Greetings and welcome to my blog, I am currently redesigning the site so some of my pictures are unfortunately missing because I had to close my sellers account that I had with the Smugmug site because as a free lance photographer I just couldn't afford it.
Once again I apologize for the bareness of my blog and will be working on it continually until I get it restored.
Thank you for your patience! -Megan

Saturday, November 3, 2012

More iphone cases soon!!

   Greetings Bloggers, It has been brought to my attention that I only have one iphone 5 case design for sale right now, I apologize about this because I had gotten an email from Zazzle as the iphone 5 was coming out saying that all of our designs that we currently had up for sale on  the iphone 4 they were going to make available for the iphone 5, and apparently that never happened, so I do apologize for lack of design choice, Not really sure what happened there!
     Over the next several days I will have many more designs put up for sale for the iphone 5, I have just designed several but they won't be available to te public until tomorrow, Nov 4, 2012.
I will feauture some of the designs here on my blog after I build up my inventory.
    Will post again soon!  Here is a case I just finished, again the link may not be active quite yet, but it worked for me so I hope it will for you as well. New Case Design click here!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New Blog For Crafts

Greetings, I have decided to Create a new Blog for my Esty Store  so that I do not clutter this one up with posts about things that are not related to photography. So from now on all posts relating to my Shop Intricate Handiwork  on Etsy will be posted here
I will be posting A photo of each Item I list for sale with details about it on My New Blog.
I will also Add it to my Blog list on the side of the page so feel free to visit it anytime you would like to!
   Thank you for your paitence and I will have a new Photo posted soon!



Tuesday, September 25, 2012

New Shop on Esty, Handmade goods!

   Greetings bloggers! I will have a new photo post shortly so bear with me, But at the moment I want to annouce my New Shop on Etsy, here is the link :
You can also Click here! I only have two items up for sale for the moment. They are Handmade, Hand quilted Eyeglass cases made by my grandma. Please Feel free to take a look, I will short by adding some Handmade Earrings that I made.
    Everything in our shop will be handmade and comes from a Smoke- free, Pet-free home.

Friday, September 21, 2012

iPhone 5 cases for sale!

     Dear bloggers, Just wanted to share one of my new iPhone cases that are now up for sale on my zazzle site, to see my Whole inventory click here! to see my collections of Phone cases Click here to see cases
There will be many more iPhone 5 Cases to follow so please check back soon!
Here is an example.
Red and Yellow flower iPhone 5 case.
See other Red Casemate Cases
You can also purchase many types of Prints of these photos, including but not limited to canvas, metal, and photo. You can also download the photo royalty free for commercial  and personal use. Click on the photos themselves to view them larger or to view purchasing options.
Red and Yellow Chysanthemums.
Bright colored Red and yellow Chrysanthemum flowers.
Vibrant Red and Yellow Chrysanthemums.
You can also view my many other wildlife and nature photos on my website by Clicking here!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Our Guard Llama Photos

Greetings Bloggers, It’s been a few days at least since my last post sorry for the delay. These photos are of the Llama that used to guard our herds of Boer goats in our pasture in western Texas. I have added several new photos to my Animals and wildlife gallery, I have also added an entirely new gallery of Photos that I took at the Hot Air Balloon Festival at White Sands National Monument , right outside Alamogordo, New mexico.  Please visit my Website by Clicking Here and check out the new photos that I have added.  All of my photography is Available for sale and also for instant download for Personal or Commercial use.

Hope you enjoy the Llama photos!
Click on the photos to view them larger and to see other photos in my gallery.

Llama guarding a ranchers herd of Boer Goats in west Texas.
Llama guarding a ranchers herd of Boer Goats in west Texas. A Llama enjoying herself in a watertrough on a ranch in west Texas where she protectively guards the ranchers herd of goats. Llama guarding a ranchers herd of Boer Goats in west Texas.
The llama: (Lama glama) is a domesticated South American camelid, widely used as a meat and pack animal by Andean cultures since pre-Hispanic times.

 The height of a full-grown, full-size llama is 5.5 to 6.0 ft. tall at the top of the head, and can weigh between 280 to 450 lbs. At birth, a baby llama (called a Cria, from Spanish for "baby") is also is used for baby alpaca, vicuña, or guanaco. Crias are typically born with all the females of the herd gathering around, in an attempt to protect against the male llamas and potential predators. A Cria can weigh between 20 and 30 lbs. Llamas can live for a period of about 20–30 years depending on how well they are taken care of.

 Llamas are very social animals and live with other llamas as a herd. The wool produced by a llama is very soft and lanolin-free. Llamas are intelligent and can learn simple tasks after a few repetitions. When using a pack, llamas can carry about 25% to 30% of their body weight for 5-8 miles.

 The name llama (in the past also spelled 'lama' or 'glama') was adopted by European settlers from native Peruvians.

 Llamas appear to have originated from the central plains of North America, then migrated to South America about 3 million years ago. By the end of the ice age camelids were extinct in North America.

 As of 2007, there were over 7 million llamas and alpacas in South America and, due to importation from South America in the late 20th century, there are now over 158,000 llamas and 100,000 alpacas in the United States and Canada.

Guarding Behavior:  Using llamas as livestock guards in North America began in the early 1980s, and some Ranchers have used llamas successfully since then to watch over flocks of sheep and herds of goats. They are used most commonly in the in western regions of the United States, where larger predators, such as the coyote, are prevalent. It was once thought that a single gelding (castrated male) is was the best choice for a guardian, but the knowledge has become rather widespread that a single unbred females make better and safer guardians because they are more alert and do not pose as big of a threat to smothering smaller livestock.

 Research suggests the use of multiple guard llamas is not as effective as one. Multiple males tend to bond with one another, rather than with the livestock, and may ignore the flock. A gelded male of two years of age bonds closely with its new charges and is instinctively very effective in preventing predation. Some llamas appear to bond more quickly to sheep or goats if they are introduced just prior to lambing. Many sheep and goat producers indicate a special bond quickly develops between lambs and their guard llama and the llama is particularly protective of the lambs.

