Spring has been wearing its fickle face recently, bringing lots of rain, wind, and even a few rumbles of thunder. Thankfully we haven’t had any severe storms, although at times the rain was heavy enough to create a large pond in our neighbor’s backyard. This happens every spring, of course, and, without fail, when the spring rain comes, this mallard couple comes with it.
A year or two ago, they were joined by several other male mallards, but that didn’t go so well. There was an outbreak of territorial jealousy accompanied by noisy quacking and threatening posturing. With multiple male mallards and only one female, peaceful coexistence was not a possibility. Watching their antics, I harbored a suspicion that the lady mallard was enjoying the ruckus…and maybe even egging the guys on! This afternoon Mr. and Mrs. Mallard returned for their annual visit, and happily it was just the two of them!
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.
Spring is so fickle. Today it can’t decide if it wants to rain or if the sun will shine. Will it be sunny and warm or windy and chilly? So far, it has offered up some of each, changing its mind every half-hour or so. Before the rain started this morning, I headed to the park for a photowalk. We are still experiencing early spring here on the south shore of Lake Erie, so I don’t have much to show you in the way of blooming flowers or blossoming fruit trees, but the birds were active, so a gallery of bird portraits is what I will share with you today. I hope you enjoy them (Click on a picture to scroll through the gallery).
For the record
Weather: The high temperature was 68 degrees, but that was this morning before the cold front moved in. Apparently we are going to have a lot of cool and wet weather this week. Ergh!
Exercise: I walked 3,275 steps or 1.5 miles. At that rate it will take me forever to reach 7500 steps, but I plan to persevere!
As our long, cold, snowy winter recedes into the past, we can look forward to blue skies and sunny days, bird song, and flowers bursting into bloom. No, they won’t arrive at warp speed, but there is no denying they are on the way, so bring ’em on! In the spirit of spring, today is a good day to post some of the birds that are welcoming spring in Chagrin River Park (Remember to click on a bird to scroll through the gallery).
Singing a spring song
No more snow! on the fence post!
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” ~Maria Robinson
I plan to start today to think spring! How about you?
Thanks for stopping by. Carolyn aka Skip
PS: No exercise to report today, but the sunshine has been great!
Taking a good picture of something black…something deep, rich, unadulterated black…is a challenge for any photographer, but especially for an inexperienced photographer. It’s enough of a challenge that it even has a name:The black dog syndrome. While I wouldn’t consider myself inexperienced, I’m far from being an expert. Some things I get right. Some things I don’t. Photographing black objects is in the latter category. Today my challenge was getting pictures of red-winged blackbirds that included the right amount of detail in the darker tones. Take a look at the photo gallery below, and you will see what I’m talking about (Click on any picture to scroll through the gallery).
The pictures were taken with a Nikon D7100 and processed in Lightroom 5. If you have any suggestions for improving them, especially the blackbirds, please reply below. All comments are appreciated!
That’s it for today! Thanks for stopping by.
Carolyn aka Skip
For the Record
Weather: The high temperature was 61 degrees. The morning was overcast and the afternoon was drizzly.
Exercise: According to the app on my phone, I walked 6133 steps or almost three miles.
Driving home from the park, I had to make an unplanned stop when a little flock of turkeys prepared to cross the street in front of me. Grabbing my camera off the seat next to me, I fired off a couple of shots of these proud Toms. Although it’s not uncommon to see them in the park, it’s rare to drive down the street and see them displaying like this. Proof that it is good advice to always carry your camera.
For the record
WEATHER: Today’s high temperature was 55 degrees Fahrenheit,
and it didn’t rain (yet).
EXERCISE: I walked 6852 steps…approximately 3 miles.
I took a photowalk in Chagrin River Park this afternoon.The sun was shining, and it was almost warm enough to wear a sweatshirt instead of the heavy jacket I’ve been wearing all winter. And it wasn’t raining! So I’m celebrating, even though there is some rain and (maybe even) snow forecast for the weekend. On a day like this, I see people in the park that haven’t been on the trails since November, and the one lone crocus blooming by our front door may soon have some company. As you can see from these pictures, it still doesn’t look very springlike. No flowering fruit trees, crabapple blossoms, daffodils, or hyacinths yet, but nevertheless spring is in the air. The glint of sunlight on the river, blue sky, and puffy clouds are all the proof we need!
For the record
Weather: Mostly sunny skies with a high temperature of 54 degrees.
The first day of spring is one thing and the first spring day is another.The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.
~Henry Van Dyke
Here in northeast Ohio we have passed the first day of spring and are anxiously awaiting the first spring day. With ice still covering much of Lake Erie and only a few crocuses brave enough to lift their heads through the dead leaves in the garden, spring still seems a long way off. Someone summed it up by saying that temperatures are slowly moving from miserable to manageable. Today, with some sunshine and blue skies, but a stiff breeze, was manageable!
For the record
Today’s high temperature was 51 degrees with partly cloudy skies.
Exercise: 5558 steps in 1:43:57
Nothing to brag about on either front, but it’s a start.
I took today’s picture from the pedestrian bridge in Chagrin River Park, about a mile south of Lake Erie.
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.
I took a little nature walk with my friend Marti after supper. and our timing was great for getting some good light and several critters in North Chagrin Reservation. Walking across the boardwalk through the marsh, we stopped when someone said, “Did you see that frog?” And there it was, sitting on a lily pad.
We also saw a lazy little gosling sitting beside the marsh while Mama, Papa, and the siblings took an evening swim.
We searched for a heron that we heard was standing close to the shore…”Closer than we’ve seen it in a while,” according to two walkers, but it had vanished. Camera shy, maybe. The last animal we saw was a snake. We would have missed it without the help of a little girl who first asked us where it was, then discovered it herself and called us over to see it. It was pretty big, but hopefully harmless. A black rat snake maybe? It was happily napping and didn’t pay any attention to the excitement it was causing among the walkers.
That’s all the animals that posed for photo opps on this evening’s walk. I did photograph a wildflower, a definite contrast to the snake and frog, but we never saw the heron!
That’s it for tonight from the north coast of Ohio. Thanks for stopping by for a visit.