Saturday, January 31, 2009

Camera Critters featuring the short-eared owl

I showed the short-eared owl once before here. Those were taken really late in the day--just a little while before dark.
However, when we were out there Wednesday what should we spot but more owls. This time it was not even close to dark. I just checked the time they were taken and these and a few more were taken right at 2:30. We only saw 4 or 5 that day. How many do you see in the photo above? I have to tell you, I had taken two or three pictures, and we were just sitting watching. As I sat there, I thought is that another owl? I looked through the lens and sure enough, there was a second owl! At least I spotted it before I got home...there have been several times when I didn't see things until I got home and downloaded the pictures and started looking at them.

Another difference, they did not seem to be the least intimidated by us. The one above sat there and sat did finally leave of its own accord. But the ones in the top photo--I waved and waved my arms. I wanted to try to get a picture of them in flight. They finally flew, but after I had done give up...I got a couple pics of them in flight but they are all blurry.

So, this was my entry for Camera Critters...if you want to join, click on the badge at the top of this post. Make sure it is today's date though!

Friday, January 30, 2009

The strip pit area...again

I cannot resist going to the strip pit area if I get the matter what time of day. I would even like to go out there on a moonlit night. I took the one above some time back...just to show you one of the strip pits...the one above is looking south and the ones below are looking north. I thought I had better pictures but I cannot locate them now.
This is the same strip pit area(north view) taken Wednesday, after the major snowfall. A big proportion of it is frozen over as you can see. But see the dark areas--they are not frozen. And they are so crammed full of geese and a few swans that I don't think another could fit in.These are not good pictures...I am not sure if it is operator errors or the cheap lens I have. But being that I sometimes get good photos with it I tend to think it is me. It is very hard to focus sometimes...hard to fine tune it say when I am trying to focus on eyes.
Still, the ones above give an idea of how tightly packed the water was with birds.

And I just have to show you a couple that I really like. I thought about saving the above shot for sepia has not been altered at all. Do you think it would have fit the theme?
And here is one looking down the road...isn't it beautiful?

Today has been a busy day for us! Our older daughter moved out to her own apartment. We moved most of her small stuff and clothes last night after she got off work. Then I went with her grocery shopping--I won't tell you how much she spent. Lets just say it was a lot...but she was buying spices, and just stocking up on the necessities.

Being that Friday and Saturday is her days off, she wanted to get all the moving done a friend of ours took the day off to help move the furniture. He is just one of the husband has a knack for picking some really good friends. They start out as his friends, but always end up feeling like family.

And I guess I should mention what good neighbors we have also...we had shoveled the sidewalks that are used...the ones out back and the ones in front for the mailman. But yesterday evening here came one of the guys across the street on his 4-wheeler cleaning off the sidewalk here at the side...there was just a small portion of it that we hadn't done. Then he tells Roger that if Roger doesn't care, he will clean out Rachel's parking space better!

I really and truly think all news shows should have to feature at least one uplifting story like this every time they air.....about the good that people do. Does anyone else remember Charles Kuralt and his show On the Road? That was one of my favorite shows. And if they aired them today, I would be glued to the TV to watch them again.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sepia Scenes

I have posted the above on the Black and White blog, and had it ready to use here, but forgot about it. It was taken last year. I have also posted the one below on this blog, but not in sepia. I was looking at my photos today and it struck me that this would make a good sepia scene...I sometimes think things and am disappointed with the results, but I do like this.Click on the badge at the top if you want to view more sepia scenes, or if you want join.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

More scenes from my chair

Even though we got snow today, I ended up just staying home. And to be honest, I didn't do much here except fix our meals and do dishes. I did try to capture some of the birds though. The geese above were taken yesterday and today...and this is just a small portion of what I noticed. Every time I glanced out, or was outside I seen/heard geese.
How do you like my thing to hang the bird feeders on? I wanted one a little bit taller than normal so Roger took rebar and a long length of pipe and designed this for me. I am 5'3" tall and I will need a step stool to get the feeders down to fill them. At least one of the cats cannot jump up and nab a bird.
The cardinals were here today--in all the snow.
Doesn't he look cold?
We got done with the baby's room just in time...I have yet to take any pictures. It will probably not be what you expect, thought it is really pretty. But I don't think my camera can capture the true color of it.

