Day 58

Today we decided to head to Duluth and the surrounding areas to find a special duck.  It was an unbelievable day, with sun and a high of 52 degrees.  We wondered up to Two Harbors and did not find the duck.  But we did find a couple of cedar waxwings that played in the trees above us while we were walking in the woods.

After a couple shots of the common goldeneye ducks we headed back to Duluth.  We stopped at Canal Park to see what was going on and it was CRAZY down there.  However, we did run into some really nice people and have a good conversation with them.  Not much was stirring at canal park so we headed over to Connors Point.  On the way to the Point we happened upon an Otter.  It was swimming in a hole in Lake Superior and would come up to roll on the ice.  The last time it came up it had a fish and he promptly ate.  After that, we headed out.  And we finally saw it!  The Gyrfalcon was sitting on the top of a post with a pigeon it had killed.  It sat for a long time and then started eating.  The female was off in the distance and shortly after we stopped it flew overhead.  After talking to some really nice people, we decided to head out and see if we could find a snowy again.

So off to Winter Street we went.  The Hubby had the keen eyes and the snowy we had seen the previous week was back in the same area.  This time it was rather far away and we only saw him sitting.  We drove around to see if we could find anything else, and on a pit stop to change lenses, I dropped my camera!  Good thing was it was not a far drop and it only dented a dial.  Camera works fine.  Back around and the Snowy was still in his spot.  After that, it was time to head home.

It was a beautiful day, but one that was a challenge to photography at times.  The sun was so bright, that even stopping down the aperture didn’t always help.  It made it easy to keep the ISO around a decent number, but you could have the WB set and then move for the birds and it would be too off.  And, like with the otter, the sun was at it’s back, with n0 way to change it.  This made him darker than I wanted.  A big challenge, but fun to shoot.

It was a wonderful, if tiring day.  We found 2 “lifer” birds for us and had a wonderful day.  Enjoy the photos and don’t forget to comment, like, and follow the blog.

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Day 57


Today was a nice day, but long.  After a very long car drive to and back I wasn’t sure what I was going to get a picture of.  I was hoping for some Northern Lights as the sky was clear. But the forecast for that is very low.  I thought about a star trail, but I am to tired to hunt down a spot to get nice dark shots.  So when I noticed that Oly was getting out her veggie sushi, I figured that would be the the shot of the day.

Day 56

Tonight was the last swim meet for the boy, sections for the first time.  I didn’t bring the right lens so I wasn’t able to take photos at the meet.  So here it is 11:26 PM and we are just getting home.  So down I go to my basement and open my camera bag.  I was reaching for my macro when I grabbed the fish eye instead.  So I took a few shots with the fish eye just for fun, seeing what it could do.  Busy night but some fun photos.


A shot of my keyboard, I extended the lens a tad, so the fish eye effect was gradual.


Here I pulled the fish eye all the way in.  LOVE the effect of this photo of my messy computer desk.


This is a shot of the keyboard with the lens pulled all the way in.  Love the warped effect.

Day 55

So today I was in the macro kick, again.  I thought I would try my hand at taking pictures of salt…

You know that saying:  “Some days you got it, and some days you don’t.”

Well, today was one of those days I didn’t!  My macro lens is great, but I don’t think it was up to the challenge of what I wanted.  So while the photos are OK, they aren’t what I had envisioned in my mind.  But that is all part of learning.  Sometimes it is great, and others you figure out what wasn’t good and do different the next time.

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Day 54

Ah…the simple things in life.  Funny how you miss those things that you took for granted when life was quiet and perhaps mundane.  You don’t realize how nice things are when they work smoothly.  But you sure notice it when life is upside down and crazy.  When the normal quiet things that you used to look forward to are gone.  Like the days of having a normal routine and not having to deal with insurance people who don’t care about you and think that you are just a number that they can ignore or treat like dirt.  I want the normal days of Joe working, me complaining about him working all the time, the kids driving each other and myself crazy.  I want the simpleness of life back and this crazy over.

So tonight I focused on something simple, something small, but of great beauty.  The baby breathe in my daughters flowers.  So little, but so filling in what they do.  Just looking at them gives me peace and helps to bring back the quiet in my life.


Day 53

Today, after a rather rough day, I came home to the soft falling flakes of snow.  They were big and fluffy and with the day light still in abundance, I was finally able to get out and take some snowflake photos.  It was cold and I actually got down on the ground.  I find these little things so amazing.  That they are raindrops that freeze into such amazing designs.  There is such beauty in them, so simple and so wonderful.

