Saturday, January 11, 2014

LIke A Bad Penny

I keep showing up now and again. This time with a few pics from 2013.

Here's a shot of the lake side of the new house.

A few weeks later...

You may note that "someone," hoping for a return of semi-non-frigid fishing weather, left his boat out too long. We had to smash ice in order to get it out of the water. What a maroon!

For a few weeks we enjoyed watching the little lady below, and her kin, before the cold weather sent them south.

Did you know chipmunks nibble on rose leaves?

Now you do.

Those of you with tender sensibilities may want to put your hands over your eyes and just peek at this next one through a crack in your fingers. I really had no choice but to title it, "Buggery."

I titled this next one: "Look Ma! No wings!"

Jays are great subjects, being relatively comfortable with human proximity. And they're handsome rascals.

Light is every photographer's friend. But even flat, dull days can sometimes present interesting, moody shots.

Time for a purdy flower.

Or two.

I'll close this go-round with Son #1's reply to the question: "Any fish in that lake?"

Thanks for your visit. See you next time.

Monday, July 8, 2013

More In The Beasts & Birds Department

Yes, I got around to processing more shots from last summer/fall. Only took a few months. Hope you think the wait was worth it.

You might ask yourself - "What does a clever Bluejay do with a peanut when he's too darn full to eat another bite?"

Or you might not. But let's pretend you did.

Here's the jay with the pilfered nut.

In the next yard over from mine is a thick, bushy tree. Mr. Jay flew to it like he knew what he was doing.

Now, to tuck it in, like so.

And let's just hope nobody (except that human) noticed.

I like the shot of the grey squirrel below because I think it illustrates their curiosity and intelligence. Plus, he's cute.

A juvenile Night Heron posed nicely for me on a fence near Hilary's place.

One evening, as Hilary and I walked around the pond near her house, we heard a rustling in a tree above us. You'll note the night-time bandit has not missed too many meals.

I've taken hundreds of photos of chipmunks. I hope to take hundreds more. They are charming, totally irresistible little rascals. I captioned the shot below as "What to do? What to do?"

The female grey squirrel below picked up a peanut and then sat still for a couple of moments, seemingly lost in thought.

I've probably taken nearly as many pics of Mourning Doves as I have of chipmunks. Their tiny heads, robotic movements and shimmering beauty fascinate me.

Milkweed pods are also a favourite subject, whether the seeds are still embedded, as below:

Or after they've poofed.

Finally, a pic of a lonely leaf in autumn.

Thanks kindly for your time and attention. See you next time.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

More Stuff From Last Summer

Without further ado...

Okay, one more.


That oughtta' do it.

Now for some photos. (Regulars will surely note that the pictures are not uniform in size. Blogger, in its infinite wisdom, has changed the format and I am no longer able to alter the sizing.)

In the artsy-fartsy category: A leaf with water droplets.

Next up: A rarely photographed (because I rarely seem 'em) Green Heron.

Below, a young Jay waits for Mom or Dad to bring lunch. The slightly-drooping wings are a classic baby-bird begging posture. It's exaggerated when the parents are nearby. (Lucy, my parrot, does the same thing when she wants Dad to give her a peanut.)

Another young Jay tries to make some sense of the water fountain/bird bath.

A young grackle demonstrates that all children, feathered or non, can be a tad demanding.

A minute later, the parent left and Junior was forced to fend for himself (no doubt to Mom or Dad's relief). He doesn't look too happy about it, though.

Brace yourself for another in the artsy-fartsy department. This time, we see my favourite Tequila shot glass, backlit by a candle. No extra charge for the fingerprints.

Many people are surprised when they see what they think is some sort of largeish sparrow and are told it's a female redwing blackbird. They are very unlike the male. I think they're pretty, though. Below, one prepares to sip from the fountain.

I hope the young duckling below lived to grow into those feet.

Since I was a kid, I've loved frogs. I'm awestruck by any critter that is at home in different environments and their metamorphosis is as marvelous as that of a butterfly. I stalked the bullfrog below very carefully for quite some time before I was able to get the shot I wanted. And if I do say so myself, it's a beauty.

That'll do for this round. Thanks to all who come to take a peek.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Awww! A Baby Jay! (And Other Stuff)

Processed a few more from last July. Hope you don't mind another unseasonal (for northern hemisphere folks) post.

If you squint a tad at the pic below, you'll see the airborne Tern trailing a length of fishing line. He must have picked it up on a dive. I hope there's no hook involved. In any event, I watch the bird successfully catch a few fish, so it didn't appear to be a significant detriment.

