Looking at ordinary things in extraordinary ways – Nature shots from late summer 2010

Ladybug

For not knowing any better then, there were moments in my childhood which I look back now with sadness. Those moments when I did not give Mother Nature the reverence and respect she truly deserves. As a child growing up in the countryside in Philippines, I was one of the kids who went around with slingshots aiming for birds and insects. We would collect the sap from the jackfruit tree to turn it into a sort of glue when we hunt for crickets in the trees. We would play with those crickets and they would end up on sticks pretending they were barbeques when we play pretend store or restaurant. I’m glad that I would be separated from those kids in the neighborhood when I went to a different school in another town when I was nine. I learned that there was more to childhood fun than being mean to creatures especially the small and helpless ones from human cruelty.

As a grown up and having learned more about nature, I just wish that I could undo the damage I caused way back then by educating the little ones now about reverence for anything that the good Lord has given us. The environmental degradation that we see nowadays is caused by ignorance, greed and in many instances, also by sheer indifference. The education about appreciation for nature should start from childhood because that is the time when values are being formed. The kids who hunted those birds if not led to the right path, will go into big-time poaching in later life. The ignorant ones will be easy prey to the greedy ones who will take possession on the bounties of nature that they are endowed with. And the indifferent ones, if they are not affected, will simply let the whole environmental abuse go on.

Teaching a child the appreciation of nature is shown by example. With my daughter, we would go out looking for insects to observe them in their natural world. These days, we would bring old bread to feed the birds rather than the slingshots of my childhood. As parents, it is our primordial task to instill in our kids that being stewards of nature for the generations to come is their responsibility.

Armed with my camera, I now look at these seemingly ordinary things…insects, flies, butterflies, spiders, flowers, weeds in extraordinary ways. These pictures were taken one late morning in our neighborhood late in the summer of 2010.

Red poppies among yellow blooms

Butterfly

Dandelion

Butterfly

Fly

Poppies after flowering

Spider in its web

Clover flowers

Little lake beside our home

Lotus flowers in the lake

Ladybug

About Malou
I'm a mom to a five-year old little girl with interest in cooking, baking, traveling and photography. Castles and palaces are special favorites so when weather permits for a good walk on weekends, me, hubby and little girl are always out for a bit of adventure.

100 Responses to Looking at ordinary things in extraordinary ways – Nature shots from late summer 2010

  1. Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. denlyn3 says:

    Wonderful shots, keep them coming.

  3. Bob W Cain says:

    Absolutely stunning photography … First class work!

  4. Stunning, simply stunning!

  5. otownmommy says:

    those pictures are amazing and truly inspiring! So important to teach your kids the respect of nature and all its creatures. I used to have lots of flies in our house every spring. I would catch them and keep them in a tube and was pretty cruel -(not too proud of this) but i think it is a stage that all of us go through and hopefully grow out of – we learn compassion through it. nature walks are so important- thanks for sharing such beauty ♥

  6. crindahl says:

    Stunning photos! You are so fortunate to be able to live/photograph such things :)

  7. RDoug says:

    Great macro shots. What lens are you using?

  8. Wonderful! I even see some plants that grow wild here in Canada! Perhaps a dutch immigrant brought a few seeds in his trouser cuff… :o)

  9. These are beautiful pictures…you should put these on Pinterest…I pinned one of them.

  10. I remember having days like those in the Philippines. Later while in college, nature tripping became a revered activity. There’s nothing like a trip up Mt. Makiling in Los Baños, Laguna.

    Very gorgeous shots btw! Do you mind if I ask what you use?

    • Malou says:

      Oh, love nature back home and I just hope that with all the developments going on, the countryside in the Philippines will be preserved. Mt. Makiling is magical.

      I use an old Nikon D60 and its kit lens (18-55mm) which I guess is now superseded by newer models. This one still works for me though.

  11. Alicia says:

    I’m continuously amazed by your photos. Absolutely stunning!

  12. Stunning photos. I love dandelion and fly shots.

  13. simplicitymaven says:

    Awesome photos and great dialogue. Oh, the things we did as innocents… now we must mentor and lift those who come behind us… perhaps, they won’t make the same mistakes! Great post!

    • Malou says:

      Thanks a lot. We have to do our best to let the young ones understand the importance of preserving ecological balance especially in the current order where population growth is exploding and the pressure on precious resource is too great. The extinction of insects which are important in the business of pollination will lead to more hunger in the future.

      How I wish I know better then! ;-)

  14. Such a beautiful post…both words and pictures. Thank you!!!!! Bedank!

  15. I agree 100% about teaching our children. Your pictures are exquisite! What kind of camera and lens do you use? I would love to take close ups that have such sharp focus.

