Saturday, February 10, 2018

Practice Shots with My New Camera

Herb got me a new camera for my birthday which was back in November.  It took some time for me to actually sit down and read the manual and try to figure out the new camera, but I finally got it done.  So,I thought I'd try some practice shots while counting birds this month.  I'm including a few of my favorites here.

This is not the best picture in the world, but this little bird is the hardest to spot and moves very quickly.  I was lucky to get this shot at all.  It is a Brown Creeper.

Here is another shot of the same bird.

This next one is, of course, a goldfinch.  When I first started counting birds 8 years ago, we had a lot of goldfinches visit our feeders,  Over the years, though we seemed to get less.  This year, the count has picked up again, so I was happy to take his picture.

I love the Red Bellied Woodpecker, and here is a male enjoying some thistle and waiting his turn at the suet cage.

Finally, two pictures of my favorite little bird, the Carolina Wren!

I love my new camera!

Monday, February 5, 2018

On the Road with the Deer

Sometimes I see deer when I'm driving to the trail.  Usually one or two, but on this day, I saw four!  It always makes me nervous when I see deer along the road in the parks.  The speed limit is set low, but you know people they are always in a hurry and don't watch their speed.  I stopped, and prayed that no one would come speeding along behind me and rear end me.  There are lots of turns on this road and I didn't want to be a sitting duck.  Or that drivers coming in the opposite direction would hit the deer.

#1 deer on the right side of the picture checking for cars before he crossed.

Deer #1 making it across!

Deer #2 and #3.  One on the right, and one on the left.
Deer #4 on the right.  He's going to make a mad dash!
Quick! Before a car comes!
Hey guys!  Wait for me!

Right after they passed a car came in the opposite direction.  So I was glad they made it.  For some goofy reason, I think of the album cover of Abbey Road with these pictures.  They just needed a crosswalk. Haha!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Repairs to the Trail

OK, this post was drafted quite a while ago, and I never got around to posting it.  Sorry, things got busy.

Several weeks after we had had some heavy rains, the park district finally made some much needed repairs to the trail.  This is the entrance to the trail.  To my right was the beginning of the trail.  To my left was this pile of gravel and rocks.  I was wondering if I would be able to make my way around this pile at the end of my hike.  I decided I'd give it a try so off I went on my hike.

I did see a few deer that day.  There are several in this picture.

 I think he was wondering if I was following him.

I just love when they are hiding behind the brush, and I find them!  A treasure hunt!

Finally, I made it all the way around and I was behind the pile of gravel and rocks.  The men were working by then and moving the gravel to different parts of the trail with a bobcat.  You can see them in the background.  I made it around the gravel walking on the side.  The men were finished the next day and the trail was good as new.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Shooting and Birding - Not at the Same Time!

My son, Paul and my husband love to go shooting.  However, Paul lives in Florida and only comes home two or three times a year...usually only two.  Herb works goofy full time hours at Lowe's, so its always hard to find the time to go shooting, especially during the Christmas holidays.  I've only been shooting once...well now, twice.  

I honestly don't know if I could shoot anyone, but under attack, I'm sure I would do my best and I'm pretty good for only practicing two times.  Shooting animals?  NEVER!  Paul would love to go hunting up here.  He needs to move back here to do that.  Down in Florida he's hunted for hogs.  Not much fun and no success as of yet.

It's fun listening to Herb and Paul discussing which stance, one hand or two hands is best.  I use two arthritic hands.  It doesn't take many rounds for my arthritis to kick in and hands are hurting! I must admit, I enjoy shooting a little bit more every time I go.  It is such an adrenaline rush and so liberating.  Paul is always asking if we've gone shooting lately.  I decided I want to go again sooner than the next time he comes back home....hopefully within the next 6 weeks.  I need more practice!  This is Paul and Herb showing off their skills.

Feeling the rush and the liberation!

