandemic is teaching us to prepare for the unexpectant. Looking at situations and problems from different angles can provide solutions.

I love photographing the scoreboard at Oracle Park from different areas of the stadium and angles. Our normal perspective would be to look straight on to the scoreboard. But when you look at the scoreboard from different locations and angles, you see the view differently.

If we attempt to view our pandemic problems from different perspectives, maybe we can find our pandemic solutions in an unexpectant manner.

We do need to “Own our tomorrow” to prepare for the unexpected events. We need to utilize our imaginations to create solutions for our pandemic problems. We need to view our world from all angles to understand our issues.

Take Photos from different angles to see clearly!

Score 4K at Oracle Park

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We missed going to Opening Day in 2020. We could not enjoy that special excitement watching the SF Giants and the festivities on Opening Day!

It has been over a year since I was at Oracle Park. I went to the last Opening Day Game with fans in attendance with my cousin in 2019. I appreciate my cousin who periodically invites me to join her in watching the SF Giants at Oracle Park. I usually bring in my favorite burrito into Oracle Park or I buy a chicken sandwich. We signed up to not drink alcohol and get a free soda or hot chocolate drink. My cousin loves to enjoy her Ghirardelli hot chocolate sundae.

Our mutual enjoyment of watching the SF Giants gives us an excuse to have a good time of fellowship and talk about our lives.

In addition to the food and fellowship at Oracle Park, I love the new scoreboard. It was cool how Oracle Park upgraded the scoreboard to the Mitsubishi Electric 4K Display in 2019. It is super clear and big.

My photographs shows the detail in this 4K display. The pictures of the SF Giants players are pretty sharp. We always have our eyes on the baseball field, but we also need to see the stats, the different videos, acknowledgements for the fans’ special celebrations and the fun games. The scoreboard is the second object fans closely watch when not watching the details of the game.

It is true – bigger is better for a scoreboard. It is also true 4K gives us the best clarity in the images, videos and details of the stats.

Thank you Oracle Park for upgrading your scoreboard, so the fans can have a better experience attending the games.

The big question is when will we be able to return to Oracle Park to watch the SF Giants live.

Will be able to attend Opening Day in 2021?

I am glad to have these photographs to remind me how nice the 4K scoreboard is.

Keep photos to remember!