'scene' along the way, birds, dragonflies, finding my way, friends, go with the flow, Just do it, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Looking for herons…

There was a Blue Heron sighting at Highland lake this morning, but not by me.  And when I attempted to find them myself what I found were dragonflies and Canada geese.  Sound familiar?  I thought I’d hurry out ahead of the stormy weather that was predicted for later.  And come back to reorganize the car ahead of a further NH exploration this weekend.  This retirement/snowbird thing is suiting me just fine.


'scene' along the way, birds, friends, fun, perseverance, photography, road trip, silliness, simple things, sky, travel, weather


We took a little drive to Lake Winnipesaukee yesterday, and because I had to look up how to spell that I now know that it’s 21 miles long and varies from one to 9 miles wide.  We parked at the town pier in Meredith and were soon clicking away.  It was a gorgeous day, and fun, after we recovered from our initial trauma.  A hotel with gorgeous flowers had caught out eye first, and there were swans in the water there also. So we walked that way, dodging a gauntlet of Canada geese, and as we got closer I saw that one of the swans was caught on fishing line, a common problem for the birds in Florida, and I was getting upset. I was wondering who to inform about this while my friend walked closer to the second swan, and then informed me that they were not real swans.  Nope, fake swans and the fishing line was actually anchoring them down.  Kathy was hoping I wouldn’t mention this, but how could I resist?  Maybe her daughters won’t read this…

MeredithfirstsceneMeredithgeese2Meredithhotel2Meredithswan2MeredithparkIt promised to be a fun afternoon…

a second look, birds, bugs, flowers, gardens, Nature's beautiful creatures, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

The unexpected…

It’s not that I was lost exactly.  I was attempting to follow the maps and signs within the Heritage Museum grounds in order to see everything, but I still hadn’t found the treehouse.  I started down the winding path and spotted a hummingbird flitting among the red flowers beside the path.  This was my opportunity to try for photos of a hummingbird on flowers instead of a feeder.  And then I noticed a hummingbird moth also set on feeding from the red flowers and I was really excited.  That has been a rare sight for me.  The flowers were quite close to the path, but these hummingbirds and moths must have been so used to people that having me there zooming in with my camera didn’t appear to bother them at all.  What a fun and unexpected finale to this amazing day.HPmoth1HPmoth3HPmoth4HPhummer2HPhummer3HPhummer4HPhummer5HPhummer6


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.


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.


a second look, birds, Camping, connections, friends, fun, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

The boondocks…

You’ve heard of the boondocks haven’t you?  The middle of no where?  I know another name for it but I’m too polite to say it.  Of course I already knew that my friend Kathy lived in a tiny little town here in New Hampshire, but I didn’t know that that’s where the black flies live.  And ticks, can’t forget them.  After these last several visits I’m sure I’ve never been here in black fly season before.  Which, by the way, she assured me arrived at Mother’s Day and was over by Father’s Day.  But evidently no one informed said black flies.  I know this because I went out back to see if I could take pictures of the hummingbirds who were doing acrobatics out her back door.  I couldn’t resist.  So I walked out to the flower beds and took a picture of the gazing ball, and then settled myself into a pretty blue Aiderondack chair to be still and let the hummingbirds return for pictures.  I sat and waited for only a few minutes before I realized that my ankles were covered in black flies.  Covered!  I came in and sprayed myself with my bug spray which contains DEET, and was able to survive for the few minutes it took for a couple of pictures.July1hummer1July1hummer2July1hummer3

When it comes to black flies Kathy must be a lot tougher than I am.  Or maybe they just love me.  Kathy says I’m fresh Florida meat.  But when it comes to the summer heat I’ve got Kathy beat by a mile.  She has been complaining about the heat today, and I’m wondering what heat?  I thought it was a perfect day.  We talked, and shopped, and talked, and shopped, and came home, and talked some more.  One of the things we shopped for was an adapter so that I could plug my camper into her barn and open it up so that it can dry since I had to close it in the rain.  We found one, plus a heavy duty extension cord, and as long as it doesn’t rain again I’ll be able to close it up and hit the road tomorrow.  I’m going to brave the 4th of July traffic issues, as well as driving over the Sagamore bridge with the pop up in tow (gasp), and visit beautiful Cape Cod for a while.  And no, I’m not planning on bringing any of the black flies with me…

birds, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Raptor rehab…

I spent time at VINS yesterday, the Vermont Institute of Natural Science, back to Quechee again.  According to their literature they are New England’s premier avian wildlife rehabilitation clinic, and they treat 100s of injured birds per year. Some of the injuries can’t be determined, some are from being hit by cars, and some are as simple as being raised by humans, and that is enough for them not to be able to be returned to the wild.  If they don’t fear humans they won’t survive in the wild.  And that’s the goal, of course, but if it is determined that their injuries would prevent the bird from being able to survive in the wild they are cared for within the facility.  They become ‘ambassadors’ for their species and for wildlife in general.

I have been to a raptor rehab in Florida at Indian Rocks Beach.  It’s called The Narrows, and there you will find volunteers circulating among the visitors with various raptors on their gloved wrists.  Quite the up-close experience, and at first I was disappointed that I didn’t see that happening at VINS.  But I got over that once I saw the two-story enclosures, complete with trees, which the birds call home.  I happened to be there at feeding time and thought they would all swoop down to feed, but they seemed to like to think about it a while, move from branch to branch and flap their wings a bit. Forgive me for showing a close-up of the only one who did decide to eat while I was there, our beloved Bald Eagle.  Contrary to what you see here they nest close to water and subsist mainly on fish.  But with exceptions.VINSeagleVINSeagle3Golden Eagles were next, a species that I only recently became aware of.  They are bigger and stronger than the Bald Eagle, capable of carrying off a small wolf or deer.  That news was a surprise to me.VINSgoldeneagle


We have the Barred owl, the Great Horned owl, and the Snowy Owl.  At feeding time the attendant didn’t walk into the enclosure with the Great Horned Owl because of where it was perched.  They have been known to swoop down and make a pass at an intruder, and he has been told that it’s like being hit with a 2×4 so he decided to play it safe.  Probably a good move.VINSbarredowlVINSgreathornedowlVINSsnowyowl.JPGI searched for the snowy owls at Duxbury Beach last winter with no luck.  They were probably there, camouflaged in the snow at the water’s edge.

Kestrals are very small, pretty birds.  But, like all raptors, they are wonderful hunters.VINStwokestrals

I must apologize for my lack of information on the hawks.  We had red-tailed hawks, Cooper’s hawks, broad winged hawks, and one with a name that started with an F, but I can find no information on that through Google.  Merlin says that all my pictures are one of the above, but it can’t decide which one of the above, it was singularly useless this time.  I should have taken notes, I forget that I can dictate notes into the phone.  Note to self;  the iPhone is not just for photos and directions to photo ops.VINShawkVINSkestral

And dare I neglect to include the Ravens?  Charley would be very disappointed in me.VINSravens

In the meadow were lots of flowers, and, my favorite, bees.  Plus sculptures.  I didn’t head to Quechee until the sun finally broke through the afternoon, so consequently I didn’t explore the gorge or the hiking trails at VINS.  I suppose that means I’ll need to return yet again…VINSbeefeatureVINSeaglesculpture