Monday, February 28, 2011

Blue Macro Monday

Smiling Sally


A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of bluebirds visiting my deck again. I've been looking for them every day since then, but they haven't returned. Yet.
Today, I thought I'd share a few of the 1000+ photos I took that day. Some were pretty good, in my opinion. Most were not. But they were all thrilling.

This is the closest I have to a true macro shot.

In most places, this is a good time to put up bluebird nesting boxes. I just put up one box and have two others to put up soon. Bluebird boxes can be bought many places, but I found our local Lowe's had a super price on them. If you like bluebirds and dislike bugs, I highly recommend placing nesting boxes around your property. Around here, if you don't wind up with a family of bluebirds, you'll likely get a family of House Wrens. They're adorable and eat bugs, too.

As always, click on any photo for a closer look. Don't forget to stop by Lisa's Chaos and Smiling Sally to see what macro and blue things this Monday brings.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Spring is on the way!

The weather was beautiful after the last snow. As the kids and I awaited Nana at the post office, I was admiring the blue sky. My daughter, on the other hand, was noticing a photo opportunity of which I was completely unaware. She saw the icicles melting on the end of the building and said, "wouldn't that make a good picture?" She was right, of course. So when Nana returned, I got out camera in hand.

Have a great weekend! I intend to.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Macro Friday

Spring is on the way! Last night, we had heavy rain, and the temperature is in the forties. Heavy rain is expected all day today. I can see the swollen creek from the deck again. The maples are blooming. The daffodils are coming up. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! I love spring!

Here are a few photos I took of two of my beloved beagles. Claire was our first dog as a married couple. She was also our first "baby" so to speak. Hardy was my birthday present back in 2004. Our third beagle came along later. So did our black lab and cat. Now all I need is an enclosure and a house so I can get goats!

As usual, the first photo is my entry for Macro Friday. Also, as usual, you can click on any photo for a closer look.

This is one of Hardy's beautiful eyes.

The nose knows, as they say.

Hardy doing what he does best.

Claire sticking out her tongue.

Don't forget to
stop by
blogging from bolivia
to link up your own Macro Friday post!


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Blogging break

Well, I have taken a bit of an unintentional break from blogging. Out here in the country, we have satellite internet access. Our only other option is dial-up. Satellite promises cable speeds, but in our experience, it does not deliver anything close to cable speed. I'd describe it as good dial-up speed. The other down side is the "fair use policy." This means that when we get above 70% of our allowable limit, we get a nasty email. When we get to 100%, we get throttled down to dial up speeds. In the past, we'd stop using the internet for a few days and our usage would drop low enough that we could avoid being punished. This time, however, we went from under 70% to over 100% instantly and have since been having the pleasure of dial-up speed for more than $60 per month after taxes.

Did I mention that we had to sign a two year contract and buy our equipment?
I hate this company. It's taking a lot of restraint to not mention the lying company's name.

I would caution anyone considering satellite internet service to research other options first.

Enough of my rant. The point was that I haven't been posting because in addition to the connection being tediously slow, I can't go look at other people's blogs right now. In a few days, I hope, I'll be able to re-join the blogging world.

Right now, I think dial-up speeds for dial-up prices sounds pretty good.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Black and White and Frozen Watery Wednesday

These photographs were taken during the ice storm of January 2009. We were without electricity for seventeen days. All of our appliances are electric. Virtually every tree in our woods lost its top. The second night of the storm, we didn't sleep. Every three to five seconds (I do mean this literally; we counted!) we were startled by the sound of large branches falling or trees falling on the house and all around us. We lived in fear that the 96 foot poplar next to our house would fall. Thankfully, the poplar only lost branches.
The tree was cut down the summer after the ice storm.

Every time I catch myself complaining about all the snow we've had this winter, I remember that I should be above all thankful that this is just some snow. The power is still on, we have heat, I can wash clothes and diapers in the washing machine and dry them in the dryer. I sincerely hope that no one ever sees an ice storm of that magnitude again.

Our driveway

A nearby field

I liked the barbed wire in this one.

As I look outside and see snow, I can smile. It's not ice!!!
I'm joining Lisa at
The Long Road to China for Black and White Wednesday.
I'm also linking up with 2sweetnsaxy for Watery Wednesday.
Hope you're having a great week!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sweet Shot Tuesday

life with my 3 boybarians

Yesterday, after playing in the snow, my little guy just collapsed in my mom's lap. Well, he didn't actually fall asleep until the terrible socks were removed. He does not like socks. Fifteen minutes out of the bath and his feet are dirty again.

