Photos copyright 2013-2016 Regina Rickert. All rights reserved.

I'm going to try firing up the blog again for 2016, especially the nature/landscape side of things. It is in desperate need of a redesign so I will be working on that while shooting for KSTV. Unfortunately the slideshows on older posts have been disabled by flickr. You can find all of my work in my gallery.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Frozen Tundra

After a week of temperatures below freezing, the sun finally made an appearance to start the big thaw. I grabbed my camera and took a drive. I headed away from town and toward the Kentucky River. The shot above is from the property of a summer camp I worked at in college. It looked like it had been dipped in crystal. It was beautiful, but  I think I prefer the days I spent there running around in my bikini down by the lake and pool! 

Stopped by a horse farm you might remember from some Fall pics. I posted previously. What a difference a season makes!

And another farm:

I was less than a mile from the river so I braved the twists and turns and made it to the Valley View Ferry. A huge shout-out to the ferry operators who offered a ride and even an opportunity to drive the ferry. It was a little cold, but the ride across the river was an unexpected treat. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ice Storm-2010

This week we were treated(?) to a winter storm complete with snow, sleet and freezing rain. The ice accumulation in my area was somewhere between a quarter to a half an inch. While I am not a fan of the cold at all, the storm did force us to slow down a bit during this often hurried season. We are enjoying more time spent around the warmth and glow of the fireplace, skating on the driveway, and marveling at nature's creations.

I am looking forward to the sun coming out. From previous ice storms, I remember how the neighborhood would shimmer like a thousand prisms when the sun would hit the  melting ice. The ice encapsulates everything and makes even the most mundane objects look interesting. Mother Nature can turn a trash can into instant art like in the photo above.  The ice magnifies the beauty and acts as nature's jewelry.

It brings out textures and colors that usually go unnoticed once the fall leaves have passed and our thoughts turn to the hustle and bustle of the holidays. I can't say that I hope the ice sticks around, but I am trying to appreciate the beauty in it while it is here.

"Let those who go outside be solitary,
stifle the heart and see how this unknown and brittle world, 
unreal and legendary,
was filmed in crystal for the mind alone."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stopping By Woods

Although the snow was still falling too much to be out taking pictures, I grabbed my camera and went for a drive. It was too icy to get far, but I managed to find a couple of winter escapes close to home.

 The place below reminded me of a Robert Frost poem:
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

Hard to believe that photo was taken right off a busy road. Luckily the sound of the birds chirping as they swooped in for the winter berries drowned out most of the traffic noise. I was a muddy, frozen and soaked mess by the time I arrived home, but walking this peaceful path in the virgin snow was well worth it.

...The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Filmstrip template and tutorial

So you have taken all those Christmas photos trying to get that perfect one for the Christmas card. Here's something fun you can do with some of those leftover shots.

Download a negative or filmstrip template. There are a ton of free ones available like this one from UneekResources

Just click on the download link on the right side of the page. Here is the process I used:

1. Open filmstrip template in photoshop.
2. Open a photo you wish to use in the template. Select all and copy
3. On template, use the rectangle tool to select the window you want to use.
4. Under edit-go to paste-paste into. You might have to use free transform to adjust the size to show in the window if you didn't crop them smaller.
5. Repeat for the other windows in the template.
6.Flatten and save as a jpg.

You can find a more detailed tutorial at

This is great to do with outtakes or those silly faces shots. :D

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kings Gardens

We had snowflakes here in the Bluegrass this morning, so I thought everyone could use a little shot of warmth and color. I took these on a trip to King's Gardens Garden Center. We stop by every year to see the giant inflatable pumpkin and to check out the Fall displays. They have a huge selection of gourds. I am always amazed at all of the unlimited shapes and colors Mother Nature provides.

I love this shape. They had some painted with little aprons and faces. The kids loved them.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fall Scenes

"Bittersweet October.  The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter."
Carol Bishop Hipps

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Greatest Show on Earth

Some friends had tickets to the circus they were unable to use and offered them to us. It was interesting since I am still getting used to the new camera. The rules prohibited lenses greater than three inches, although many people managed to bring them in. I wish I had my 50-200, but I made do with what I had with me. A few things I have immediately noticed about the K20 over the K100-better performance in low light. I can really crank up the ISO. This will take some time to get used to and experiment with. Then there is the beauty of going from 6mp to 14.6 mp. The detail is amazing and makes cropped shots look so much nicer. The only drawback I am finding so far is the complexity of the shooting modes and customization menu. I have yet to figure them all out and to get comfortable finding the right settings for my needs. I am sure in the future I will love having so many options, but right now I find them a bit overwhelming.

Ladies and gentlemen..."Zing, Zang, Zoom!"

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Elephant Brunch

I took Miss N to the Elephant Brunch at  a local park. The circus is in town and they always do an elephant walk down Main Street. This year Kroger donated all of the fruits and veggies for the elephants. Five amazing African elephants dined on lettuce, apples, bananas and watermelon just feet from where we were standing. Some circus clowns entertained the crowd while a trainer took questions from the kids. We really enjoyed the beautiful day and picnicking with the pachyderms.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Macro Monday

This one's for Dayna. =) A young spicebush swallowtail caterpillar. 