 Using llamas as guards has eliminated the losses to predators for many producers. The value of the livestock saved each year more than exceeds the purchase cost and annual maintenance of a llama. Although not every llama is suited to the job, most are a viable, nonlethal alternative for reducing predation, requiring no training and little care.

Guard llamas may defend against predators in many ways. Llamas are instinctively alert and aware of their surroundings, and may draw attention to an intruder by making a startling alarm call. They may walk or run toward an intruder, and chase, paw at, or kick it. Some llamas may herd the animals they are

guarding into a tight group or lead them away from danger and to the spot where they may feel the safest. Others may stand apart from the group and watch the intruder. Although llamas have been known to kill predators (such as coyotes), they should not be considered attack animals. They are generally effective against single intruders only, not packs. In the US, guard llamas have been most common in ranches located in western regions, where larger predators, such as the coyote, have been more prevalent. Not every llama will guard however and it should not be assumed that because it is a llama it will guard.

History of the Llama in culture:

 Pre-Incan cultures

The Moche people frequently placed llamas and llama parts in the burials of important people, as offerings or provisions for what they believed was the afterlife. The Moche culture of pre-Columbian Peru depicted llamas quite realistically in their ceramics.


Inca empire

 In the Inca empire, llamas were the only beasts of burden, and many of the peoples dominated by the Inca had long traditions of llama herding. For the Inca nobility, the llama was of symbolic significance, and llama figures were often buried with the dead. In South America, llamas are still used as beasts of burden, as well as for the production of fiber and meat. The Inca deity Urcuchillay was depicted in the form of a multicolored llama. Agriculture was also boosted by using Llama dung as fertilizer.


Spanish empire

 One of the main uses for llamas at the time of the Spanish conquest was to bring down ore from the mines in the mountains. Gregory de Bolivar estimated that in his day, as many as 300 thousand were employed in the transport of produce from the Potosí mines alone, but since the introduction of horses, mules, and donkeys, the importance of the llama as a beast of burden has greatly diminished.


According to Juan Ignacio Molina, the Dutch captain Joris van Spilbergen observed the use of chilihueques (possibly a llama type) by native Mapuches of Mocha Island as plow animals in 1614.

Fiber :  Llamas have a fine undercoat which can be used for handicrafts and garments. The coarser outer guard hair is used for rugs, wall-hangings and lead ropes. The fiber comes in many different colors ranging from white or grey to reddish-brown, brown, dark brown and black.  The fiber of their coat is one of the finest natural fibers with a Diameter of 20-30 micrometres.

Please Click Here!To visit my website and check out the new photos that I have added.  All of my photography is Available for sale for prints on anything from paper and Canvas and even metal, All photos are also available for instant download for Personal or Commercial use.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Dutch Crocus flowers pickwick variety

Greetings! The photos featured today are of Dutch crocus that I captured blooming very early in the spring. I believe these particular Dutch Crocus are of the Pickwick variety (Crocus flavus).  
 Please click here to see these photos on many available product in my Zazzle store.
Click here to visit my photo gallery for these and other wildflowers.
Crocus (plural: crocuses, croci) is a genus in the iris family comprising about 80 species of perennials growing from corms. Many are cultivated for their flowers appearing in autumn, winter, or spring. Crocuses are native to woodland, scrub and meadows from sea level to alpine tundra in central and southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, on the islands of the Aegean, and across Central Asia to western China.

               Click here to purchase prints, posters and canvas of this print
Etymology The name of the genus is derived from the Greek krokos (κρόκος). This in turn is probably a loan word from a Semitic language, related to Hebrew כרכום karkōm, Aramaic ܟܟܘܪܟܟܡܡܐ kurkama, Persian and Arabic كركم kurkum, which mean saffron or saffron yellow. The name ultimately comes from Sanskrit कुङ्कुमं kunkumam, unless the Sanskrit word is from the Semitic one.

History Cultivation and harvesting of crocus was first documented in the Mediterranean, notably on the island of Crete. Frescos showing them are extant at the Knossos site on Crete as well as from a comparably aged site on Santorini.

 The first crocus seen in the Netherlands, where Crocus species are not native, were from corms brought back in the 1560s from Constantinople by the Holy Roman Emperor's ambassador to the Sublime Porte, Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq. A few corms were forwarded to Carolus Clusius at the botanical garden in Leiden. By 1620, the approximate date of Ambrosius Bosschaert's painting, new garden varieties had been developed, such as the cream-colored crocus feathered with bronze at the base of the bouquet, similar to varieties still on the market. Bosschaert, working from a preparatory drawing to paint his composed piece spanning the whole of Spring, exaggerated the crocus so that it passes for a tulip, but its narrow, grasslike leaves give it away.

Description  The cup-shaped, solitary, salverform flowers taper off into a narrow tube. Their color varies enormously, although lilac, mauve, yellow and white are predominant. The grass-like, ensiform leaf shows generally a white central stripe along the leaf axis. The leaf margin is entire. Crocuses typically have three stamens. The spice saffron is obtained from the stigmas of Crocus sativus, an autumn/fall-blooming species.

 Some Crocus species, known as "autumn crocus", flower in September to November in the Northern Hemisphere. Some flower before their leaves appear. Autumn/fall flowering species include: Crocus banaticus (syn. C. iridiflorus), C.cancellatus, C. goulimyi, C. hadriaticus, C. kotschyanus (syn. C. zonatus), C. laevigatus, Crocus ligusticus (syn. C. medius ), C. niveus, C. nudiflorus, C. ochroleucus, C. pulchellus, C. sativus (saffron crocus), C. serotinus, C. speciosus, C. tournefortii. Crocus laevigatus has a long flowering-period which starts in late autumn or early winter and may continue into February.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Curve Billed Thrasher Desert Bird

Greetings, These are photos that I captured in the desert of southern New Mexico of a pair of Curve-billed thrasher (Toxostoma curvirostre) birds living in a cane Cholla cactus(Cylindropuntia imbricata). I have posted three different shots  and if you click on the photos It should take you to My Website where you can view the photos in a larger size and Also check out my other wildlife photos.

