Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) Shot from the front porch (range approx. 25 yards), hand held using a a Canon T3 mounted with a Sigma 150-500MM Optically Stabilized lens.
I was puttering around in the yard when a sudden rain shower swept through and I took shelter in our backyard shed. This little guy, a male House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus), landed on a nearby branch and I managed to shoot a few frames (My camera bag is ALWAYS close at hand!) before he spotted me and decided to find a more private branch to wait out the storm.
Rainy weather, memory foam cushions in my new La-Z-Boy and a general lack of get up & go have all conspired to keep my cameras idle for the most part but I have snapped a few frames.
These 3 wandered out of the tree line behind the house just as the light was fading yesterday evening. The one on the left is a doe and the other two are yearling bucks.
These guys changed from their winter gray coat to summer red awfully fast. It’s said that the redder the coat the hotter the summer ahead. Looks like we’re in for a scorcher!
The rain has knocked almost all the blossoms off the Granny’s Bonnets but there are plenty of buds ready to bloom at any moment.
Buddy, Lunatic Lab #1, “helping out” with the photography.
Doesn’t that look on Molly’s face just scream “I’m not doing anything….honest!” ?
Gotta have a burd in the mix. Now, to catch up on the backlog of blogs I’ve missed while
unconscious sawing logs testing my new recliner.
Don’t know the scientific name or even if Granny’s Bonnet is the right name. That’s just what I’m told they’re called and they’re my favorite in my wife’s garden. She has them growing in several planters around the yard.
Even though I’m mesmerized by THE BOSS’s Old maid’s Bonnets I didn’t start out to shoot them this afternoon. That said, I couldn’t resist getting a few frames.
Frankie spotted a new visitor to our feeders yesterday, a male Red Breasted Grosbeak, and I was soon at the window trying to shoot a few frames without spooking him. What I managed to get just weren’t good enough to post but I’ll keep trying.
When the grosbeak returned this afternoon, accompanied by a Red Bellied Woodpecker, I grabbed the cameras and slipped out the front door as quietly as I could. I didn’t make it into position without spooking them both but decided to sit quietly at the picnic table out back in the hopes they’d return.
The burds didn’t return while I was out there but I did manage to shoot several frames of another flying critter. I hope you like them as much as I enjoyed shooting them. These were all shot handheld with my Sigma 150-500MM optically stabilized lens from about 15 feet.
As the sun was setting this evening:
Seed pods in our maple waiting to join the billion or so already carpeting the lawn. When I was a kid we called these thing whirlybirds because of the spinning motion when they fall through the air. Those on the ground will really be spinning tomorrow when I run them over with the Dandelion Destroyer!
Mourning Dove on a power line
THE BOSS’s home world The moon
A Brown Shirted Ticket Scribbler (one of Wythe County’s finest) on the Idiot Strip
Frankie’s Old Maid’s Bonnets are growing like mad!
Hunting for dinner on an overcast day.
THIS POST CONTAINS ADULT BIRD CONTENT.
PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!
If there is one thing I don’t need it’s to get kicked off Word Press for posting burd porn!
Spring is in the air and the critters is actin’ like wild animals!
This pair of Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura ) landed in the maple just above me and the small horses this afternoon.
“You burds need to get a room!”
“You heard Buddy, get a room! He’s so embarrassed he’s blushing from head to tail!”
* Actually, Molly had a cat treed in this shot and that’s what she was staring at but the expression on her face seemed to fit the situation so…………….
I don’t speak Burd but I could swear this guy was saying “WOO-HOO!”
According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology web page for Mourning Doves it looks like we’ll probably have a few new additions to the flock in the near future………..and that’s all I have to say about that!
BTW: As most of you know I have been known to get into trouble when left without adult supervision. With that in mind I showed this to THE BOSS before publishing it and asked if I should publish it. She said “Yes, most assuredly!” ……so any complaints should be directed to her. I will be more than happy to provide her e-mail address and/or cell phone number upon request.
I actually shot this last year but y’all know what I mean. Even though we’ve had an amazingly mild winter I am more than ready for warm breezes and spring colors!
Our weather forecast is calling for scattered snow showers Sunday and Monday. I’m hoping the weather guessers are operating at their usual efficiency because I usually don’t notice these guys until after I’ve mowed the lawn and they flock in to hunt for insects. Here’s to signs of good things to come!
I got some nice shots of a pair of Mourning Doves, as well. Those will be on my Virginia Through My Lens page as soon as I can get them posted.
The weather was nice today so Daddy got his cameras and wandered out the door. Molly and I went with him, of course. Mama says it’s our job to keep an eye on him because he does stupid things when he’s not supervised.
I don’t know why Mama gets all bent out of shape when Daddy stands on the picnic table. You can see all sorts of stuff from up here!
Those cows have got to be at least a mile away!
All I see is that herd of cats on the neighbor’s porch. As soon as I figure out how to get off my lead they’re in for a surprise!!
