Day 262

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Today I was in charge of smoking the roast for supper.  So that meant I was stationed outside.  I sat next to the garage in an area I could watch the smoker without being stuck in the smoke.  The thought was that I would grade some thing for school.  What happened was that I ended up taking pictures most of the day.  The blue jays were wild today.  The longer I sat the more accustom they became to me, and after a while, they came rather close to me.

The small birds were out also.  It is my thought that they are getting ready to move on and are stocking up on food before they head out.  There were a lot of little critters around today too.  A red squirrel, which we don’t normally have in the yard, ventured over and let me take a couple quick pictures.  The grey squirrels and my chipmunk were around as usual.  We did have a great surprise visit today.  However, it happened so fast that I had no chance to get my camera up and snap a picture.  I was sitting trying to be good and let the blue jay get used to me so he would move closer when I noticed the small birds flying back to the grape vine.  A second after the little bird landed in the vine a larger shape moved by just under the line of bricks for the old gazebo.  It flew out from the bricks very low to the ground and veered off by the back steps of the house and up into the sky.  I was very shocked to see a merlin!  The little birds stayed hidden for a good amount of time.  And then later, two of them appeared across the street.  It made for an interesting day.

But the winner of the day, the one who captured my attention, was the blue jays today.  I just couldn’t look away.  And every chance that they gave me, I was hard working on getting their pictures.

 

Day 247

Today the birds filled my yard.  You couldn’t look anywhere without seeing a bird.  And the sound…the sounds filled the air.  It was a wonderful experience.  The little birds are getting ready to leave and head south, so they are attacking my feeders like crazy.  The chickadees, the pine warblers, the goldfinches, sparrows, finches, and blue jays are just some of the many birds that are stopping by.  Not all of them will leave to head South, so I am hope that they will stay.  Not only did the birds stick around today, the little critters did also.  A handful of squirrels and a couple of chipmunks thought it was heaven to steal the peanuts I put out for the jays.  It was a good day sitting outside watching my birds.

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Day 243

Today I am 2/3rds of the way done with my 365 day blog!  Only a few more days and my year of daily photos will be at an end.  So far it has been fun getting some great shots to blog about.

Today I was hoping to go fishing and have a shot at some water birds before they leave for the winter.  But the wind was against us and so I turned to old faithful, my feeders in the yard.  I sat in my back yard and had  a great night.

A young Blue Jay sat on one of the stakes and let me get fairly close to take some pictures.  The bottom of the young bird was bright and blue while the top was a tad grey still.  My Goldfinches were all over the place and took some time to eat on the sunflowers for a bit.  I also had some new birds, a female American Redstart and one female Scarlet Tanager.  Later in the night, some red-winged black birds came into the yard with some grackles.  Grackles are dirty birds in that they are loud and poop everywhere, but when the sun is shining on them you can not deny that they are very pretty.

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Day 239

Today we headed out to the lake.  It was a beautiful day to be out in our favorite place.  My camera still isn’t in the right spot, but the item I ordered to get the focus back in spot arrived today, so tomorrow I can get it going again.  However, I was able to capture some really great things.

We came upon a Belted Kingfisher today.  It was flying up out of the water when we first spotted it and then she put on a show for us.  We were able to watch her dive about 4 times before she flew up into a tree.  I tried to get some pictures, but that little bird flew so fast it was hard to keep track.  I did get some though and just being able to watch as she dove and shot out of the water over and over and moved so fast was amazing.

A little later on we were able to watch as two Ospreys flew over us and dove for fish.  My focus was not on spot again so I do not think they are the best photos.  The Eagle would only fly over, he wasn’t willing to dive for me today.  But I did get some great shots of the Blue Heron (three different ones) as they hid in the tall grass.  There were also some surprise birds that popped in today.

At this point, I needed to get fishing so the rest of the night was spent fishing and having a good time.  At the close of the night some ducks and geese flew over and gave me a great sunset picture.

Wonderful time with a wonderful captain.

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Day 235

Today was a day spent working at home, getting things ready for going back to work, prepping food to be cooked, and finding things that were put away.  It was a nice day to just take my time and spot different birds that have decided to come into my yard.

I started this morning with the hairy woodpecker that has decided to visit in the mornings and at night.  They have discovered that if they go to the right bird feeder they don’t have to try and get the thistle seed out of the small screen but that they can stick their heads in the opening and eat from there.  In the later afternoon, after the hubby went for his ride, I cleaned the bird bath and sat down to see what little birds would come to play in it.  While I captured a small handful the best surprise were the three hummingbirds that were chasing each other all over.  At times they would come very close to my head.  I wasn’t able to capture them all three together as they were moving so fast, but I did get two of them showing their tail feather to each other.

I ended the night taking some more shots of the woodpecker as it tried to hide on the feeder from me.  A very peaceful night.

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Day 229

Fish on Baby!

Tonight was a night on the lake.  Time is counting down to when I have to go back to school, so we have to grab what time on the lake that we can.  With the man now called back to work, this means we have less and less time to get our “fish on!”