You can also purchase prints of all shapes and material from paper to metal and also buy and download my photography for commercial and personal use. To view my galleries Click Here!

The Curve-billed Thrasher (Toxostoma curvirostre) is a perching bird of the thrasher group native to the southwestern United States and much of Mexico.
The Curve-billed Thrasher (Toxostoma curvirostre) is a perching bird of the thrasher group native to the southwestern United States and much of Mexico. The Curve-billed Thrasher (Toxostoma curvirostre) is a perching bird of the thrasher group native to the southwestern United States and much of Mexico.

The Curve-billed Thrasher (Toxostoma curvirostre) is a perching bird of the thrasher group native to the southwestern United States and much of Mexico.

Description The Curve-billed Thrasher is generally 25 to 28 cm (10 to 12 inches) long, slender in build with a long tail, and a long, curved, sickle-shaped bill. It is pale grayish-brown above with lighter-colored underparts that are vaguely streaked. The tips of the tail are streaked with white, and the sides of the tail are a darker color than its back. The eye of an adult is usually a vivid orange or red-orange, although immature birds have a yellow eye.

Habitat and Range The Curve-billed Thrasher is commonly found throughout the deserts and brush-filled areas of the south-western United States, from about the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and across New Mexico to west Texas, as well as most of Mexico, from the Sonoran-Chihuahuan Deserts and south through the Mexican Plateau to regions south of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt in south-central Mexico.

Breeding The Curve-billed Thrasher often roosts in a tall tree or spiny vegetation, preferring a cactus. The nest is a loosely woven cup made of thorny twigs. The female lays 2 to 4 eggs, which are bluish-green and speckled with brown. The eggs are incubated by both sexes, and hatch after about thirteen days. The young will leave the nest after 14 to 18 days after hatching.

Diet The Curve-billed Thrasher feeds on ground-dwelling insects, as well as seeds, and berries. It often pushes out Cactus Wrens in its area. This thrasher's voice is a sharp, liquid, whistle wit-WEET!, or wit-WEET-wit, as well as a warbling, squeaky, hurried song.

Similar species Because of its similar coloration to Bendire's Thrasher, the two birds are easily mistaken for one another. Bendire's Thrasher's shorter and straighter bill and yellow eyes distinguish it from mature Curve-billed Thrashers. However, it is still easy to misidentify a young Curve-billed Thrasher as a Bendire's Thrasher as its beak has not grown to its mature length and curvature, and its eyes are still yellow. Aside from Bendire's Thrasher, the Curve-billed Thrasher can be easily distinguished from other thrasher species in its range as it has a streaked breast, unlike the others' plain breasts.

If you would like to see more of my photography please Click here! To go to my Website.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Honey Bees Winter Cluster Photo

Greetings, This is a photo that I was blessed to capture several years ago one cold morning when I was out with the family driving around our ranch to check on our livestock. It is a swarm of honey bees that are all clumped up together to stay warm, AKA a "winter cluster". The bees were very lethargic because it was so cold so I was able to get fairly close up to them without them stirring. I hope that you will enjoy the information that I have collected to go with this post as well.
A swarm of bees I found in the Chihuahuan Desert, This was taken on a very chilly morning and the bees were very lethargic and grouping together to stay warm.

To purchase prints or view the photo In a larger format click on the photo. If you would like to view other photos in my galleries please visit My Website , to do so you can either click on the photo or Click Here!

Honey bees (or honeybees) are a subset of bees in the genus Apis, primarily distinguished by the production and storage of honey and the construction of perennial, colonial nests out of wax. Honey bees are the only extant members of the tribe Apini, all in the genus Apis. Currently, there are only seven recognised species of honey bee with a total of 44 subspecies,though historically, anywhere from six to eleven species have been recognised. Honey bees represent only a small fraction of the approximately 20,000 known species of bees. Some other types of related bees produce and store honey, but only members of the genus Apis are true honey bees.

Orgin and distribution Honey bees as a group appear to have their centre of origin in South and South East Asia (including the Philippines), as all but one (i.e. Apis mellifera), of the extant species are native to that region. Notably the most plesiomorphic living species (Apis florea and Apis andreniformis) has the center of origin there.

 They say the first Apis bees appear in the fossil record at the Eocene–Oligocene (23-56 Mya) boundary, in European deposits. The origin of these prehistoric honey bees does not necessarily indicate that Europe is where the genus originated, only that it occurred there at that time. There are few known fossil deposits in South Asia, the suspected region of honey bee origin, and fewer still have been thoroughly studied.

 No Apis species existed in New World in In Ancient history before introduction of Apis melifera by Europeans. There is only one fossil species documented, Apis nearctica, known from a single 14-million-year old (so they say) specimen from Nevada.

The close relatives of modern honey bees –- e.g. bumblebees and stingless bees –- are also social to some degree, and social behavior seems a plesiomorphic trait that predates the origin of the genus. Among the extant members of Apis, the more basal species make single, exposed combs, while the more recently evolved species nest in cavities and have multiple combs, which has greatly facilitated their domestication.

 Most species have historically been cultured or at least exploited for honey and beeswax by humans indigenous to their native ranges. Only two of these species have been truly domesticated, one (Apis mellifera) at least since the time of the building of the Egyptian pyramids, and only that species has been moved extensively beyond its native range. Today's honey bees constitute three clades.