Despite posing nicely, the gull below appears a tad displeased.

Kingfishers are tough to photograph. They're very skittish and alert to the tiniest movement. So, I was thrilled to have one stay still for several shots. But he never took his eye off me.

One day last summer, while walking Ben, I came across a very young Bluejay on the path. It was standing, looking quite dazed and confused, beneath a large cedar tree. I then noticed three young ladies a couple dozen feet away, watching me watch the bird. I approached them and we chatted. The girls had noticed the bird and were waiting to see if Mom or Dad would be around soon to assist it. I joined them in watching for a while and we began discussing what the heck, if anything, we should do for the wee thing.

Long story short: One of the young ladies, Camille, was studying to become a wildlife rehabilitator. We decided she would take the bird home and at least give it some fluids. We stayed in touch via her friend Kara's email and I was very happy to hear that after a night of Camille's tlc, they returned the bird to where they found it and the parent bird was in the area and approached the baby right away.

Here's a close-up of the wee bairn.

And here he is with the heroine of the hour. Great job, Camille!

Below, a more advanced juvenile jay gets a bit of grooming from Mom or Dad.

Further research indicated that what I thought was a skinny dragonfly was actually a Spreadwing. Interesting-looking critter, though.

The dragonfly below is more common in my area than the spreadwing.

I'll wrap up this edition with a couple of flower shots. They might make Spring feel closer.

Lilies are always great subjects, all grace and wonderful colour.

I like Clematis plants. They're hardy and bloom for a long time. The blossom below caught the light just so - and begged to be photographed. Who was I to refuse?

That's a wrap for now, folks. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Buds, Blooms and Beasties

I rummaged around my hard drive today and worked on a few photos taken last spring. Thought I'd toss a few of 'em at the wall and see if any stick. Hope you enjoy.

Some birds have what I call a "cold eye." They look mean. In some instances, like chickens, I think it harkens back to their dinosaur/reptilian ancestry. In others, like hawks and other raptors, it indicates focus and ferocity.

The bright eye of the common Grackle looks cold to me - belying its behaviour which is generally peaceful and gregarious. In the photo below, the grackle appears almost as a silhouette. My intent in showing the pic wasn't to illustrate the cold-eyed aspect of the bird, however. Nope. It shows what happens when a beak full of sticky suet meets a couple of peanuts.

This is a seriously hungry/greedy grackle. I hope he didn't choke.

Although taken from quite a distance and consequently not at all sharp, I thought some of you might enjoy a couple of pictures of Night Herons. They are uncommon in my experience. I've only ever seen them in the large urban pond nearly Hilary's home. Although plunked in the middle of a large, metropolitan area, the pond is an oasis for wildlife. It's the only place where I've seen Green, Night and Great Blue Herons hunting and roosting - occasionally all three on the same day.

The first photo is of a juvenile Night Heron.

The next is of an adult.

Back to the cold-eye thing for a moment. Cardinals are not normally birds I would consider having that look. Then darned if I didn't take a shot of one glaring at me! You'd think a fine male cardinal, resplendent in red, would be above being ticked off by an avian paparazzi. But noooo....

I was fortunate one day to be in the backyard, camera in hand, when a pair of goldfinches and their fledgling came for some brunch. I hadn't seen a young finch before and was pleased to get a couple of decent pics.

"Mom said not to look down but I can't help it."

We'll take a break from critters now and switch to some artsy-fartsy, pretty shots of flowers and such.

Hands-down, my favourite veggie is fresh peas eaten straight from the pod. I was enjoying a few on the back deck one day as the sun was considering heading to bed. The soft light got me thinking - not enough to get into trouble, or develop a headache - just thought I'd put an empty pod on the railing and take a shot. The result put me in mind of a praying mantis. Sorta.

Maybe I DID think too much....

The next pic is of a flower bud. I like the bokeh (blurry background). I think it makes the shot.

Hilary had a beautiful Iris in her front yard last year. It presented some nice photo opportunities.

And a closer look at the blossom after a rain.

There's a walkout from my kitchen to the deck in the backyard. The outer door is old, wooden and warped. A few years ago, the doorknob broke. I bought a new knob assembly and promptly failed to install it. I forget whether it was because I broke something or did something wrong. In any event, I decided to, uh, temporarily stuff a dish cloth in the knob hole to keep out drafts. It worked well enough. It's still there. This is what it looks like from outside.

I'll wrap up this offering with a shot of Ben and a caption.

"Chewing the lawn?...Me?...Nope...nuh-uh."

That's all folks. See you next time.