Friday, August 31, 2012

Photohunters: Signs and Quiet


You don't need signs to know that you should be quiet in a library.
If you look closely you may be able to spot some colorful signs in the library below. To the right is an area for children and many libraries have story time and puppet shows for children which is one time it's not quiet in part of the library.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Nature Notes: August ending

Hard to believe that summer is almost over. The fern below has been growing in the foundation of my house for years but it never fails to surprise me when I look at it.
This week I could have done a whole nature notes post on toadstools and mushrooms.
Now that the weather is cooling down, the abundance of rain is a haven for fungi of all sorts.
I wish I could trust my identification of the mushroom above because it looks a lot like a chanterelle which would be a treat.
I would never trust a red toadstool although something took a bite out of the one below.
I find mushrooms very beautiful and I love to eat the ones I buy but am too fearful to gather them wild.
I know some people are good at identifying them but not me.
I love to watch water running over rocks in the stream.
I was surprised to see a new group of chicks at the lake.
It seems late in the season for new babies.
There were 6 of the lighter colored chicks and 2 of the darker ones.
I was looking for snakes near the creek because a neighbor warned me about them. I wanted to spot one to photograph but no such luck.
I don't know what the wildflowers below are but I think they're pretty.
I don't know if the duck below has a fish in its mouth or if it's a part of her beak.
I think the duck below might be the baby chicks mother but I wasn't sure. There were lots of ducks around but none were clearly the parent. The one below walked around with them before hopping up on the log.
The mallards below were on a protected part of the lake near where the creek feeds into it. That's usually where I see offspring with parents but the late babies were near the bridge where I usually only see adults.
It amuses me the way the ducks tend to line up on driftwood.
The Canadian Geese were mostly in the grasses where I usually see them in the spring and winter but not as often in the summer. In the spring I sometimes spot them leading the young around in the grass.
The mallards were swimming away from me after I unintentionally go too near to where they were fishing.
More toadstools brightening up the environment.
Below is another mushroom that tempted me as it looked edible unlike the ones above that look poisonous to me.
A great blue heron was keeping an eye on the lake.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Today's Flowers: Neighbor and Park Flowers

One of my neighbors has rudbeckia in front of her porch which are flourishing.
My rudbeckia have mostly gone to seed so I'm envious.
The shot above is an hibiscus I photographed at a neighborhood park.
All of the shots except for the first one were photographs I took at the park.
Most of the canna lilies at the park had turned brown but there were a few in bloom.
There were even a few buds so there will be some blooms continuing amidst those finished blooming.
The flowers at the park were a mix of those no longer in bloom and those that look fresh and new.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Photohunters: Shopping and Chocolate

Guess what I did when I saw that one photohunter theme was shopping and the other was chocolate.
I didn't even try to restrain myself from shopping for chocolates.
Although I photographed some of my favorites in the store, most of them were too high calorie not to mention expensive.
I ended up buying malted milk balls because they were on sale and relatively low calorie.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Nature Notes: Trying to blend in

I almost swept the katydid off my door's window thinking it was a leaf but then I saw the legs.
If the katydid had been in my yard it would have blended in with the leaves but the window wasn't good for that.
The mourning doves blend in so well on my deck that I frequently don't notice them when I first look out.
Their feet are the only noticeable thing with a quick glance.
The female cardinal above was noticeable but not quite as flashy as the male below. The male cardinal is still in a transitional stage so not as flashy as he'll be as an adult in winter feathers.
They have finally decided to post Shelley Lake with signs discouraging people from feeding the ducks and geese.
In spite of the sign I saw a family feeding the ducks.
Even though the lake didn't use to have signs about feeding the wildlife, it always bothered me that people would feed them in the summer but never in the winter when it was cold.
I've never fed the geese and ducks at this lake but when it's especially cold I've thought it might help them if I got the kind of food they needed.
It never made sense to me that people feed them in the summer but don't do it in cold difficult weather.
When I walked at the lake Friday, I didn't see as many Canadian Geese as I usually do but there was a variety of different ducks.
I'm used to seeing various vertical objects in the lake.  Some are connected to the dam mechanisms while other vertical objects are parts of trees that get lodged upright when they fall during storms.
I zoomed in on something I thought was a tree limb lodged upright in the water.
I never would have thought of great blue herons as blending in but this one had me fooled from a distance.
I was glad I had enough zoom to get a closer look or I would have thought it was just a tree limb.
Once it started stretching out its neck it was unmistakeable.
I took a zillion pictures of it.
They are such graceful and gawky birds all at the same time.
One of these days I hope to catch a shot of one with a fish in its mouth.
I've seen them catch fish but never got the shot.
I always love to see tall grasses with their seeds .
Usually I see some Canadian Geese in these grasses at the lake but not this time.
Although we don't reach peak fall colors until November where I live, there are already a few leaves changing early.
The brown thrashers have been hogging the bird baths on my deck.
They are fun to watch.