Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Squirrely Sweet Shot Tuesday

I hadn't intended to be away from blogging for this long, but in addition to all the Thanksgiving stuff, I have been playing with my new toy. It's a Nokia N800. It's supposed to be an internet tablet, but I'm using it primarily as an e-reader. It's just the right size and not an iPod. I couldn't be happier with it. So, when I haven't been cooking, cleaning, or eating, I've been reading.
I have hardly taken any pictures as a result. But yesterday, as the light was dying, I spied this Gray Squirrel on my deck.

I've always been a bit squirrelly. It runs in my family. Some lovers of birds resent the squirrel's seed consumption, but not us. Around here, we have Gray Squirrels and Fox Squirrels. The Fox Squirrels aren't they type to come up to the deck to eat unless the weather is really rotten. Nearby areas even have Chipmunks, but not Shakerag.

We also have Flying Squirrels, but due to being nocturnal, they aren't often seen. As kids, we used to feed them peanut butter off our fingers. A few years ago, I did have the opportunity to photograph a Flying Squirrel.
These were taken with my first digital camera, an HP something or other.

The Flying Squirrel in these photos had been napping in the bluebird box. These were taken on a beautiful, sunny day in the early spring in 2006.

Stop by Life with my 3 Boybarians
to see what other sweet shots are out there this Tuesday.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Macro Monday

Thanksgiving week is upon us. That's both wonderful and slightly stressful. I have approximately 1.3 million things to get done before Thursday.
I love cooking and baking, but the tasks are a bit overwhelming.
Perhaps an extra cup of coffee is in order today.
I do hope to get a chance to post again later in the week, but I make no guarantees.

These photos were taken the other day when it was so warm. But when I looked at them, my first thought was Christmas. These are the berries from my dogwood tree in my front yard.

These are linked up with Macro Monday over at Lisa's Chaos.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Macro Friday

It's been a busy week in Shakerag. I had the opportunity to go visit with my sister and the new baby. While I love cuddling and kissing my niece, I'm less enthusiastic about the three hour drive one way. But we're back now and I get to see my sister and her family again next week for Thanksgiving! Yay! And they are coming here! Double yay!

It seems the autumn rains are finally here, after an exceptionally dry summer and early fall. Tuesday was a rainy day. As I was was standing at the kitchen sink watching the rain, I noticed a flock of turkeys crossing my driveway. As anyone who knows me expects, I grabbed my camera and raincoat and off I went. Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, the turkey pictures were all blurry, too far away, and generally terrible. But, I did take some pictures while wandering back to the house.

I need to learn more about taking pictures in low light. Any tips are appreciated. After reading that cloudy days are best for photographing wildflowers since the clouds act as a natural light diffuser, I think I had higher hopes for all my shots that day. Only three came out well enough to even bother trying to edit. I do like these, but I took a lot more pictures than this!

Above is my entry for Macro Friday.

What could be more exciting than a knot hole on a moss covered log?

Yes, I had to include more leaves.
I loved how large these leaves were and how small the tree was.

As always, click on any of my photos for a closer look.

Visit blogging from bolivia to link up your own Macro Friday post!
Have a great weekend!


Monday, November 15, 2010

Macro Monday

Here are a couple of shots for Macro Monday over at Lisa's Chaos.

This is what remains from a Tulip Poplar blossom.
This particular tree is probably fifty feet tall.
Fortunately, it has some low branches.

I have seen several caterpillars in the past week.
This has been a really warm, dry autumn.

Hope you all have a great week!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Macro Friday

I haven't gotten to take as many pictures this week as I would have liked. The weather has been simply wonderful, but there have been too many must-do projects to get outside. Here is my entry for Macro Friday:

I've never seen so many beautiful oak leaves before! Some are still green, some are all red, some are red with green. I think the multi-colored ones are my favorites. The little leaf above was only three and a half inches long. I brought it inside for my daughter. Yes, I really did measure it.

More oak leaves:

Here's a little Tufted Titmouse. I had hoped to get a little color, but the light was all wrong. I take my opportunities to get outside and take photographs, when they present themselves, even if it's not the best time of day for such things.