This coming weekend my other daughter moves to her own apartment...and guess what? We have snow--a winter storm warning is in effect. And it is worse the farther south you go. Last night when the news was on, Terre Haute had 2 inches of snow and up here about 20 minutes north, we only had a skim.

Tonight, when Rachel was heading home, she called to tell me she was leaving the gym. She thought they had maybe 3-4 inches of snow, and at the most we have 2 inches. But more is coming tonight and tomorrow. And I think there is a chance of snow Thursday and Friday, also.

Monday, January 26, 2009

As I sit here

As I sit here and contemplate about what to write, I have been watching numerous V's of geese fly over. Not huge V's but still, it seems like this is becoming more and more of a pathway for them. I do not know where they go, unless it is to the river. Maybe tomorrow we can take a drive and figure it out.

I am also watching the birds at my feeders that my older daughter got me for Christmas. I have had so much pleasure from them. There are cardinals, juncos, nuthatches, different sparrows, titmice, and I am probably leaving out something but they are not all out there right at this moment. Right now it is the female cardinal and a couple juncos.

We have a town hawk...not sure what kind it actually is so I just call it a town hawk. How's that for a scientific name? It was sitting in a tree across the street. I got on my old fake carhartt jacket and with camera in hand went out to try to get a photo of it, but it had taken flight before I got out there. He has been in this area for several years now. Over by the railroad is some open fields, and when I used to take our dog over there for a walk, I would see it hunting over there. That is only a block away, but I have seen it flying over the yards in the neighborhood also.

So much has changed...and some of it for the better. Just in my lifetime, in our area I have seen an increase in geese, and I had not seen a wild turkey till some years ago. I even think there are more deer and more hawks than when we were first married. And I had not noticed a Northern Harrier hawk till just 2 or 3 years ago. There is a difference in them that you notice. For one thing, they have a longer tail and a white patch on their rump, and just their general flight pattern is different than the other hawks. Whatever the reason, I really enjoy seeing all the animals.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The signal

If you are here for Camera Critters, that post is below this one, though this one fits also.
At my house, it is a signal to Mama Squirrel when I open my dining room curtains.
So many times, I open them and in just a few minutes here she comes. And she gets on the fence post and stares until she gets a reaction from me.
Sometimes, she meets me on the back porch, and others if I am not out there instantly she hikes back across the street to the trees. I don't know if she spots one of the cats in the window or what. But this morn was one of those times she ran back across the street; I was slow cause I was actually putting on my coat and getting the camera. But it was for the best cause I got some shots of her in action, running to see what I had.
She was just a bit shy of the camera, maybe cause it is all black. My other rebel has a lot of silver on it and she did not seem to mind it. Or maybe it is just the weather...who knows.
I just thought it would be fun to feature her again...I cannot think how many years she has been coming here...I think it is finishing up 3 years but it could be 4.
She is such a you can see she don't mind touching me...but still won't let me pet her. Though sometimes when she is standing in my hand like this, I will use one of my fingers to scratch her under her chin, or whatever it reaches. There are times when I think she would almost jump on to my arm to get to the food.

