squirrels, photography, flowers, friends, travel, perseverance, growing old, life goes on, Nature's beautiful creatures, road trip, making memories

New Hampshire happenings…

There isn’t just one story to tell since I’ve been back at my friend’s house in NH. We mostly just talk and talk. And eat. Ice cream for lunch one day, but lots of other good stuff too. I see the birds in the feeders out front, and the squirrels who torment my friend to no end by eating all the bird seed. We’ve visited the Squam Lake Nature Center and gardens. But mostly we laugh at ourselves when we can’t quite remember the word we are searching our brains for. Our opinions of the state of the country and universe are as in sync as ever. Grow old along with me… and be my forever friend.

A charming statue in the garden.
A runaway ballerina caught my eye too,
A coyote laying in the sun,
A bear keeping in the shade.
We finally found bees.
Lots of bees.
A lovely stone church in our travels.
More hummers at home,
Even with a nice background we were shooting through the window and had reflections to deal with.
This little guy was enjoying the feast out front until the squirrels destroyed the feeder.
Who me?
Uncategorized

Stone walls and forsythia…

Among the things I miss as a former New Englander now enjoying life in Florida are the random stone walls that border the fields and look like they grew there. And the flowers that I only appreciated after I’d left home and didn’t see them anymore. Forsythia is on that list, so graceful when left to drape and grow as they will. All of which explains why we had to stop for the feature photo. We being my life-long closest, dearest friend, and here being New Hampshire.

The view from the Adirondack chairs at Lake Sunapee.
But our first photo ops came while we were still home drinking coffee. We sat out on the deck in our pajamas while this very active hummingbird entertained us.
I took lots of pictures before the sun was up enough to light them up, but then it did and I was amazed.
I showed my friend how to get rid of a less than stellar background in Lightroom.
And again.
There were flowers to see at Sunapee also.
So pretty.

This was day one of this visit. My friend has mastered the art of Margarita making, and she says I brought the lovely warm weather with me from Florida. It’s so good to be here, for all these reasons and more…

backyard visitors, Florida wildlife, nature, on closer examination, Passing time, perseverance, photography, pond creatures, Rise and shine, unintended images, Up and at 'em

Random stuff…

The feature photo, and only photo that I know about at this moment, is the uninvited company I found out on the lanai this morning. I have resisted becoming attached to this lanai after loving the one at my old house. There is no lake here, no pond critter serenades, but the birds do sing so that’s something. But this morning I found myself at eye level to a creature that I quickly realized wasn’t a lizard. Lizards are so common, and mostly keep their distance, but this sticky-fingered creature was eyeing me up. As I was doing to him. So he retreated into the corner and then climbed to the very top of the corner brace. I thought that I would have to warn my friend when he came out because this little guy would be directly over his head if he sat in his usual chair. But Tampa Bay Lightning fans who have endured a disappointing play-off game and then a frustrating drive home aren’t given to getting up early the next morning. Maybe it’s the effort of growing a beard in solidarity with the players, a long-standing tradition I’m told. It’s currently in the whisk-broom stage, but I digress. It turned out that my fears as to the little guy’s jumping weren’t unwarranted, because he jumped onto the end table, landing with a thud, which is when I took his picture. Looks like he needed to wipe his chin after his breakfast. By this time the sun was baking me, the coffee was cold, and it was time to go in. I hope this guy finds his way back outside as stealthily as he found his way in, so I don’t have to check the corners of the roofline before I sit out here again…

birds, brainstorms, egrets, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, road trip, Uncategorized

At the Venice Rookery…

Procrastination is one of my best talents. It was when I was a kid, and it’s still with me all these years later. As a matter of fact I have two phone calls I need to make, and I ought to be packing for a trip I have coming up. But at this moment I’m lamenting the trip to the Venice Rookery that I’ve been talking about taking for weeks but only got around to going there yesterday. The Great Blue Heron babies bobbing their heads weren’t there, as I’d promised my friend, though the great egrets and anhingas were raising a ruckus. A little mockingbird flew by and landed on a fence, giving me a nice feature photo. But I confess that I was disappointed when another photographer told me that the great blue babies had fledged the nests. But we began to take pictures of the birds that were there.

These anhingas were keeping busy high up on this snag.
Although you might think these are grown up great egrets, they are still babies who looked as if they were going to take off flying any second.
These two anhinga ‘kids’ looked like they might tie their necks in a knot as they bobbed and weaved. Their neck pouches were fluttering the whole time, I’m told that’s how they keep cool. The day was hot, but breezy, so we were comfortable as we ate our picnic lunch in the shade.
This great egret wading on the nearby shore caught my eye, and it soon became evident that he caught himself a nice fish for lunch.

As I walked to the car to get our lunch I noticed a great blue heron flying towards the rookery. She landed on the very top of the shrubbery, and, much to our surprise, up popped two ‘babies’ who were very happy to see her. We hadn’t been aware of them at all, and if we had been I probably would have thought they were adults, they were that big.

Mom must have brought back a fish for her babies.
It looked to me as if this baby is going to down the fish in one gulp. Mom will have to go fishing again if his sibling is going to eat.
I guess we need to fluff up a bit after that excitement.
I liked the depth of field in this photo.
Someone looks like he wants to go with Mom.

Soon it was time to go. What started out a bit disappointing had turned out to be a fun day. Mother Nature is like that.

Thank you to joannie6535 for reminding me of where I actually was yesterday.

a second look, bugs, dragonflies, Florida wildlife, life goes on, nature, nothing's easy, perseverance, photography, pond creatures

Self defense…

It was back to the pond to look for the dragonflies again yesterday, but this time with my 150-600mm lens. I haven’t used it in so long that it resisted me as I tried to extend it to the full 600mms. And it was just so heavy that I struggled to keep it still even with the tripod. Then there was the zoom that was almost too much, so that finding the dragonflies that were right in front of me wasn’t easy. I guess I’ve been spoiled by the smaller lens I use all the time. But the dragonflies cooperated this time also, and I have no idea how that shell wound up in the grass but it caught my eye.

There were some acrobatics going on.
this was as close to seeing a face as it got.
Butt. shots were easier to come by.
They held their poses like champs.
After a while I concentrated on the flowers that were there in case there were bees on them, but I didn’t have luck with that this time.

The sun came out from behind a cloud after just a few minutes and that was enough to send me back to the house. No wonder the sunrises and sunsets are fun to do here in Florida. We do them in self defense.

'scene' along the way, attention to detail, bugs, connections, friends, fun, learning, live and learn, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, sunrise, sunset, unintended consequences

Live and learn…

The feature photo is from Monday morning, pale but nice sunrise after a storm the night before. Which looked like this just after it ended, and in time for the sky to light up.

I think I was lucky enough to catch the finale of the show, because it got grayer soon after I took this shot.
This is the audience apparently waiting for the sunrise right along with me.
And this was Monday night as we left the restaurant and headed for home. An early night because our company was leaving on Tuesday, a very early flight.

Note to self: Just because you are in a parking lot when you decide you have to take a shot of the sunset, and you step up onto a curb and then onto the sandy grass, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t fire ants ready and waiting to bite your toe and make you too itchy to fall asleep…