Dutch Goes the Photo Challenge: New

Dutch Goes the Photo Challenge: New

Since the Weekly Word Press Photo Challenge has been discontinued, I have been surfing around the blogosphere for other photo challenges in which I can regularly participate. Dutch Goes the Photo is a blog that hosts a variety of photographic challenges, so tonight I turned to their page to see that the photo challenge for the last week was to interprete  the word “new.”

This was the perfect word for what I photographed earlier this week, a monarch caterpillar coming out of its eggshell and eating its first meal (the eggshell). Although I’ve known this is what they do before gorging themselves on milkweed for the next two weeks of this life cycle stage,  capturing a photo of it has been difficult. However, my timing was just right the other day. After photographing the egg daily since finding  it on the requisite milkweed leaf, I noted that the egg began to look different and figured the time would be soon that we (hopefully) would have a caterpillar emerge.

Another blogger, The Mindful Gardener,  who has fantastic garden photographs, and stories about her garden plants, recently purchased a macro lens. I couldn’t help but be jealous of that lens when trying to capture a decent photo of this event. A brand new monarch caterpillar eating its first meal is my interpretation of the word NEW for the Dutch Goes the Photo Challenge!  I cannot imagine something “newer” than a new life or a new life stage, as is the case with this new caterpillar. Raising Monarchs breaths new life into each summer for me, as I am always amazed at the process!

New Monarch Caterpillar Eating its own eggshell, June 18th, 2018, © Carol Labuzzetta

Just to show the difference, here is the same caterpillar today, June 24th, 2018. He’s got his NEW stripes now! The picture above and below contain one and the same caterpillar! NEW – it can be amazing!

monarch from egg at 4 days of age - 2018
Newly striped Monarch Caterpillar, 6 days old. © Carol Labuzzetta
Silent Sunday: Signs of Summer

Silent Sunday: Signs of Summer

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Tennessee Coneflower, My Yard, © Carol Labuzzetta, 2017
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 Plants in Colorful Pots, My Yard, © Carol Labuzzetta, 2018
Homegrown Plums from our own Fruit Orchard, © Carol Labuzzetta, 2015
Swallowtail on Butterfly Bush in my yard, © Carol Labuzzetta, unknown date.
one out one to go.
Raising Monarchs, © Carol Labuzzetta, 2017
Common Milkweed HSP
Common Milkweed, Summer at the Lake, © Carol Labuzzetta, 2017
painted turtle
Painted Turtle, Perrot Park, © Carol Labuzzetta, 2016


The Daily Post: Word Press Photo Challenge, All Time Favorites!

The Daily Post: Word Press Photo Challenge, All Time Favorites!

I learned this week that The Daily Post by WordPress will no longer be offered prompts – which I rarely used, or Photo Challenges, in which I did participate regularly. As their last challenge, they have asked for participants to photo their all time favorite photos. I hope you enjoy mine. It will be hard to choose, as I have many photos which are special to me.


two chrysali and two larvae
Monarch Chrysalises and Caterpillars © Carol Labuzzetta, 2017
Napili Coast Kauai, 2013, © Carol Labuzzetta


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Johnson’s Blue Geranium, Mid-west Gardens. 
Bald Eagle behind our house, © Carol Labuzzetta 2017
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, Bermuda, © Carol Labuzzetta, 2017
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New York City, 2013, © Carol Labuzzetta
Sunset on North Woods Lake, 2015 © Carol Labuzzetta
Sunrise on Haleakala, Maui, Christmas Morning, 2015 © Carol Labuzzetta
D.C. Architecture,  2010, © Carol Labuzzetta
Monarch Butterfly © Carol Labuzzetta


Word Press Weekly Photo Challenge: Lines

Word Press Weekly Photo Challenge: Lines

Enjoy the variety of “lines” in my photography as these are my submission to the Weekly WordPress Photo Challenge: Lines.

Lines on a Garden Bench in a late April snow. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2018
Lines of Walnut and Maple on a homemade skateboard. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2015.


St. Peter's Church in St. George 2017
The stair form contrasting lines at St. Peter’s Church in St. Georges Bermuda. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2017
Lines of Cypress Trees and Benches at Iowa State University, © Carol Labuzzetta, 2017.
Lines on the Deck, lines on the fence, and lines on the chairs – manmade lines. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2017.
License Plates – Collected and in Lines. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2017.
Lines are not always straight. One of my favorite photos from a D.C. trip in 2010. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2010.
The straight lines of a footbridge in Iowa. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2017
The Dockyard Bermuda 2017
A line of sight is essential when protection the Royal Fleet in Bermuda. Royal Navy Dockyard. Bermuda, © Carol Labuzzetta, 2017.
A Bench of Lines at our cabin in the Northwoods contrasts with the wildness of coneflowers.           © Carol Labuzzetta, 2016.
Word Press Weekly Photo Challenge: Awakening

Word Press Weekly Photo Challenge: Awakening

The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is for this week is to represent the word Awakening.  The first photo that sprung to mind is the eruption of milkweed in my monarch habitat garden in the spring. Usually, the itch gets too much to bear and forces me to go looking for this sign of spring.  It is also the signal that my beloved Monarchs will (hopefully) soon follow. I say hopefully because their arrival has gotten later and later each year!


