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Updated: Jun 15, 2020

How many weeks has it been now? Nine? Ten? Twelve? Fifteen? We've all probably lost count. What is a person to do while being stuck at home so long--after reading a dozen or more books, rearranging my closet, watching too many bad movies, listening to my entire iTunes collection twice, and becoming a grand master at Hashi? Well if you are a photographer, what you do is take pictures.

I am fortunate to live in an incredibly stunning part of the world, surrounded by the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I am never at a lost for lovely things to photograph--our magnificent landscape, flowers, animals, and birds, among other things.

Staying home in the Shenandoah Valley

We have had a lovely array of flowers in our own garden which made beautiful subjects.

One of the plants in our garden is called the plantain leaf pussytoes (Antennaria plantaginifolia) and it is the host plant for the American painted lady butterfly (Vanessa virginiensis). The eggs are laid on the leaf of the plant and eventually little caterpillars emerge. One day we discovered our own little caterpillar nursery on the plant. Little maroon-colored American painted lady butterflies crawling all over the plant.

American painted lady caterpillar

The plants in our garden are delightful, but while taking my many walks up the street I found plenty of other lovely wildflowers growing right along the side of the road.

It is also nice that we have an assortment of birds frequent our yard.

Of course it helps that I keep them well-fed.

Goldfinch (male and female) and house finch

We had a bluebird house in the garage that I had never hung and this seemed like a good time to do so. And I was thrilled that within an hour or so a little bird had discovered it.

Unfortunately it turned out that the bird was a house sparrow, which is an invasive and very aggressive species that kill other native birds and destroy their eggs. They are a detriment to the survival of the bluebird so I had to take the house down.

I also spotted some larger animals from our yard, including the cows in the pasture behind us and a deer standing on our driveway.

And then there was the great cherry tree caper.

We have a cherry tree in our yard that in the three years we have lived here never bore any fruit. This year, for some reason and much to our delight, we had a full crop of cherries.

In spite of my acrophobia, Nina was able to convince me to get a ladder and climb up and harvest our crop--though, admittedly, I did not climb up very high. After all, I did want to leave cherries some for the birds. :-)

Picking cherries. Photograph courtesy of Nina Bohrod.

Nevertheless my efforts were well-rewarded. And they were delicious.

So that's pretty much what I have been up to. How about you? Please stay healthy. Better days are ahead!

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