It was a great night on the lake, the bass were striking and the sun was shining.  The loon family was out and I was able to get some good shots of the Mom and baby.  The little one is getting bigger and bigger and starting to get more adult coloring, but it is still soooooooooo fluffy.  There was one osprey and one eagle out today, but they kept their distance.  I tried to get some shots of a bass striking the bait, but that was a hard one.  I did find a surprise when I was going through the photos.  Instead of focusing on the lure my camera grabbed focus on a bug flying by.  Not what I planned but a great shot anyway.  The best part of the night was the sunset and full moon.  It truly was breathtaking.

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Day 227

Today I was not sure if I would find anything.  My girl child and I made a run looking for owls and only came across one Eastern Kingbird.  So while it was not a great success in finding birds, it was a great time with the girl just “bonding”.

Later when we were home and had completed our “chores” it was time to just sit in the chairs and relax.  That is when the little birds started coming in thick to the feeders.  I love my little birds.  The finches and sparrows make such nice sounds as they fly over and the chickadees and nuthatches have the cutest little noise they make.  I was able to grab a few shots of them while they flew overhead.  Then the little hummingbirds decided to show up.  They like to perch in the large pines next to where I sit.  I was able to get some cute shots of them resting in the trees.  And, to my surprise, I caught one pooping, which makes my husband laugh.  When the little hummer decided to hit the tiger lilies again I was able to walk up closer to get some shots.  At this time, the sun was very bright and shining right on them so they became almost backlight, which makes it harder.  But I like the effect of them in contrast to the color of the flowers.  It was a nice day.

 

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Day 225

 

Some days are hard.

Today was one of them.

I live everyday with cloud that hovers over me.  Most of the time, I am able to keep it at bay and be fine.  But depression has a way of sneaking up on a person and taking over.  In these moments, it is a battle to get up, to get dressed, to smile for my children.  Small bumps in the road become insurmountable hills that defeat me.  Today was one of those days.  People don’t like to hear the word depression, nor do they care, at times, to help the one who is depressed.  It is easier to tell them to “get over it”, to “suck it up”, or my favorite:  to look in the mirror and counsel yourself”.  Just because I was trained as a counselor and worked as one, does not mean I can “counsel” myself.  Depression is an invisible illness.  You look fine, you move fine, but inside you are drowning.  You doubt every move you make, and you doubt the words and actions of others.  You feel as if you have lead in your hands and feet.  And you feel so very alone, so lost and alone.  You end up sitting at a computer at 1 am crying and wishing that you didn’t feel this way.  That somewhere out there, someone would understand what you are going through and raise you up.  That they would expel this demon that resides in you.  People with depression do not live to be depressed, to tell you about all their problems, to get you to feel sorry for them.  They live to battle with the hope that someday they can be free.  It doesn’t not help for them to be told to look at the positives, because in the dark moments there are none.  They are tainted with self doubt, with sadness, with pain.  And there lives the frustration in me, the knowledge that it was not always like this, that an event in my life pushed me over that fragile line.  And now everyday I cling to that edge trying desperately to pull myself up and over.  That I want so badly to walk away from that edge to live in the warmth and happiness of life, buy my feet get stuck in the mud and at times the edge is the only thing in my sight.  And so I keep it to myself, because the judgment of family and friends shows on their faces even when they are silent.  And so tomorrow I will get up and try to beat the demon down.  Maybe this time I will beat him down for a long time, maybe I can smile and hide the pain and try to look at the positives.  And someday, perhaps, I will win.

And then my photographs will be taken before the light fades and color is drained from the storms.

Day 224

Today was a special day; my hubby celebrated his birthday.  So this meant that he got to pick what we were doing after supper.  So that meant that we were going fishing.  It was a wonderful night on the lake, a little bit of clouds to start with and a small breeze.  But other than that, there was nothing going on.  The birds were very quiet, with only a few to be found on the water, and the fish were not willing to play.  So while it was slow in some ways, it was still a good time with the hubby celebrating his birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOE

What did we see tonight:  An Eagle sitting in a tree that was extremely unhappy with something and made a lot of noise.  The clouds were pretty heavy at this time so it isn’t the greatest picture as my ISO had to be up high.

A family of loons, where the baby was diving by himself.  I am a little concerned as there were two babies in this area.  I know they move around, but it makes me worried.

A new bird for us:  pied-billed grebe.  Some flew off and left this one lonely one swimming in a bay.

Mallards swimming and flying around.

Our friendly neighborhood beaver.

And one wonderful sunset.  Within minutes it went from soft to vivid to gone very quickly.

 

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Day 222

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Tonight I was on the hunt, and I shot over 600 to get my prey.  I was on the hunt for the hummingbirds!

After a busy day “shopping” for the girl child, I came home to to hunt.  I sat outside for a good amount of time, and in that time not one single hummer.  My finches and nuthatches were everywhere, while the sparrow decided it was bath time.  Right about the time I was ready to call it a day and go get a popsicle, the Hummingbirds made their entrance.  They zoomed over my head really close and sat in the tree next to me.  They gave me many opportunities to get some great shots.  I was hampered only by the wind, that was blowing so hard that it made it hard to focus on such a small thing from such a great distance.  I love it though.  Hummingbirds have been one of my favorite birds since I can remember.  My grandmother and I used to spend a lot of time at her cabin watching them as they went from feeder to feeder.  I have always tried to have feeders out for them where ever I have been.  They are so amazing, so delicate, so sassy, and so beautiful.

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