Monthly Archives: May 2014

Pink Peony



This Pink Peony was picked from our backyard bush in 2009.  As you know they flower around Memorial Day each year. This year our two bushes have their bulbs ready to open but haven’t opened yet.

Dan O. De Ment

Grackles use their beaks as a tool

In the past few days I’ve observed different Grackles using their beak as tools at our feeder…popping small nut pieces from the feeder tray to the ground. Actually walking around the edge of the feeder and selectively flipping out only the nut pieces and leaving sun flower seeds behind. Once they’ve decided there’s enough on the ground they’ll jump down and feed on them…going so far as taking some to our cement watering feeder and dipping them before eating. I’m surely not the first person to have observed this behavior? Have any of you witnessed this behavior?

Dan O. De Ment

Purple Tulips rising to the Sun

IMG_1930My wife, Jean, transplanted these tulips from our front yard before they had a chance to bloom last year.  They’re doing well now in our back yard where the sun hits them most of the day.

Dan O. De Ment

Spring arriving in the Woodland

Woodland Scene 2This image was taken in a Central Illinois Woodland.

Dan O. De Ment

Clubhouse at Forest Park Nature Center

IMG_1337-1For years residents of Center Illinois, and in particular, Peoria Heights where the Center is located, have enjoyed quiet walks and all the wildlife that have found the Nature Center home.  My wife and I live, as the crow flies, about one mile dead west from the Nature Center.  Two of the major animal and bird families located at the Center are Turkeys and Deer.

Today my neighbor said, his neighbor one home up the street was amazed to look into his back yard and see wild turkeys.  Some on the ground and a least one on the roof of their outdoor storage shed.  We’ve all had deer roam through our yards but never turkeys until now…as far as I know.

Dan O. De Ment

Shooting images through windows from inside your home

Numerous Male and Female Cardinals at the Feeder

Image above is an example I posted during this past winter

There was a time, long ago, when shooting images through a window was considered taboo…not today.  In my case, being holed-up inside throughout the winter leaves me no choice but to shoot from inside out.  I enjoy it and feel like I’ve come along with plenty of practice.  The art, itself, isn’t that difficult.  I’ve found there are only a couple of steps.

1.  Make sure the glass is clean.

2.  Find an angle where there is no glare.

3.  For the most part, turn off the flash.

4.  Compose your image…follow the rule of thirds where it’s possible to get the image you’re looking for…and shoot.

There you go.  You’ll enjoy it and find a new way to shoot…if you haven’t already.

Dan O. De Ment


Silver, a Feral Cat, and her Kitten, Tiny heading home

B0000155Silver, and her kitten, Tiny, visited our home for a few months a number of years ago before suddenly disappearing.  We still don’t know what happened to them.   Silver was a very attentive mother and Tiny was constantly wanting to nurse … Silver was always agreeable.  Tiny always seemed to be touching her mother’s side as they strolled along.

Dan O. De Ment

Muffin, our Feral Cat

MuffinMuffin came to us sometime in 2008.  By the way, she says this image does not do her justice…anyway Feral Cats were once domesticated but were turned out…so, technically their kittens become the real feral cats. Often they’re live-trapped and either neutered or spade and then returned to the location where they were trapped.  You’ll know if a feral cat has been trapped and released by the small portion of one ear missing…the top of the ear..this is done under anesthesia so there is no pain to the animal.  This helps if, by chance, they’re live-trapped again they’ll be released immediately.  Muffin has become quite tame now and eagerly awaits breakfast each morning.  She even stays throughout the winter.  She does not enter our home.  You can also see an image on my site at Fine Art America.

Dan O. De Ment



IMG_0762_edited-1These lovely sunflowers came up in our backyard in 2008.  Since then, for reasons unknown to us, they’ve failed to bloom again.  We now have tulips and day lilies growing in the spot which I’ll show you once they bloom this spring.

Dan O. De Ment