Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Nature Notes: Wildlife

This week I thought I'd post shots of the wildlife at my house and on the neighborhood Lake.
The squirrel above spent a long time intent on the space in between my decks floor boards. I think the bird below is a house finch. In her post last week Michelle showed us how to tell the difference in house finch and purple finch. I still wish the finch would have faced me because it's harder for me to tell turned side ways.
I almost thought the male cardinal below was ready to challenge me with a duel if I got any closer.
He was having a bad hair day after his bath.
The blue jays don't come to the bird baths as often as other birds but we've gone from cool to very hot humid weather and I know all the birds need extra water.
The cardinals and robins are the birds I see at the baths the most.
The robins are probably the least jittery about me photographing from the door windows.
At Shelley Lake I see fewer ducks and geese in the main part of the lake this time of year, but I hear them in protected areas where I suspect they are nesting.
The Canadian Geese crack me up when they walk on the bridge.
The goose below seemed to step on his own feet.
I've been noticing more and more rabbits in my neighborhood.
They seem to enjoy eating my weeds as much as anything which is fine with me.
This rabbit ran to my next door neighbors but I saw where it went so I kept my distance and photographed it.
I saw this hawk flying when I drove to a near by store.
When I parked I got out my camera and saw it land in the pine trees.
I kept my distance from the tree and photographed it for a long time.
Back at home I caught a mockingbird at the bird bath and on my deck.
I always enjoy looking at and listening to mocking birds.
The squirrel below was feasting in my mulberry tree.
Click for the home of Nature Notes.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Today's Flowers: Hydrangea

I'm amazed how fast hydrangea blossoms develop from the earliest buds to full blooms.
There weren't hardly any signs of the earliest flower development on either of my hydrangea bushes until the second week in May.
But after the first buds they started popping up all over the bushes and developing.
I like the way different blooms develop at a different pace with a variety of coloration.
My two hydrangea bushes are not only the same variety they are parent and child.
I was able to separate a baby years ago from the parent bush and plant it in a different part of my garden.
The child bush is almost as big as the parent at this point.
The bush below is the parent.
The next one is the child but it has been on its own for many years now.
I don't remember which individual bush the macro and close-ups are from. Once they are downloaded and on the computer, there is no telling which is which as both bushes have blossoms at different stages.
I know the soil acidity is supposed to be a factor in blossoms being blue or pink.
My bushes tend to have blue blossoms when they are fully developed but there is often a little pink mixed in.
The early blooms also tend to start of with some cream colors.
I've been moving chronologically through my shots with the first ones being taken during the second week in May up to the present.
The shot above and the rest were all taken this Saturday.
There is still a lot of variety in terms of blooms that are just starting and ones that are mature.
Click for the home of Today's Flowers.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Photohunters: Looking down

Bill knew that I wanted to photograph trains while we were in the WV mountains but I didn't know what he was talking about when we were looking down and he said, Carver a train is coming.
Finally I zoomed in and spotted not one but two trains but I was too late to get the first cars of either one.
Later we drove beside trains and their tracks and I got better shots but I'm glad I got some from looking down.
On a hike at a different part of the forest on a trail called the endless wall I saw more trains by looking down.
Once again when we were looking down Bill said, look Carver a train.
I didn't see a train when I first zoomed in. I zoomed back out still looking down but no train.
Knowing that Bill's trustworthy, I tried again and voila, a train.
Click for the home of photohunters.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nature Notes: Viewing nature with my new camera

The photographs in this post will cover about 10 days starting almost at mid May through to the present.
I got my new camera shortly before going on vacation so I went to the lake near my house to practice using it before we left.
One of the many benefits to having a more powerful optical zoom lens on this camera is that I can see thing in the photographs that I never see with the naked eye. In the case of these shots of the great blue heron I could capture those long thin feathers in front and I never get close enough to the heron to see them without the zoom.
I thought the pair of ducks below looked very beautiful circling in the lake.
I love tall grasses and always think it's too bad that most grass ends up being cut before making it to the stage where it provides food for the animals.
The next shot was taken in WV on the New River Gorge National River trail.
The shot below was taken at Babcock State Park in WV and I love the way the grist mill looks.
The water was really rushing down stream over the dam below.
I always love to see plants growing through rock. It seems to demonstrate to me how well some plants can adapt to their environment.
It's also uplifting to me to see a green forest where the growth is lush and happy. Yes, in case you are wondering, I speak the language of trees and vegetation and they tell me they are happy.
Back home my new camera lets me see the drying fuzzy feathers on the female cardinal having a long beauty bath.
Nnote cardinalDSCN1464
I think this squirrel was debating whether or not to challenge me for some of the turf in my yard.
I'm going to end with some shots of the butterfly taken from quite a long ways off.
I was able to follow it with my eyes, staying put, and then zoom in once it landed on the butterfly weed.
Once the butterfly landed I was able to watch and photograph it a long time from a distance.
Click for the home of nature notes. I'm posting early because I had so many shots I wanted to use I decided to do a long early nature notes, and not to wait until I had even more photos to complicate my choices.