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Friday, March 14, 2014

Out & About

I guess I really didn't want to work on my knitting this morning. I got up about 5, thinking that was what I would do, yet here I am on the computer playing with yesterdays photos.
I pulled out the big camera yesterday and put on the 300mm lens to see if I could get some better bird shots.
As you can see, while I was digging out the camera and various pieces and parts from the spare room (large closet) someone figured out what was happening. Cute little shit that he is. Who can say no to that face? But do you notice something wrong with that photo? Such as the blurriness? I think I need to get my big camera looked at because you will notice over and over again that the days shots are blurred. In fact, at times the auto focus wouldn't even function until I shut down, pulled off the lens and replaced it and powered up again.
Could have been the cold as it was about 6 degrees while shooting these... and it needs a serious cleaning from the Wyoming dust. Too boot, shooting birds in trees with branches surrounding them, not easy, but we went for a Rogue River stroll with the frisbee to see if we could catch some elusive cardinals.
And I should have pulled out the big camera earlier because it's mating season and all these guys are high up in the trees shouting out their mating call (which is very pretty by the way). No longer down by the trail where they would be easier to catch on camera.

"Mating call? How do you know it's a mating call?" I hear you ask.
Because I accident'y caught this on camera. What is this?
Two woodpeckers going at it.
I didn't realize what I had snapped until I was looking at the shots at home. Whoops. But hey, I finally got those shy woodpeckers on film! And here in MI, these guys have that chuckling laughter of a call that made woody woodpecker famous, though it is not near as annoying as his. The other day on the Grand River we saw a woodpecker with a bright red head. The whole head, not just a cap. Of course, he was right on the trail, bold as could be and me without a camera just trying to get the kids walked and to the vet before heading to work for the day.
Despite my camera problems and the fact that every time I went to catch a shot it seems, Shiela would tug on her leash; old bitch that she is, I did get some shots.
Including a coupe neat ones as I was just snapping when I saw the birds.
I think these are the female Cardinals.
Their calls are similar, just a bit quieter, higher and more feminine sounding. Less whistle like and more tweet I guess.
I loved this head on one.
And do you ever notice there is always one in every crowd?
Everyone is trying to have a little sleep in and there's that one that has to get up early to have a bird bath and preen early?
He was just getting ready for his photo session. But it was kind of funny, The other ducks did seem to be trying to sleep and seemed a bit disgusted with this guy.
When I moved forward on the river to try and snap some shots of the golden eyes that are also shy and easy spooked, I made the dogs wait back further. Then it seemed like the perfect opportunity for some shots.
The vet down here was amazed with these guys particularly Shiela. We had to do some blood work and Shiela's came back looking perfect, again. I swear, her heart, nor kidney or liver are ever going to give out. She is on a huge amount of rimadyl for a dog her size (which we started a new pain med that is working! We are down to half the dose of rimadyl) and yet it's going to be those back legs I think that give out. As you can see in the second shot, she is slow to sit these days. It takes too much to get up and going again from the ice. Yet she always wants to go. One of these days she will let me know I guess, until then she's the normal trooper. Besides walking stiffly, never lets you know she's hurting, just keeps trucking. Unfortunately, they confirmed her eyes are getting worse. She is seeing very little these days, is deaf, but that nose still works! That's what happens when you move into the ancient zone. Who knew she'd make 18.
I was able to catch some Golden Eyes and what I think is possibly a Merganser in the right of the shot.
But enough was enough for these shy water fowl. As it was, I really had to zoom out for most of these shots.
And a mallard in a flight shot that I didn't realize I had caught, though you guessed it. Blurry.
This was the last one I saw as I headed out, Again, way up in the trees which made getting decent shots difficult.
While we were on the river though we had to stop at the dog park.
Can you tell someone got in trouble. What a mope. Has to go lay by himself and look pitiful. I swear he would have gotten along with my older brother and the next youngest one. They were all mopers too.
What's going on here?
Sullivan really doesn't want to be a frisbee dog as he won't retrieve it though he has learned how to catch!
He just likes to tease Emmitt when he gets his jaws on it.
It becomes a game of Keep-Away
This next one is for you Milllie because he looks like one of those big AT-AT things from The Empire Strikes Back.
What a silly dog, but he does have a great time. Here I thought he looked like a high stepping horse.
We are supposed to be a bit warmer today.
I noticed this tree seems to have a bunch of little goiters in it's branches...
Yesterday was in the high 20's later in the day (not at 730 on the river I tell you) but there was a cutting little breeze. Windchill values were -3, and after walking the kids, I believed. But it was a nice sunny day. Today is supposed to be 40's.
Spring is slowly creeping in I think.

Fresh leaves, berries, and blossoms to come.
I better get to the knitting here so I can get some done before I have to start the day.
I got the 4th clue of the Mystery Knit Along Done and am waiting today for the 5th and last clue. Ran out of the blue yarn (don't get me started on Mystery Knit-Alongs). Now I am working the gusset of the socks awaiting the last clue's release today.


  1. Awesome news about Sheila!! Great pics too - glad you are enjoying your new home!

  2. Kim ( Birdyslove)March 15, 2014 at 4:54 AM

    The cardinals are here all winter. Keep an eye out on your walks for the red-winged blackbird. Sure sign of Spring here! All black bird with a touch of red on the wing. Get yourself a Michigan bird book! The robins are arriving too, along with Sand Hill Cranes. In early May, the Grobeaks, Hummingbirds and Indigo Buntings will return. Great camera shop on 28th st...Norman Camera. Any word on the house?

  3. Great photos and updates on the kids. I'm so glad Sheila is doing so well, all things considered. Take care - Joe

  4. Great photos! Your kids sure do have fun! Love the bird photos. Hope all is well. Janene