Day 90

When John was a little one, he used to go around the yard picking up the pinecones that fell from our trees and come running to us to show us the pokanuts.  It is one of our favorite memories of John, that and when he would get sap on his fingers he would be upset about “zap”.

So in that train of thought, as the snow melts and the sticks and pinecones that fell over the winter in the storms come forth, I picked a “pokanut” as my subject tonight.  I love the texture and the lines that are in these when you get in really close.

 

Day 89

Today was a day that really felt like spring.  A day full of sunshine and a nice breeze (if strong at times).  My crocuses are in bloom and to me that really makes it feel like spring and makes you feel young again.  Not like an old dried up dusty chicken, but a spring chicken ready to take on the world.  I love the colors of the flowers and the fact that they can survive the spring snow when it sits on hit heavy and cold weighing it down.  These little flowers hand on and when that weight is finally gone, it opens up and shows it fragile beauty to the world.  To bad they don’t last longer.

Day 88

Today was just to nice of a day to stay home.  I hopped a ride with the hubby when he had to bring something to the main mine office and we decided to take a drive.  As always I brought my camera and we happened upon two eagles eating a dead animal…but I didn’t have my memory card so back home we went.  That was OK, because as we were leaving again,  a red-tailed hawk was flying over the south pit and right over the truck.  I was able to get some really great shots.  We headed out to the bog and soon after getting there we spotted a pair of Northern Harriers.  They were way way way up in the sky.  I was able to get some pictures, but as they were very far away, they are not the best.  As we traveled around we saw a bunch of birds:  a robin, another northern harrier, another red-tailed hawk, immature bald eagle, a northern shrike, sandhill cranes, and a raptor we are not sure of but that might me a young bald eagle.

For the most part, the birds flew either right along side of us or over the top of us.  This let me get some great shots.  But sometimes they were very far away.  But what a nice night.

 

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Day 87

I am really hoping people will take the time to look at my blog.  I am really excited about today’s photos.  While they didn’t come out exactly like I wanted them, I think that they came out OK for the first time.  I wanted to do a soft water shoot, but as it was mid-day, I had to resort to layering the photos one on top of each other to create the desired effect.  It took some work, and in the end they are ok, just not sure if they are what I wanted.  So, it means I need to do a little research.  I did get a shot of the female gyrfalcon at the Peavey Elevators in Superior.  She was very very high up and I didn’t have my tripod or my extender on, so the picture isn’t the greatest.  I did, however, get a good shot of a crackling goose and a red-winged black bird.  So in the end, it was a nice, but busy day.

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Day 86

Today I was going to ambush some birds.  I have a window in my basement that with some work I can shoot through and get an angle of the birds from ground level.  When I got positioned I noticed the water drops on the end of the house trim and how the very tall pines around our house were reflected in the drops.  So I changed what I was doing.  I was then out to capture the drops of water off of the icicles on the edge of the house.  The drops, to me, are so cool as they are reflecting the trees in my yard.  Which I think is the coolest thing.  I took over 650 photos, and what I ended up with is what you see below.  The timing had to be just right, and that is very tricky.  I didn’t have to do much editing, just some cropping and bringing down the exposure as it was very bright at the time I took the photos.  However, for the last couple photos I felt they were too grey.  So for the first time, I played with the color of a photo and changed it to more of a blue tone.  Just something fun.  I am downloading some filters that might be fun to play with, forcing me to expand my knowledge.

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Day 85

After a busy day doing some family things, I wanted to do something fun.  I was walking around the house thinking of what I could do and I started to talk to my daughter and hit it me:  her critters.  My daughter has to guinea pigs, Fluffy Butt and Squeaky.  That is not what she calls them, but that is what I call them.  So down she came with them one at a time and they each got the star treatment and their photos shot.  As far as critters go, they are not bad.  They don’t really do anything but eat and poop and squeak a lot when I walk in with treats.  And unlike the hamsters that escaped and made their home in my nightstand until I found them, they stay in their cage happy as can be.  So tonight the stars of my blog are Fluffy Butt and Squeaky.