Thanks to Courtney for the inspiration of this foot shot.
Stop by life with my 3 boybarians to see the sweet shots of others.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Blue Macro Monday

Smiling Sally


I had an unusual visitor to my deck last week. Before Christmas, I placed large quantities of Eastern Red Cedar boughs all over my deck. The branches were covered in blue berries which the birds just love. I'd read that Eastern Bluebirds were especially fond of them. Christmas eve, I got to watch bluebirds eating blue berries at a family get-together. I cut and placed the cedar on my deck, but no bluebirds came. Many other birds visited, perched upon the branches, and even ate some berries. Because of the blue berries, I even had a Cedar Waxwing visit the deck once. But no bluebirds. Eastern Bluebirds are often seen around here, but they are nervous. I most often see them flying from trees to power lines in yards as I am driving. Blue has always been a favorite color of mine and bluebirds have always been a favorite bird.

Well, on Groundhog's Day, a blue bird arrived! After just a few minutes, he even invited some friends! So, for a few hours one afternoon, I got to watch bluebirds from the comfort of my couch. It was thrilling! I tried to photograph them, of course. Unfortunately, bluebirds are nervous enough, I knew I would have stay inside to photograph them. As a result, all of these photographs, except of the blue berries alone, were taken through the window. The first is for Macro Monday.
They all are for Blue Monday. Enjoy!

The valuable little blue berries.

Mr. Eastern Bluebird

You looking at me?

Here comes Mrs. Eastern Bluebird.

Little Carolina Chickadee is supervising.

The female bluebird is beautiful in a muted way. I think it's also evident from looking at her that bluebirds and American Robins are cousins- both in the thrush family.

Dirty glass really adds that special something to your photos.

Look at the berry in his beak!

American Goldfinches for size comparison.

The above photo was too blurry for my tastes, so I made it even blurrier by attempting to simulate an oil painting. I think I like it.

The filthy window softened and blurred this image a bit.

As always, click on any photo for a closer look. Don't forget to stop by Lisa's Chaos and Smiling Sally to see what macro and blue things this Monday brings.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Macro Friday

While these aren't macro shots in the usual sense, they are shots from less than four feet. Over the weekend, my family and I got to enjoy the lovely (for January, at least) weather. Land Between the Lakes is a favorite destination for us. We always see something interesting and beautiful. The past weekend was no exception.
While driving along the Trace, we noticed something moving along the side of the road. I knew almost immediately we had happened upon an armadillo. My mother, who has a very interesting view of things, said she at first thought she had seen a World War I helmet foraging. She was, of course, referring to a Pickelhaube but without the spike. I found a place to turn around and came back to have a look. After seeing him, I could certainly understand Mom's description. So, if you can imagine a helmet foraging along the roadside, that is what he looked like. I was thrilled to see and get to photograph this armadillo. I have never seen a live armadillo before. We haven't really ever had them in this area until about five years ago. I reported the first roadkilled 'dillo in Hopkins County last year. The nice woman at the LBL visitor's center said that armadillos had been in the park about four years. The first photo is my entry in Macro Friday.

Check out the hairs between the plates! I knew they were mammals, but I didn't know they would have visible hair!

While this isn't the clearest picture ever, I did think it interesting that if you look closely, you can see a fair amount of fur on his back leg. You can click the photo for a closer look. It's also and "action" shot.

Armadillo doing his impersonation of a Pickelhaube.

While I wouldn't want one digging up my yard, I think Armadillos are amazing! This guy mostly ignored me as I photographed him. Well, him or her. I don't know how one would know a boy 'dillo from a girl 'dillo without turning one over. I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have tolerated that. I can also see why some refer to them as "'possum on the half-shell." They are interesting for more reasons than their looks. Armadillos have something called "delayed implantation." Apparently, when it's mating season for Armadillos, they mate and the egg is fertilized, but it doesn't implant or begin to develop until some later time. This is to ensure that the young aren't born in cold weather. The other cool factoid I came across is they almost always have identical quadruplets.

From this angle he looks like a snapping turtle to me. This is the way Armadillos signal that they are through being photographed.

So, do you have armadillos where you live? Do you love them or hate them? Are you worried they'll give you leprosy? Do they really taste like pork?

I hope all of you dealing with the snow and ice stay warm and safe! I can certainly understand what that's like after the ice storm of 2009.
I'm thankful we miss it all this time.

Don't forget to
stop by
blogging from bolivia
to link up your own Macro Friday post!