Visit blogging from bolivia to link up your own Macro Friday post!
Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sweet Tweet Tuesday, um Sweet Shot Tuesday

The weather has been simply wonderful the last few days! Cool nights with warm, sunny days. My kind of weather. The hummingbird feeders are finally in and the seed feeders are full of seed once more. When new feeders are put out, it's always the same three cohorts who are the first to arrive. Invariably, the Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, and White-breasted Nuthatch come to sample the sunflower. The only thing that changes is their order of appearance.
All three of these small seed-eaters are friendly, quick, and
tolerant of humans.
They are smart enough to know from whence comes their seed.
In some ways, nuthatches are my favorites of the three. They "fuss" at each other and seem to be very clown-like in behavior.

I had about five minutes of kid-free time yesterday,
and I shot this little nuthatch.
In editing, I had a problem. The afternoon sun was shining over the house and into the woods, but my subject was in the shade of the house. So, my initial edit looked too fantastic to be real, but it really did look more like that than the more muted edits. The woods were on fire in the sun. Late afternoon is always my favorite time of day to watch my woods. Morning is my favorite time to be out in it all.

See his little tongue?

Posing for me

Seed selection is a very serious business.

Here's the more muted edit of the first one.

I also have to talk about my bird feeder. I have nicer, newer feeders. But this old feeder has character. It was built by my grandfather during a coal miner's strike in the sixties. Yes, my bird feeder is older than my husband!
It needs some work, but I love it. I'll include a picture of my entire feeder soon, I'm sure.

As always, feel free to click on any of the images for a closer look.

Stop by Life with my 3 Boybarians
to see what other sweet shots are out there this Tuesday.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Macro Monday


Well, as I type it is Monday afternoon. The morning was too busy to afford an opportunity to write a blog post. By lunchtime, it was sunny and 68 degrees! Pretty good weather for November.
I looked out and saw one of my little bird-voiced tree frogs!
So, assuming no one is tired of tree frogs yet, here are my macro shots for today.
What struck me as especially interesting about this particular frog is how dirty he was. If you look closely you can see bits of dirt and even a feather stuck to him.

Hop on over to Lisa's Chaos to see what everyone else found today!

Well, I'm off to play outside!


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday Snapshot

I just "discovered" a new blog this morning. It's Alyce's blog,
At Home With Books.
I knew I would like it because, what's a home without books? When I saw her snapshot of a fossilized fern, I knew I had found a follow-worthy blog.
So, here's my Saturday Snapshot:

As always, click on any photos for a closer look.
We have just had our killing frost this morning.
My strawberries were still blooming.

One good thing about the killing frost is that now the persimmons are ready to eat. Mmmmm. Persimmon bread. I do love autumn.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Macro Friday

I seem to be getting back into the swing of things as far as blogging goes. Today's photos are also from our trip to Land Between the Lakes. As usual, many shots were in macro anyway, so finding fodder for today's post was easy. Picking an entry is considerably harder. Also, as usual, click on any photos for a closer look.

The water was really low since it's was soooo dry all summer. I assume that low water is why there was such an abundance of mussel shells. This one looked like a treasure chest to me. Yes, the treasure is rocks, but I like rocks.

I have no idea what this plant was. The seed pods looked like morning glories, but the leaves remind me of a weed we used to call potato vine.

I don't know what these flowers are either, but these were all over on the rocky beach. Does anyone know?

Here's another unknown flower.

At least I know this one is a bumble bee. He was moving slowly, but still moving.
It was in the lower sixties. You can see more evidence of how dry it's been.

Not everything I shot was in macro. Here's a sampling of the rest.

The beach had several small caves carved by the waves at some time when the water was much higher than it was this week.

There were plenty of White-tailed Deer out.
It was almost like driving home from town, but with less traffic.
Kentucky sure is a deer-y state.

Visit blogging from bolivia to link up your own Macro Friday post!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Watery Wednesday

Yesterday was a wonderful day . We went to Land Between the Lakes. For those unfamiliar with the area, LBL is the land in between Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake. It's a huge, beautiful park.
This is my first Watery Wednesday. My first two photos today are rather watery.

Here is my practically requisite frog shot. Yes, it was warm enough for frogs! I saw several and caught two. Yes, of course, I let them go very shortly afterward. Both kids thought the frogs were really neat.