As an added note, as you can see we are getting another skim of snow this morning. Up to an inch is predicted.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Camera Critters--featuring wild turkeys

Coming home from a drive on the 14th, we were less than five minutes from home when we spotted these turkeys.Roger stopped and I got out....I was getting closer and closer. They weren't paying much attention to me.All the time I am looking through the viewfinder and snapping pictures. Not looking where I am walking.
Then I stepped on a can or kicked it, not sure which, and the photography session was ended.But it was fun while it lasted.If you want to join and share some critters of your own or if you just want to see what everyone else posts, click on the badge at the top of this post.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A couple more from Bridgeton

At the beginning of this week I posted a single picture of the covered bridge and mill at Bridgeton, Indiana. I had meant to post it and these two at the same time. I usually don't like Christmas decorations after Christmas is over, but there was just something about this big wreath on the side of the bridge that I couldn't resist. I had thought I would post it for the Ruby Tuesday, but they were doing macro, so first thought I would save it till next Tuesday. Instead, since I am again so tired I can't think, I am posting it because I had it ready.And I thought I should post the old mill while I was at it...I like snow pictures. And I think this is one of the better ones I have of the mill...I think I would almost like to have this one in jigsaw puzzle form.

We have been working on the grandbaby-to-be's room. Roger and Jeremy put a new window in there...and we had to do the trim inside. And Roger about had to custom design it. It turned out real would be so much simpler if Roger's table saw was easily moved. But it is a very heavy duty one and it is all he and I can do to move it a few inches at a time...and that by scooting it across the floor, not lifting it.

And he has been making the other isn't really that hard of work, but time consuming. And it would be so much easier if we could have taken his table saw. We have had to put the dado head on the saw and use it to custom fit things. I say we when I should be saying Roger....I just watch. Anyway, would be so much easier if we could take it with us, cause for two or three nights in a row, we have had to bring something back home with us for him to use the dado on.

And then there is the painting...the trim is to be painted so we have been doing that as we go. Again not hard...but paint and let it dry, then give a second coat.

Hopefully, by this time tomorrow, it will be done. Except for the new carpet which will be done Monday.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Have you ever seen anything like this? I guess I should explain. This is a tree across the street. After I met and made friends with Mama Squirrel, she had three sets of babies here beside my house--2 sets per season. The 4th set she had across the street in this tree. I could have stood on a step stool and I would have been able to reach inside to touch the babies. But I would not let myself...

Then last spring/summer we watched to see if she would use the tree above again, hoping she would since we had had the one she used over here cut down. We did not see her around it...then I forget who noticed, but the honeybees used it. By the end of the fall, I felt like it was full to the brim with honey. I always meant to go take a picture of the bees and just did not get around to it...for one thing I was not about to use flash so I am not sure if they would have shown up.

Now to this, I broke off a piece of it and brought it inside and put it on a melted and was mostly water I think. But it was sticky so it has to be part honey...I don't know if rain has blown in the hole, and thus making the tree so full it expanded or what. But I have never seen anything like it before and I thought I would share it with the rest of you.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sepia scenes

I thought of something else for your viewing pleasure besides barns. Not that there is anything wrong with least for me they are always great. But I realize some do not share my love of them so wanted to actually do a sepia scene post without one.
I kept trying to think what I had that would do and it finally dawned on me to use a picture or two from the Newport Hill Climb that takes place the first weekend in October every year. I have posted regular color photo of the bottom truck here. And I used it for Paintbox Pictures here. You have to scroll down for the version there though.

If you want to join, or just see more Sepia Scenes, click on the badge at the top of this post.

As an afterthought, I got to thinking about texture so went and played with these two photos adding texture...just thought I would show you how it altered them.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Alphabet Meme

Over at Joyful Reflections, Betsy did the alphabet meme...I thought it sounded like fun so she assigned me the letter: N. I am now supposed to list 10 things that I love that begin with the letter 'n.' If you want to join the meme, tell me so in a comment and I will assign you a letter.

For the first thing I am going to list that I love, it is

1. My brother, Neal. (Betsy gave me the letter N because of Neal--she knows we are brother and sister, and I sort of met her through his blog.) I thought it fitting that he be the first thing I listed.

2. Nieces and Nephews....several of my nieces and nephews are close to my age and feel almost more like brothers and sisters, but in reality they are all my nieces and nephews and I love them.

