Day off relaxing…

goose lawn

Took a few days off from work to do some things around the yard.  I had hoped to make it to the park with the camera but was too tired after all the yard work.  After relaxing a while I decided to at least go on down to the pond and see who might be visiting.  Papa goose was resting in my yard. Hmmmm…. do I walk to the pond which would put me between resting papa goose and nesting mama goose?  Didn’t sound like a wise place to put myself.  I decided to try again later.

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Papa finally decided to venture off to his pond, I followed at a distance to check things out.

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goose wings pond

Once papa reached the pond, he let me know he didn’t care for me following him there.  I received quite the scolding.  My dog saw the wings go up and heard the scolding and he scolded the goose right back by barking up a ferocious storm at him.  Wasn’t quite how I planned my quiet pond visit to surprise the wildlife and maybe get a photo or two.

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Papa did finally relax and so did my dog, papa is drinking water and swimming quietly.  He would take a drink and stretch out the neck, tip the head and swallow it on down. 

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I decided to sit at the shore and watch for a while, see what else might happen along.  Too nice of a day to sit indoors and relax when I can be out on the dock relaxing and listening to the birds.  The redwing blackbirds sing back and forth to each other all day by the pond. 

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They usually stay on the far side of the pond but while I was sitting there, this guy came and sat right by me.  He stayed quite a while singing to his female pal on the other side.

redwing blackbird

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They always seem to pick the weakest branch to perch on and wobble around. 

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After a bit, he moved on to perch on the deck post.  Next thing I know, I was hearing a tap, tap, tap, tap, in fast pace above my head.  I looked up to find a woodpecker right above me.

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That head of his would bob and peck so fast there was no getting a steady picture of it.  He moved allover in rapid pace.

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He finally moved on and I headed on back to the house for the evening. 

rhubarb seed

I noticed the rhubarb was already gone to seed, seemed early for this to happen.  I thought the seed pod was pretty cool though and took a few shots. 

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I stopped to check out some other shrubs and plants as I was passing the gardens.  I came across my first caterpillar of the year. 

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They really have quite the ugly face don’t they? 

Blanding Painted Duo

The other day while I was at the pond I had found the Blandings Turtle again, I don’t see them that often yet this year and when I do they are across the pond.  This one was just coming out of the water to take a rest and I saw the sun reflect off his shell. 

piggy back ride

I caught this painted turtle giving a piggy back ride to the little guy.  Thought this was pretty cool, she walked quite the distance with him up top.

multi turtle pile up

They had started out as a part of this whole multi turtle pile up.  It makes me wonder how many turtles are in our little pond.  I can go down to the dock at any given time and hear plop, plop, splash as tons of multi sized turtles are diving off the dock into the water to hide.  You will then see heads popping up out of the water checking on me.  They are everywhere.

Well, that is about my ventures for the week.  So much to watch in one little yard. 

 

 

Definitely Spring…

rhododendron

Spring is here for certain I believe…. the Rhododendron is starting to bloom.  This is the first actual open flower on it so far.  My deep cranberry Rhodo isn’t yet started but it took a pretty hard hid over the winter and seems to have been grazed some by critters.  I am hopeful it will come back in time.

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flowers

A few other flowers starting out in the gardens.  Everything is leafing out nicely and new growth coming up from the ground. 

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The sparrows have started visiting and singing their songs.

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The last few mornings I have gone out with the dogs, around 3:00 am.  There has been an owl out there hoot hoot hooting away.  Drives the dogs insane, very close and loud.  I would love to find and photograph him.

redwing blackbird

The Red Wing Blackbirds are back at the pond, they are always trying to balance on these flimsy reeds along the shores. 

mallards

The mallards have been making their presence known down by the pond again as well. I haven’t noticed any signs of them nesting as of yet.

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Momma goose is nesting though, papa stands a close guard of her too.

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I watched him stay very alert to every sound and movement, he would travel back and forth toward whatever he heard to make sure all was safe.

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Here he was taking a nap on the dock, what is left of the dock.  He got a little worried by my appearance and moved closer to momma.

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grazing deer

The deer have also returned to grazing in the yard.  They look very thin and are shaggy with their winter coats as of yet.

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As long as they leave my flower gardens and roses alone, they can graze in the yard all they want.  

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They let me come right outside with them but they keep a very close watch on my movements.  As long as I open the door slowly and move cautiously they let me come out and shoot away.

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Of course my dogs aren’t too happy that I get to go out and they can’t come along, they would love to give chase. 

So there are more than enough signs that spring is here to stay, no more snow for a couple months at least. :)

 

 

Nice day for play…

reed reflections

It was such a perfect day to be out today.  I had hoped to have time to go to a park for photos but didn’t make it.  I did manage to spend a little time relaxing with a book and the camera down by the pond at home.  I am hoping that if I sit out there on a lawn chair in the same spot, the critters will get used to me and come around more.  This shot of the reeds reflecting on the water struck me as kind of cool. 

Ares

My dogs weren’t exactly happy they couldn’t come join me.