From the 1840's to 1912, before the lakes were created, the area around what is now LBL, was iron-producing. There were several iron furnaces. The prettiest industrial waste I have ever seen is something called slag. According to Wikipedia , "Slag is a partially vitreous by-product of smelting ore to separate the metal fraction from the unwanted fraction. It can usually be considered to be a mixture of metal oxides and silicon dioxide."

It's a beautiful blue to blue-green, glasslike substance.
I love the striations that are in many pieces.
Slag's mixed into the gravel on some of the roads around Center Furnace. It's in the grass. It's in the creek.
To me, it looks like gemstones strewn all over.
Unfortunately, you can't take slag with you, but you CAN take all the photographs you want. My next trip will be on a sunny day so I can see how the bits of slag sparkle in the sunlight.
Some pieces are as small as pebbles; some are as big as baseballs.

Here is a photo of the remains of Center Furnace.

Click on the above photo, and notice the decorative pattern in the bricks on the left side of the furnace. Isn't that neat? I think that's a nice detail for a factory that was designed to be run continuously.

I highly recommend a trip to LBL to anyone within a reasonable drive. Did I mention that most things in LBL are free? They are. The things that aren't free are worth the money in my opinion. The Nature Station is a great place to go, especially with kids. They have coyotes, deer, owls, a bobcat, and many other critters. All for a whopping $4 for adults. For $5 per carload, you can see elk and bison in an enclosure that is so large that the animals appear to be in the wild. In addition to our native White-tailed Deer, you will also likely see Fallow Deer in LBL. We didn't see any yesterday, but we usually do. We did see a Coyote cross the road in front of us. I think our total deer count was about 17. Of course, there are many places in LBL where water birds can been seen. We saw some unidentified ducks, White Pelicans, and several Great Blue Herons. I'm already itching to go back.

Hope you all are having a great week like I am!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sweet Tweet Tuesday, um Sweet Shot Tuesday

Sweet Shot Day

Yesterday, we were picking up Mom from her house and I noticed some movement in the back of Mom's car. It was a Tufted Titmouse. The front windows on the car were rolled down, but the back ones were up, and the poor little guy couldn't figure out how to escape. Opening the doors didn't even help. So, I crawled in and found him huddled under the driver's seat. Upon removal, he was unable to fly, but he perked up after only two photographs. As I was moving in for my third shot, he flew up to the maple tree. He was gone from there after just a few moments. Anyone who has ever seen one of these birds knows how quick they are.
So, here is my sweet, tweet shot of a Tufted Titmouse.

As always, you can click on the image for a closer look.

I hope to back with with you tomorrow for Black and White Wednesday. I'm getting back into the blogging swing of things, I hope.

Stop by Life with my 3 Boybarians
to see what other sweet shots are out there this Tuesday.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Well, it's Monday again and I've some random thoughts,
so here we go:

1. I love my children. Really, I do, but my boy is going through a phase where he shrieks when I'm not holding him. It's REALLY unpleasant. I hope it ends soon. Crying was so much cuter.

2. We need a dog door. I have three beagles and a lab. One of the beagles is, I think, growing incontinent. So he asks to be let out eight to ten times PER HOUR. I'm not kidding. He just runs right out, pees, and runs right in again. Even Stinkerbaby no longer thinks it's fun to let him out. Anyone have any recommendations of good, sturdy dog doors? Maybe a trip to our beloved vet is in order.

3. I really need to get out and take some pictures. I want to, but just haven't. Maybe this week.

4. Election day is tomorrow! Go vote for any and all candidates you can find who aren't crooks or career politicians.
(Sorry, I suppose that is redundant.)

5. My birthday is this month. I'm looking forward to some spending money for me!
And maybe a nice meal out with just Hubby. Ahhhh.

6. I'm so thankful for my folks living next door. Even a five minute sanity break is appreciated!

7. Okay babywearing folks, what do I do with a baby who stands up as soon as I sit down with him in a carrier? He's worst in a ring sling, but even does this in wraps, too. Same story with the MT.

8. Cooler weather really makes me want to sew. I'm looking forward to getting to do some sewing soon.

That's it for me! Have a great Monday and a great week!

Don't forget to check out
Carissa's Miscellany Monday .