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Day 84

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Today was a fun day.  After a quick trip to the clinic for allergy shots the afternoon was ours.  We decided to take a drive to the bog and see if we could find any more raptors.  It started out with the two hawks on Hwy 37.  This time they were sitting in the tree, one just watching and the other eating something.  I am not 100% sure that they are red-tailed or not, as they seem darker then the other day, but it was a good way to start the day.  A little further down the road we saw an eagle sitting in a tree almost close enough to touch.  We turned around and a juvenile bald eagle flew up and I was able to capture that.  In one picture you can see that he is calling to his mother, which happened to be the first eagle we saw and in the picture is sitting underneath him behind a branch.  We drove down further and turned around and I was able to get some shots of the mother.  The funny line going through the older bald eagle was a branch in the way that fuzzed out when I focused on the bird itself.  Again we drove some more and came upon another eagle.  Then we were off to Mary Lou’s and the search for the Harriers from the night before.  We didn’t see any on the way there but we got some good pictures of smaller birds while there.  We drove around for a while and at once point we thought we were done.  We went past the Welcome Center in the bog and continued down towards 133.  It was at this point that all hell broke lose!  We spotted a bird far in a tree and headed down a one lane road.  Before I could get a picture it flew away.  I tried to get some shots but it flew to far to quickly.  However, I could hear it calling and a mate responding.  So back to the main road we went and just as we were starting off, Joe saw something in the distance.  So off another side road, this time a normal one.  And here we got to watch two Eagles (we assume) mating.  I tried to get some pictures, and I did put up a couple, but they were very far up in the sky.  But you can see when one would roll and the other would dive at it.  I then looked to the left and right next to me was a ruffed legged hawk.  So out I came, tripod at the ready and I started taking pictures.  During the 15 minutes we were there, we had 4 ruffed legged hawks, 4 bald eagles,  and 2 magpies fly over me.  When we decided to move on we continued down the side road and onto another, and there was a red tailed hawk sitting on the side of the road. And then some deer.  It was an extremely busy day.  I used my extender the whole time, and while I really like it, I am not sure about it yet.  I still have to work on the focus as it doesn’t notify me when I am in focus and with my glasses sometimes it is hard to tell.  But learning is part of the fun.  Anther fun day with the hubby.

Day 83

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Today I think we were having birding withdrawals.  While I was at work, the other half went out to see if the red-tailed hawks were still at their spot.  They were, so after a quick oil change, we headed out.  They were not there so we thought “what the heck” and headed to Mary Lou’s.  We spotted a good number of eagles on the way out there, but nothing else.  Once we turned onto Hwy 7, that all changed.  I spotted something white flying in a field so we headed down a side road and there a Norther Harrier put on a show for at least 15 minutes.  I was so excited that all the close photos I took had the wrong white balance and didn’t work.  I was so caught up in the hawk, I missed the deer in the background.  After that we headed over the the feeders for a brief moment and then headed back, at this point I was goofing around making noises from how bumpy the road was and yep, two harriers flew over and I missed it.  The price of being a dork.  We decided to hit the CR 27 over to Hwy 25.  At this point we saw a juvenile harrier and two mystery birds that may have been some sort of goose.  On that we are not sure.  We saw about 100 deer in the fields as we traveled, even one laying down close to the road with to younger ones playing next to it.  On the way back into town we took a side road that leads to Wal-Mart and I spotted two swans and some geese down on a small river.  Lets just say that the side of the roads are not solid at all…my shoes are covered with muddy slime from sliding down to solid ground.  But I got the shots!  So for a very short trip, we had a great number of hawks and other little birds.

Check out my new watermark…not sure about it.  Let me know.

 

Day 82

Today was a long long day.  After two short meetings after school, it was a night filled with helping the son get some work done before the end of the quarter.  So my night was gone very quickly.  So when I tried to think of an idea I looked around.  I spotted my makeup and thought what the hey.  I have a love hate with makeup.  I love getting pretty and putting makeup on, but I have found that as I get older I can not wear makeup.  I break out after only a few hours of having eyeshadow on.  This, in a way, is a bit sad.  As a little girl, you can’t wait to wear makeup, it makes you a “woman”.  But when you get older you realize what a pain in the butt it is to put on and keep nice.  I am lucky my husband doesn’t worry about it, especially now that I can’t wear it.

So my shots today are just real simple ones on make up.

 

Day 81

Today was a crazy Monday.  I was in a lot of pain from my back and the kids both had dentist appointments.  So after work and after the appointments we grabbed a bite to eat.  On the way home we happened upon a large group of eagles.  There were four in the trees waiting to munch on something in the ditch.  I wasn’t able to get the greatest of shots from the car, but I got a couple that were ok.  What I love about the shot is the clear view of its talons.  All I can say is MAN!  A little further down the road we spotted some hawks (or so we think) in the field, way across the field.  I didn’t have my extender with me so it was just a regular shot.  We are not sure what kind of hawk, but they are the first ones we have seen in a while.  We continued on down the road counting a couple more eagles and right before we turned off to our end of the Range, we saw a couple swans fly over the road.  Everything is so flooded right now they are finding places to land everywhere.  So for a night not planned on birding, it ended up being a night of birds.

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