Today was a day to remember the people who have given their lives and fought for our freedom. It is also an extra day off for many who have forgotten what this day is for.
Joe and I had to make a quick trip to Duluth to get some needed items for school tomorrow. Sometimes living up here is a pain. On the way down I spotted a Northern Harrier sitting on a post. This isn’t something you see often, as Harriers like o be gliding over the fields looking for prey. We turned around and it was still sitting there. I love watching these birds. On the way back from Duluth we headed over to see what was on Hwy 7. We were treated to some more Northern Harriers, Red-Tailed Hawk, and a couple Broad Winged Hawks. They were very far up in the sky and hard to see but it was a nice site anyway.
The highlight of the day was watching a Northern Harrier get chased away by a black bird. So much bigger but so afraid of that little one. We ended the quick trip with a few shots of the Osprey. While I love the look of the osprey, my heart sits with the Northern Harrier. I love watching them glide and sail along. So fast and sudden they move, but so beautiful.
Today I got to run around with my Dad. It started with helping him with his boat where I was able to get a shot of a bumblebee. It was a hard shot since I had my long lens on. But we then took a run out to Meadowlands where he grew up. We stopped by the cemetery where we have family buried and then we ran out to the road with our name on it. During this whole time, my Dad was telling us all about Meadowlands and what it was like in his day. He pointed out where people used to live and who owned what store. We drove by where his family had a large chunk of land, about 200 acres, and then by the old homestead. There isn’t anything left but one out building, but it was really nice to drive around and here my Dad talk about stuff like that. Made me feel closer to him getting this information about him and his hometown. Was a little bummed we missed the bear my Dad saw, but by the time we turned around it was gone.
Today we got to do a family outing. I don’t think the kids were to into the idea at first. Especially since we had to make some stops to take some photos of the Broad Winged Hawk. But once we got to the Bear Center that all changed. It was fun taking everyone there and seeing their reactions to the bears. We were greeted by two small cubs in a tree right as we got off the bus. I am not sure how the one could even be comfortable as it was just dropped over a branch very high up.
Far off in the distance I could just make out two very small cubs trying to climb a tree while third looked on. It didn’t take long for Mom to be by their side. They never came any closer, but that was ok as other bears were around to keep us busy. So while we got to see a good handful of bears, it was even more interesting to see the other critters. Squirrels, chipmunks, blue jays, humming birds, house finches, woodpeckers, and even a brave deer made their appearances.
It was a wonderful night with my little family. So good to spend time with them now, when I know they are growing so fast and soon will be away. Love them so much.
I love being able to watch my little birds with out actually being there. It is fun to see that blue jays and american goldfinch love my feeders in the back.
Home…tonight I shot at home. I really wish I could be like my little robin friend. He spends his days around our house singing his heart out, not being bogged down by negative things and others around him. And he gets to poop on peoples cars.
Something a little different today. With some birthday money from my in-laws I was able to purchase a game camera made for birds…I know it is a sickness. We set it up to capture the birds in our yard. Today we had some nice movement with smaller birds (pine siskin and american goldfinches) and a few bigger birds (blue jay and grackle). And there was one full moon out there thanks to my son…
Tonight was a quick run out to the bog to see what we could see…
At Mary Lou’s we ran into a nice bunch of birds, the Rudy Throated Humming Bird being one of them. It sat so nicely on a little fence for me and let me take as many pictures as I wanted. I was really hoping for a stop action of the wings when flying, but there is a little blur in the photo as the lightning was a little dark and it set me slower. Next time…
We hopped on down the road and stumbled across a Kill Deer and a grey little bird I am pretty sure is an Eastern Phoebe (still have to double check on that). We saw and heard a lot of small birds, but I hate to say it, the bugs kept us in the truck…
Then it happened…we looked ahead and something moved low and fast across the road. We jumped out and started walking down the road…nothing! We figured it had moved on in, but after a few more steps down the road there it was: Great Grey Owl. Sitting off to the side in a tree was my favorite bird. He just sat there as I walked down the road and stayed for a long time while I took photos. He moved once down the road maybe 10 feet and I was able to pretty much stay in place and take more photos (thanks to a long lens). It moved once more and we decided to move on, even though I couldn’t resist taking some shots as we drove very slowly by (so we wouldn’t scare it). I drove away with a smile on my face, but then…
Not more than a half mile down the road, we looked over and there was another Great Grey Owl sitting in the tree. I was able to get out and stand to the side of the road to get pictures (love this long lens). He just sat there the whole time looking around like I didn’t even matter. I LOVE this bird. My whole night was made and we decided to head home. As I look at the photos now…I think I have a problem…I have many many more that I didn’t post…
Tonight I had to go present awards at the Senior Awards Banquet. It made for a fun but long night. As I was leaving I snatched one of the beautiful flowers that were on the table. I am not sure what the flower is, but it was to beautiful to leave behind. As I was taking photos I felt like Georgia O’Keeffe with how close I was getting to the flowers.
Tonight, after a day spent at home doing chores outside, I decided that I would take photos of what was in my back yard. So I grabbed my camera and started walking around. I had spent the morning weeding my one good bed. That bed holds my tiger lilies, strawberries, and blueberries. The berries were both in bloom and going strong. I love the look of the delicate blooms, and how they change into such sweet desserts. Scattered among them were some small violets. A year ago we had planted some violets in a planter on the corner and the scattering of plants in the larger bed is the end result. I love them, so I will leave them to grow.
I happened to glance over at the old garden, a plot of dirt that has the rockiest dirt that I have ever seen. According to sources this was the “dirt” they had placed in there. Must have come from a gravel pit and not a top soil place. The only thing that really grows there are weeds. We have decided to let it go to seed and next year place pavers onto to create a patio. In the meantime, I found some dandelions in bloom and took some pictures of that.
I moved around the back yard for a while more and decided that I needed to take pictures of the one thing we love to do as a family: carpetball. A few years ago, after a horrible scout camping ordeal (the breaker for us in Scouts) we came home with the idea to make a carpetball table. So John and I set out to find plans and then he built it. We have spent many many hours holding carpetball tournaments and playing for fun. And so, I grabbed a few shots of the balls waiting to be hit.
And as I walked away I happened to see the weird bits that have fallen from the many tall pines we have in our yard. I know this end has something to do with the seeds and making of little trees, but I have no idea what the correct term is. It was weird looking and I figured it would be fun to shoot.
So what you see today, is what is in my yard, it is part of what makes my home so special.