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This wood duck kept coming out from around the reeds to pose for me.  I think he wanted to get to where his wife is nesting but he would see me and turn around and go back to his hiding spot. 

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The colors on these guys is so amazingly vibrant. 

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My turtles came out to visit me as well. 

peekaboo turtle

This little feller was playing peek a boo with me.

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turtle nails

Somebody seriously needs to trim these guys toenails, any volunteers? 

turtle dock reflection

turtle dock

I didn’t have a lot of time but I had a lot of visitors and really enjoyed the time I did have with them…. I like turtles… :)

Return of the turtles…

blanding

The Blanding Turtles have reappeared for the warm weather.  So nice to see them back, means spring is here for sure now.

blanding reflection

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I first spotted this one as a floating shell, the head was hiding under water.  I had to watch quite a while before he popped his head up.

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The painted turtles are also making their appearances.  I found one Blanding on the dock surrounded by 4-5 painteds.

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This little guy really wanted to get on the dock too. He came swimming up and gave it a strong attempt. 

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Poor little guy, try as he might he just kept falling back into the pond.

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He was very persistent, I was hoping he would manage but he just couldn’t get there.

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He finally gave up and swam over to some reeds, he doesn’t look very happy either.  Love that expression on his face, grumpy old man turtle… :)

sparrow

Little sparrow came to watch as well.  I think he was cheering the poor little turtle on as well.

Wood Duck in flight

flying wood duck

 

Waiting for laundry to finish, figured I could take a few minutes and wander to the pond.  I startled up this wood duck, he took off, landed and took off again.

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I managed to catch a few shots of him in the process before he disappeared completely.

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The female was no where in site, probably on her nest.  They really are a beautiful bird. 

Wood Ducks return

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Looks like my pair of wood ducks have returned again this year, they nest in our swamp every spring.

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They seem to get along fine with the geese.  It is fun watching all my pets return for the spring.

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female wood duck2

goose wood duck

They didn’t stick around long once I appeared, the geese are calm enough to stay but the wood ducks take off immediately.

female wood duck

male wood duck

The male took off on foot into the trees, wonder if this is where they might be starting a nest. 

 

Today

reeds

I took my dogs for their daily walk today and as I was walking past the neighbors pond I saw our beaver friend swimming in the water.  I didn’t have the camera with to do anything at the time.  When I got home again, I grabbed the camera and headed  down to the pond by my house, it loops around from the pond where the beaver was. I had thought maybe he would show himself.

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When I got to pond I saw Mr. Goose very watchful and on guard.  My guess is that maybe Mrs. Goose was on the island behind him laying eggs……. He kept still and kept that head snaking around in the water, very watchful.  I think if the beaver did come to visit, Mr. Goose would let him know real quick that he wasn’t welcome.  Maybe he already had before I got there.  So, needless to say, no more sighting of the beaver.

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Every now and again, Mr. Goose would hear something that would cause his head to rise and watch for a while.  Very slow and stealthy though.

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It is cool that they nest on our island and I get to watch the new babies but as soon as they are old enough to leave the nest, they all flock together at the neighbors pond so he gets all the messy poop in his yard.  I can handle that. haha

While I was watching to see what was going on with the geese, a fat, red robin came down to say good evening.  Had to take a few pictures of her.  Spring is here for sure. 

robin

I played some with the reflections of the birch trees on the pond, just experimenting and having fun. 

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reflections

Storms have now moved in and my dog is in hiding from the thunder.  We need the rain to green things up.  I love the first storms of spring.  Have a good night everyone…..

Spring has arrived…

ice reeds

I finally had a chance to get out with my camera again, it has been a long and hectic winter.  Spring is finally here, the ice is almost out on the pond.  I wandered on down with the camera this afternoon, it is extremely windy out there today.  Noticed that our geese have returned to settle in their nest on our little island.

geese

We had a pretty mild winter in terms of snow fall, the island doesn’t appear to be in any danger of flooding this year.

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It is fun to watch them return each year and start their family in our backyard. 

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As I was hanging out watching the geese, hoping they would open their wings and give me some fun shots, I saw some motion on the shoreline.

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First one bluejay arrived and then a second one followed. 

bluejays

They would fly down to the water and bathe for a while before settling in the trees again.  It was fun to watch them.

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blue jay bathing

Bluejays are a very pretty bird but I am not a big fan of them.  They are a very mean bird.

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They will eat young out of other animals nests, I remember them digging up a bunny nest once when I was younger. 

cattail

Took a few other photos while I was out there, this is an old cattail gone to seed from last fall. 

pinecone

I thought this pine cone was interesting, dead on the tree but hanging on yet. 

birch

It did feel good to get out for a little bit, it has been too long since I had some new photos to work with.  I haven’t written on this blog since October, far too long of a time to go. 

Happy Halloween…

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Happy Halloween everybody.  Yesterday at work we had a pumpkin decorating contest.  There were some really creative and fun pumpkins.  I really liked this cookie monster in his trash can pumpkin.

