Sunday, September 21, 2014

Morning Glow

The sun is lower on the horizon and more to the north today compared to a month ago and the same time of the morning.  It picks up more reflective particles in the air to give it a more golden look, more like the evening setting of the sun.  Just as bright and just as hard to look into.  Fall is upon us.  There is also that haze that goes with fall mornings.

Monday, September 15, 2014

What Kind Is It....More Specifically

Our pond gets the usual visitors, ducks, Herons, Bitterns and Geese.  The ducks will vary sometimes but most of the time they are the Mallards, males and females of course.  Hawks will show up to feed if there is something to get but most of the time they leave the ducks alone.

This bird showed up a few days ago.  Looks something like a duck but it has feathers down its legs a bit.  Also the plumage is different, you just have to look at the way the feathers are verses what you are use to seeing, especially the tail.  as swimming goes, it is really down in the water as opposed to on top.  The beak is more gull like and the neck is really long.  Ducks feed mainly on organizims, filtering their food along the banks in the mud, although I did see on duck try to eat a fish earlier this year.  Seemed to not know what to do with it, played with it more than the act of eating.  In fact, I don't know that it ever did eat it.  At any rate, this bird dives like a human swimmer, real slow and smooth and stays under for a long time.  I saw it dive several times and stay down for 30 to 45 seconds and come back up 50 to 75 feet from where it started.  On top of this it had a fish that it ate as well.

If you know, let me know.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Geese Flying South and Fall Colors

First, I will apologize for what looks like a double entry.  There was a glitch in the loading of the post, only two pictures that showed up and when they were clicked on they only opened one at a time.

Just a week ago we were in the 90's and humid.  Today we may make 70 and the lows are already in the low 50's.  For some reason the colors are even changing early this year.  In this picture you can see the geese heading south.....probably just relocating to a different grazing area.  Great opportunity for the local food banks to build up a stash of protein.

 At this rate of color change we won't have leaves on the trees at Halloween.  You can see the beams of light cutting through the clouds this morning which makes the colors brighter but here they are more subdued.

This is just an addition to this mornings photos, roses with a little aged effect.  They held up in last winters long and cold winter.  The Almanac is calling for a like winter for this year as well.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


This fog moved in very quickly.  It might have only taken 5 or 10 minutes before going from blue sky to this.  In the next few minutes it wasn't worth trying to take a picture as it was a white-out.  This was a very thick fog, moving in and darkening everything like rain clouds.  Very typical for this part of the mid-west....warm days, wet ground from some recent rains and cooler nights.  Speaking of cooler nights....the 30's are in the forecast form weekend after next.  

Saturday, September 6, 2014

A Little Netting Goes A Long Way

Spiders, so small and yet so strong.  I hate getting into a spider web, you swat at it and wipe at it and yet you can't get rid of it.  Damn sticky stuff.  I don't care for spiders either but they are beneficial.  Some of our webs my have 25 or more bugs in them in the morning and this is after the web is re built because we knock it down.

A Praying Silhouette

I wonder what he's praying for.....dinner?  They have one heck of a set of grabbers, for a better term of their feet, hoofs.  This Praying Mantis is hanging upside down on a Hummingbird feeder that is smooth on the bottom and the edges.  

Friday, September 5, 2014

Photos From the Past

The first picture was from shortly after our daughter ran an autocross race in her husbands Miata.  They started doing this type of racing right after they got married and lived in Florida for a short time.  Then, after moving back to Ohio they continued on in a Ford Focus.  After a bit of time off they bought the Miata and raced it some but moved into the 12 hours of Lemons with some friends sharing the racing of a car over two days.  

So, like I said, the first was edited and put up here back in 2011.  The second is from the same race, I just thought I would treat it a little different. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Another Shot.....So Many Ways

Obviously there are many ways to render or edit a photo, especially with the software available today.  I have two goals, one is to get the picture correct the first time out of the camera.  Both in the clarity and what you see in reality and with effects, changing the looks of the photo without edits except in the camera.  An example is the blur of moving water.  I really like seeing the actual splash of water showing the drops but as I have grown into the editing process I have found the artistic part of the blur effect.  I do believe there is a place for the blur and there is a threshold that shouldn't be passed, kind of like HDR.  There are those that I feel do a real good job of HDR but there is definitely an overboard of the effect.  I can't stand the smart phone HDR in any brand but you see it used by realtors and their postings of properties.  Generally everything is way too gold or yellow in color.

This is pretty much the same shot as the last posting but I did make changes in the camera.  I actually took 4 shots setup differently and all within just a couple of minutes.  The sun / sky changes so fast during sun up that you must work very fast.....I make a ton of mistakes.  I pretty much left the color in this one.

As usual, click image to make it larger on a separate screen.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Looking directly into the bright sun just above this mornings fog.  Very typical of this area in the fall.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Ducks, Ducks and More Ducks

Don't know why I am into the ducks lately.  We've had up to 25 in the pond all summer.  When the pond becomes empty of these feathery creatures it will mean summer is over and there will be a more dominant chill in the air.  We always look up and say the clouds look like winter or snow clouds.  The last couple of years this has been very true, more like the winters I remember as a kid.  All the babies but maybe one (a runt from the last group) are beginning to fly.  It fun watching their lands and sometimes very long take-offs.



     Yea, yea, Chester is a male name and this is a female duck, however, this duck doesn't waddle.  All she can do is kind of hop along when out of the water.  I will now give you a little history of Chester.

     Two years ago she showed up on the pond with 8 or 9 little ones.  She was a good mother, very protective.  One day we noticed that she wasn't acting right and then the obvious, she had been injured during the night.  Cat, fox or coyote had obviously gotten her but she and the babies got away.  The little ones at that time were about the size of two softballs.  She healed up but was never the same, that leg just hung there.  She and I got to know each other to where I could sit in the grass and feed her cracked corn and really get a good look at her leg without touching her and getting her upset.  A few weeks later one of the babies received the same injury.  We found it under a bush and it was injured more but, it appeared that it would survive like the mother.  This was not to be.  The weather got real hot and the duck seemed to get weaker.  Finally one day the baby was so weak that it got into the water, swam to the middle of the pond and rolled over onto its back and died.  

     There was a matriarch female that sounded an alarm and all the ducks got out of the pond and stood on the side.  All the babies were huddled together and the adults stood on the side just looking.  After about 1/2 hour the period of mourning was over and the pond went back to normal.  All the other babies made it to adulthood.  Chester left in the fall and then returned for a couple of days last summer.  Now, she's been here for about two weeks.  

Meet Chester..................   

Monday, September 1, 2014