Archive for April, 2008

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Strange Birds!

April 28, 2008

A couple days ago, Jeff and I gathered the kids and ran up to Starbucks (2 miles from our house, MMM!). Not having any real desire to go home, I was hoping to go do something. Jeff asked where we were going, so I said how about High Falls? To my shock, he agreed! More to my shock, he agreed that I should stop home and grab my camera! So after a brief stop at home, off we went to High Falls. It is in the middle of the city on the river, which drops 96 feet creating a lovely waterfall.  We took a walk across the bridge that spans the river at about the level of the waterfall.

As I looked down at the river below, I was pleased to see pairs of geese. They really are everywhere this time of year, but I always enjoy seeing them, and mourn their losses when one dies from an encounter with a car on the busy roadways. This is the perfect place for them, as everything they need is nearby, with no need to cross busy roadways.

As we first entered the bridge, the calls of a male Cardinal caught my attention. I love Cardinals, and am on a quest to capture the perfect Cardinal picture. As a side note…I realize I will not be likely to succeed in this endeavor until I obtain a telephoto lens! Anyway, undaunted by my (very) short lens, I set about searching for the source of the wonderful calls. Locating him, I was thrilled to find he was in a tree top just a short distance from my location on the bridge. I took several pictures of him, but this is the best, still sadly lacking!

The Cardinal, growing impatient from my flash that insisted on going off, flew away and under the bridge I was standing on. I quickly rushed to the other side in an attempt to get a better picture, when the cry “turkey” issued forth from Sarah’s mouth… I turned to explain that in the middle of the city, we were the only turkeys present. She insisted that she had seen a turkey, so I looked in the valley below…

This picture was actually taken quite awhile after the above conversation. The turkey went into a tree line along the river, making it impossible to find. Then a little while later, it reappeared, along with two of its friends…

Who would have thought you would find wild turkeys in the “wild” of the middle of a busy city?

After the excitement of finding turkeys in the city, I was supercharged for some serious picture taking. I took many pictures much to the dismay of my family. Normally they are quite tolerant, but when I stopped in the middle of the intersection of two streets (on foot) to take a picture, they thought I had lost all of my good sense. I then proceeded to drive along snapping pictures each time we came to a stop light. Here are a couple of my offerings from High Falls, but the others will have to wait, as I am awaiting the imminent arrival of the fridge repair guy…story for another time!

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Lake Visit

April 22, 2008

I have been meaning to post for a few days now, but time seems to slip away too quickly. I long for a time long gone by when the daily pace was much slower… Ah, well, I have stolen a few minutes from my hectic day to stop and post. Here is my humble offering for today…

Last week the kids had been bugging to do something “fun.” The whole family, except for me, had a lovely cold last week, so we had spent most of the week at home. By the end of the week, everyone, except for me, was going stir crazy. Jeff suggested a journey to the lake shore, so off we went to a local park where the river empties into the lake. It was just before sunset, so I got some gorgeous (IMHO) pictures.

As we began walking out on the pier, this sailboat was coming in to dock for the night.

This view is looking up the river. The people on the right side of the photo were fishing and had caught a reasonably sized fish. As I went to photograph it, I found I had turned my camera off and just missed a “perfect shot.” At first I was disappointed, then I watched in horror as they unhooked the fish, dropped it on the ground, picked it up and lobbed it, as one might lobbed a softball for slow-pitch, back in the river. What makes people so thoughtless and cruel? I can’t imagine the fish faired too well after a 15 foot belly-flop into the water!

There were many Mallard ducks along the rocks next to the pier. This pair must have a nest nearby, as neither was in a big hurry to leave. The female sat, or stood, in the same spot and the drake swam back and forth near her, seeming to keep a watchful eye on everything.

Someone began throwing bread into the water, which caused quite a stir. The gulls began circling and diving for their fair share of the booty. Here is a gull that actually landed as it grabbed its tasty morsel.

As we continued along the pier, on the side opposite the river outlet, an eerie fog set in. This boat looked as though it was floating in thin air. This picture does not do the scene justice, as it was nearly impossible to actually discern the water from the sky while we were standing there.

We walked quite a ways out onto the pier, until I got tired and Erin got cold. It was significantly cooler at the lake than at home and Erin was wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and flip-flops. As skinny as she is, she doesn’t hold body heat well, so she got quite chilly. As we headed back to the car, I couldn’t help but capture this photo of the sun beginning to set. It was so bright, I had to focus on the water, look away, lift the camera slightly and hope for the best. I was rather impressed with the two shots I got. This is the better one.

As we neared the end of our walk, Sarah spotted this spider building a web on a railing. Jeff asked if I had a macro lens, then realizing I don’t, asked if I thought I could get a decent shot anyway. As you can see from the blur on a couple of the legs, this spider was busily working away. I guess this is a decent shot…

The more I use my Nikon and learn about it, mostly through trial and error, the more impressed I am with it. My kids laugh at me as we get ready to go places now. The camera bag has become my “purse,” going almost everywhere that I go.

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Random Ramblings

April 18, 2008

I have been neglecting my blog for a while now. I realize I haven’t posted in a couple weeks, and I have a bunch of pictures that I have been meaning to put up, just haven’t had the time. Here are the things I have been doing for the last couple weeks…

Jeff had an interview in a town about 25 minutes from our house. Since I am more familiar with that area, and had a good idea of where the place was, I drove him. The kids and I waited in the car as he went in, realizing then that we had not eaten any lunch and were hungry. When Jeff came out, he too was hungry, so we decided to stop at the Wendy’s right up the street. I pulled in, placed our order at the drive-up window and began pulling up to pay. Jeff commented that he didn’t realize we were meeting my parents there. As I looked at him like he was crazy, I noticed that my parents were in fact sitting in the parking lot facing the drive-up lane. We sat next to their truck eating our burgers and I tried to convince Jeff that it wasn’t planned, but I’m not sure he believed me, LOL! As we were sitting there, Angus had to check out our food. He just watched and waited…

Note the ears? He is really intent on those burgers. I did give him a piece of bacon from my burger and he was very appreciative.

On the way home, we stopped at a drug store for a couple things and I found this stuffing free raccoon for Joe. I could barely get the stickers and tags off of it before he leaped up and stole it from me. Notice his other squeaky toys, the candy cane and red mouse, nearby.

Last week Sarah volunteered at a local library for a children’s story hour. Here she is leading the kids into the story room…

Yup, that’s her in the pig costume. Everyone was impressed with her performance in the rather big, hot pig suit. The kids loved her and she thoroughly enjoyed herself!

One day last week when it was quite warm, we went to a local park and enjoyed the weather while the kids ran around a bit. I decided to lay on my back on a piece of playground equipment and take pictures.

Here is a hawk that was flying overhead…

Erin, investigating why I was laying down…

My new shoes, after I sat up…

Some geese, also enjoying the weather, I guess…

Sarah, being her silly self…

And part of the thing I was laying on…I just thought it was a cool-looking picture.

I guess that brings the last couple weeks into focus (groan…sorry). The kids and Jeff all had a nasty cold this week, so I got to play nurse. I managed to avoid the thing with high doses of vitamins C, B, and a couple doses of Airborne, along with many glasses of water and lots of sleep.