Saturday, May 12th, 2018
I’ve always loved the little guys.
Bees, small birds, butterflies. They just do their thing, completely unaware of the large world around them. Solely focused on their purpose, they just move through life unaware of time, weather forecasts, or relational responsibilities other than to their mate and young. What they do is follow instinct, doing what their bodies tell them to do. They don’t live life based on other’s opinions or suggestions – they just do them.
Today, this little Chipping Sparrow was bringing his mate pieces, so they could build a nest together. I sat on our front porch for awhile, watching him make trips back and forth. Each time, his mate would happily welcome him back with happy chatter, encouraged by his ability to bring use-able, build-able pieces to her. He would drop off each piece and head back out to find another, confident in her ability to build the nest.
God’s awesome example of partnership and purpose.
Sunday, April 29th, 2018
This guy’s been hanging around lately.
Today, he stood in this spot for an hour. He also opened his wings and chased my car today.
He’s also alone, and the weather has finally made the turn toward spring.
Any guesses on what this may mean? Want to know my guess?
I’m thinking that his mate is laying on a nest nearby! My biggest clue was the fact that he chased my car – I’ve only had Sandhills confident enough to take on something as large as a vehicle when they’re protecting a nest. While they can be aggressive when protecting a nest, I’m excited that they’re so close. I’m hoping to catch a couple glimpses of a sweet little chick!
He did make me laugh pretty good today, though. On his rounds this morning, he walked up to a tree full of song birds, and opened his wings, hopped at the tree, and yelled at them. About 25 birds came flying out of the tree, and he was so proud of his ability to clear the area.
The swans are also settling into their nesting areas. The pair behind our house has been grounded for about 4 days and have also been pretty vocal lately. I went out to start working in my garden this afternoon, and the swans were resting in the field, and they stayed there while I planted my potatoes and onions. Pretty neat to be within 25 yards of such awesome birds like that.
Wednesday, March 28th, 2018
You can hear a lot in the silence.
Paul and I took a long walk in the woods today (hooray for warmer temperatures!), and we were deliberate about it. Slow, steady steps; frequent breaks to stop, stand, school your breathing, and just listen.
It paid off!
We saw four deer, and heard our Barred Owl pair call back and forth multiple times. I often wonder how often I’m in the woods searching for the owls and they’re hidden in plain sight watching me. Probably more often than I think.
We’ve learned that squirrels and song birds are your friends in the woods. When they come out to sing or search for food, they’re the signal to the other animals (such as deer) that nothing is out of the ordinary. Many people say the woods is quiet, but we’ve found the opposite to be true – and it makes for the best photographing.
For example, as we were smiling at a goofy squirrel jumping from limb to limb, we heard snapping trees branches and crunching snow; we glanced up to see this Whitetail bouncing through the thicker brush. I raised my camera and waited, and it walked right into my pocket.
It’s a fun thing to watch an animal that doesn’t know you’re there. To watch them think about what trail to take, how to cross a stream, jump a down tree. Nature uninhibited.
It’s such a rush. My heart rate rises, my breathing quickens, my hands will sometimes shake. Paul also says I tend to babble and chant when I get excited (“oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh…”).
I deny such claims.
Saturday, October 7th, 2017
This fall has been so peculiar.
Fall colors started unusually early this year – I started seeing colors change mid-August – but then it’s like they froze for two weeks, and have started again.
Paul and I expected to miss the fall color when we went out to Utah, but came back to 75% green. Now with the cooler nights the color has begun to advance again but we still have so much healthy green.
Bandit and I went out to the woods for a walk today in hopes of gathering leaves, but to my surprise there weren’t many to pick from. This time next week may be better.
On our walk I came across this bright, vibrant leaf resting on a still green sapling. I didn’t move this or place it at all.
Such a lovely contradiction of change; the chapters of time.
Tuesday, August 8th, 2017
Dare I say it… the first glimpse of fall showed its face today.
I know, I know, it’s complete blasphemy. But give me a break; as a pumpkin patch owner, fall may be my favorite season. Cooler weather, the festivities, the pumpkins. I mean, we’re growing a giant pumpkin this summer – we’ve been in fall mode since June 1st.
But the Sumac doesn’t lie. Bright red leaves are a sign of something. What? I don’t know for sure, but that red is a statement maker.
Tuesday, July 18th, 2017
This guy was a fun sight to see this evening!
Paul and I were biking back to the barn, and on our way this guy was sitting up on a telephone pole. Suddenly, he spread his wings and soared toward the water and grabbed a fish.
The athleticism and swiftness was incredible to see.
We often see bald eagles flying over the farm, but to have one stop and hang around was a fun experience.
Thursday, June 29th, 2017
Oh, moments like this are why I love to photograph wildlife.
This sweet lady has been around over the past week, never too concerned about us, always eating. To my frustration, she’s always stayed just out of camera range at a safe distance; despite that, she’s been so fun to watch and enjoy.
Then, Paul and I were driving up our driveway coming home from running errands, and there she was. Luckily, even though we were just going to the post office, I still brought my camera. Paul stopped the truck, and we sat there with her for a few minutes while I rolled down my window and photographed her. I actually had to talk to her to get her to look at me, she was so unconcerned with us.
She eventually decided she was ready to move on, so she strolled away through the corn. No panic, no rushing. Such a fun moment!
Saturday, May 27th, 2017
Nothing says spring like baby birds.
While Paul and I have been spending a large amount of time on our front porch, we’ve seen many birds building nests. One in particular – a cute little Chipping Sparrow – has been hard at work for a week building hers. Here’s an image from earlier this week:
Yesterday, Paul noticed she had three blue speckled eggs in her nest! So today, we watched her hop down into our evergreen bush, so I snuck up to catch her sitting on them. All I could see was her tail!
Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017
I GOT HER!
Although not the ideal time of day or location, I still got her!
Paul and I had just gotten back from a ride, and there she was, bold as brass, hanging out in the pasture near the barn. She let me get fairly close to her, and I couldn’t figure out why. Then I saw one of our barn cats sitting in the tall grass – my perfect diversion!
A fun note – as she eyed the cat and wandered the pasture, she seemed to LOVE dandelions. Each one she passed she plucked off the top. 🙂
Monday, May 22nd, 2017
Exterior updates around the house means insects. It’s inevitable.
But this guy was pretty neat. He landed on my leg and I had a hard time getting him to let go so I could grab my camera. I finally got him off and he was still hanging out when I got back.
Wednesday, May 10th, 2017
Blooms are my favorite part of spring.
I was concerned while I was in Atlanta that I would miss the blooms entirely, so I was thrilled when I got home and they were just beginning to open.
I walked up to these trees today and it was an assault on the senses. The sight was obviously beautiful, the smell was wonderful, and the sound of the bees buzzing was reassuring. With both of our hives failing last fall, I was happy to see so many honey bees taking advantage of the blooms. Their pollen sacs were full!
After having the hives last year, I have a whole new respect for bees. I used to fear them until we had our colonies and watched them in their hives. After being that close and personal, it’s easy to understood how little they really care about humans unless their hive is threatened. I stood under the tree today and watched them move from flower to flower and really enjoyed it.
Tuesday, May 9th, 2017
While today’s image is not great technically-speaking, I saw something today that I have never seen before and wanted to share.
A new Sandhill Crane chick! LOOK AT THE CUTENESS! How is it possible that they start so small? Last spring this pair had a chick, but I didn’t see it until it looked very similar to mom and dad. This little guy was still fuzzy!
They walked up our driveway, then right on the edge of the field and our yard. They then proceeded to take a lap around our house and walk themselves back down the driveway. Definitely a treat to see.