3. Newborns. I have always loved newborn calves or kittens. And I totally enjoyed my newborn know how you sort of dread hearing them cry to be fed in the middle of the night, but once you are up with them, you could sit and hold them forever and just look into their tiny faces and marvel at their tiny hands. (And if they don't cry, you jump awake to check on them)...but anyway, soon, we should have our own newborn grandbaby to hold. The due date was February 26th, but last week the doctor told her she could go any time and he really doesn't expect her to last till the due date.

4. Newly fallen snow--like in the picture above. I love to get out and tramp around in new snow...where my tracks are some of the first tracks to be seen. I loved eating snow where it is heavy laden on pine tree branches or off the top of fence posts. When I was a kid, I could never be out in a new fallen snow without eating my share of it. Now I am almost afraid to do that with all the pollution, but sometimes I still can't resist.

5. Nature. As you know from my post the other day, I sure do enjoy nature. Again, I used to be out in all kinds of weather seeing what I could see. And I would like to get back to more of that.

6. New. That doesn't sound like anything, yet it is. I love find a new author that I haven't read, one that I can't wait to read everything they have written. And I love hearing new songs that I want to listen to over and over. And I love picking out new pens and paper....I knew one of my nieces loves pens and paper as I do, but just a while back Neal told me he loved pens. They don't actually have to be new, just new to me. It really is hard for me to pass by those aisles in the store and not want to buy something. And I love my new camera my husband got me for Christmas.

7. Neil Young...I really love a lot of his songs. Some of his music I don't care for at all, but some of his songs are some of my lifetime favorites.

8. Neighbors. We have been blessed with having good neighbors most of our life and I am thankful for that.

9. Needles. Yeah, I am grasping at straws but truthfully, they are one of the first things I thought of. I haven't been doing much sewing the past year or so, but that is so not normal for me. I almost always have something I am sewing on. And I do enjoy hand work a big part of the time. Some people hate that last bit of sewing on the binding on a quilt but I really enjoy that last part where you are stitching it down by hand.

10. North Carolina Wrens...they are one of my most favorite things. I cannot hear one without smiling. I know in a way they fit in with nature, yet they are special to me. We always had wrens at home. They almost always had a nest on the front porch or back porch. One time they nested in my mom's wandering jew...I don't know how it survived cause we didn't really water it. Our dad had muscular dystrophy and was disabled. He sat on our front porch a lot and the wrens finally got till they would perch on his foot. Just for a few minutes, but that is still special. Or if one of us was sitting in the swing, they didn't mind perching on the chain right above our head. Either the last year I worked or the next to last year, the wrens built a next right above the washer. Thankfully, they were leaving the next about the time we started picking. I actually got to hold one or two in my hand--they were flying around where we worked so we caught them and took them out back where they would be a little bit safer.

I did have a hard time coming up with ten things that begin with 'n'--I bet once I post this a dozen more will pop into my head. I am glad this isn't a contest. If you want to try your hand at the Alphabet Meme, don't forget to say so in a comment.

A cold snowy day

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The snow and how it blows....

Please enlarge these for better viewing. I know they are sort of drab, but that is how the day was!In previous posts I have talked about how the wind blows here...and I know it probably blows as hard and harder other places. I tried to capture scenes that show the snow moving...forming its own little mini whirlwind as above,
or just the sideways blow...the kind that you don't know if it is actually snowing or just blowing the snow around that is already there....and this one going down the road showing how hard the wind can blow.These cows were cold. They were all laying there huddled together till we stopped and I got out of the car. They jumped up, on the alert. I am not sure if they were afraid or if they thought I might be bringing them something good to eat.These starlings along with some doves were eating at one of the feeders. Someone had thrown grain on the roof of the feeder. I assumed on purpose.