Day 52

Another great day in the Bog

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Today after the weekly grocery shopping and the papers, we decided to make a short jaunt to the bog.  We were excited to spot a red fox crossing Hwy 7 on our way out there.  Even got a shot of it marking its territory.  It was a rather large fox and the first one we had seen so far this year.  We then hit the Welcome Center.  There was not a lot of activity there so we headed out down Overton Road where we spotted a sleeping porcupine.  We hit some side roads and did not see anything but some deer.  A quick stop at Mary Lou’s produced some redpolls and 2 blue jays along with the squirrels and the chickadees but not the evening grosbeaks that are normally there.  So off again, this time to Loretta’s Feeders.  Again, not much was stirring.  So off to Nichols Lake road we went.  We happened upon some magpies eating on a dead deer.  I was finally able to get some good flying shots of them.  And after that it was time to head home.

So while it wasn’t a huge day for birds today, it was a great day with my companion, the Hubby.  It is fun being with him, even if we almost ran over a ruffed grouse trying to cross the road.  We have a good time talking and making plans for the future, even if they won’t come to fruition, it is still fun to plan things.  So another great day.

Day 51


It was the last swim meet of the season.  So in the car we jumped and up to International Falls we went.  It made for a really long day, but it was nice.  I love to watch my son swim.  One minute he is on the start and then next he is in the water.  The races go so fast that it is hard to really grasps what is going on sometimes.  That is why I love to take photos of him.  I love when I am able to stop the action, get him in mid air as he dives, or stopping the water as it is pushed in front of him.  It is a whole new take on how you see swimming.  Love this sport and am looking forward to sections next week.

Day 50

Today was a perfect day.  Not just perfect as in you had a nice day, but perfect in that it is one of those days that come only ever so often.  The kind of day where all the little pieces fall gently into place and then at the end of the day you can step back and say:  Yes, this was it.  This was a perfect day.  A day to cherish and hold close in your memories, to take out when days are not so good and look back over on what happened that day to make it perfect.  For me, those days include the day I met my husband, the day we got married, the day our son was born, the day our daughter was born.  These are the days that I see as my perfect days.

You may ask yourself why was this day so perfect.  Well, I spent it with my husband for starters.  When he isn’t being annoying or snoring in his sleep, he is a rather dashing funny man, who long ago stole my heart.  We started the day taking care of kids and when they were good, we decided to head down to the local boat show.  On the way there we decided to to a little birding.  This has become our passion now.  We found a bird that we aren’t sure of what it is and we saw some that we knew and loved, like an eagle and some ducks.  I was even able to get a good close up of a rather different colored pigeon.   The show was good, especially the mini donuts.  Fell in love with a boat and had a nice talk with the sales person.  Then when we left we made a quick trip up Hwy 61 in search for a bohemian  wax-wing.  It was pouring at this time (and when I say pouring, I mean that the good Lord above picked that exact time to release the flood gates of rain), but we found them, a lot of them.  This was a bird we have been looking for, one that had eluded us for weeks.  We found a lot of them and I was able to get some good shots.  At this point, it was getting dark and we decided to make one last run to find a snowy owl.  We drove the road three times and decided to just head home as the light was fading fast.  We were just leaving and I happened to glance at a pile of cement beams and there she was.  In all of her glory, sitting fluffed up surveying her realm.  At first I wasn’t sure I was really seeing her, my heart was pounding and I was so excited.  She let me take some photos of her before she flew off.  I was so excited that I forgot to refocus so I was tracking her and the flight photos were blurry.  We went to the next block and turned and there she was again, sitting on top of a pole.  Once again she let me take photos of her, a lot of photos, before she flew across the road.  At that point, we just sat there and watched her for a few moments and then drove away.  I was shaking, heart was still pounding, and I couldn’t get the smile off my face.  We had seen her.  Found her with out anyone telling us where she was and we got pictures.  It was perfect.  By this time, since our day had started out late, it was time to head home.  On the way home I happened to look out my window and flying next to me in the ditch up onto the top of a tree was a great horned owl.  It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.  I wouldn’t have wanted to have shared it with anyone else, sharing this day with my husband made it even more perfect and special.  One of those days, that I will often take out and marvel over when times are tough.

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