Search This Blog

Friday, April 11, 2014

Guess What? Goose Butt!

So, I've been snapping shots constantly the last couple days. Spring is here and I seem to have an eagerness to catch it in my view finder.
I've had a sinus headache the last couple days and yesterday while walking the kids down at Roselle park where the flood waters have receded I saw these...
That's right, the cottonwoods are blooming, which explains the allergies.Which it has to happen, so we'll take it and the zyrtec and move on with life.

So to day is just a quick sharing of some shots I've taken over the last few days. Well, actually I am going to step bag and look at some pics from early this week when there was still some more snow on the ground.
Or at least you didn't have to look hard to find it. These are some ski trails we found that it appears the neighborhood that is right through the trees uses as a "dog park" when the trails are no longer skiable. They are an odd mix of pine forest and sand dune.

When we first found them it was odd because one side as seen here that goes around the eastern side of the dune was still very frozen and treacherously slick to walk on. Shiela in fact slipped and yanked me down with her, then yesterday I slipped and kicked her rear legs out from under her. Poor kid.
Here she is plodding along after us after I let her deaf self off leash so she wouldn't be so close to me for that to happen again. That's the leash hanging over her shoulder.
The Western side that is also downhill is completely thawed that you can see here. We learned quicker it's easier to walk down the thawed side and up the slick side. When you try to go down the slick side you were often sliding on your bum.
I scrambled to get these photos before our temps climbed enough to get rid of our snow.

I'm loving the trees here, can you tell?
I hunted for these really thin leaves after seeing them the other day. I finally realized that they were only on the trail in one spot and one spot only. Right under this tree.
As far as I can tell it's the only one of it's kind on the trail. This and one of the oak species seems to keep a hold of their leaves through the winter. They are now dropping them as they get ready to have new leaf growth. A Black and white version of this photos is what I placed on's Nature in Black and White assignment for us hobbyist photographers.
Someone found a stick! Oh Boy.

I found this downed tree and was amazed by the color of the trunk.
Then while I was walking through more of the live trees I realized that between the pine cones on the ground and the trunks, that the woods were comprised of two different types of pine. You can see the lighter trunks that look purple when they go down, and the darker trunks mixed in through them.

These last few were taken just yesterday and this morning after a couple of warmer days.
And then there's the dune I spoke of. The entire thing of woods seems to be an old dune or moraine that is exposed on the southern side.
Here's Tucker who found himself a stick in the dunes.
And of course, what good is a stick if you don't tease your "little" brother with it?
The rest of the pictures are from other areas down near the river and after are day time temps jumped up to around the 60 degree mark.
A lot of them are from Roselle park, the park that I took the flooded pictures from last week. Yesterday we wondered down there and found that the waters had receded from the trail itself entirely.
And with receding floods, comes new green.

But there's still last years growth to be found as well.

And the water is completely down to where it belongs yet.
I think this poor goose was injured. It never lifted it's head up, but was swimming around with and against the current so it didn't seem to be stuck on anything.
There's an observation deck down near the river. Got the kids to pose on it for me.
But like any family portrait I only got two decent pictures out of the couple of dozen I snapped. Between Emmitt yawning, Tucker taking interest in the sky and Shiela and Sullivan blinking, I was lucky to get any.
Happy Little Brats.
While we were there, this guy flew over as well.
I believe it's a sandhill crane. Can't say for sure, but it's call made me think of the Sandhill Cranes back home.
I've walked by this set of stones a few times now but just realized the other day that the pair in front used to be just one. Looks like a fragile sedimentary stone that was possibly the matrix that the rounder one to the rear may have been concreted in from the patchy lighter material on the side.

However this is the picture I really wanted to share. Wednesday morning early, to early for these guys to be out, we heard something in the leaves off the boardwalk and here was this guy.
The first snake of the year! I think it's either a water snake, or a garter that needs to shed. It's got the grayish look and due to the odd time it was moving around and the way it was moving that it was in fact trying got shed it's winter skin. There is a lighter stripe you can barely see on the back and I bet if it shed it would be dark del brown almost black with a bright stripe. In other words, a garter snake. Either way, it excited me.

And you may remember that I mentioned I posted a picture to Betsy got me hooked on the yourshot program through National Geographic. So much so that I have tried to become a little more serious about carrying my camera and even got a bigger SD card for my camera in the effort to shoot in a larger format for better picture resolution. I was once again amazed that I spent 30.00 on a high quality 32 gigabyte card, and remembered that I spent at least that on my first card for a camera I bought something I believe in 2007 that was 512 megabytes? The leaps our technology has taken and the drop in prices is just incredible.
Anyway, this picture I snapped quick the other morning when they had a photo assignment called "Home". You were to take a picture of something that spoke of home to you. I was thinking, what means home to me? And it's an easy answer. My dogs. I can relax wherever my kids can. Despite not loving the apartment, I realize that when my kids can ignore the sounds lot life around us and snooze, I seem to be able to as well.
The original picture wasn't black and white but I thought it was better with the color washed out at least a bit. I also really like this "antiqued" version. I learned the lesson that in the "RAW" format that I have been shooting in, I can't choose to take black and white or sepia toned photos. The RAW format only takes the data and you can play with such coloring on the computer later. It was a good little lesson to know for later photos.

I also took the morning of the snake encounter this video I wanted to share. I had just taken the pictures of the goose butt and turned around and saw the water reflecting the rising suns light on the trees behind me. Between it and the birdsong it was a very tranquil moment. Then Emmitt pooped and we went on with life... Isn't that the way it goes?

Okay, off to bed with me. I'm exhausted and have to work tomorrow. We just kicked off this years yarn shop crawl today. I'm beat.


  1. though i'm sad you aren't in Alaska, i'm loving all the cool nature around your new home!! also love that you are on nat geo's your shot...a cool way to connect with people globally!!

    1. Yes it is. You may need to come down this way once we get settled. We'll have a room you can use. And thanks, it was.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Thanks for another great set of photos. The colors on that downed trunk would make a great yarn colorway, I think. Glad all is going well. Take care - Joe