    • Malou says:

      I am using a Nikon D60 and just the 18-55mm kit lens that comes with it, Joy. This is now outmoded as there are newer models in the market I believe (which are better).

  16. Ben says:

    I have a severe case of camera envy. Very impressive shots.

  17. Team Oyeniyi says:

    I agree with Ben!

  18. viveka says:

    Absolutely stunning .. specially the top one and the last – a sucker for ladybugs – such lovely small things .. that come along in the summer. We should be kind to the small bugs – because they are the ones that make it possible for us to enjoy flowers like this. Really fantastic photo’s – you really have an eye for the small details around us. Thank … you so much!

    • Malou says:

      Thanks a lot, Viveka. I got drawn to observing these creatures and learned to appreciate them more and the role they play to give us the beauty around us. Instead of capturing them to play with them, I just capture them with my camera. More environment friendly. ;-)

      • viveka says:

        That’s the things … we are all needed, big and small – for make everything tick as it should, the circle of life.
        Personal I can’t understand when somebody screams because there is a little spider present – sure the spider doesn’t want to be around screaming people neither. Keep going and keep bringing your environment. Really like you photo’s!

      • Malou says:

        Oh, brings to mind that poem, “All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful: The Lord God made them all.”

      • viveka says:

        So true .. Malou!

  19. Gunta says:

    Every single pic is just lovely, but if I had to choose a favorite it was the berries. Lovely reminders that spring is truly on its way.

  20. Dugutigui says:

    They all are great!

  21. scillagrace says:

    Such a beautiful dose of summer for me! Still snowing here…

  22. So, so beautiful!!!

  23. I grabbed the poppies for my desktop!!!

  24. sillisoup says:

    These are beautiful photos!

  25. Miro says:

    Beautiful photos. Your visual acuity is quite sharp. :) Thanks for sharing.
    Peace & grace,
    ~Miro

  26. Your first picture has a great sense of movement to it, partly because of the shape of the flower head itself, and partly because you chose to photograph it at an angle. Well done.

    The flowers in your second picture (and again later) look like they’re yarrow, Achillea millefolium.

    Steve Schwartzman
    http://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com

    • Malou says:

      Coming from an expert, I really appreciate your comments, Steve. Your site is an inspiration too. ;-)

      I’m not very good with plant names (especially their Latin scientific names) but I appreciate them for their immense beauty.

  27. Gorgeous photos – the ladybugs are my favorites.

  28. Love the detail of the insect photographs! Great shots!

  29. Maggie L R says:

    Thank you for coming to my blog because it led me to yours and your marvelous photography. These are wonderful and just what I hope to one day be able to capture. Thanks for the inspiration.

  30. polly says:

    very beautiful shots

  31. Lyndell says:

    I love your small detail shots – I have too many favourites in this post to list :) still loving the lady bug though

  32. Lynne Ayers says:

    Beautiful photos Malou – viewing them was a nice respite from the snow we still have sitting outside my window, albeit the March temps and wind are melting it down.

  33. cidnlars says:

    Beautiful shots! I love bugs and all things ‘naturey’ as well. Great outlook on educating children…or anyone for that matter. I totally agree, showing people the beauty in things, large and small, will surely lead to conservation through an awakened appreciation for these lovely creatures. Love your work!

  34. Pheebz says:

    Stunning photos! I’ve always had a fascination for insects and I often try and photograph them…not always with such great results though! :)

  35. Those pictures just added so much sunshine to my day! Beautiful Malou

  36. eof737 says:

    These are fantastic photos. ;-)

  37. Jona Bering | Backpacking with a Book says:

    Want them in my garden!

    http://jonabering.wordpress.com/

  38. Thomas Davis says:

    A summer’s banquet! Great photos.

  39. tita buds says:

    These are all beautiful, especially the one of the ladybug just ‘hanging ten’, haha.

  40. We grew up with fireflies in abundance. The older kids would “write” with them on the sidewalk to see if the words would glow. I was always too afraid to touch them, but I hear what you mean about reverence for nature and the beautiful living things. Like you with your daughter, I taught my son to love the natural world and treat it with gentle kindness.

    As a young adult, he still seeks quiet, peace and happy enjoyment out in nature. His girlfriend even commented that it was from stories he told her about the places I took him as a child that she learned to love nature too. We can keep on pushing back against the indifference :) Nature is a beautiful, wondrous place to enjoy. Glorious photos! Simply beautiful.

    • Jentoo says:

      I love macro photography. Makes me want to get the macro lens I keep thinking about. I do the best with what I have but it doesn’t always satisfy me.
      Thanks for the beautiful photos–thoroughly enjoyed them!