Getting to know the new K20D

Took the new K20D for its inaugural trip around the UK Arboretum. :D I wasn't so much focused on comps. as I was on learning where all the buttons/bells and whistles are. I also got a feel for the different camera settings and operation modes. There will be a learning curve for sure, but I am really happy with this camera so far.

That one was a happy accident. ;)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Spicebush Swallowtail

According to University of Kentucky Entomology, the spicebush swallowtail is one of the most common woodland butterflies seen in Kentucky. The caterpillar usually feeds on spicebush and sassafras. This is our first try at raising spicebush butterflies. So far we have had great success with the monarchs and black swallowtails. This is also our first experience raising one from the egg. 

The caterpillar finally emerged yesterday. He is very tiny.

 Hard to believe that in such a short time, he will become this big guy:

Yesterday this one turned an orange-yellow color and was hanging in his harness. When we checked on him this morning, he was in the chrysalis.

In about 10-14 days we should have a beautiful spicebush swallowtail butterfly.

"How does one become a butterfly? You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

DIY Camera Bag

Inspired by some recent posts over at 2Peas and needing a new camera bag, I decided to look around the lunch bag section. Lunch bags are insulated so there is often extra padding, many are made of durable water-resistant fabrics and they come in a variety of sizes and styles.

I usually have my 18-55mm and 50-200mm in my Crumpler 4 mil when I go out shooting. I have a large Targus bag I keep at home with the rest of my gear in it. I recently got the 100mm macro lens and decided it is a must have in my "walk around" bag but there wasn't room. I looked at the Crumpler 5mil and then I saw some of the 2peas posts. I looked several places and finally found a perfect little bag in the lunch bag /kitchen section at Meijer.

The bag is a nice heavy canvas similar to my Crumpler fabric. It is somewhat padded since it is insulated, but I had some dividers from an old camera bag that slipped right in for added protection on the bottom and sides. It has two long pockets on the sides perfect for two of my lenses and a small pocket on the front for batteries, memory cards, etc. Best of all it was only $9.99! They had much cuter fabrics in other bags, but this one had the pockets and stability I was looking for. Most of them were just one open compartment. I even got a free metal water bottle on a clip. :smile:

So here is the bag:

Inside view loaded with my Pentax K100D with 100mm 2.8 macro attached and hood. Side pockets are holding my 50-200mm and 18-55mm lenses. Front pocket has memory cards, lens wipes and some batteries.

The bag comes in other colors, but they only had the one I bought and a bright red at Meijer when I went.

It is called the Subzero Fashion Tote Lunch Kit Model # LK8442

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Growing Native

The largest butterfly I have seen in person was a giant swallowtail in the woods down at Lake Cumberland. This male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail was even bigger and more beautiful. He was friendly and seemed unconcerned with me hovering around. He even let me touch him a few times.

I recently went to a seminar on the importance of native plants in the landscape and attracting butterflies and other wildlife to your garden. I have never really thought much about native plants. From Growing Natives:

"Native vegetation evolved to live with the local climate, soil types, and animals. This long process brings us several gardening advantages.
  • Save Water:
    Once established, many native plants need minimal irrigation beyond normal rainfall.
  • Low Maintenance:
    Low maintenance landscaping methods are a natural fit with native plants that are already adapted to the local environment. Look forward to using less water, little to no fertilizer, little to no pesticides, less pruning, and less of your time.
  • Pesticide Freedom:
    Native plants have developed their own defenses against many pests and diseases. Since most pesticides kill indiscriminately, beneficial insects become secondary targets in the fight against pests. Reducing or eliminating pesticide use lets natural pest control take over and keeps garden toxins out of our creeks and watersheds.
  • Wildlife Viewing:
    Native plants, birds, butterflies, beneficial insects, and interesting critters are “made for each other.” Research shows that native wildlife prefers native plants.
  • Support Local Ecology:
    As development replaces natural habitats, planting gardens, parks, and roadsides with natives can provide a “bridge” to nearby remaining wildlands." 
There is a native plant database you can search to find plants for your area. You can also search by light requirements, soil type, etc. Luckily for me, my new house had very few flowers. I had an empty slate to do whatever I wanted. Not only am I thinking about native plants more, but I am choosing them specifically over other varieties whenever possible. I am also planting more host plants for butterflies.

Many people are also unaware how important host plants are to attracting butterflies to your garden. Some caterpillars only feed on one or two host plants. If we do not grow them in our gardens, the butterflies have nowhere to lay eggs for the caterpillars. No eggs=no butterflies. Here is a nice article from Rose Franklin on why we don't see as many butterflies hovering around as we did years ago.

You can find lists of butterfly host plants on places like The Butterfly Website. It is nice to plant the nectar plants and have butterflies passing through. If you want them to stick around for years to come, you might want to think about adding host plants to your garden.


Copyright for these photos belongs solely to Regina Rickert. All rights reserved.