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…

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, attention to detail, childhood, facing facts, fun, kids, perseverance, photography, Uncategorized

Smiley faces…

I walked down the block for the sunrise the other day. I’d sort of forgotten about this little park, and the charming little chalk drawings I used to see there sometimes. The last time I was there was the day after a hard rain, and the whole surface was fresh and clean, looked brand new. But this time I saw images that made me smile.

The cute faces in chalk were hard to miss. But when I saw this photo I saw another smiley face lit up in the clouds. Or is it just me?

The color kept building, a pretty sunrise.
As I walked away I noticed message left by a slightly older somebody. Someone is having a birthday, and someone was there, and someone is single. I had to laugh when I read that one.

I’ve thought about buying myself some sidewalk chalk and leaving a message, but I’ve come to my senses. I may feel like I’m in my second childhood these days, but I’m old. I think I’d best leave these kids to their fun and just check in on them from time to time.

Uncategorized

And it begins…

We have a new crop of babies for 2022. I only saw wood stork chicks, and only in the two nests that were highest up in the shrubbery. Another photographer there said that those two nesting spots are the most prized, and the eggs laid there are always the first to hatch. I have no reason to doubt her.

I think these are the cutest little chicks.
They grow into such odd looking adults, but they start out cute at least.
Do I see a third chick?
Egrets are such elegant adults. Soon we’ll see their chicks, which I don’t find cute at all.
When I took this shot I thought I was looking at the little blue heron. My friend took the same pictures at the same time, but his looked more like a reddish egret. I checked on Merlin and it offered both as possibilities.
A pile of snowy egrets.
The supervisors.

I always have all my camera equipment in the car, or so I thought. I intended to use my bigger lens at the rookery, only I left the camera bag back at the house. Perhaps it’s just as well. Last year I stopped for pictures and then stood beside my car putting the camera away, and drove off leaving my heavy tripod I bought to go with the heavy lens behind. One of these days I’ll have to buy another one if I ever hope to use that lens again.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, connections, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, life goes on, nature, Owls, Pedaling Along, perseverance, photography, Uncategorized

Mouthing Off…

My computer is back on my desk after nearly a week in the care of the Apple geniuses. For the first time in what seems like longer than a week I began to write this post on my computer, and was startled to see that the last post I made was my 1300th post. That’s seems like a lot of mouthing off on my part in the nearly 4 years since I took the class on ‘How To Write a Blog.’ At the end of that class the framework of the blog was in place, and the rest is history. I told myself not to start writing, I told myself that I’d run out of things to talk about in a week or two, and I was sure I’d regret starting at all. But I did, and I haven’t regretted it. Thank you to those friends who read it, and thank you to the people I will probably never meet who also read it. I love the connection I feel as a result of taking this leap. It’s been therapy for me these last few years. I’m not sure I’d be in this same place if I’d never have begun this journey.

We decided to go see the eagles the other day. We wanted to see the juvenile eagles before they flew the coop, and it also was a good excuse to ride our bikes on the not-so-busy trail that passes right by the nest. We found Mom and Dad at the nest, but didn’t see the babies. It seems as if Mom was also mouthing off as we started down the trail.
We took a different path this time, and found that the path we expected would lead to a trail actually led to a very long boardwalk.
And the boardwalk dead-ended at a small beach. It was a pretty day, wonderful to be outside.
When we passed by the nest on our return trip we were happy to see the juvenile eagles. This one was fairly hard to spot, blending into the color and texture of the bark of the tree.
The second one was more in the open, but in the shadows a bit.
One adult was along side them in the nest tree. Keeping an eye on things. I forgot to keep track of how many miles we traveled that day, but we have 40 miles total on the bike.
We stopped by the owls on the way home and failed to see the babies, two of whom are still doing well under Dad’s care. The largest owlet and the mother owl died from rat poison, and there was much fear over what would become of the other two owlets. In reality we failed to see the Dad also. This picture was taken with my camera but by a young man who was attempting to point out the dad. He thought the picture would show us where he was, out in plain sight. Just not our sight.

Mouthing Off may not have been the best title for this post, but Typing Off wouldn’t have made much sense…

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, Florida wildlife, fun, life goes on, live and learn, nature, nesting, nothing's easy, perseverance, photography, Uncategorized

Rushing Mother Nature…

Rushing Mother Nature rarely pays. At least when you are talking about nesting birds and stubbornly non-hatching eggs. You may arrive at a rookery, doesn’t matter which one, and find lots and lots of birds, looking like piles of feathers, just suspended in the shrubbery doing nothing. There may or may not be a mate standing beside them, but they are also doing nothing. Such was the situation the other day, and all this nothing-ness caused me to walk a little way down the block to a pond I knew of which sometimes has some birds visiting. That’s where I found this wood stork taking a bath. He splashed and he splashed, and then he dried himself off, only to start the process over again. Round two is what you are seeing in the profile picture. And I really don’t know if it was round two, how many more times did he do this before I took a peek?

Little birds splashing in the water look cute. This guy just looked silly.
I thought he was done and starting to shake himself off.
But when he got to this stage he ducked himself back down and started over again.,
It seems there is always a great egret or two who are trying to attract a mate, even while surrounded with other birds on their nests. Privacy is non-existent in the rookery.
If there aren’t other birds photo bombing your shot, then it’s sticks in front of the bird’s faces. Ah, but check in the nest below this one. Instead of doing the mating dance I think this one’s feathers were just blowing in the breeze, and it got up to tend the eggs. Just below the bird, do I see a tinge of blue eggs that are being turned? Or is it wishful thinking?
There I was on my ladder, focusing on the rookery just across the water, when a wood stork flew into the shrubbery right in front of me. I quickly took a shot, too quickly, because the auto focus chose the shrubbery as the subject, instead of the bird. But I kind of liked this shot.

There are many places you can go to take pictures, and usually it’s all up to Mother Nature whether the sunrise or sunset, or just the weather in general, will cooperate with you. But this time of year the rookeries are a sure bet. The birds will be there, possibly just sitting there, but they are there. Mother Nature sees to that. But one of these days we will hear the chicks calling out to be fed, and the real fun will begin. So we will keep going back.