52 Week Challenge

52 Weeks of Susan's Life


Week 5 – #18 Hidden From View

queen conch, Siesta Key Beach, shellsQueen Conch, Siest Key Beach, ShellsAfter Googling the name of this lovely creature, I’ve settled on “Queen Conch”.  Please correct me if I’m wrong!  This seemed like the perfect image for Hidden From View.  My grandson is visiting from Chicago and he is intrigued with all kinds of nature but finding this conch was the highlight of our day on Siesta Key Beach.  Fortunately for me, the critter cooperated by making several trips into his shell so I could capture my photographs for “Hidden From View”.


Week 4 – #19 Homemade

Have you ever heard of the Little Free Library?  I had not until my daughter-in-law built one in her front yard.  The concept was born out of a tribute to one man’s Mom who was a librarian.  He built a small structure, called it “Little Free Library”, filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard for his neighbors to enjoy.  The idea of sharing books and bringing people together for something positive took off.  In just a few years, there were already 400 “Little Free Libraries” sprouting up.  In May, 2012, Little Free Library was officially established as a Wisconsin nonprofit corporation with a board of directors.   There is estimated to be over 25,000 registered Little Free Libraries around the world.  littlelibrary1

My daughter-in-law’s Little Free Library is constructed from an old piece of laboratory sterilizing equipment that she purchased on Craig’s List for $25.00!   Living in Alaska, the structure had to be weather- proof in order to endure the changing seasons.  It is hand painted and decorated and is  officially registered with the Little Free Library organization.  Rope secures the structure to a tree that bears the official “Little Free Library” sign.  The neighbors come and go, taking books and leaving books.  She has it stocked with books for children as well as adults.  I even noticed the street crew checking out the library the other day!  Visit the web site (www.littlefreelibrary.org) to see if there is one in your neighborhood. I was quite surprised to find two Little Free Libraries here in Sarasota.

Susan M. Beausanglittlefreelibrary, free libraries littlelibraby2


Week 3 – #52 Yellow

Alaska,yellowflower,sunflowerPosting a yellow flower for the “yellow theme” may seem like a lack of imagination but consider that I’ve been in Alaska for the last 10 days where I am surrounded by the most incredible flowers I have ever seen.  When we think of Alaska, we naturally think of gold, oil or fishing but growing flowers is gaining popularity as a new profit-making industry.

The growing conditions aren’t just good in Alaska, they’re ideal. Due to the extended daylight during Alaskan summers — upwards of 20 hours of sun — flowers can grow as big as a human head. It seems that one not need to have a “green thumb” to have a spectacular garden.  In fact most homes have a wide variety of gorgeous blooms in their garden.  Most businesses, public buildings, restaurants, museums, etc also boast beautiful blooms. You simply can’t go anywhere without enjoying a spectacular array of blossoms.

I’ve seen more varieties of sunflowers this week;  one more spectacular than the next.  I’ve read that under the right growing conditions, sunflowers can grow 12 inches in a day.  They prefer  6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight—it’s no wonder that they thrive so well in Alaska with up to 20 hours of sunlight a day in the summer months.

With a little research on  sunflowers I learned the following interesting facts:  Despite their bright collars of petals, sunflowers, which come in single- and multistem varieties, aren’t really single flowers but 1,000 to 2,000 individual flowers. The ray petals around the circumference have no stamens or pistils. Their function is to attract pollinators to the landing pad or “disk,” since sunflowers rely heavily on bees and other pollinators to reproduce, says Dimitrov. Pollenless hybrid varieties were developed for the cut-flower industry (to avoid that “messy” yellow dust), so they’re starlet pretty and a boon to the allergic gardener.

Enjoy this beautiful Alaskan sunflower.

Susan Beausang


Week 2 – #39 Rainy Days


I thought I had left the rain behind me when I flew almost 5000 miles to Alaska but unfortunately the clouds followed me here. It’s  been raining  for 2 days!  In between the rain drops, I ventured out with my camera hoping I could get my “rainy days” photo challenge shot.   The puddles at the end of the driveway provided me with a unique opportunity for a “rain bubble selfie”.  I knew that I had caught the rain bubble but my surprise was that I had also captured a reflection of me taking the picture~


Week 1 – #51 Upside Down

beeeupsidedownsizeThis is my first post to the 52 week photo challenge. I have to say I am both nervous about the task on hand and intimidated by the talent of the other photographers!  In the last few weeks, I’ve been experimenting with  macro photography using my Nikon Macro105mm lens.  I’ve been attempting to achieve crisp pictures while hand holding the camera instead of using a tripod.  With the weather as it’s been (no sun) this has been extremely challenging considering the depth of field settings and the high ISO.  Practice makes perfect is an old cliche but with photography I find that the work I put into practicing a particular setting, I really do see results.  I’ve also been experimenting with achieving some macro shots with the use of my Nikon 18-300mm lens.  I set the lens to 300 mm with  a depth of field around 8 and have achieved some very nice shots.  The reappearance of the sun has helped with the lighting. Bees have been my subject lately.  I did manage to capture this bee “upside down” getting ready to have some morning nectar from my neighbor’s Firebush. This was shot with ISO 500, F8, SS 1/500 at 300mm.    Enjoy.