 Eastern species Eastern honey bee (Apis cerana) from Hong Kong

These are three or four species. The reddish Koschevnikov's bee (Apis koschevnikovi) from Borneo is well distinct; it probably derives from the first colonization of the island by cave-nesting honey bees. Apis cerana, the Eastern honey bee proper, is the traditional honey bee of southern and eastern Asia, kept in hives in a similar fashion to Apis mellifera, though on a much smaller and regionalised scale. It has not been possible yet to resolve its relationship to the Bornean Apis cerana nuluensis and Apis nigrocincta from the Philippines to satisfaction; the most recent hypothesis is that these are indeed distinct species but that A. cerana is still paraphyletic, consisting of several good species.

 Apis mellifera, the most commonly domesticated species, was the third insect to have its genome mapped. It seems to have originated in eastern tropical Africa and spread from there to Northern Europe and eastwards into Asia to the Tien Shan range. It is variously called the European, Western or Common honey bee in different parts of the world. There are many subspecies that have adapted to the local geographic and climatic environment, and in addition, hybrid strains such as the Buckfast bee have been bred. Behavior, color and anatomy can be quite different from one subspecies or even strain to another.

 Regarding phylogeny, this is the most enigmatic honey bee species. It seems to have diverged from its Eastern relatives only during the Late Miocene. This would fit the hypothesis that the ancestral stock of cave-nesting honey bees was separated into the Western group of E Africa and the Eastern group of tropical Asia by desertification in the Middle East and adjacent regions, which caused declines of foodplants and trees which provided nest sites, eventually causing gene flow to cease. The diversity of subspecies is probably the product of a largely Early Pleistocene radiation aided by climate and habitat changes during the last ice age. That the Western honey bee has been intensively managed by humans since many millennia – including hybridization and introductions – has apparently increased the speed of its evolution and confounded the DNA sequence data to a point where little of substance can be said about the exact relationships of many A. mellifera subspecies.

Transportation of Bees to the Americas Apis mellifera is not native to the Americas and therefore were not present upon the arrival of the European explorers and colonists. There were, however, other native honey bee species kept and traded by indigenous peoples. In 1622, European colonists brought the dark bee (A. m. mellifera) to the Americas, followed later by Italian bees (A. m. ligustica) and others. Many of the crops that depend on honey bees for pollination have also been imported since colonial times. Escaped swarms (known as "wild" bees, but actually feral) spread rapidly as far as the Great Plains, usually preceding the colonists. Honey bees did not naturally cross the Rocky Mountains; they were transported by the Mormon pioneers to Utah in the late 1840s, and by ship to California in the early 1850s.

Africanized bee Africanized bees (known colloquially as "killer bees") are hybrids between European stock and one of the African subspecies A. m. scutellata; they are often more aggressive than and do not create as much of a surplus as European bees, but are more resistant to disease and are better foragers[citation needed]. Originating by accident in Brazil, they have spread to North America and constitute a pest in some regions. However, these strains do not overwinter well, and so are not often found in the colder, more northern parts of North America. On the other hand, the original breeding experiment for which the African bees were brought to Brazil in the first place has continued (though not as intended). Novel hybrid strains of domestic and re-domesticated Africanized bees combine high resilience to tropical conditions and good yields. They are popular among beekeepers in Brazil.

Beekeeping Two species of honey bee, A. mellifera and A. cerana indica, are often maintained, fed, and transported by beekeepers. Modern hives also enable beekeepers to transport bees, moving from field to field as the crop needs pollinating and allowing the beekeeper to charge for the pollination services they provide, revising the historical role of the self-employed beekeeper, and favoring large-scale commercial operations.

Beekeepers in Western countries have been reporting slow declines of stocks for many years, apparently due to impaired protein production, changes in agricultural practice, or unpredictable weather. In early 2007, abnormally high die-offs (30-70% of hives) of European honey bee colonies occurred in North America; such a decline seems unprecedented in recent history. This has been dubbed "Colony collapse disorder" (CCD); it is unclear whether this is simply an accelerated phase of the general decline due to stochastically more adverse conditions in 2006, or a novel phenomenon. Research has so far failed to determine what causes it, but the weight of evidence is tentatively leaning towards CCD being a syndrome rather than a disease as it seems to be caused by a combination of various contributing factors rather than a single pathogen or poison.

Life Cycle  As in a few other types of eusocial bees, a colony generally contains one queen bee, a fertile female; seasonally up to a few thousand drone bees or fertile males;and a large seasonally variable population of sterile female worker bees. Details vary among the different species of honey bees, but common features include:

1. Eggs are laid singly in a cell in a wax honeycomb, produced and shaped by the worker bees. Using her spermatheca, the queen actually can choose to fertilize the egg she is laying, usually depending on what cell she is laying in. Drones develop from unfertilised eggs and are haploid, while females (queens and worker bees) develop from fertilised eggs and are diploid. Larvae are initially fed with royal jelly produced by worker bees, later switching to honey and pollen. The exception is a larva fed solely on royal jelly, which will develop into a queen bee. The larva undergoes several moltings before spinning a cocoon within the cell, and pupating.

 2. Young worker bees clean the hive and feed the larvae. When their royal jelly producing glands begin to atrophy, they begin building comb cells. They progress to other within-colony tasks as they become older, such as receiving nectar and pollen from foragers, and guarding the hive. Later still, a worker takes her first orientation flights and finally leaves the hive and typically spends the remainder of her life as a forager.

 3. Worker bees cooperate to find food and use a pattern of "dancing" (known as the bee dance or waggle dance) to communicate information regarding resources with each other; this dance varies from species to species, but all living species of Apis exhibit some form of the behavior. If the resources are very close to the hive, they may also exhibit a less specific dance commonly known as the "Round Dance".

 4. Honey bees also perform tremble dances which recruit receiver bees to collect nectar from returning foragers.

 5. Virgin queens go on mating flights away from their home colony, and mate with multiple drones before returning. The drones die in the act of mating.

