backyard visitors, birds, Florida wildlife, home, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

A gentleman caller…

Yesterday I got a surprise when I looked out front to check and see if the trash had been picked up yet.  It had.  But as I headed out to put the trash can away I discovered a visitor on the lawn.  Funny that he was there because lately I’ve been lamenting to myself that I can’t just sit out in the back yard and have photo ops come to me any more.  And birds have been scarce in general, even in places that I thought you would always find them.  It was a young wood stork, smaller than most of the ones I’ve seen.

Of course I grabbed the camera and went out the door for pictures.  This didn’t seem to bother him a lot, he stood his ground and I sat on my stoop and started shooting.  Personally, I think he liked the photo shoot.  He certainly turned this way and that, maybe he was deciding which was his best side.  He also was approaching me, making me suspect that someone has been feeding him.  I understand the urge to do that, and I even had frozen corn and peas which I’ve read is what you are supposed to feed ducks, if you can’t resist feeding them.  But I did resist.  Eventually I’d taken so many pictures, and I wondered what mission he’d been on when I interrupted him, so I went inside.  I couldn’t resist checking to see what he was doing though, but I didn’t have to look hard because he was right outside my front door, looking in.  I hope his interest in people doesn’t cause him problems, but on the other hand I hope I see him again.10-14woodstork710-14woodstork110-14woodstork210-14woodstork310-14woodstork410-14woodstork610-14woodstork5

backyard visitors, birds, bugs, friends, fun, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip

When the cat’s away…

Here’s the version of Grannie’s gone wild when Kathy’s home, it involves the quilting version of cutting out paper dolls.  We’ve hit two quilt shops, and I’ve lost track of the number of fabric shops we’ve explored on this visit…granniesgonewildfBut I was left to my own devices yesterday, and the result is what you see in the feature photo.  There may have been a trip to Hobby Lobby early, but the rest of the day was spent on that wonderful porch.  I keep hearing mention of the extreme heat, but it was perfect porch-sitting weather here.  And there was hardly a moment to play with my fabric, what with watching all the varieties of birds at the feeder, until the blue jay came along and shooed them away.  I continued my binge watching of Dead Like Me on Prime video on the iPad, and then there were photos to edit on the laptop.  There may have been a beer involved, but not until after 5 PM, if Kathy was home it would have been wine.   We were shopping one day when I first came here, and as we drove through the booming metropolis of Franklin, NH I happened to see a shop called Granite State Hedgehogs.  Yes, you read that right.  I had to do a double take.  So when I drove past today I stopped in, and yes they are cute, but not so cuddly.  I had suggested getting one as a pet and dressing it up and taking pictures, which had Kathy doubting my sanity.  But when something is that cute you want to cuddle it, and I tried, but they are just plain prickly.  So I opted for this little plush Hedgie, he fills the bill nicely.

twobirdsprettybird3birdsredbirdbluejay

I almost wished I hadn’t noticed the very dramatic life-and-death struggle that went on all afternoon between a little tiny spider and his much bigger prey.  It was reminiscent of David and Goliath and I wasn’t sure who would prevail, but the more that bigger bug struggled to escape that web, the more entangled he became.  I could relate after trying to untangle a friend’s dog the other day.  It was a valiant effort though, and impossible not to watch.

spider1It’s not unheard of for a moose or a bear to visit this yard, but that didn’t happen.  I had my camera ready for anything just in case.  But I’m not complaining.  It was a lovely, quiet, porch-sitting kind of day, for me at least.  Not so much for that poor bug.

 

'scene' along the way, adventure, backyard visitors, birds, family, life goes on, memories, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, sky, sunset, travel

Leaving places behind…

When my daughter moved out of New York I remember thinking that I’d be sad not to drive there from MD in August and see the sugar maples beginning to turn color in anticipation of fall.  And I would miss the ride on 81 N through Hazleton, PA where I would see spectacular early morning color in the valley as I drove on the road above, skirting a mountain which meant that the scene just kept revealing itself as I drove.  That was amazing.