Seeds are alive! Did you know? They awaken when the conditions for growth are right! This includes water and warmth.  Below are zinnia seeds that awakened after planting in the spring of 2015.

Zinnia Seeds

Flower bulbs awaken when days get longer and warmer!

Spring Bulbs in a School Garden Awaken with Spring, 2018.

The beach awakens with rays of sun. Black sand Beach, Maui.



Monarchs Awaken to a new life as a Butterfly. Metamorphosis is always an amazing awakening! 

The sky awakens the evening after the solar eclipse of 2017.

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WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Rise/Set

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Rise/Set

Some of my favorite photos are those of the sunrises and sunsets. I have been known to run and grab my camera when the sky is ablaze with color, no matter where we are or the time of day.  Given this fact, my photographic submissions for The Daily Post’s challenge for this week are from not only my front and backyard but from beaches, lakes, and oceans as far away as the Hawaiian Islands and Florida Keys to the Northern Wisconsin Woods. All photos are from my own body of work, please do not reproduce!




Kauai Sunset at the Marriott, 2013. © Carol Labuzzetta

Sunset at the Cabin, 2015. © Carol Labuzzetta
Sunset on the island of Kauai, 2013. © Carol Labuzzetta
Sunrise in the Coulee. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2016
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Sunset after a Storm, 2017. © Carol Labuzzetta
Sunset on the California Coast – Carlsbad Beach. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2012.
Sunset on Hawk’s Cay, Florida Keys, © Carol Labuzzetta, 2010.
Florida Keys Sunset on Hawk’s Cay. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2010
Sun Shadow Phenomenon,  Hawk’s Cay, Florida Keys, 2010. © Carol Labuzzetta
Lake Michigan Sunset. © Carol Labuzzetta
Sunset Reflection over the Lake, Wisconsin North Woods. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2016
Moon Set Christmas Day 2015
Moon set on Christmas Morning, 2015, Mt. Haleakala, Maui. © Carol Labuzzetta
Sunrise over the clouds at the break of Christmas Day, 2015. Mt. Haleakala, Maui.                           © Carol Labuzzetta
Sunrise in the Coulee behind our home. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2017.

Thanks for viewing my submissions for the The Daily Post’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Rise/Set. I hope you enjoyed the view!

Cougar in the Coulee?!

Cougar in the Coulee?!

We had some excitement this week at our house! On Wednesday, my husband called me to “quick come here and bring your camera” while he was getting ready for work. When I met him in our bedroom, I could see what he was excited about! There was a large black animal in the dry creek bed by our house.  It was large! Both of us thought it was a cougar – or black panther! I know, I know. It is Wisconsin. We might see an occasional cougar trotting through our forests and valleys but this animal was totally black. And, very large.  Its tail was very long.  The cat moved using large back haunches and paws that seemed as big as my closed fist! We were sure we were seeing an exotic animal in the coulee right next to our house!


Many photos were shot. I recently obtained a 600mm telephoto lens for our son’s sporting events and was able to zoom in close enough to get a good look at this beautiful, yet, somewhat scary animal.

Soon, my husband left for work. We were both excited at what we thought we saw. I posted photos to FaceBook and sent my husband some to his email so he could show his co-workers the “cougar”! When our teenage boys arrived home from school, I proudly showed each of them the photos on my computer. Both laughed! “Mom”, my 18-year-old stated, “that’s a house cat.”


“No! It was really big! Too big to be a house cat,” I told him. “It’s tail was really long, too! And, the haunches!”  He just laughed.

I am a great lover of wildlife. Just days before I was exclaiming over a hawk’s wingspan as he glided over our backyard into the same coulee in which we saw the large cat. And, the week before that, it was a fox trotting through the same dry creek bed that I caught on camera. In our house, I get teased a lot for my exclamation of wonder about our natural world. This was no different.

That night, I sent five photos to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Website (DNR) that asks citizens to report large mammal sightings. The laughter continued but my husband had co-workers that hunt agree with him that it was a cougar and I experienced the same from some of my FaceBook friends. There was amazement, laugher, and maybe, a little fear, too!


We kept the garage doors down all day on Wednesday. I did not want to be met in the garage by a hungry cat, that’s for sure!

By Thursday morning I had a response from the DNR warden. It was, in fact………..a house cat I had caught on camera! Really? We were so sure it was bigger. My husbands’ response was “baloney” (Well, not that exact word!) Later on Thursday, a black cat returned to the coulee’s dry creek bed. My eldest son was home and agreed with his brothers. It looked like a house cat to him, and really, not a very big one in his opinion. I had to agree. This cat looked very similar to the other cat but was smaller and the tail was shorter. Could it be different? Could it be the same but our perceptions of the cougar-cat on Wednesday was fed by our excitement?  Maybe, to both questions.

On top of it all, when in the grocery store on Thursday afternoon, we happened to see this “Puma Kola” made by a gourmet soda drink company, Sprecker’s.  There was no question that was coming home with us ……. It was  just too funny!


In any case, we have had a lot of fun with this experience in our house this week. And, I think we provided some entertainment for our friends as well! One, messaged me that she loved the sense of adventure and, whether cat or cougar, I should keep posting! I think I will —- after all , everyone needs a good laugh!