 6. Colonies are established not by solitary queens, as in most bees, but by groups known as "swarms", which consist of a mated queen and a large contingent of worker bees. This group moves en masse to a nest site that has been scouted by worker bees beforehand. Once they arrive, they immediately construct a new wax comb and begin to raise new worker brood. This type of nest founding is not seen in any other living bee genus, though there are several groups of Vespid wasps which also found new nests via swarming (sometimes including multiple queens). Also, stingless bees will start new nests with large numbers of worker bees, but the nest is constructed before a queen is escorted to the site, and this worker force is not a true "swarm".

Winter survival In cold climates honey bees stop flying when the temperature drops below about 10 °C (50 °F) and crowd into the central area of the hive to form a "winter cluster". The worker bees huddle around the queen bee at the center of the cluster, shivering in order to keep the center between 27 °C (81 °F) at the start of winter (during the broodless period) and 34 °C (93 °F) once the queen resumes laying. The worker bees rotate through the cluster from the outside to the inside so that no bee gets too cold. The outside edges of the cluster stay at about 8–9 °C (46–48 °F). The colder the weather is outside, the more compact the cluster becomes. During winter, they consume their stored honey to produce body heat. The amount of honey consumed during the winter is a function of winter length and severity but ranges in temperate climates from 30 to 100 lbs.

Pollination Species of Apis are generalist floral visitors, and will pollinate a large variety of plants, but by no means all plants. Of all the honey bee species, only Apis mellifera has been used extensively for commercial pollination of crops and other plants. The value of these pollination services is commonly measured in the billions of dollars.

 Honey Honey is the complex substance made when the nectar and sweet deposits from plants and trees are gathered, modified and stored in the honeycomb by honey bees as a food source for the colony. All living species of Apis have had their honey gathered by indigenous peoples for consumption, though for commercial purposes only Apis mellifera and Apis cerana have been exploited to any degree. Honey is sometimes also gathered by humans from the nests of various stingless bees. In 1911 a bee culturists estimated that a quart of honey represented bees flying over an estimated 48,000 miles to gather the pollen needed for the nectar to produce the honey.

 Honeycombs and Beeswax Worker bees of a certain age will secrete beeswax from a series of glands on their abdomens. They use the wax to form the walls and caps of the comb. As with honey, beeswax is gathered for various purposes.

 Pollen Bees collect pollen in the pollen basket and carry it back to the hive. In the hive, pollen is used as a protein source necessary during brood-rearing. In certain environments, excess pollen can be collected from the hives of A. mellifera and A. cerana. It is often eaten as a health supplement.

 Propolis Propolis or bee glue is created from resins, balsams and tree saps. Those species of honey bees which nest in tree cavities use propolis to seal cracks in the hive. Dwarf honey bees use propolis to defend against ants by coating the branch from which their nest is suspended to create a sticky moat. Propolis is consumed by humans as a health supplement in various ways and also used in some cosmetics.

Defense All honey bees live in colonies where the worker bees will sting intruders as a form of defense, and alarmed bees will release a pheromone that stimulates the attack response in other bees. The different species of honey bees are distinguished from all other bee species (and virtually all other Hymenoptera) by the possession of small barbs on the sting, but these barbs are found only in the worker bees. The sting and associated venom sac are also modified so as to pull free of the body once lodged (autotomy), and the sting apparatus has its own musculature and ganglion which allow it to keep delivering venom once detached. The worker bee dies after the stinger is torn from its body. Contrast to common belief, the Honey bee is the only bee that does this. All other bees live on afterwards. As with other forms of life, warnings are given before an attack is launched. In the case of some honey bee species in the wild, this takes the form of a 'Mexican wave' which spreads as a ripple across a layer of bees densely packed on the surface of a comb when a threat is perceived, and consists of bees momentarily arching their bodies and flicking their wings.

 This complex apparatus, including the barbs on the stinger, in response to predation by vertebrates, the barbs do not usually function (and the sting apparatus does not detach) unless the sting is embedded in fleshy tissue. While the sting can also penetrate the flexible exoskeletal joints in appendages of other insects (and is used in fights between queens), in the case of Apis cerana defense against other insects such as predatory wasps is usually performed by surrounding the intruder with a mass of defending worker bees, who vibrate their muscles so vigorously that it raises the temperature of the intruder to a lethal level. It was previously thought that the heat alone was responsible for killing intruding wasps, but recent experiments have demonstrated that it is the increased temperature in combination with increased carbon dioxide levels within the ball that produces the lethal effect.This phenomenon is also used to kill a queen perceived as intruding or defective, an action known to beekeepers as, balling the queen, named for the ball of bees formed.

Communication Honey bees are known to communicate through many different chemicals and odours, as is common in insects, but also using specific behaviours that convey information about the quality and type of resources in the environment, and where these resources are located. The details of the signalling being used vary from species to species; for example, the two smallest species, Apis andreniformis and Apis florea, dance on the upper surface of the comb, which is horizontal (not vertical, as in other species), and worker bees orient the dance in the actual compass direction of the resource to which they are recruiting.

Please Click here! To visit My Website and view many other nature photos in my galleries. My photos can also be downloaded for personal or commercial use.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Allthorn bush's yellow flowers

Greetings, Would like to share with you these wonderful pictures that I captured early this spring here in the local desert hills here in west Texas. These beautiful yellow flowers are those of an Allthorn bush.
Koeberlinia spinosa is a species of flowering plant native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico known by several common names, including Crown of Thorns, Allthorn,, Junco, Coronara de Cristo, Spiny Allthorn, Corona de Cristo and Crucifixion Thorn. It is the sole species of the monotypic genus Koeberlinia, which is sometimes considered to be the only genus in the plant family Koeberliniaceae. Alternately it is treated as a member of the caper family. This is a shrub of moderate to large size, sprawling to maximum heights over 4 m (13 ft). It is entirely green while growing and is made up of tangling straight stems which branch many times. The tip of each rigid stem branch tapers into a long, sharp spine. Leaves are mainly rudimentary, taking the form of tiny deciduous scales. Most of the photosynthesis occurs in the green stem branches. The shrub blooms abundantly in white to greenish-white flowers. The fruits are shiny black berries each a few millimeters long; they are attractive to birds.
Koeberlinia spinosa can be found in northern regions of the Mexican Plateau and in the east down into the northern foothills of the Sierra Madre Orientals. In the west it ranges into the southern, and central Sonoran Desert of Sonora, and southern and southwestern Arizona; it also ranges into three areas of Baja California Sur-(part of the Sonoran Desert) also found in the Chihuahuan desert of northern mexico and west Texas.
An Allthorn bush in full bloom in the chihuahuan desert of west texas. (Koeberlinia spinosa) An Allthorn bush in full bloom in early spring in the chihuahuan desert of west texas. (Koeberlinia spinosa)