Molly has cats on the brain. She just loves chasing them. I bet she even dreams about chasing cats.
This is the first time I noticed the face on our tree. That is spooky!
Maybe Daddy should give the pruning saw a rest.
I don’t think the tree likes getting his branches chopped off! I can understand that. Mama and Daddy took me to the vet last winter and you wouldn’t believe what she chopped off!
Part of my job is guarding Daddy’s bird watching chair when he’s not using it. I tried sitting in it once but it flipped over backwards and that was the last time I fooled with that thing! I also learned that using Daddy’s water bottle for a chew toy makes him say all kinds of bad words! He’ll give you a drink if you ask but whatever you do, DO NOT EAT THE BOTTLE WHEN HE’S NOT LOOKING!
This is another part of keeping an eye on Daddy. I don’t think it’s physically possible to do what Mama says she’ll do to Daddy if he spends her Bingo money on camera gear, ammo or another gun but I do know that I don’t want to watch her try!
It was another nice day, sunny and mild, so I was out enjoying the fresh air and looking for something to shoot. There were plenty of birds chirping behind me but that was to the west, looking directly into the sun. Suddenly a flicker of motion in the trees caught my attention and I snapped this shot of a male cardinal using a 55-150MM zoom lens at about 55MM.
Switching to the other camera, which was already mounted with my long lens, I got much closer without moving and spooking him. This shot is at about 350MM.
This one is at 500MM, maximum zoom for this lens.
About 400MM just before he darted off into the trees.
I’ve spent a little time scouting the woods behind the house and have picked out a couple of likely places for shooting from a ground blind. Both are relatively open, easy to get in and out of quietly and not too far from 2 intersecting game trails a den tree with a large, active squirrel nest and several nearby trees with bird nests in the upper branches.
As spring approaches I’ll be getting my hunting gear ready, including a large spray bottle of odorless insect repellant. I hunt with a camera instead of a gun these days but the principles are the same; equipment, scouting, set up and most of all, patience. It’s too bad they don’t make Frontline Plus for humans……it works great at repelling fleas, ticks and other nasty critters on the dogs!
I spent this evening reorganizing my medium size camera backpack and making sure everything, especially my tripod, is ready to grab and go. Now all that’s left is to pick up a box of snake shot shells for my hand cannon and e-mail my wish list to THE BOSS and Mini-Boss. My birthday and Father’s Day are right around the corner and I have my eye on a pop up bow hunter’s blind and a new scent lock camouflage shirt and pair of pants!
I was out in the backyard, standing on the picnic table when this little critter, a female Downy Woodpecker flew over and landed on a branch about 10 feet away!
I know what you’re thinking…….why was I standing on top of the picnic table in the first place, right? You’ll have to go here to find out.
Oh man, my tree marking gear just thawed out after the last batch of white stuff! Sometimes having short legs is a definite bummer.
Mother Nature has lost her mind! The first significant snow of the year, nearly 10 inches, fell earlier in the week. Yesterday the high temperature was in the mid 60s and what snow didn’t melt during the day was washed away by the torrential thunderstorms overnight. Today started out warm and we had a few torrential downpours and a tornado watch until late this afternoon. Then the temperature started plummeting and we have a chance of snow showers overnight!
With the whacky weather in mind I decided to exercise a little common sense for a change and stay close to home. I still managed to get a few frames today. This Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) taking shelter in the brush along the edge of the tree line behind our place was shot through the bedroom window at a range of about 50 yards using a Sigma 150-500MM optically stabilized telephoto zoom lens.
……at least for a few days.
The weather guessers are calling for upper 50s and rain tomorrow followed by sunny and near 70 Thursday! After that, who knows! That’s a direct quote from the
meter….. metrol……weather guessing idjit on the 6:00 news!
I’ll leave the snow shovel standing in the corner of the front porch for a while longer……or forever. Not that I know how to use it, or am capable of learning…..ever, it just seems to me that as long as it’s easy to get to we don’t need it.
The d’hogs and I ventured outdoors for an hour or so today. That’s not a typo……you should see them eat!
THE BOSS had Godzilla so we were on foot and didn’t wander far. Don’t let this shot of the back yard fool you. This part of the yard only gets a few hours of sun each day, thanks to the ridge behind us, so this snow probably won’t melt until sometime in July. It’s still about 6 or 8 inches deep right along the tree line where the sun only shines for about 9 minutes every other day.
THE BOSS calls this shot “Through the Rabbit Hole”. I sure hope she hasn’t seen any rabbits big enough to do that….or if she has, I hope she shares whatever she was smoking at the time.
My burd watching chair is almost snow free. That’s a lot of melting since yesterday. I would clear the snow myself but this is part of a science experiment I’m conducting…….to see how long it will take it to disappear on it’s own. Besides, if you subscribe to the “keep the snow shovel handy and you’ll never need it” school of thought, clearing the chair myself will just make it snow again.
THE BOSS’s lilies are ready for spring.