Friday, January 16, 2009


It is time to pay the piper...only that sounds almost negative and I don't feel that way at all. I have been tagged at different times for different things and have yet to respond. As my husband is watching Battlestar Galactica and I am not a big fan of it, I decided now was a good time to work on this.

Back in December, Mary at Faith, Fabric, and Photos tagged me to do this meme:
List the Five Greatest Joys I find in nature. I have thought and thought at different times, and then proceeded to forget how I have wanted to word this. I feel like I am just saying in different words part of what Mary had to say, and that is one of the reasons I have been so slow to respond to this one. But here goes...1. I think anyone who knows me hardly at all knows that I love the changing skies....with all the varieties of clouds and the sunsets and sunrises. I never tire of trying to capture all the different views. I would say that I probably have as many pictures of the sky (sunsets, sunrises, clouds, rainbows) as I do anything else. Except maybe barns. And I would actually have to count to see.2. I love the colors of nature. I love the brilliant colors of the flowers and the foliage in the fall, the butterflies and the birds, again the brilliant colors that come and go in the sky, oh, just all of it.
3. I love the wings of nature...especially the butterflies and the birds. I always think God must have had a lot of fun making the winged creatures...I think He outdid himself when he made the birds and the butterflies.4. I LOVE the sounds of nature. Be it a thunderstorm in the spring, or even the howling wind in the winter, or the sound of a babbling stream--I enjoy them all. I have always loved storms, actually been afraid in only one that I remember. Other than that, I have always loved them. I always loved picking apples in the rain--there was just a kind of hush--a peacefulness that is hard to describe. And the other place I love to be when it rains, is in the barn! I guess it is the sound of the rain on the tin roof that I love...gee, how I love that sound! And I to hear a wren sing or the sound of a hawk calling or the geese honking from high above--they give me such joy. I always pause what I am doing just to listen and maybe try to spot them. There are just too many sounds to name them I just named a few of my favorite ones.

5. And for the 5th favorite thing, I love the seasons! I get tired of cold weather and I get tired of real hot weather, but I would not want to be where there was no variety. I like having a change to look forward to, and even though I think fall might have the edge in being my favorite, I am never real positive of that. I seem to have something that I love about each the way things wake up in the spring and begin to bloom, love the lazy days of summer when I can sit in the swing on my porch or go wading and fishing in the creeks, love the colors of fall and just the general feel of it...and I love winter in that it so makes me appreciate having a warm bed to sleep in. But I also love it when snow comes and makes the world look new in a different way.

I am not tagging anyone at this time to do this...Then Tricia over at Bluff Area Daily blog gave me this Butterfly Award...I want to publicly thank her. I really enjoy the awards--they give me joy to think someone thinks enough of me or my blog to give me one. I am trying to think of who I want to receive it....and I just can't decide. Some that I would like to give it to do not like to mess with awards....and others I have hit recently with another award so I don't want to make a pest of myself. Just know that if I have taken time to post multiple comments on your blog, that I really, really enjoy it.

And my brother Neal tagged me to go the fifth folder and pick the fifth photo and post and describe the picture. If he only knew how hard that was...fifth from what point. Since I had to reformat the old computer...that got things slightly out of order...then I had to move them all to this new one...and they are even more out of order. I tried going to the fifth folder both from the beginning forwards and forwards going back and with digital pictures, and neither of these folders had a fifth picture. So I went to the fifth folder, which contains some scans of photos, and some photos that have been re-sized.
The fifth one in this is this barn--it is the same barn that is my header photo just a different season. In this instance it is a cropped version that I had as my header photo at another time. I have several photos of this is a neighboring barn to our old home place. It is a place I remember from childhood on. We raised the tobacco that went with the place so I have worked in that barn. I also remember mom going up there to get dirt to go in the ground of some of her was old, old manure. I think she said from sheep....I wonder if either of my brothers ever remember sheep being raised up there. I am just sure that is what she said, but I don't ever remember anyone else mentioning that sheep had ever been a part of that place. At one time it belonged to our Grandpa.