You can click on the pictures above and they will take you to My Website Where you can view the pictures larger as well as purchase prints on anything from paper to metal, or download the photos for personal or commercial use as well. You can also Click Here! to see my collection of photos in this gallery and others.

Purple cane cholla cactus flowers

Greetings!  This today I thought I would post a picture that I had just uploaded to My new website, This is a photo of a blooming cane cholla, (Cylindropuntia imbricata) , Grows throughout the southwestern united states and mexico.  The purple flowers are gorgeous in springtime.
You can buy prints of this photo and see many of my other photos my clicking on the picture it should take you to My website.

The cane cholla (or walking stick cholla, tree cholla, chainlink cactus, etc.) (Cylindropuntia imbricata) is a cactus found in the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico, including some cooler regions in comparison to many other cacti. It occurs primarily in arid regions but can also be found scattered across locations in the semi-arid High Plains of the Texas Panhandle and eastern New Mexico. It is often conspicuous because of its shrubby or even tree-like size, its silhouette, and its long-lasting yellowish fruits

The plant itself is a popular spot for desert birds to build their nests , the many spines of the cactus give a fully secure and protected area from many types of critters that would prey on the eggs and baby birds.

The cactus is often collected when dried for uses in furniture and decoration and is also used in making decorative canes which I believe gives it its name.
Purple flowers of a cholla cactus.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Pink Hedgehog cactus flowers

Greetings! This is a one of my favorite photos, as you can probably tell because i have it constantly framed on the side of my blog lol. They are the pink blossoms of an Engelmann's Hedgehog cactus  (Echinocereus engelmannii)that I found blooming in the Chihuahuan Desert of west Texas a few springs ago. They are few and far between on our ranch here but in the spring time when they do bloom they are very easy to spot because of thier vibrant color.
You should be able to click on the picture and it will take you to My Website and if not you can click on the link I just embedded. Please leave Me a comment if you cannot navigate to My Website by clicking on the photo. I have many other photos of Cactus of the desert southwest in my gallery Plants and flowers so please check it out.
Pink hedgehog cactus blossoms in the Chihuahuan desert of west texas.

You can also purchase postage stamps featuring this Photo and many more products here in My Zazzle store All products are customizable.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Honey bee on Lemon Blossom

Here is a photo that is featured on my website for sale.
Its a honey bee pollinating an Orange Blossom.
Here is my website were you can find the photo for sale as prints or on multiple products.
The photo is featured in the Plants and Flowers gallery.
My Website
Hope you enjoy!

My own Website

Greetings bloggers! I have a great announcement I now have my own website where you can buy Prints of my Photography ,I have finally decided that it was time to invest in a professional website rather than trying to get anywhere with stock photo websites, since they have become so picky these days.

(If you are a photographer that sells your work online I am sure you completely understand where I am coming from there.)

 You can buy almost any kind of prints from Canvas to Printing on Metal, Also many styles of cards and other products and you can even Purchase and Download my photos for personal or Commercial use.

Even if you are not interested in purchasing anof my photos please have a look and give me some feedback on what you like or dislike about the site.

I only have three galleries currently on the site but will be adding more shortly!

Here is the link : I also now have it listed as “my website” on my favorite links on the side of the page.

If you are a fellow photographer that has a site on Smugmug I would love to hear from you and get to talk with you about your experience with the site so feel free to leave a comment or two.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Newest Photo gallery

Greetings bloggers, I would like to announce that I have created a gallery for myself on the website, I had never heard of the site myself until a friend mentioned. I am really glad that I found the website because I have as much fun on the website looking at fellow photographer's pics as I do posting my own. If you are a photographer you should check it out because you will love it! There are no pesky reviewers to downplay your photos best of all its free! Please check out my page, I am still adding photos to it daily. You can also buy Canvas prints, or download an individual photo instantly (a feature that I also really like)  Here is the link to my page on the site, I will also be adding it to my Link list on the blog shortly.
    Hope you enjoy the site!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Cooper's Hawk photos

These are photos that I captured yesterday on my family’s ranch. They are of an Immature female Cooper’s Hawk. We were outside enjoying our evening on the porch when we noticed that all of the birds in the area were really making a racket, after a while of looking to see what was causing the disturbance we finally spotted the Hawk perched in up in the Mesquite tree. I am thankful that she let me get up close enough to her to get a few shots. You can also purchase prints and products featuring these photos here My Website

Cooper's Hawk  (Accipiter cooperii) is a medium-sized hawk native to the North American continent and found from Southern Canada to Northern Mexico. As in many birds of prey, the male is smaller than the female. The birds found east of the Mississippi River tend to be larger on average than the birds found to the west.


Cooper's Hawk was first described by French naturalist Charles Lucien Bonaparte in 1828. It is a member of the goshawk genus Accipiter. This bird was named after the naturalist William Cooper, one of the founders of the New York Lyceum of Natural History (later the New York Academy of Sciences) in New York.

