I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. We were able to spend it with our children and grand children and that made it very special. We attended the annual Memorial Day parade yesterday. It is always impressive to see all the veterans who have served this great country get a small amount of the tribute they deserve.
If you have followed this blog for at least the last couple of years you may remember seeing the image above. It was taken two years ago. Josh and Gabby were playing with some small toys in the bird bath. By the time they were through playing they were both soaked. Something about water and kids. They are drawn like a magnet to it. 🙂
So fast forward a couple of years and They are still playing in the water. Angie put Austin on the grass at the far end of the patio. He walked, crawled, and coasted to the water, drawn like a moth to the flame. I couldn’t resist the capture.
That’s it for today. I haven’t gone through my parade images. Usually they are not all that good because of the clutter of the background but perhaps a couple will be worth posting.
Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day and be careful.
Happy Memorial Day!
The freedoms and lifestyle we enjoy today are the result of sacrifices our Military Men and Women have made. All gave some and some gave all. God Bless The USA!
I have a bunch of birds for you today. These are the last images of my May 20th walk at the wildlife reserve. I’ve been riding my bike the last few days so I haven’t done any new photography. 🙂
You’ve seen some of these birds in recent posts but these are not the same images.
I believe this is a Brown-headed Cow Bird. I haven’t seen many of them this year. A couple of years ago when I had all the feeders set up in the back yard I saw a lot of them.
I never get tired of showing this little guy. It was the first images I have ever made of this species.
A common Robin up close and personal. They are not nearly as skittish as many of the other birds. I have been able to get really close to them, take their image and they sit perfectly still for me.
It looks like a beautiful day weather wise. I may go to the annual Memorial Day parade and make some photographs. Parades are hard to photograph because there is so much background junk.
That’s it for today. Enjoy your day and be careful.
I have some fun “snapshots” for you today that I took last Wednesday at the Maquoketa Kiwanis Golf Outing. I rendered them in black and white just for fun. This is an annual event and is their big fund-raiser for the year. It usually takes about 5 hours but there were fewer teams this year so we were done in about 4 hours.
It is a best shot event with a couple of twists. Each team has a yellow ball and the first shot of every shot has to be hit with that ball. You don’t have to use that ball at your “best shot” but you do have to make it the first shot of each stroke. If you don’t lose the ball it is put in a bucket at the end of the round and a lucky team wins a nice prize if their yellow ball it drawn out.
We lost our yellow ball in the water but was lucky enough to find it and retrieve it. I won’t mention the name of the individual who put it in the water. 🙂
The other twist is if your shot is the one picked as the best shot you are not allowed to hit the next shot. A lot of best shot events have that rule.
Anyway it’s a fun event and the money raised is well used in the community to fund projects that benefit the children of in the community. So I play in the event every year.
Oh, an interesting story for you. Yesterday I went on a 23 mile bike ride. At the farthest point in my ride I noticed the sky was getting pretty dark in the west. I had checked the radar before I left the house and saw nothing within a hundred miles of Dubuque. I neglected to take into account that storm cells can form in a very short time. The looks of the sky indicated to me that I had better get going and with due haste.
On the way back is the longest hill on my route. It is a mile long and I have to take it in a very low gear. I have never made it up that hill in such a short time. About two miles from home and I saw some lighting and it was obvious it was going to rain. So I came to a picnic table (on the path) that had a roof over it. I secured my bike and got under the roof just as the storm hit.
The wind blew so hard that the structure was shaking and I was concerned that it might actually blow over. My upper body was protected by a rain jacket and by the roof but it felt like my legs were being stung by a thousand pins. I look around after a while and the rain was blowing sideways. There was a young man who had also taken shelter with me and I didn’t realize he was there until he said he was worried about the storm.
After about 20 minutes the storm blew over and I rode the last two miles in a steady rain. Along the way I had to dodge debris from the storm. Saw a couple of road signs that had been snapped off and were laying on the ground. Tree limbs were everywhere. It was a bad storm to be sure. I’m thankful that I made it through it unharmed. Wet but unharmed. 🙂
That’s it for today. Thanks for checking out my blog. Enjoy your day and be careful.
Happy Hump Day!
I have three images for you today from last Friday’s shoot. I believe this is an Eastern Kingbird. If I’m wrong please correct me. It is the first time I have captured this species.
I saw a lot of these guys on my walk. They paid no attention to me (which I was very happy about) as their sting is very painful. I have photographed them before with a macro lens but I don’t like to get that close to them. In this case the 500 mm lens worked pretty good.
Sorry I had to post another image of the Indigo Bunting. Since this is my first collection of images for this beautiful little blue bird I have to share it. 🙂
Short post today as I am running late. Enjoy your day and be careful.
I have windmills for you today. As I traveled around some back roads last Friday I came across three windmills that I decided to photograph. You can imagine living in a predominately rural area there are windmills everywhere. Like barns and other farm structures I enjoy making images of them. Generally I try to photograph them against a dynamic cloudy sky, however Friday was pretty much a dull gray sky. 😦
Several years ago I photographed this windmill along with a deteriorating barn and some other farm buildings. When I drove by it this time I noticed that the barn and other building were gone. The windmill is all that remains. Kind of sad in a way as these old structures had a lot of history about them and were a salient part of the landscape.
This old guy has lost his wind fins and is just the frame of the windmill with all sorts of vegetation grown on it. Still it appealed to me so I had to make some image of it.
That’s it for today. Thanks for the look. Enjoy your day and be careful.
I have some wildflower images for you today from my Friday shoot. There was not an abundance of wildflowers where I was but I did see some on my journey. It was pure luck to capture this bee headed for the flowers as my attention was directed to the flower.
I keep reflecting on the peaceful feelings I had while walking through the area. Occasionally I would hear a bird singing and so I would stop and make no motion other than just slowly look around. Many times I would find the bird who was making the sounds and I was able to photograph him before the sound of the shutter spooked him.
I know, it’s a plain ole dandelion. But they like all God’s creations have beauty as well. I plan to get back out among them again today. I won’t go to the same place but will search out some more images for you.
Thanks for stopping by the blog. Enjoy your day and of course be careful.
Some more images for you today from my Friday shoot. When I took these images I had every intention of rendering them in black and white. I believe this is an old manure spreader. It occurs to me that the driver may have had to take a long bath after a day of operating this piece of machinery. 🙂
I drove by this farm-house and saw this wonderful old jeep in the yard. Made a turn around and headed back with great expectations of doing a full exploration of the jeep with my camera.
This guy had other ideas about my exploration. If I stayed at a certain distance he would just look at me and give me an occasional courtesy bark. However if I took one step closer he bared is teeth and got down to some serious barking. I could call his bluff and attempt to get some more images of the jeep or I could consider it a break that I got the one and be assured of no dog bites. I opted for the sure thing. 🙂
That’s it for today. Another beautiful day in the neighborhood. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Enjoy your day and be careful.
I have four images for you today of some wildlife, one of which I have never photographed before. I describe my style of photography as a road photographer. Not with any amount of pride in that label but it is what I tend to do a lot of. I will take a lot of county roads with and without pavement looking for things that catch my attention. I do a quick assessment of what would make the best image in my mind and then make some pictures. Sometimes they are good and sometimes they are not. What I do not tend to do is find a subject and really explore it with my camera. I wished I did more of that but it’s just not the way I’m wired.
Another self-revelation is that I tend to use my Friday off as a decompress day and I spend a lot of time vegetating. Again I don’t say that with pride, it simply is what I have been doing. So yesterday I decided I needed to change the pattern. I got up at my normal time and went through my normal routine. I grabbed a couple of cameras, one with the long lens and one with a wide-angle lens and left the house at 9:00 a.m. I had two goals yesterday. One, photograph things that interested me no matter where I had to go and two, get some exercise. I accomplished both at the same time. I got home around 4:30 p.m. totally exhausted but re-energized and happy. 🙂
I walked for about 3.5 hours and I have no idea how many miles but enough that I was happy when I saw my car again. I knew there was the possibility of snakes (I don’t care what you say Paul) but I was not going to let that detour me. I walked, stood, reflected, listened, and watched for several hours and it was wonderful.
I saw a lot of cardinals Ronnie, but this one was the only one I could get a lens on. The rest were either in too thick of brush or there was enough other obstacles between them and me that the auto focus couldn’t lock on. I didn’t have a tripod (not that would have done any good) and as skittish as they were I doubt if it would have made any difference. Anyway I was glad to capture some images of this guy. You can click on the image to see more detail.
I believe this is an Indigo Bunting. I have never photographed one and yesterday I saw several of them. They are hard to capture and I had to shoot fast and furious to capture an image. They never stood still for very long so I have a lot of images that are nothing more than blurry blue blobs. 🙂
That’s all I have for you today. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Enjoy your day. The forecast said it is going to be “Pleasant” today. Isn’t that a nice sounding forecast! Be careful.
Happy Hump Day!
I have four images for you today. On my way home yesterday evening, as I always do, I drove past the Hurstville Wetlands (“duck pond”) and guess what I saw there? You’ll have to read a little further. Anyway I broke a cardinal rule of photography and made this exposure shooting directly into the setting sun. I love all the sparkling diamonds on the water, which in my mind makes this image of the ubiquitous geese something special. 🙂
What really caught my attention was I saw a large clump of pelicans in the middle of the pond. They were in high fishing mode. I was surprised because of the water levels of late I assumed there were no fish in the pond. I was wrong.
I waited for a while and once they determined I wasn’t a threat the continued fishing and moved closer to me. It appears the two pelicans in the rear of the moving “scrum” are on lookout while their peers do the fishing thing. If there were fish in the pond they didn’t have much chance of escaping this giant vacuum cleaner. 🙂
You can see what appears to be a small fish in the bill of this pelican. They move a fair distance with most of the flock having their heads below the water line.
A little later I capture this image which clearly shows a small fish in the mouth of the pelican. Click on the image to see it in a larger more detailed version.
So I spent about a half an hour at the duck pond watching and photographing the pelicans. It’s always fun to see the pelicans.
That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Enjoy your day and be careful.
I have some random images for you today that have nothing in common, other than I like them all. 🙂
The Common Grackle is “common” in these parts and we see them all the time. I love the piercing eyes and iridescent coloration of the bird. I captured this image at Mud Lake Park, where along the shore line there are lots of dead trees that have been carried by the current to their final resting place. There were several grackles foraging for food and I couldn’t resist making some images of one of my favorite birds.
You can click on the images to make them larger and see more detail.
The ubiquitous American Coot. “The American coot, also known as a mud hen, is a bird of the family Rallidae. Though commonly mistaken to be ducks, American coots belong to a distinct order” (~ source Wikipedia.) I made this image at Green Island a couple of weeks ago. They are everywhere at Green Island and although some people find them to be a nuisance I personally enjoy watching them interact with their environment and each other.
Finally I’ll leave you with this landscape I capture yesterday at Twin Springs bridge. It caught my eye on my way to Bankston, Iowa so on the return trip I stopped and photographed it. It use to be much prettier before the flood of a few years ago. The raging waters from that flood rearranged the stream and left some debris in its wake. Still on a cloudy afternoon I’m pleased with this image.
That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Enjoy your day and be careful.