Me and my bullet riddled target behind me.
I've been counting my birds as usual.  This past weekend was very frigid and snowy so I had lots of birds visit my feeders.  This scamp of a hawk came by both days.  Unfortunately, the pictures are a bit fuzzy.  The hawk was high up in the tree and I had to practically stand on my head to get a decent shot...and the batteries in my camera were low.  Thankfully, my old photo program has a straightening tool for pictures, or you'd be looking at him sideways!  I don't think he caught any of "my" little feathered friends.

Friday, December 29, 2017

A Little Variety

This post will be a little bit of this and that.  I know you are probably getting tired of my deer posts, but that's pretty much what I like.  

This is one of my favorite pictures!  This was taken in our backyard.  I love seeing the antlers on this guy!!  I only wish the bird feeders weren't in the shot!

This next picture was taken at one of our local parks inside their barn where they hold various activities year round.  I just love this Christmas tree!

Back on the trail for two photos that are NOT deer, however you may not like the last picture.

This last picture I hesitated to post.  I don't like to see dead animals, but it does give you a chance to see his pretty fur.  I'm sorry if it upsets anyone who sees it, it isn't too gory.  I'm guessing someone's dog might have caught it and brought it back to it's owner who was hiking the trail.  It was gone the next day.  Goofy me, said a little prayer for it, hoping it didn't suffer too much.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Deer at the Picnic Shelter.

I'm a bit behind in my blog.  I'm still using the old computer for my pictures because I like the program on the old computer.  So, the process to get the pictures on the blog takes some time.  These pictures are from a week or so ago.  I still hike 5 days a week rain, snow, shine, or as most people in Cincinnati know just plain gray cloudy winter days.  Many people are affected by the lack of sun, and I am one of those people.  The gray days just give me the blahs.  When the sun comes out, I can tell a big difference in my mood.  I'm glad though that I recognize why I am in such a crappy mood.

Most days I see a deer or two on my trails, but this particular day the deer were out in the open near a shelter I drive by to get to my trail.

I hope I don't bore everyone with my deer pictures, but I love these animals.  They're so quiet and peaceful.

There are 4 deer in this picture.

I've noticed most of the people who hike this particular trail usually have a dog or two with them.  A lot of the dogs are big dogs, so I think their owners let them off leash while on the trail.  I sure hope they leave the deer alone and let them live in peace.  But you know how people are....

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Hiking After the Rains

I must confess, this blog post was written a few weeks ago and I forgot to post it.  I just discovered it sitting in my "draft" files.  So, here is my post....a little late.

We experienced a lot, and I mean A LOT of rain over a 24 hour period recently.  I figured the trail would be muddy, but I didn't think it would be as bad as it was.

The rain came down in such torrents, the force of the rain really left the trail a mess.  There were ditches filled with rocks, stones, and sand.  It really tore up the trail itself.  Luckily, I didn't take my dog Finn with me.  It was difficult to walk without twisting knees, ankles etc.  So I took my time.

I took a few pictures of the trail, but the depth of what the rains left behind didn't really show up well in the pictures.  Believe me it was, and still is a very torn up trail.

I finally made it through the bad stuff down to the bottom of the first hill, and this is what I found.

At the bottom of this hill, you can see a sign indicating "long trail" and "short trail".  I usually do the long trail, up that muddy hill beside the steps.  I don't use the steps because they break my stride.  I'd rather climb up the hill itself.  The long trail circles around and comes down a hill on the right of this picture.  Then I cross over to the short trail and go up the short trail hill until it circles around to where I started. 

Here is a close up of the same will be awhile before it will dry up, I'm sure.

I turned around at this point, I didn't feel like swimming. Walked back up the hill, through the torn up portion of the trail and headed down and around the backend of the "short trail" until I was stopped again by water.

It was kind of nice walking through all one else was on the trail. Of course, I had to turn around again and retrace my steps again back to the entrance of the trail.   Here are a few more pictures of the high water.

This next picture shows the lake in the background.  I sometimes see a Great Blue Heron flying low over the water.  So pretty to see...unfortunately, I'm never quick enough to get a photo.