Unexpected “Extra’s”

Michelle from The Daily Post has issued her weekly photo challenge: “Extra, extra.”  She is asking for photos that reflect:  “…a little something extra: an unexpected visitor, or a tranquil landscape with a splash of color. A lone carrot in a sea of peas. Draw us in with a humorous detail, or find a photo with an added element that makes it an image only you could capture…..[or] go broader and show us a thing or place you think is an extra — a thing you could do without, or a place that’s not part of your day-to-day life but has meaning for you.”

On a recent drive home, I stopped to take pictures of a group of horses I had seen before.  Unfortunately, the horses were WAY up on a hill, taking refuge from the hot sun in the shade of the woods.  No matter what I tried, all of the pictures were useless because the field up to the woods was flooded with sunlight and the wood’s edge was too dark.

Smart horses, bad timing for the photographer…

As I wandered along the fence that kept me from getting closer to the horses, I noticed that it was covered with honeysuckle vines and their white and yellow blossoms.  Now, there was the unexpected opportunity, the “extra” thrown in to reward me for my efforts.

“You can’t always get what you wa-a-nt, but if you try sometime, you may find you get what you need.”

Instead of horses, I got honeysuckle which is considered an invasive, something “extra” that’s not so desirable when it takes over in places where it isn’t wanted.  And, yet, the flowers are so delicate and smell heavenly!

I kept driving and a few miles up the road, I stopped by a large pond where I spotted Canada geese.

geese and reflections

A bit too far away to get the sharpness I was looking for, but I loved the green watery reflections. While I was taking pictures of the geese, I heard a soft snorting behind me. Looking around, on the other side of the road, there was a horse! It must have wandered up to the edge of the field to check me out. I had not noticed it before.

white horse grazing

I was drawn to the play of light on the tail and mane. It wasn’t until I uploaded these pictures to the computer that I realized that the horse was surrounded by a cloud of flies. If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you can see the little light spots around its head – a pesky nuisance to the horse but a bit of an “extra” for the picture.

When I turned around again to take another look at the pond, I noticed several barn swallows swooping across the pond picking insects right off the water’s surface. The blue/white/orange colored swallows drew loops in the air captivating me with their aerial artistry. I didn’t know whether my camera would be able to capture them as they were flying very fast. Still I clicked away. Again, the images are not as sharp as I wanted them, but still show different flying positions and angles – an extra reward for waiting around long enough to notice them!

There are 10 images in this slideshow:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I was very grateful for all the extra “Beauty along the road” I was shown again and again.

About Beauty Along the Road

A blog about discovering beauty in all its ordinary and extraordinary manifestations.
This entry was posted in Animals and Critters, Appalachia, Flora, Weekly Photo Challenge and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Unexpected “Extra’s”

  1. Phoenix Tears Healed says:

    of all the ones I’ve seen for the ‘extra’ challenge, I like your post the most 🙂


  2. suzjones says:

    Got to love the beauty that is not just along the road but in each day as well 🙂


  3. doreenb8 says:

    These are all such lovely photos and I love the randomness of how you got them.


  4. mpejovic says:

    I love honeysuckle, what a delicious smell! Those swallow pictures are great too.


  5. Great pics for the challenge, Annette. Nature is always so full of surprising extras. 🙂


  6. Great images here, MM 🍀


  7. Tish Farrell says:

    The sunlight through the horse’s tail and mane is especially fine, Annette.


  8. Jo says:

    What a lovely set of photographs. So much in one day. 🙂


  9. Tina Schell says:

    Good for you for continuing on with your shoot despite the horses’ lack of interest Annette! For me tho, the favorite it still the horse shot. I love that he/she came over once you lost interest, and you’re right, the light is lovely. Nicely done!


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