The best way to describe this week’s Almanac is skimpy. It is embarrassingly slim. The weather was very cold, which normally doesn’t discourage me from trail walking, but my earache from last week persisted, so I just wimped out. True confession. Here are a few deer pictures and one little titmouse from the park.
A friendly doe
A young buck challenged me on the trail, but ran when I steps forward.
Three does in different sizes.
Snowy nose from looking for food in the snow
A very young one
Piebald deer, so named for the patches of color
Late afternoon light
In addition to these trail walk pictures, I snapped a few other desperation shots with my iPhone, so I will post them here too. Three were taken in the park, but the last was taken when I was downtown for jury duty on a nasty cold morning. The river scene looks rather grim and gritty because it was that kind of day, but it also provides an interesting glimpse of the industrial side of Cleveland.
With snow on the ground, they have a hard time finding food.
Deer browsing for food.
The Cuyahoga River that meanders through downtown Cleveland is named for an American Indian word that means crooked river. As it winds through the city, it is an industrial river rather than a scenic one. Some years ago it figured in the title of a book, actually a very interesting book called Crooked River Burning, a fitting title because many years ago the river really did burn. It took the city a very long time to recover from that infamous incident, but it is a very different city these days. Hopefully, after the Republican National Convention meets here next summer, many visitors will go home and spread the word about all the great things there are to see and do here on the banks of the crooked river.
That’s it for this week’s Almanac. Weather permitting, I expect to take more trail walks, and therefore more photos, next week.
Are you wondering what I mean by “sense of place?” Here’s the scoop. If you follow my blog, you know that I post a (huge) number of birds. I love photographing birds and catching them in action. Sometimes they have the most comical expressions, and honestly, their behavior can be outrageous and sometimes downright risque. However, after posting hundreds (thousands?) of birds just sitting around looking birdlike, I have decided it is time to provide my blog friends with a sense of the place where I take all these photos. I actually have 50,000 images on my hard drive, a huge preponderance of them are birds (or deer), and very few give you a clear indication of their habitat. So from now on I am going to intentionally include more pictures that will provide that “sense of place.” I hope it is a positive addition to my blog. Please let me know what you think.
This morning I was up and out early again. The morning light was wonderful, the birds were active, and I even caught a deer wandering through the tall grass. Hopefully soon I will encounter some fawns to share with you. It’s about time for them to appear. But for today, no fawns, just lots of beautiful birds and some landscape shots to give you that sense of place. Hope you like them.
Spider web in morning light
Chagrin River after a heavy rain
Looking down the trail
The fire pit, minus the men who meet there regularly
Tree swallow on traffic control duty
The meadow and power lines
Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird
Chirping tree swallow
Bluebird nesting box
Trail through the bog
Tall grass and secretive bird
A doe I surprised
That’s it for this beautiful Thursday morning walk through Chagrin River Park. Thanks for coming along. I had fun sharing this time with you.
I visited Holden Arboretum this morning. To the dismay of the Canada geese flying overhead, there was no water for them to land in. They were complaining with loud honks of consternation as they searched for some open water. Some eventually tried ice skating (goose style), but they obviously weren’t happy about it. The next few pictures tell the story.
It wasn’t easy walking for humans either. At one point I stepped on a patch of ice and almost crashed in a heap! The geese are a lot more graceful than I am!
Thanks for stopping by my corner of Ohio today.
Come back in a few days to see if winter has lost its grip.
Life gets in the way of blogging and photography sometimes, and you (or at least I) can’t keep up with everything. So I have been pretty much absent from this photoblog for some time now. Can I come back on a full time basis? Truthfully, I don’t know, but a lot depends on the ease of posting from Lightroom to WordPress. If I could post directly to my WordPress photoblogs from within Lightroom, like I can with Flickr and Smugmug, life, or at least blogging, would be much simpler. Does anyone know if that can be done? If you do, please reply in the comments. Meanwhile, I would like to share several photos I took this morning.
Spring has arrived! I wouldn’t be silly enough to believe we won’t have any more cold, wet weather, but I’ve seen the signs, and I am announcing the arrival of spring! Today, on my walk in the park, I spotted a golden-crowned kinglet and a yellow-bellied sapsucker for the first time, and there were lots of people enjoying some sunshine and warmer temperatures. Yay for spring! We’ve waited a long time for it to arrive. Here are my favorite pictures from today:
That’s the question everyone is asking these days. Even today, although it seemed a little milder and I didn’t wear my winter jacket for our trip to the Cleveland Aquarium, the temperature barely inched above 40 degrees. In the afternoon I took a photowalk in the park. For that I wore my winter jacket and hat, and I wasn’t any too warm. Here are my favorite photos from the walk. I hope you like them.
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
I have been playing around with creating diptychs and other collages, so today, after I “developed” my pictures in Lightroom, I chose three related images that I think tell a story. Can you follow the storyline? Hint: Start in the upper left corner.
Here’s the sequence:
Sparrow was ready to tuck into his favorite meal: black oil sunflower seeds.
The uninvited guest, a tufted titmouse, flew in, thinking the sparrow should share, but the sparrow told him to clear out pronto!
The titmouse knew when he wasn’t welcome, so he flew away.
I just came across this app for creating collages recently, and it has been a lot of fun. Hope you enjoyed “reading” the story as much as I enjoyed “creating” it.
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…
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!
I knew it was a sparrow, but I couldn’t find it in my bird app on my iPad. Then I had a brainstorm (Don’t know what took so long) and posted it to my Facebook page, asking for help with the ID. Within minutes, a friend I didn’t realize was an expert on birds chimed in with an answer. So lesson learned! If you don’t know, ask on Facebook! I am not much of a Facebooker. I only visit it rarely because I am too busy taking photowalks and then organizing and processing my pictures, but I’ve just discovered how useful Facebook can be as a birding resource. In my opinion, that’s a great discovery. Here are a couple more pictures of this pretty little bird:
Hope you like the little brown job that I now know is an immature white-crowned sparrow. Live and learn!