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A lot of them were just creative and fun, your normal Halloween spooks and critters.

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Others were made to represent our products within our company.

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This one for instance, this is our Vest device.  This Vest attaches to a device and it shakes your body in just the right places to help you bring up your sputum.  It is very helpful for people with diseases such as ALS (Lou Gehrig’s), Cystic Fibrosis, quadriplegics, etc.  People who have trouble coughing up the sputum from the lower lungs so they get a lot of infections/pneumonia’s.  It helps them to live a longer life and a better quality of life. 

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A couple other examples of our devices.  They are all geared toward helping people clear the lungs and airways and breathe better.  Very beneficial for those who just can’t cough things up themselves. 

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Today is Halloween, we didn’t get a single trick or treater at our door this year.  Usually there is one little gal that comes around with her parents in a golf cart.  I saw a wagon down the road with a tractor attached and lawn chairs set up on it, thought maybe they would bring some kids around this year so I bought more candy than normal.  Nobody. :( I like seeing the kids in their costumes, I think I buy candy getting my hopes up that this will be the year.  Part of the price of living in the country, I love it most of the time but you miss out on things like this.

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The oaks seem to be hanging on to their leaves some but the majority of the leaves are now on the ground.  We took the day off work today as there won’t be many more of these nice fall days before winter.  It was the coldest day we have had, supposed to warm up again for the weekend and next week. 

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Convenient of us to choose the coldest to take off and spend outdoors.  We had a great time though.  Took a class in a different type of shooting, pistol instead of camera.  We got to class and he informed us he felt it time to learn to shoot weak hand and strong hand, one handed only.  I was nervous, could I control it with my left hand only.  I actually managed with frozen fingers to pull from a holster on my right hand side, switch it to my left hand, shoot three different targets at three different heights, moving between targets and on my first sweep I hit all three within the center circle.  Pretty proud of myself.  I didn’t shoot all my sweeps that well but for the first time with my left hand only, I was pretty happy.  What amazed me too, after half an hour of shooting in 30 degree weather with no gloves and just a windbreaker, you warm up really quick.  It doesn’t seem that physical but after two hours my hands were fairly warm and so was I.  A lot of fun.

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I did manage to get to a few fall leaves photos, as I said, they are now all the ground.  Still very pretty though. 

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Some ferns I found that I thought were cool looking, brown and fragile and still hanging on to the stem.

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The fall leaves were falling and landing on the fern for some nice contrasting effects.

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Fall is really my favorite time of the year, I like the seasons and changes but fall will always be my favorite.  The bugs are mostly gone, the temperatures are near perfect, the colors are vibrant and invigorating…. just a great time to be out and about enjoying the day.

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fall leaves

They are talking at least another week of 50′s for highs and sunshine, I will gladly accept it.

Happy Halloween and fall to all…

 

Beautiful Fall Day…

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It has been a beautiful week of fall weather, 60′s most of the week and near 70 today.  I managed to get out to the park on Sunday.  Most of the fall leaves are now on the ground however, I did manage to find some fall colors on the trees yet.  This is a view from the pier at Linwood Lake. The yellows seem to be what is left on the trees at this time.  The reds and oranges seem to have started off our fall and are on the ground. The yellows are very pretty yet though.

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The skies were a perfect blue with the big, puffy white clouds.  Just a perfect day to be out with a camera and enjoy.

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The trails were gorgeous with the leaf cover on the bottom and the color left in the trees.  I could have stayed out there all day.

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This particular park had these majestic oak trees, I love the oak tree.  They just towered above me to the skies.  Still some pretty good color on the oaks yet as well.

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These were taken standing right against the bottom of the tree trunk with a wide angle lens, it really gives the perspective of how majestic and tall these mighty oaks stood.

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They lined the road the whole way into the park.  This road was of the finest, silkiest sand I have ever touched.  It pulled the car in and was difficult to drive in, almost like driving on an icy road. Was very pretty and good for walking though.

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I really liked how the sunlight came through the trees onto the leaves below. 

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I headed on down to the lake where the skies were amazing.  This is a rock path that led out into the lake a ways. 

bird linwood lake

Along the rocky path I found these birds, I am not sure yet what they are.  They were in large flocks and stayed right along the waters edge.  They had the most vivid white belly when they took to flight. 

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I was able to get fairly close to them if I moved slowly.

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I will have to do some more research and figure out exactly what they are. They are larger than an average sparrow but not quite as large as a robin. Very pretty little birds.

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The flowers were done on the water lilies but there were still all these lily pads along the shores of the lake. 

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They were starting to turn yellow with the fall weather as well.

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Just a few shots I took of the dock and the landing area for the boats.  The skies were so perfect that day I had to capture them from different areas. 

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I only explored one of the many trails that this park seems to have. I am looking forward to more trips to explore the other trails and see what else there is to discover.  It looks like the trails join up with other parks through other cities and I should have plenty of exploring ahead of me.  This is just a small portion of the photos I took on my trip Sunday.