My Irish Setter hunting boots are very warm and they’re also waterproof ……..especially if you lace ‘em up. Sharp eyed readers will note that I still haven’t bothered lacing them up.
DADDY! DADDY! DADDY!…..WHAT ARE YOU DOIN’?
CAN I PLAY WITH ONE OF THE CAMERAS?
WHY ARE WE STANDIN’ ON THE PICNIC TABLE?
MOM WILL KILL YOU IF YOU FALL OFF AND SURVIVE!
GIVE BUDDY ONE OF THOSE GRANOLA BARS IN YOUR CAMERA BAG?
MOLLY SAYS DITTO.
DADDY! DADDY! DADDY!……WHAT MEANS DITTO?
(You may have guessed by now that Buddy’s a little goofy. He sounds like Goofy, too. DUH HUH, GAWRSH!)
I was standing on the table to get this shot of a male Downy Woodpecker……and I didn’t fall off! However, it was at this point that all the voices in my head were drowned out by:
“ROKET MAN, THIS IS GOD! LOOK UP!”
“I HAVE SENT THIS BURD AS A SIGN JUST FOR YOU!”
“YES, THAT IS A VULTURE CIRCILING OVER YOUR HEAD!”
“DON’T BELIEVE WHAT YOU’VE HEARD ABOUT THEM RIDING THERMALS.”
“THEY’RE WAITING FOR YOU TO FALL OFF THAT PICNIC TABLE……AGAIN…… YOU BIG DUMMY!”
“EVEN IF THE FALL DOESN’T KILL YOU KNOW THE BOSS PROBABLY WILL WHEN SHE FINDS YOU LYING IN THE SHRUBBERY WHIMPERING LIKE A BIG BABY………AGAIN!”
So I went back inside……..but I still haven’t laced up my boots.
Maybe next winter…….
A little color around the feeders as a male Cardinal and a Red Bellied Woodpecker stock up in the face of the first real snow we’ve seen this year.
Nope, that’s not dust on the lens. After giving all of my gear a thorough cleaning I tried again and got the same results. Then I realized it was probably due to shooting through two windows and falling snow. DOH!
What a way to beat cabin fever, especially after nearly 2 months battling a mean virus! We drove over to Foster Falls in the New River Trail State Park and spent a while sitting on a bench watching the Canada Geese.
Still no luck getting any shots of the Bald Eagles nesting across the river but we’ve spotted the nest and we will be back!
I actually worked up enough energy to wander outdoors today! The nasty virus I’ve been fighting seems to be letting up at long last. However, I am in still in no shape to wrangle wild animals so the leashes stayed in the house and the livestock were clipped to their cable run. They still had a lot of fun hunting cats, marking territory, barking at imaginary trespassers, climbing on the picnic table to lick my ear just as I framed a shot…….
The weather was beautiful and I was really enjoying the sun and mild temperature. Imagine……….shirtsleeves on January 24th! Why do I get the feeling Mother Nature is about to bury us in snow and ice? Maybe THE BOSS ought to stop by the store and load up on bread and milk……just in case.
Anyway, I settled for shooting some Goldenrod while it’s dormant and no threat to my seasonal allergies. It wasn’t until I downloaded the images from the camera that I discovered it was set to shoot in monochrome. I kind of like what I captured even if I didn’t mean to.
How many deer can you find in this first shot?
It gets a little easier as they graze their way out of the tree line.
No matter how many times I see it I’m always amazed at how effective natural camouflage is.
While I’m still battling this seemingly never ending virus I am feeling some better. At least I have something right outside my back door to keep me entertained . These were shot hand held at a range of about 50 yards using a Sigma 150-500M image stabilized lens.
When you have an image like this in your mind’s eye……..
……….seeing this outside your window doesn’t seem to matter as much.
I hope the first frame is a small comfort for those of you caught in Old Man Winter’s icy grip. It is for me! That’s the beach I grew up on and no matter how far I roam or how long I’m away it’s forever in my soul. Stay warm my friends!
What a difference a day makes! 54°F(12°C) yesterday, 20°F(-7°C) with 3 inches of fresh snow today!
Cardinal in his pulpit.
The missus is not amused!
The snow showers partially obscuring Big Walker Mountain are moving this way. I doubt that we’ll get much more accumulation here given the strong winds blowing today. The forecast is calling for temperatures in the 50s again by the end of the week so the snow shovel and rock salt will stay in the shed for the time being.
Captured while sitting on the foot of the bed, shooting through the window this evening.
Taking advantage of what may be one of the last warm days this year the dogs and I spent some time outdoors watching the local wildlife at my wife’s feeders.
I was about to put the cameras away after doing some much needed cleaning, especially the sensor on the camera mounted with my long lens, when Frankie called me to the bedroom where Molly was laying on the foot of the bed intently studying something outside the window. The sun was setting fast but there was just enough light to get a few frames of these whitetails grazing in the back yard.