Other common names; Big Blue Darter, Chicken Hawk, Hen Hawk, Mexican Hawk, Quail Hawk, Striker and Swift Hawk


The average size of an adult male ranges from 7.8 to 14 oz with a length between 14 and 18 in. The adult male is significantly smaller than the average female, which weigh 12 to 25 oz and measure 17 to 20 in long. Its wingspan ranges from 24 to 37 in. Individuals living in the eastern regions, where the sexes average 12.3 oz and 20.0 oz, tend to be larger and heavier than those in the western regions, where the respective sexes average 9.9 oz and 16 oz. Cooper's Hawks have short rounded wings, the wing chord measuring 8.4–10.9 in. long, and a relatively long tail, 6.7–8.1 in. long, with dark bands, round-ended at the tip. As in most Accipiters, the tarsus is relatively long, measuring 2.2–3.0 in long, and the bill is relatively small, with the culmen from the cere measuring only 0.59–0.83 in.

Adults have red eyes and have a black cap, with blue-gray upper parts and white underparts with fine, thin, reddish bars. Their tail is blue gray on top and pale underneath, barred with black bands. Immatures have yellow eyes and have a brown cap, with brown upper parts and pale underparts with thin black streaks mostly ending at the belly. Their tail is brown on top and pale underneath, barred with dark bands. The eyes of this hawk, as in most predatory birds, face forward, enabling good depth perception for hunting and catching prey while flying at top speeds. They have hooked bills that are well adapted for tearing flesh of prey. Immatures are somewhat larger than a Sharp-shinned Hawk and smaller than a Northern Goshawk, though small males nearly overlap with large female Sharp-shinned Hawks, and large female Cooper's Hawks nearly overlap with small male Goshawks. The Cooper's Hawk appears long-necked in flight and has been described by birdwatchers as looking like a "flying cross". The Cooper’s Hawk is seen mostly flying with quick, consecutive wing beats and a short glide, though they may also soar.

Distribution and Habitat:

Their breeding range extends from southern Canada to northern Mexico. They are generally distributed more to the south than the other North American Accipiters, the Sharp-shinned Hawk and the Northern Goshawk. Birds from most of the Canadian and northern-U.S.-range migrate in winter, and some Cooper's Hawks winter as far south as Panama.

The Cooper’s Hawk occur in various types of mixed deciduous forests and open woodlands, including small woodlots, riparian woodlands in dry country, open and pinyon woodlands, and forested mountainous regions and also now nests in many cities.They were once thought to be adverse to cities and towns, but are now fairly common urban and suburban birds. The cities provide plenty Rock Pigeon and Mourning Dove for the Cooper’s Hawk to prey on.


These birds capture prey from cover or while flying quickly through dense vegetation, relying almost totally on surprise. One study showed that this is a quite dangerous hunting style. More than 300 Cooper’s Hawk skeletons were investigated and 23% revealed healed fractures in the bones of the chest. Cooper's Hawks prey almost exclusively on small to mid-sized birds. Typical prey species include American Robins, other thrushes, jays, woodpeckers, European Starlings, quail, icterids, cuckoos, pigeons and doves. Birds preyed on can range in size from wood-warblers to Ring-necked Pheasants. They may also prey upon the raptor American Kestrel and other smaller raptors, including their cousin the Sharp-shinned Hawk.

 They have been known to rob nests and may supplement their diet with small mammals such as chipmunks, hares, mice, squirrels, and bats. Even more rarely, they may predate on lizards, frogs, or snakes. It normally catches its prey with its feet and kills it by repeatedly squeezing it and holding it away from its body until it dies. They have also been seen drowning their prey, holding it underwater until it stops moving.The hawks, in addition, often pluck the feathers off their prey on a post or other perch. They have been increasingly seen hunting smaller songbirds in backyards with feeders. They will perch in trees overlooking the feeders, then swoop down and scatter the other birds in order to capture one in flight. These hawks can also pursue their prey on the ground by half running and half flying.

Courtship and breeding :

Cooper’s hawks are monogamous and mate for life. Their breeding habitats are forested areas. The breeding pair builds a stick nest in large trees. Over a two week period the pair builds the nest. The nests are piles of sticks around 27 inches in diameter and 6- 17 inches high with a cup- shaped depression in the middle that is 8 inches across and 4 inches deep. Their nests are built in pines, oaks, Douglas- firs, beeches, spruces, and other tree species usually on flat ground rather than on a hillside. The nests typically are about 25–50 feet high off the ground, halfway up the tree, and out on a horizontal branch. The clutch size is usually 3 to 5 eggs. The cobalt-blue eggs average about 1.9 x 1.5 in. and weigh about 1.5 oz. The female incubates the eggs between 30 to 36 days. The hatchlings are about,  1 oz. and 3.8 in. long and are completely covered in white down. They are brooded for about two weeks by the female, while her mate forages for food. The fledging stage is reached at 25 to 34 days of age, though the offspring will return to the nest to be fed until they become independent around 8 weeks. Eggs and nestlings are preyed on, rarely, by raccoons, crows as well as other competing Cooper's Hawks. Adults rarely fall prey to larger raptors.

Conversation and Lifespan:

Cooper’s Hawks communicate using vocalizations and displays. Vocal is probably preferred over display, because the denseness of their habitat could prevent displays from being seen from a distance. Males are usually submissive to females and will listen for reassuring call notes the females make when they are willing to be approached. The males have a higher pitched voice than females.

Cooper’s Hawks have been known to live as long as 12 years in the wild. However, the oldest known living hawk was 20 years and 4 months old.

