Textures in My Backyard


This week’s photo challenge is “texture”.  There are all kinds of great pictures out there to interpret it and I encourage you to click here and check them out.

I eagerly scoured my photos looking for textures until I realized that the photos from my own backyard had some interesting textures of their own!


The two photos above are the trumpet vines that provide privacy between us and our neighbor, whose driveway and garage is just feet away from our deck.  I noticed that the open flowers were facing to the east and when the sun hit them in the morning, they were glowing.  The leaves have all kinds of striations on them, the unopened flowers are smooth and waxy, and the open flowers have a slight velvety texture (complete with moving ants!).

I didn’t see the hummingbird the morning that I photographed the trumpet vine, but it’s been hanging around again this summer.  It really likes the trumpet vine flowers and often in the fall, when the leaves come down, we will find a tiny nest in the vines.

I also found this walking around the deck railing.  It’s a type of assassin bug called a “wheel bug“, named for the large half wheel in the middle of its back.  Talk about textures – look at that wheel, the abdomen, and even the shiny eye.  And yes, it was watching me.  The whole time I photographed it, those eyes stayed focused on me.


Wheel bugs are considered beneficial bugs for the garden.  That long snout is used to pierce through caterpillars, Japanese beetles, and aphids, and suck them dry.

That wasn’t the only texture outside with me that day!  Who could resist scratching that nearly hairless tummy?  The sunbeam came along and captured a miniature pinscher.  For as thick as his pelt is, his tummy barely has any short hairs covering it.


The sunbeam tried to capture a beagle as well.  It must be his age (he just turned nine), but he seems to be shaggier each time I look at him.  For being August and hot, the beagle has tufts of fur everywhere, even in his paws.


From his smooth wet nose to those soft silky ears and his coarse fur, a beagle is a total texture package.  And if you’d like to find out for yourself, he’d love you to come over and pet him!  Just be sure to bring some treats.


Backyard Dogs Photography

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I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at www.livingtheseasons.com.

19 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Love your post on textures. I don’t know that a trumpet vine would take over our house – we live in high mountain desert and I’m not very good at watering. Xeri-scaping is the thing around here – save the water for the humans and animals; plant succulents and cacti. As for that assassin bug – just as with praying mantises – they give me the creeps. That in itself protects them because I wouldn’t get close enough to kill one (and I know they’re beneficial – but scary-looking enough to give me nightmares.)

    • We’ve had some praying mantis’ here too and I agree that they are creepy. Especially when I was taking pictures and it kept turning its head to watch me. That wheel bug was really weird though – I’d never seen one before, let alone in my yard.

  2. I enjoyed this, but that trumpet vine scares me. A neighbor gave us a cutting once, and we planted it and it damn near ate the house. That said, it did give the living room a lovely underwater kind of light in the summer. It took us years to get rid of it. But if we’d left it, sooner or later it would’ve reached through the bedroom window and strangled us in our sleep.

    I always kind of knew that neighbor didn’t like us.

    • When we planted it, our neighbor’s mother made the same comment. We were mystified until the third year. We’ve got the same problem – we can’t keep it out of the yard and from growing everywhere it wants. Thankfully our neighbor’s driveway is blacktopped, so it can’t grow into their yard. They take the chain saw to it several times each summer so they can park their cars next to the fence. Each year I go over, give him a hug and thank him for not yelling at me for planting it. On the other hand, they have really liked the privacy it gives and that has more than outweighed the negatives. But they are invasive. I’d probably never plant one again.

    • I really jumped when I saw it – I’d been leaning on that deck rail to take the trumpet flowers as it didn’t work getting closer to them for what I wanted. I nearly leaned right up onto that bug! I moved away as fast as I could so I didn’t scare it off before I could get my pictures. A few summers ago I was trying to take a praying mantis that was in the flower pot and it decided I was paying too much attention. As a result, I have no photos to show of it.

  3. You are so right. Those red flowers are absolutely glowing. I hope your garden is full of them – what a pretty sight it must have been to wake up too. I a love that shadowed shot of your dog. The shade and him sleeping makes him look like one lazy dog. But I’m sure he’s not :)

    • Thanks for the lovely compliments. The trumpet vines have more flowers than I expected, but I wish they were just covered. For some reason, that corner is but not the rest of it too much.

      No, he’s not very lazy. In fact, he’s a very instant on type of dog, especially if he sees people walking around the subdivision. He must protect his momma!! Even if someone is two blocks away and minding their own business.

      Here’s a good look at the instant on feature:

      Thanks for coming by!

  4. I’m on my way to pet the beagle (with treats of course) Great article on texture. Love the trumpet vines and I can see why it is called an assassin bug. I must find a place to put one of them in one of my books. Amazing creatures.(off to do more research) Happy summer!

    • The beagle says wow and thanks! The wheel bugs are not aggressive and can be handled – the problem is that if they do bite you, it can up to six months for it heal. Some of the Google images that I saw were of people holding them. I was surprised to see it and sure had fun taking its picture.

      I’m having a good summer and I hope you are also. Are you in the new house yet? How’s that going?


      • We haven’t sold our place yet so everything is on hold. But I sure got rid of a ton of stuff while I was getting ready to list it. I feel so much lighter now!

        • Ugh. I hate selling a house. I agree with you on the decluttering though – I’m happy with what I got done. I have more to do, but it’s made a big difference to my overall sanity with what I got done.

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