      • Malou says:

        I’m glad to know that you love these macro shots. They’re still far from how I would want them but a macro lens is just too pricey for me at this point. ;-)

    • Malou says:

      Oh, kids in our village would also catch these fireflies at night and put them in plastic bags to serve as “flashlights”. When I went back to the Philippines last year, I didn’t see them at night anymore which actually made me so sad. That was a realization that those days of childhood are long gone, along with the simple things in nature that I took for granted then.

      I was so glad to see these fireflies in Tuscany when we holidayed there in the summer of 2010.

  41. Cathy says:

    Fabulous photos!

  42. Clare says:

    Gorgeous photos! I couldn’t agree more. I would say at least the kids from your childhood *were* outside, better I guess that sitting in front of a screen. But of course better by far to be outside all the time developing a love and respect for nature.

  43. Thank you for liking my recent post. Love your photography :)

  44. Glamorholic says:

    Wow…these are some amazing pictures!

  45. Jenny says:

    These are really great shots! I’ve always really liked it when a photograph captures those quite life moments with otherwise busy insects and critters climbing up leaves. Living in a big city deprives of the good old green life forms a little too much ^^”

  46. Jox says:

    Absolutely wonderful! I love love the first photo.:)

  47. Your photos are absolutely spectacular. And you took all of these on the same day? Wow. I “hunt” with a camera now, too. It’s much kinder than the alternative and brings a whole new level of appreciation for nature.

    • Malou says:

      Yes, these pictures were taken in just one morning. It is not impossible to have a portfolio of nature shots in such a short time if you will look with your heart. ;-)

  48. Dor says:

    Malou, this is an absolutely fabulous post. Your message conveys how important it is to introduce young people to the beauty of life and nature, and to give them the tools for “seeing”. And your photos are outstanding. I think you should elaborate on this blog post and create a book!

    • Malou says:

      Thanks a lot for the encouragement, Dor. Let me think about the book but for now, happy to blog about things that I encounter on a day to day basis. ;-)

  49. Beautiful photos, thank you for sharing.

  50. Lily says:

    Just GORGEOUS!

  51. Pamela says:

    Great shots!!!

  52. Your photos are beautiful and inspiring.

  53. Your photographs are exquisite, each one a work of art! I’m especially fond of the shots that include bees and ladybugs, my garden favorites. Lovely one and all.

  54. elmediat says:

    Beautiful sequence of photos. You have made excellence use of balance & perspective. Your macro shots have sharp detail and effectively use colour & bokeh. Well done !
    Thanks for visiting my blog and signing up to follow posts. I will keep an eye on your blog & will be passing this post on to family & friends.

  55. artistatexit0 says:

    You have found the right tool trading in your slingshot for the camera. What a great way to explore the world. I’m glad to see you are out in nature…you can’t teach children to love the environment if you are indoors. Thanks for checking out what I do too.

    • Malou says:

      At least the camera is not damaging to these helpless creatures. Children learn by doing so I try to let my daughter experience the natural world as much as possible so that she will appreciate it with all her heart. ;-)

  56. Hi Malou :-) These photos are absolutely stunning! I just loved looking at them! Thanks so much for posting.

  57. Stunning pictures! I love the shots with the bees and the lady bug.

  58. And I mustn’t forget the picture of the butterfly and that super colorful fly. Extraordinary.

  59. gerginski says:

    I have enjoyed reading/looking at this extraordinary things so much, I completely lost track of time and now I am late for work, thank you for sharing, breathtaking material !

  60. Louis says:

    Your love of Nature is infectious. Your photos convey something of your feelings as well as what you see.

  61. The Cosy Creative says:

    Beautiful pictures and a moving post.

  62. These are so exceptional, Malou, I can’t picked just one favorite.

  63. JOJOmonster says:

    Such gorgeous close-ups of things we all take for granted sometimes. I absolutely love the photo of the poppies as well! Also, thanks for following Howl: A Red Riding Hood Story. <3

  64. Absolutely GORGEOUS pictures. I adore flower photos.

  65. Shrey Srivastava says:

    Awsome photos, nature at its best. Love the ladybud, dandelion, lotus … umm and all the shots :)

  66. Reggie says:

    What a thought-provoking post, Malou – and your images are quite simply awe-inspiring. I also appreciate the bees and the insects a lot more now that I understand how essential they are for balancing and ensuring the health of our precious Earth. You have made your point very well! :-)

  67. spaark says:

    Thanks for the follow. Very happy to drop by your blog and all it has to offer. Beautiful pictures and well written. looking forward to more! julie

  68. Malou…I’m looking at these photos with my 6 year old son and we’re both going “Oooo”, “Oooo” at every shot. :D Thank you! Sharon

  69. Pavi says:

    The first photo is really beautiful.

    Insects are great!

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