And now it’s my son’s house in NY that I won’t be visiting again after this, except for a quick high school graduation trip soon.  Then they’ll be moving back to FL, so it’s good news really.  But I was aware of this and came here wondering if the deer would visit, and if I would I see some pretty farmland to photograph.  So far so good…6_08_10NYbirdie1birdie2I saw a deer out back almost as soon as I got here on Friday night.  I was able to sneak out the sliding glass door onto the screened porch, and then out the screen door and onto the steep back steps for these shots.  The back yard is a steep slope, too steep to mow, so the birds, winter wrens according to Merlin’s best guess, were enjoying the weeds and singing up a storm out there.  The deer stood still, watching me, and then disappeared into the woods.  She was back again this morning and maybe I was sneakier because she went about her business.  As soon as I got a few shots I went back inside and left her to munch away on those white flowers.6_08_10NYdeer26_08_10NYdeer1

On the way to dinner last night I stopped for a quick iPhone shot of this farm.  I can’t wait to get out there today and see what else I see out there…afternoonfarm

backyard visitors, birds, friends, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip

Helping hands…

This little hummingbird was flinging herself against the window in my friend’s barn yesterday afternoon, in a frantic attempt to escape what he thought was captivity.  In reality I’d seen the two hummingbirds zoom through the barn and out the other side earlier in the day.  When she told me she was going to have to catch her I imagined a butterfly net and all out pandemonium, and hoped they’d both survive.  The reality was that she was able to catch her bare-handed in the  corner of the window.  She said that even as she fluttered with all her might she still felt so delicate and she was afraid she’d hurt her.  This wasn’t the first time she had had to perform that same task, and this whole episode took just a minute.  The bird stayed still for a few seconds when she opened her hands, long enough for me to get this picture.  Actually a whole lot of this same picture, and then my friend took a few more steps to the big open doorway of the barn and off she flew, none the worse for the whole experience.

And, as usual, there were a few more creatures on hand for the excitement…05-30-19bee05-30-19bee205-30-19birdie105-30-19birdie205-30-19blackcappedfeature05-30-19hummer1I asked Merlin to be sure, but of course the male Ruby-breasted Hummingbird seemed pretty obvious, and I had made assumptions that the other was the female, and I was correct.  And our other visitor yesterday was a White-breasted Nuthatch.

 

a second look, backyard visitors, birds, friends, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip, technology

“Up your ISO”

This phrase has become a joke within my camera club, FCCP, Florida Center for Creative Photography.  It’s a favorite saying of our fearless leader, Jeff, and I took it to heart yesterday.  It was cold and overcast and I wanted to wrap up in a blanket and read, but every time I went into the kitchen to get a cup of tea I would see not one, but two, hummingbirds buzzing around the feeder.  So eventually I put the biggest lens onto the new camera, plus I used the extender, and I upped my ISO to 12800 and attempted to get pictures of them in flight.  The extender requires you to use manual focus though, and I probably would have done better without it.  I suppose that’s why we practice.  And the ISO could have gone higher even, so I’ll probably be out there later today.  It might even hit 70 today.  That would make this Floridian happy!05-29-2019flying205-29-2019flying305-29-2019flying34

'scene' along the way, adventure, backyard visitors, birds, fun, gardens, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, sunset

It’s my blog-iversary, again!

WordPress congratulated me this morning because I signed on two years ago today.  I remember looking forward to my one year anniversary last year, but this year I don’t know when it was going to cross my mind.  Of course I have been a little distracted for a while now.  And who could concentrate around here?  If you stand at the kitchen window you see this…05-27-19grosbeak05-28-19almostflyingPlay cribbage on the porch and you not only see the lovely azaleas, but this buzzy little fellow makes you chase him around for a photo.  Or is it a her?05-28-19bee2

If you are lucky as you turn a corner you might spot a bear or two.05-24-19babybear05-24-19bears

Or you might be driving home towards the end of the day and spot some sunset color, and then find that it didn’t add up to much in your photos.05-25sunset205-25sunsetBut that’s okay because Naughty Nellie’s is on the way home, or worth a stop even if it isn’t exactly on the way home.05-25-19naughtynellie'sI don’t care what flavor you may choose, if you have it served up to you in a homemade waffle cone it will be delicious!