Friday, November 16, 2012

More Of The Same - Only Different

                                                                                                  "Hmmm...don't think I'm quite wet enough."

                                                                                                                         "This oughtta' do it."

                                                                                                     "Ah,perfect...what are you lookin' at, Bub?"

Ever seen a juvenile cowbird? No? Never? Well, if you scroll down a smidge, you will.

Since I was a child, I was fascinated with the way ants tended to peony buds. They're attracted to a sweet resin put forth by the bud.

The posture and look of the cat below is that of a born hunter.

Below, Mr. and Mrs. Mallard pose nicely for an appreciative photographer.

I am always pleased to see young folks engaged in the fine art/science/pastime of fishing. I am especially pleased when the young folks are girls.

In the field near my house there are a couple of scrubby shrubs that only grow a foot or so above ground. They aren't much more than a scant hodgepodge of short twigs. But come summer, they produce lovely orange blossoms. Example below.

I'll wrap up this offering with a shot of a butterfly and some apple blossoms.

Thanks for taking the time to take a peek. Stay well.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Flora & Fauna

Anyone with a large-ish window with proximity to birds has heard the occasional "thump" as a feathered body collides with glass. It's a reasonably common occurrence at Chez Baron as my yard is very bird-friendly. (Bird-friendly = lots of trees, bushes, flowers, weeds and, oh yeah, feeders.)

Thankfully, most such collisions are benign, causing no hurt to birds or glass.

A few months ago, I heard several muffled little thumps in the span of a few seconds. This is what I saw:

Apparently, this chickadee was having serious issues with his reflection. The little rascal would buffet his "rival" once, twice, five times and then perch on a nearby limb and rest up until the next bout. The amusing sparring match carried on for several days. I'm thinking it stopped because emerging foliage altered the lighting. In the chickadee's mind, he probably figured he won.

The next shot also features a winner. Like the first, it's not going to win any photographic awards. The lighting was poor and the photographer not as ept as he could be. The robin doesn't care about any of that, though. He caught dinner.

Some of you will recall that herons, especially the Great Blue Heron, are very special to me. Every encounter with them over the years warms my heart. Getting a chance to take some pics during some of those meetings is a blessing. Actually getting a decent shot or two is thrilling.

It is a regal-looking bird don't you think? With the keen eye of the born hunter.

I love watching them take slow, careful steps as they prowl shorelines, often pausing for long seconds as they survey each square inch of surrounding water for an unwary victim. When they spot one, quick as a snake - they strike.


From one of the largest birds in this area to one of the smallest. The wee fellow below is a Ruby-Crowned Kinglet. (Thanks for that research, Hil.) Which is a lot of name for a bird smaller than a Chickadee. Cute little guy, though.

Twigs, branches and their shadows are often a photographer's bane. They distort and obscure and can generally mess up a shot. (Especially for those of us without the software, or skills related to such software, for removing unwanted stuff from photos.)

In the next shot however, I was actually pleased with how the shadows of the twigs helped highlight aspects of the chickadee.

Time for some flora, I reckon. Lest my subject line prove to be a fib.

Bleeding Hearts is a sad name for a pretty flower.

I like the way the emerging leaves in the next pic blend with the background.

And we'll wrap up this offering with a shot of crab apple (I think) blossoms.

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

Monday, July 23, 2012

This, That & Some Others

Photos, that is. I'll caption the first three. many little time....

How much is that doggie in the window?


"Have we met? You're kinda cute. What's your sign?"

The crocus below added a welcome bit of colour to Hilary's yard this past spring.

Son #1 found an unusual stick while on a walk. There was a dog stuck to it.

Young birds are adorable. And none moreso than Cardinals.

The lovely female mallard below seemed to be enjoying a beautiful day.

I enjoy shooting at night but am rarely pleased with the results. I liked this next one well enough, though.

Goldfinches are always welcome visitors to my feeders.

And I'll wrap up this lot with a pic of the poster child for Angels With Dirty Faces. (In this case, it's Lincoln, a neighbour of Hilary's.)

Adios for now. Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

More Stuff I Found In My Camera

Without further ado - a few more pics:

A Downy Woodpecker couple are regular visitors to the backyard. They are especially fond of suet. Below, the male indicates I am not fibbing.

I've taken dozens, perhaps hundreds of shots which show some aspect of a departing bird. They're always either out of focus or partly out of the frame, or in some way unusable. I delete 98% of them. But every once in a while, an otherwise-poor shot offers something positive. In the following pic, a departing chickadee's blur still manages to reveal something of their fluidity and grace.

The dessicated currants below are still an important mid-winter source of food to many birds.

I have no idea what the flower below is. But the photo works for me.

I like the colour of these berries and the way they seem to be hanging in space.

The cute fellow below lives in my backyard and has come to be known as Patio Bob. I don't think I'd be overly surprised if some day he tucks a Volkswagen into those cheek pouches.

The colours of the leaves below caught my fancy. Not as bold as many autumn colours but the longer I looked, the more I saw and appreciated.

The sparrow below enjoys a bit of a nosh and some late-afternoon sun.

A lone sentinel stands watch.

I think I'll close this day's offering by mooning y'all.

Hope you're having a good one, wherever you are. Thanks for taking a peek.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

More Of The Usual

I come up with the best titles, don'tcha' think?

Still sifting through some of last fall's shots and here's what I came up with.

Ever seen a Bluejay prepared for take-off? Me neither, until I got lucky with the pic below. It's blurry but the unusual posture makes it a keeper.

Looks like this red squirrel is riveted by the scene too.

Sometimes we see the same birds often enough that we begin to recognize them and give them names. The following pic is of a sparrow we came to call "Chubs." See if you can figure out howcum....

I knew you could!!

 I was pretty darn excited one day last fall at Hilary's. No, this time it had nothing to do with her beauty, grace and wit. I spotted a Cedar Waxwing feeding on some berries in a tree. It was very quick, nibbling and hopping and nibbling and hopping. I had a heck of time trying to get, and keep him in focus long enough for a decent shot. Well, I got a couple that qualify as decent but will have to hope for other opportunities to take better ones.

 In the first, he's about to gobble a berry.

In the next, you can see a little more of him. They're a handsome bird.

Trees growing near the edge of a lake in the Canadian Shield area don't have it easy. They can't extend their roots lakeward - seasonal water fluctuations, freeze/thaw cycles - thwart the establishment of solid footing. So, they often have to send their roots back towards shore to find solid purchase. When three or four mature trees are grouped close together, the competition can make for a tangle of roots, criss-crossing and overlapping each other - as seen below.

The grey squirrel below seems to have finished his granola bar. And please sir, could he have some more?

I think I'll caption this next one.

"What? Behind my back? Nuthin'...."

Some waterfowl, like loons and cormorants, need a running start to get airborne. Running on water, that is. They can look pretty goofy. But a pic of a cormorant trying to taxi out of the water is a good way to exit this post too. 'Til next time....

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I processed a few more shots taken last fall and it was pretty easy to come up with a theme.

Without a whole lot of further ado....

The rusty old wheelbarrow below has been at the family cottage for ages. It often catches my photographer's fancy, especially in early and late light, or even, as in this case, when rain-soaked on a dull day.

These leaves appear to be nestling against the gnarled trunk for warmth.

I'm old school. I think black and white are colours. (If this puss was mine, I'd call him "Smudge.")

The fence below circles much of the pond near Hilary's place. It's a new addition and has aroused mixed feelings among the locals. I'd druther it was never erected. But I won't turn down a shot when I see one. And like the leaf trapped below, the fence has served up a nice photo or three.

Although a tad under-exposed, I like the jewel-like tones of some of the colours in the following shot. And yes, there's that fence again, lurking in the background.

The dead tree in this next photo is a favourite subject of mine and Hilary's. There is a grandeur to its slow decay. Each month or two, a new branch is lost or broken but the main tree continues to stand. I salute it in the only way I can.

The soft, pastel tones of the maple leaves below are something of a rarity in my experience.

More often, they look like these:

Like an aging Hollywood goddess, the rose below clings fiercely to her fading glory, despite November's approach.

I guess that'll do 'til next time. Hope you enjoyed.

PS - Thanks to all who have joined The Nest. I hope to see more of you take the plunge.