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

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?
'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, finding my way, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, nature, Osprey, perseverance, photography, squirrels, weather

Chilling out…

For a day that started out at 32 degrees this morning it certainly turned out to be a great day. The sun felt so wonderful, and with no breeze we were comfortable even walking the in the shade on the paths at John Chestnut Park. If you are walking a path along a body of water you will surely see an anhinga drying its feathers in the sun. That’s my feature photo. And in this park especially you will see squirrels, who will approach you in hopes of getting a handout. This particular squirrel was balancing on the tip top of a snag, and I guess we will never know why.

Maybe someone told him that this was his best side?
The paths are endless, and you could get a little lost. On one fateful excursion to this park I asked Siri to show me where I parked my car, but instead she was taking me to the main entrance of the park itself. I figured it out eventually since the picnic areas are numbered, but not until I walked a lot farther than I had to.
I liked the texture of the bark of these trees. I see a face, knobby nose on the left and an eye up toward the right. And leafy hair?
Fellow walkers pointed out this hawk off in the distance. We never did see the woodpeckers that we heard drilling away.
Another photographer once showed me where to walk to the edge of the lake to try to see eagles perched on a branch waiting to steal a fish from an unfortunate osprey. As I looked for that perch an osprey swooped down and dove into the water, coming up with a small fish. There was no eagle around to steal it from him so he had a nice lunch in the sun.

More cold and rain is expected tomorrow, but today at least we got out for some R&R.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, Florida wildlife, fun, go with the flow, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, squirrels

Low tide…

Whenever I go to check on the eagles I can’t help but stop at the two county parks nearby. The Anclote fishing pier can be a great choice for photo ops. Yesterday I got there at very low tide, something I hadn’t done many times at all over the years. How the fishermen even had enough water to cast a line was a bit of a mystery to me. I liked how the Great Blue Heron positioned himself underneath the fisherman in the feature photo.

My Merlin app had to identify this bird for me. A juvenile Black-Crowned Night Heron. The tear drop shaped white spots on his wing feathers was the deciding factor distinguishing it from the yellow crowned variety.
And this one? Possibly a Herring Gull, according to Merlin. But then it said , “Some species are better left unidentified.” Maybe that can be my go-to answer when I don’t know what bird I’m looking at. BTW, that’s a crab it was eating.
I displaced this dove who had been on the ground just outside my car when I was leaving. But she didn’t go far and posed for me, so I obliged.
This little guy climbed a fence and up onto a post to pose for me at Anclote River Park.

Our recent trip to Circle B Bar Reserve was the Frank Planes memorial walk, which we do on January 2nd every year. He was a founding member of the photography group many years ago, and I remember Jeff telling us that his pet peeve was all the squirrel pictures that newbies take. I guess I’m still a newbie because I can’t resist them…

'scene' along the way, a second look, fantasy images, Florida landmarks, fun, Just do it, moments, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, squirrels, technology

Sunny skies…

This weather wimp saw blue skies and sunshine and just had to get out in the weather today. It was still a bit windy, but it felt so good to be outside

Of course I brought the lens ball.
Live oaks are just beautiful.
A walk in the woods.
Squirrels were the only wildlife I saw today.
The squirrels were very interested in the lens ball.
I don’t know what he had planned but I had to rescue the lens ball before he sent it flying.
We had a panoramic photography class the other day so you know I had to take a couple of those too!

This visit to John Chestnut park was just what the doctor ordered. Just exactly the weather that we brag about in Florida.

backyard visitors, Florida wildlife, friends, nature, neighbors, photography, squirrels, technology

And then there were two…

My plan was to edit the above photo a little differently, because last night when I took it I was brokenhearted to see Mama Sandhill crane returning to the nest with just one colt.  I was out there with the camera because I had just seen the other adult flying in, and he landed on my side of the lake.  I thought he had joined the family, but they weren’t there, then I saw the other adult and one baby.  Try as I might I never saw a second colt last night.  It wasn’t until I looked at this photo this morning that I saw him.  I almost couldn’t believe my eyes.  Whew.

My neighbor must have better eyesight than I do because she thought she saw a second one, but then we got distracted because she started calling her squirrel.  Yes, you read that right.  I happened to be heading out with both dogs a while back when her daughter pulled up out front and wanted me to see the three baby squirrels she was bringing to her mom’s house.  Over time I forgot all about that, but I got the rest of the story last night.  Two of the babies disappeared when they got bigger, but one, which has been named Rosie by her granddaughter, now has a little house within the pool screen.  And she has access to the outside through an opening in the screen made just for her.  So she is free, but comes back to her house at night, and will come when she is called.  Even with the dogs out there, all acting jealous because my neighbor was calling the squirrel, Rosie still raced around through the branches and eventually came down to get petted.  And I have proof…5-29rosie55-29rosie45-29rosie15-29rosie35-29rosie2That Rosie was loving her heavy petting session was obvious.  What she wasn’t appreciating so much was the camera clicking away in her face, so I left them to enjoy their moment…

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Good fences…

If good fences make good neighbors then how is it that I just love my neighbors on both sides, one on the side without a fence, and the other with whom I shared a length of fence that my uncle remarked was more holes than fence?  He was right, it was pretty hole-y.  But my neighbor’s entire yard was surrounded by fence that was long past it’s prime, and so when some used fencing came her way she started patching the worst areas.  Which gave me an idea, a true light bulb moment.  Since they were putting up fencing anyhow, how about I buy new fencing for the section that we share, and they put it up.  I really am a genius sometimes, ask Ozzie if you don’t believe me.

I wish I had thought to take a picture when it was nice and clean.  Already it has acquired a coating of sand where the grass hasn’t filled in.  Or the chickens flung sand at it, they’ve been visiting lately.  I certainly admired it… at first.  But I’m over the novelty of it and now it just looks… boring.  There used to be more to look at.2-10fencetextureI went looking through my photos to see if the fence showed up in any of them.  I took this picture because I was trying to take photos of the wood texture.  You see it was a bit see-through.  Zoe liked that aspect of it because she could keep an eye on what was going on over there in case she was missing something.2-10fencesquirrelThe squirrels took to the top of the fence whenever Zoe came zooming out the back door.  Chasing them is her favorite thing to do.  Ozzie, not so much.2-10fencesquirrel2I was able to capture this image because that squirrel likes having his picture taken.  I’d see birds sitting there also, but they weren’t as cooperative so I don’t have a photo of them.  Not that I didn’t try.2-10fencedieselThen there is Diesel.  He has a girlfriend a few blocks away, and he discovered that those boards didn’t really offer much resistance, so every so often he’d make a break for it and they’d have to hunt him down.  Now they know where to look for him however.

So, a new fence.  A home improvement.  Charley was a coin collector, old, rare coins, and patients would bring their old coins in for him to see in hopes they would have a rare one worth lots of money.  He’d tell them whatever they did, don’t clean them.  The color that develops on the old coins is called toning, and the coins are more valuable if the toning isn’t disturbed.  It didn’t matter, they always cleaned the coins.  One did it with a pencil eraser.  Maybe he thought Charley wouldn’t notice.  I never understood the value of the toning, I just took Charley’s word for it.  But it has occurred to me that that’s what is missing from the new fence.  Toning!  A little something extra to look at…