Yard Visitors

Well ok I don’t really have a yard per-se, but the courtyard area behind my apartment is often full of little flitting things, especially as migration continues for the season. I have finally seen the neighborhood Dark-eyed Juncos – they were bopping around in the grass. Periodically I would see their white tail feathers flash as they flew back and forth. Unfortunately they did not want to sit still long enough for me to get a clear shot of them. I wanted to not have to try and take the pictures through the screen door but my movement spooked them farther away. Still it was nice to see them. I’m keeping my camera close at hand in case they come back so i can try and get a few more shots.

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Mr. Toad Says Hello

These past few weeks have been stressful between work stuff and trying to figure out if I am moving or not. I hate moving, let me just say that right now. I am not a clean person so the thought of having to first clean the initial layer of crap, then pack everything up, and then super clean my apartment for the next tenant chills my blood. Trying to get a lot of this done before school starts up again adds another level of stress that is making me go prematurely bald. Ok not really (at least not yet) but it sure feels like it.

I finally made myself get up early on a Saturday despite the protests of my sleep deprived body and went birding. Sort of birding. I just needed to get outside and go for a walk to try and slough off some of my anxiety. The morning was absolutely gorgeous though and I am glad I went – I really needed that. You forget how much you miss things until you return to a favorite hobby, interest, area, whatever it is and it feels like coming home.  I think birding may be the only thing to get me through the next couple of months. Once I’m moved and settled I will feel better. If I get the place I want I will be right next to one of my favorite nature preserves so I’ll basically be able to go birding right outside my door. I hope it works out.

Here are some of my favorite shots. I really got a kick out of this tiny little toad that was hopping along the path in the sand. He didn’t seem to mind me taking his picture which I appreciated.

Vacation is Necessary

So I haven’t taken a vacation in a while. Like, in a long, long while. I was about to lose a ton of vacation through work because I didn’t take it earlier in the year. Well I am now finally on vacation for more than just a long weekend and it is amazing. In just two days I am feeling a whole lot better, and much much less stressed. As much as I dread the piles of crap that are waiting for me when I get back, I needed this so I’m glad I did it. Plus it gives me a chance to bond with my mom as we embark on the road trip which is fun too.

This trip was of course designed around the idea of going to a birding hotspot, with the goal of adding to my life list. So far we haven’t had a whole lot of luck adding species but I did get to see a beautiful Pileated Woodpecker a lot closer than I had previously which totally made my day. Quite a few white-tailed deer made an appearance a well which was a treat. The deer did not seem to mind humans and were very matter-of-fact as they grazed on the side of the road.

I was not able to get any good bird pictures today, but the scenery was spectacular so here are some of my favorite scenic shots from the day.

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Birds as Models

Well, birds are some of the most beautiful subjects you can photograph ^_^ . Stumbled across this set of photos where the photographer wanted to shoot birds as someone might shoot models. The birds, injured and recovering though they may be, look absolutely stunning against a velvety black background.

Red tailed hawk by Bob Croslin

Hawk On A Limb

I seem to be having a lot of luck lately capturing photographs of some awesome birds when I am out birding. Most recently I was delighted when what I believe to be a Red-Tailed Hawk decided to pose for me on an exposed branch.

I went birding for about two hours early on Labor Day trying to beat the heat. At about 9am the temperature was started to get to the icky level (at least for me) and I was ready to head home to AC and a change a clothes. I was on my way back to the parking lot heading for home – my camera already stashed safely in my bag -when I saw s/he sitting on the branch. I froze. I started doing a chant under my breath of “do not move – stay right there, do not move – stay right there.” Apparently my subliminal messages worked because I got some great pictures. Thanks for waiting for me to get my camera out Mr. Hawk!

A few of my other favorite shots from that day: