Seen Along the Trail

Photos taken on my daily walks

Posts from the ‘deer’ category

The rear of a deer

Several whitetail deer crossed the trail in front of me. As I watched, this one leaped off the trail and into the woods. Their grace and beauty make these animals a joy to watch. A very large herd of whitetails lives in our neighborhood park, which is fine so long as they stay in the park. However, they don’t! Every night, and sometimes during the day, they migrate from the park into the surrounding neighborhoods. There they feast on flowers, bulbs, flowering trees, and, under cover of darkness, the seed I put in our bird feeders for the chickadees, nuthatches, and other songbirds. The deer are also a hazard on the highways. It’s too bad they can’t comprehend boundaries. On the other hand, it’s too bad that people have taken over so much of their habitat with housing subdivisions, shopping malls, six-lane highways and the like.It’s an ongoing problem with no good solution.

That’s all for tonight!
See you soon.
Carolyn aka Skip

Bonanza!

On my photowalk this afternoon, the first “almost sunny” afternoon we have had in a long time, I headed down the trail with some sunflower seeds in my pocket. Passing a bench, I sprinkled a handful of seeds, hoping to attract a few birds for a photo opp. Some chickadees and titmice flew in, grabbed seeds, and flew away, so I sat on the end of the bench and waited for more birds to arrive. Instead of the flutter of wings, I heard footsteps. Looking up, this is what I witnessed over the next few minutes…

deer_seeds

Earlier today I read some tips on this photography website explaining how to create a diptych that will tell a story. Since I had recently purchased an app called My Frames, that helps me create diptychs and collages, I thought I would give it a try. I’m fairly satisfied with the results, but I’m wondering what you think. Can you “read” the story these pictures are meant to tell? I could almost “hear” the doe thinking, “Oh, wow, sunflower seeds. I want some NOW,” as she headed for the bench and reached out with her long tongue. What do you see? Hear?

It was a fun experiment. I think I will have to upload the diptych and enter the challenge. I have never done anything like that before, but there’s always a first time. Becoming a better photographer certainly requires experimenting with new techniques, learning how to tell stories through pictures, and challenging yourself. It also makes my photowalks a lot more fun!

See you soon!
Carolyn aka Skip

Winter Wonderland

Consecutive days of snowfall have turned our park into a winter wonderland, making for some wonderful photo opportunities. The tree branches and fence rails are heavily laden with snow, and the wildlife have gone into “mooching mode.” With a deep blanket of snow covering their source of food, the animals have become conditioned to turn to humans for help. I posted more about this phenomenon here in my Blipfoto journal. Last winter we had very little snow. It was an easy winter for drivers and for the wildlife, but this week, just the second week of this winter, has been very different. Since Wednesday (four days ago), we have been blessed (depending on your point of view) by something like 15 inches of snow. It’s beautiful and makes for pretty pictures. It really is a winter wonderland. I hope you enjoy the pictures (Click on the first picture to open up the gallery).

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you enjoyed the snowy walk.
Carolyn aka Skip

Misty Morning

12__2012_CRP_0098Rain fell during the night, but the temperature this morning was a bit warmer and the air was very misty. Despite the less than favorable weather, I headed to the park, leaving my usual lens, the 70-300mm telephoto, at home, and was delighted to discover that my little 50mm lens (nifty-fifty) was more than equal to the dull light. For the past week I have been experimenting with this lens to see what effect it would have on my nature photography. I’ve been in a bit of a rut, photographically speaking, and had come to the conclusion that, after four years of daily blipping, I was losing my photo mojo. My pictures were beginning to all look pretty much the same, and I was dreading the transition from October with its rich and varied landscapes to the dreary, gloomy, grey days of November.

Recently someone on Blipfoto, my photo-a-day website, challenged other photographers, i.e.”blippers”, to create a series of pictures taken on the same street. That wouldn’t work for me because my daily photowalks take me to the park, not down a city street, but (Iwondered) why not take a series of photos on the park trails and post those in my Blipfoto journal? So that is what I have been doing, and I have chosen to use only my nifty-fifty lens for this challenge. At this point, one week into my double-headed challenge, I have a confession to make. The telephoto lens is no longer my favorite lens for my daily photo walks. Not only have I fallen in love with the versatility and sharpness of the nifty-fifty, I am asking Santa for a new lens for Christmas, a 35mm prime lens. And nobody is more surprised by this turn of events than I am!

Below are a few keepers I captured on my misty morning walk in the park, but first, a word about the turkeys. The flock of turkeys that make their home in our neighborhood park (and beyond) has grown quite large over the years. I have no idea how many there are, but today I saw at least 21 of them roaming along the trails. The second time I encountered them they were on the sledding hill, and that’s where I captured the two pictures I included in my collection of keepers for today. They simply reminded me of little kids racing to see which one would be first to reach the bottom of the hill.

Deer playing follow the leader.

Deer playing follow the leader.


Her mother told her to look both ways before crossing!

Her mother told her to look both ways before crossing!


Very young deer

This is a very young deer.


Food fight at the bird buffet

Food fight at the bird buffet


Race you to the bottom of the hill! Last one down is a .....TURKEY!

Race you to the bottom of the hill! Last one down is a …..TURKEY!


This turkey was too dignified to enter the race.

This turkey was too dignified to enter the race.

That’s it for today. Thanks for joining me on the photowalk. I hope you enjoyed the pictures.
Skip aka Carolyn

Come along…

… with me for a short walk in the woods. Click on the first picture to bring up the gallery and enjoy an autumn morning.

My walk in the park not far from our home is a special hour in my day. Setting out with my camera, hoping to capture a few good pictures, fills me with anticipation. Some days are lean ones, photographically speaking, and some yield a rich return, but when I reach the end of the trail, I always head home refreshed and thankful for this daily gift from God.

Autumn has arrived!

Winter jacket, winter hat, and hand warmers were needed for my walk in the park today. On the plus side, it hasn’t rained all day and the wind has died down to a gentle breeze. Hurricane Sandy, aka the “storm of the century”, has moved out, leaving many people without power for several days and many more with tree limbs and branches littering their lawns. Most people here in northeast Ohio got off light, unlike the storm victims in New York and New Jersey. They need our sympathy and our prayers.

Here are some images from my walk in the park today. Click on one to bring up the slide show.

Magical

Sometimes a simple walk in the park on a brisk fall afternoon can turn into a magical experience. My walk today was like that. I’m not sure if it was the crispness of the fall air or just the time of day, but the animals were very active. I posted my favorite images in the slide show below, but had no way of capturing everything I saw and certainly no way to capture the feeling of peacefulness. At one turn in the path, several chickadees circled around me, flitting near and then away, only to return, circle around me and fly away. Finally, one of them swooped down and landed on the end of my camera lens and sat there silently looking at me. I’m sure he wanted to say, “Don’t you have a treat for me?” I drew a handful of birdseed from my pocket and held it out, and was delighted when he touched down on the tip of my fingers and daintily picked up a seed in his beak, then another, and another. He was a greedy little bird and he wasn’t the only one that wanted a handout.

Nearby I noticed some tiny birds with broad yellow stripes down the middle of their heads. A little flock was foraging in the tall grasses along the edge of the trail. They were quick-moving and well hidden in the patch of weeds, but I managed to capture a few pictures. As I watched, the sound of footsteps drew my attention to something that was happening behind my back, so I turned and discovered three deer, a doe and her two fawns, staring at me from no more than four feet away. Like the little birds, they were foraging for food. I lingered for a long time in that patch woods, enjoying the solitude, the silence, and the magic of the moment. Those are the intangibles I couldn’t capture with my camera, but I felt blessed. I had started out for a short walk in the park and didn’t reach the end of the trail until two hours or more later. You might think it was a long trail. That’s not the case, but today it was a magical one.

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Blimbling

I learned a new word this week that was used by several blippers on my Blipfoto website. Bimbling refers to a style of walking. Think saunter or stroll for example. It is a perfect description of what I do when I set out for a photo walk in the park. Bimbling comes naturally to me. Yesterday I bimbled in North Chagrin Reservation, which is where I captured most of these pictures. Today I went walking, not bimbling, in my neighborhood and blipped the pictures of the young fawn and the turkey. Today’s walk was not a bimble, according to the definition I read here, because I had a specific purpose for my walk, which was to walk for at least 45 minutes and get some exercise and a few pictures that make me happy. But bimble or not, I enjoyed both walks and came home with some keepers. I hope you enjoy them too. I’m particularly happy with the photo of the killdeer. It’s definitely not the best of the lot, but those little birds are very shy, and I feel lucky to get a decent picture of this one. It’s another of the birds on my spring-summer birding list that I can now check off. Wahoo! Remember, you can click on any one of the pictures to bring up the larger version.