Status and Conservation:

At one time, Cooper's Hawks were heavily hunted in persecution for preying on poultry and were called "chicken hawks". It is now known that predation by these hawks on domestic animals borders are negligible, and they are rarely hunted these days. Cooper's Hawks' breeding success was also reduced by the use of the pesticide DDT, but the ban of DDT ended that threat. Since then, the adaptable Cooper's Hawk has thrived. However, one threat facing Cooper’s Hawks today is the degradation and loss of habitat. Management activities like logging may make their former habitat unsuitable for breeding.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Vibrant Sunset Canvas Print

Greetings, I have just noticed that in my Zazzle store all of the Canvas prints that I had designed had dissapeared for some reason, so I have begun work on recreating canvas prints for all of the pictures I currently have on products in my store. Including this photo of a Vibrant sunset taken in Alamogordo, New Mexico several years ago.  I have several up for sale already so please take a look, and don't forget to come back and look later because I will be adding alot more in the coming days.
Here are the ones I have up so far :canvas prints please let me know if this link does not work for you, or that when you get to the site is another category other than canvas prints.
Other than this picture below I have already created several other canvas prints of the photos featured here on my blog such as the Appaloosa horse, Texas Sage, and Yellow prickly pear cactus flower.
You can get Prints on metal and many other products from here at My website
You can get a canvas print of this photo here :

Friday, July 20, 2012

Great News!

Greetings bloggers, First I am sorry it has been a while since my last post, I had a computer crash and ended up finally buying a new one.
I have some Exciting news, I have created another blog, but this one will showcase my Fractal art that I have created over the years.
Here is the link to my new blog :Fantasy Fractals , I will also be adding this to my Link list.
I have revamped my Image kind site a little to incorporate a new gallery devoted to my fractal art, This is the new gallery: New Fractal Gallery If you would like to take a look around, I am still working on getting it set up and adding many new pieces daily.
Here is a sample of my fractal art, This will be the only fractal I will post on this blog, and if you really like it you can buy a print or copy of it from links that I have posted on my new fractal blog.

Friday, June 29, 2012

New Mexico Desert Sunset

Here is one of the sunsets that are featured in my New Hardcover. You can also purchase Photo prints of nearly any size and material as well as many other products featuring this photo on My Website
Hope you enjoy it this one was taken while I was still living in New Mexico.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

New hardcover of Photographs

Greetings bloggers! I am happy to announce that I have published my first full color portfolio of photographs from my collection. This a collection of 26 of my most vibrant and beautiful sunset photos of the desert southwest. I may republish this book at another time on another site because I do not like the fact that the customers cannot open the cover to get a glimpse of whats inside.
My book is available here:   
Here is a photo of the cover of my book.
Sunsets of the southwest.
Please give me some feedback on what you think. :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Liebster Blog Award Nomination!

I am excited to announce that my Meg’s Nature Photography Blog has just been nominated for its first blog award, Thanks to Hazel over at Hazel West's Character Purgatory  Thank you so much Hazel!
Here are the rules for the Liebster Blog Award:

  1. Each person must post 11 facts about themselves.

    2. Answer 11 questions the tagger has given you and give 11 questions for the person you tag.

    3. Choose 11 people and link them to your post.

    4. Tell them you've tagged them.

    5. No tag backs.
11 Facts about Megan Hoover 

  1. I love photography.
  2. My favorite subjects to photograph are Animals.
  3. I love being outdoors and exploring.
  4. I love geology and collecting rocks and fossils.
  5. I love to grow things, I have always been blessed with a green thumb.
  6. I love to play my guitar in my spare time.
  7. I love to spend my afternoons doing a bit of bible study.
  8. I am enjoying learning to read and speak Hebrew.
  9. I am currently writing a book and hope to have it finished and get it published soon.
  10. My favorite colors are blues and greens, I love the calming colors.
  11. I love to swim! Which is Ironic because I live in the desert, and do not own, or have access to a pool. J

Questions asked by

1.      Coffee or tea?  Definitely COFFEE! Anyone that knows me knows I do not live with out my coffee! LOL
2.       What is the best book you have read this year and what is the worst? Hmmm its hard to choose a favorite I have two that I have enjoyed equally as much. One of my Favorites was “Cherished Preserver” By Lynnann Richards this has got to be one of my all time favorites And if you are interested in finding out more you can check out and buy the book here:   My other favorite was “Freedom come all ye” by my Friend Hazel B. West, It was a very good read, If you are interested you can find out more about it and buy it here . I cannot really say that I have read a bad book this year although I have read plenty of bad magazine articles that were in serious need of a good editor! J
3.      What’s your favorite Genre to read? This is a good question, I love adventure I also love romance but do not like it TOO mushy it has to have a good story to go with it or it’s just not worth reading.   
4.      What’s your favorite snack food? I have lots of favorites but I love dark chocolate, If I couldn’t have dark chocolate I would go with a Kitkat bar!
5.      What’s your favorite Movie? If I had to pick a favorite I would say “The Princess Bride” nothing better than a comical cheesy movie when you are having a bad day!
6.      What’s your favorite candle scent, or what would you like to have a candle scent of? My favorite smell is orange blossoms, I do not have a candle that smells like them, but I would like one.
7.      Your favorite vacation spot? I love to go to the beach, although I love to hike and camp in the mountains as well so I cannot pick a favorite.
8.      Your favorite article of clothing? My shorts, so much cooler than Blue jeans when its 114 degrees outside like it was yesterday!
9.      What’s something you have always wanted to do? I would like to go scuba diving around a coral reef.
10.  What’s your favorite band? Oh boy, don’t get me started on this! LOL I could not pick a favorite I love all kinds of music and I have SOO many favorites, I am really into Celtic and American folk music right now since that is what I like to play on my guitar.
11.  What book would you recommend to anyone? The bible of course, Because I think that no other book can bring more Comfort, Direction, and fulfillment to your life!

My Nominations for the Liebster Blog Award.
(I do not have eleven though, I am still making friends in the blogging comunity, I hope that’s okay.)

My Eleven Questions:
1.      What’s your favorite appetizer?
2.      If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?
3.      If you could be transported to a different time period in history when would it be?
4.      What’s your favorite hobby?
5.      What’s your favorite Book?
6.      What’ your favorite flavor of Ice Cream?
7.      What would be your idea of a dream vacation?
8.      What’s your dream job?
9.      What’s the worst store you have every shopped at?
10.  What’s your favorite smell?
11.  If you were a multibillionare what would you build?