Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Finds

I wanted to get out this morning as more rain is forecast for the next several days.  Not sure where all the water is going to go as the ground is still saturated from the last 8" that we received just a few days ago.

There were lots of Common Yellowthroats out searching for insects.  I definitely saw more females than males though.  I saw more today than I saw from spring-summer.   Just another example of a poor birding year for migratory birds anyway.

The number of Hummingbirds continues to increase as those coming from farther north are  dropping by.  They absolutely love the Jewel Weed flowers which are a member of the touch-me-not family.

I went to walk down the trail that runs beside the creek and was stopped in my tracks by a Red-bellied Brown snake had made itself at home and was not moving.  It had recently had a good size meal (probably a frog) because there was a large lump.  It was fat, happy and not moving.  I walked right around it and it never moved.

I watched as a spider repaired its web from something that had flown into it.  I am always fascinated at their precision going round and round and the majority of the web strands are almost exactly the same distance from each other.  Nature's architects.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Lady Birds

I didn't get a chance to go out this morning since the dog had a vet appointment at 11.  Running around to get things done for her after the appointment took me until noon so the prime time was over.

For the last two afternoons from around 1500 on, the birds have been dropping in for a visit.  Based on observations for the last couple of years, I have noticed that during spring migration I see more male birds and during the fall, more female birds.  The photos are not the best.  By the afternoon when they arrive, my back yard is deep shade.

Visitors today:

female American Redstart

female Tennessee Warbler

female Summer Tanager


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Good Birding Morning

After so much rain over the last couple of days, it was nice to get out this morning even if it was still a bit overcast and gray.  Not a good photography day light wise but the birds were really active this morning.  There was more activity today than I have seen in some time.

There were a group of three Great Crested Flycatchers searching for insects.  I could tell two were first year birds and I am sure the adult was the mom.

A Red-eyed Vireo was hunting in the same general area as the Flycatchers.  I have not seen one since the spring and was glad to get a good look at it.

There were lots of hummingbirds and they were very active however with the low light it was difficult to get up much shutter speed without going way high on the ISO.  Still they are fun to watch.

The Passion Flowers are in full bloom and quite pretty.  They were staying open later in the morning with the overcast sky.  I really want to get one of these vines going at the house.

Of course now that I am back at the house,  it looks like the sun is trying to make an appearance.  I guess better late than never.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Slow Saturday

My friend and I headed out to the lake / river early this morning in hopes of catching some action. The fog was very heavy and slow to lift. Finally around 0930, some signs of lifting but most of the egrets and herons had departed by then.  My friend did get enough of a shot to verify the flyover of around 6-7 Snow Geese.  I guess they had stayed overnight somewhere on the lake.

We saw one pair of Blue Grosbeaks but they flew as we got close, otherwise, nothing.  Where are the birds?

We walked around the meadow doing some macro shots just to kill time.  No shortage of insects and flowers to check out.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Honey Bees

During the month of July and first two weeks of August, lots of Honey Bees began showing up at the house for water.  There were so many that I kept a separate dish filled just for them to keep them away from the bird bath.  After about the second week in August, they just disappeared.

Yesterday and today they have shown back up. Always coming in and flying back out in the same direction which happens to be across my next door neighbor's property.  I went over yesterday and we looked around to see if we could spot a hive.  Tried as I might, I could never keep track of them long.  All I can figure is that somewhere nearby, there must be a heck of a nest.  There is no one that I know of in the general area that has any hives.  One thing thing for sure, the birds are not going near the bath with all the bee activity.

It has been a steady rotation of bee groups over the last two days.  20-30+ would fly in, stay and drink, fly out and before long, another group would come in.  They are not aggressive merely wanting to get to the water.

With all the talk of parasite issues with Honey Bee colonies and their dwindling numbers, it is good to see so many around.  I would sure like to find that honey tree!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Which Gourd?

The no-see-ums (midges) were horrible here today and with the heat, just decided to finish up my gourd for the fair.  I had done the gourd on the left first and I really liked the SW feel of the gourd but then began to doubt whether is was "artsy" enough.

I decided to do another and just see which one jumped out at me more.  Now I just don't know.  They have two completely different feels and I like them both.  The second one I am now trying to decide if I should place a turquoise cabochon at what I think should be the forward facing view.

What do you think?  The SW gourd or the more artsy gourd.  With or without the cabochon?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Slow Sultry Sunday

The heat and humidity have returned with a vengeance.  Not too much going on birding wise.  I did see a very large flock of Grackles come over yesterday afternoon as my nephew and I were setting to do some long exposure photography once it got dark.

We are still experimenting trying to come up with something interesting for his state fair photo.  We stayed out until almost 10 pm just fooling around.  I think both of us learned quite a bit on long exposure shooting.  It is pretty neat on how one subject can look so different.  The color variations of two were achieved using chem lights (glow sticks) as illumination.

After a while, we both got a bit silly playing with the chem lights.  I think he enjoyed that more than anything else.  That was something that definitely appealed to a 10 year old boy. Finally mosquito weary, we called it a night.

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Nature lover, animal lover, lover of life.