FYI The above link to the definition of bimble will take you to the Blipfoto journal of a cyclist/photographer from England. His journal is filled with wonderful landscapes. If you have time, browse in it for a while.

That’s it for today from the south shore of Lake Erie.
See you again soon.

Carolyn aka Skip

Raising the bar

In two recent posts, I have written about the steps I am taking to try to improve my photography…one of my personal challenges for the year 2012. The steps include…

  • Purging my computer files of dross (and there is a great deal of dross)
  • Organizing the remaining photos, using Lightroom’s collections, smart collections, and keywords
  • Improving the quality of my collection as I go forward, i.e. raising the bar
  • The third one is what I would like to talk about today. If you, as a photographer, are already completely satisfied with the quality of your portfolio, feel free to ignore the next portion of this blog post and go straight to the end to see the pictures I took on my photowalk today. On the other hand, if you are, like I am, an enthusiastic amateur photographer with a desire to take better pictures, read on. Then, if you want to share your ideas on the topic, click on comment and tell us what you think.

    Taking some photography classes at our local community college is on my photographic bucket list. It’s a “One of these days I’m gonna do it” kind of thing…one of these days, but not yet. Meanwhile, I am on my own, and step-by-step I am learning how to take better pictures. Being a reader, my first step was to turn to some books by experienced professional photographers whose skill at taking pictures is equaled by the skill of explaining their techniques to amateurs like me. I have a good-sized collection of books, but my favorites and the ones I strongly recommend are anything written by Brian Peterson (Understanding Exposure, Understanding Shutter Speed, etc) and Scott Kelby’s very readable Digital Photography Boxed Set, volumes 1,2, and 3, and, for Adobe Lightroom users, Kelby’s book The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom3 book for digital photographers. Read what they say, study their techniques, and experiment. That’s pretty much my mantra.

    My most recent approach has been to change my post-processing work flow. That came about when I began using Lightroom. Now, as much as I am learning to love Lightroom, I’m not suggesting that everyone has to plunk down the greenbacks to buy the program (or ask for it for Christmas, which is what I did). Any good photo editing program will probably do the trick, and if you have one you already know and like, that’s all the better. All you need to do is examine your work flow to see how you can make it more efficient and effective for you.

    However, this post is already getting a little long, so I will hold off on detailing the work flow that works for me until my next post. Meanwhile, here are a few pictures I took today. In keeping with my intent to raise the bar, I narrowed down the images I downloaded from my camera to these six that made me the most satisfied and happy that I left my cozy computer room, piled on the jacket, hat, sweater, gloves, and boot, stuck handwarmers in my pocket and headed out to shiver in the snow and sub-freezing temperature (somewhere around 20 degrees Fahrenheit, minus whatever the wind chill factor was). Being a photographer yourself, I’m sure you get the picture. Enjoy the slide show and thanks for visiting me on the south shore of Lake Erie today. See you next time.

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    A strange scene

    Near the end of my photowalk this afternoon, I happened upon this man following some deer along the edge of the woods. The deer, normally placid animals, seemed alarmed by him and the little white dog that was walking with him. The dog was off-leash, against the park rules, and the four or five does were running away. The deer herd that makes its home in our little park is quite large, and the deer peacefully co-exist with the people and dogs who regularly share the park. That didn’t seem to be the case this afternoon however, and it puzzled me.


    Finally, only one deer remained. The others had dashed into the safety of the trees. Was I imagining a threat to the deer? One thing I am sure about is the danger the fluffy little dog was in. One crack with a sharp hoof, however accidental, would have been the end of that dog. Visitors who frequent the park must learn to respect the wild animals that live there.

    That’s the news from the south shore of Lake Erie today. Thanks for stopping in for a visit.

    ~Skip aka Carolyn