I enjoy photographing the beauty that surrounds me, especially plants and landscapes.
My youngest sister, is a very good photographer and her focus is usually people.
And then there is my nephew, Kenny, (son of my other sister), who likes to photograph both nature and people.
So what do you do with three family photographers?  Go on a field trip to our local riparian preserve. 
Even in winter, it is a beautiful place to visit…
In addition to my sister and nephew, my son Kai and my other nephew, Josh came along.

Of course, they soon set off to explore on their own…


Now, the rest of us got our cameras out and started taking pictures.

My focus was trying to capture photos of the many hummingbirds who make their home in the riparian preserve year round.

Anna’s Hummingbird
Anna’s Hummingbird

What fascinates me about hummingbird photos, is that although the photos above are of the same hummingbird; you can only see the bright color when the sun is shining directly on the feathers of their throat.


While I was taking pictures of hummingbirds, my sister wanted to practice taking pictures, so she was taking pictures of me, taking pictures.

I must admit that I feel a bit uncomfortable posing for pictures.  But it wasn’t too bad because I didn’t have to pose.


My nephew has a very good eye for both landscape and people shots.

Sunlight and Purple Prickly Pear Spines


Great White Heron




My nephew also caught me in the midst of taking pictures of three mallard ducks.



I know that mallard ducks are quite common, but I have always liked them and their beautiful colors.  I even used to have a pet mallard duck when I was young.



A curious goose was hoping we had some bread crumbs to share.



Another photo from my nephew, highlights the babbling brook that winds its way through the preserve.


Across one of the lakes, we spotted the boys who were visiting some of the ducks…



Soon, the sun was beginning to set and I had to get home to make dinner.


So we started making our way back to the parking lot.



On our way, I spotted some Canadian geese flying back for the night to one of the lakes.



Kai had a little help over the muddy spots on the path…



As we neared the entrance, my sister asked me to pose for a picture – did I mention that I really don’t like posing for pictures?  I feel so self-conscious and am worried that I have lipstick on my teeth or that I will look so ‘fake’ in the photo.

My nephew took this photo and I must confess that I cropped out the bottom part because he didn’t push “the skinny button” on his camera.
Okay, I realize cameras don’t have “skinny” buttons, but I certainly wish they did, don’t you?

We had a wonderful time.

I hope you did too 🙂

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."

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