Here are some pictures from the zoo:
More giraffes. In case you couldn't find them in the first picture.
This gorgeous cat is called a cerval and I was all set to take a fabulous picture of her except that during the "delay" on my digital camera (y'know, that annoying pause between when you press the button and when the darned thing actually TAKES the picture?), she turned her head. So, here is a fabulous pic of the back of a cerval's head.
Isn't her coat pretty, though?
This is the smallest member of the fox family - called a fennec. This was his first time doing the animal show so they had him on a leash. What a cutie!
And here's the fennec meeting a desert tortoise.
Then we headed over to the amazing butterfly and hummingbird exhibit where I engaged in my yearly battle with my digital camera to try to get at least ONE amazing shot of a butterfly. See what you think about my results:
A spicebush swallowtail and a painted lady stop in a puddle for a drink. A little blurry, but not too bad.
A zebrawing butterfly taking a rest.
A male spicebush swallowtail on some pretty purple flowers that I don't know the name of.
Spicebush swallowtail again. I kept following this guy around because he was being so obliging and holding still for me. Love the iridescence on his wings.
I like this shot because you can see the pretty colors on the underside of his wings and the spots on his body.
And then it was the hummingbirds' turn...
Okay, a LITTLE blurry, I know, but HEY, it's a hummingbird in FLIGHT. Kinda hard not to have it be blurry, ya know?
Not much better, but you can see him zeroing in on the feeder.
Sigh. Some day, I REALLY need to take a camera class.
I did better with the mamma birds on their nests:
I was so amazed that she let me get this close!
Hard to believe there are two babies underneath her in that tiny, tiny nest!
Profile shot, please! Make sure you get my good side...
And then some pics from up on the mountain (no animals, unfortunately):
I liked this little baby tree growing right at the foot of two really huge trees.
Big rocks and a tree stump. I know, I bring the excitement with the pictures, don't I. But hey, at least they didn't move so they are NOT BLURRY!
I liked how the bare branches on this bush had kind of a "lacy" look to them. At least, they did when I saw them in real life - not sure it came through in the picture. But again, NOT BLURRY!
And, more rocks. Because, you know, they might've changed from the previous picture and this IS taken from the other side of the formation. Oooh...the excitement!
So, why did I bother to take and post all these boring pictures of my silly little vacation? Well, I had this idea percolating that I might use some of the for jewelry inspiration. Now, using nature photos is in no way a new idea (it's rather old and worn out actually), but it's new for ME. And since I do have a tendency to get stuck in the same color choices (blue, turquoise, green anyone?) or using the same materials (lampwork, crystals) over and over, I thought it might help me break out of my rut a bit.
For example, I would never think to mix black, blue, orange and white in a piece, but the Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly looks FABULOUS dressed in his colors...and still manages not to clash with the mossy rocks or the bright pink flowers.
I can even go more literal with the idea and use some butterfly charms or the actual butterfly wing pendants I bought at the LA Gift Show oh, like THREE YEARS AGO or something.
And I have a gorgeous porcelain hummingbird pendant, too.
Anyway, you get the idea.
I've already started expanding into a new area with an exciting collection that I'm hoping to debut later this week. It has nothing to do with these photos - I haven't started putting my "photo challenge" into practice yet - but it is a HUGE departure for me in terms of materials and style. So, keep an eye out and I'll hopefully get the web pages finished and uploaded and pics posted here by the end of the week (she said, fingers crossed).
Okay, more beads tomorrow.