Procrastination personified!

I admit it! I procrastinated when it came to posting our family Christmas Day photos. I have two excuses:

  • I used my brand-new Christmas gift camera lens to take the pictures.
  • I wasn’t thrilled with the results I got, and processing the pictures took time.

I am excited about this lens. A Christmas gift from Bob, it is a 35mm prime lens that takes very good pictures in low light, even without a flash. It’s reasonably fast. It produces sharp pictures, and it is  inexpensive, small, and light-weight. I am getting some great bird pictures when I put it on my camera and go to the park. You can see some examples here. However, on Christmas Day, I was photographing indoors, partly in low light and partly with bright windows in the background, and I just haven’t learned how to do that very well…yet. So here are a few pictures from Christmas Day. You can see more in my Christmas Day gallery on SmugMug. I hope you like them, and I hope to produce sharper pictures by the next family get-together. You learn to take better pictures by taking LOTS of pictures, and that is what I am doing!

12__2012_family_0168 12__2012_family_0266 12__2012_family_0274 12__2012_family_0299

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Strange names!

Some birds have the strangest names, don’t they?
Take a close look at this one:


He is a yellow-bellied sapsucker. Now that’s a strange name, but a logical one when you learn that he drills holes in the trees so he can suck out the nutrient-rich sap. Not only does the sapsucker benefit from the sap, many other birds and insects drink from these wells also. Look closely at the picture, and you can see a faint line of holes in the trunk of the tree. Those are the wells. Birds are truly amazing, aren’t they?

I posted more bird pictures from my morning photo walk on my other blog, if you are interested.

See you soon for another walk here in northeast Ohio.

Carolyn aka Skip

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Marching into spring!

A visit to the dentist this morning took me near the Holden Arboretum. My walk at Holden was a lot more fun than the dentist appointment. That was just a routine checkup, but he managed to find a little cavity that will put a dent in my pocketbook and give me another excuse to visit the Arboretum. Since my last visit to Holden on Sunday, the magnolia trees have burst into full bloom, and the forsythia is way ahead of itself. I can’t remember when these wonderful plants were blooming so beautifully in March. That just doesn’t happen so near to Lake Erie, but I’m loving it! Take a look at this slide show of my favorite captures from my spring walk.

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A new sign of spring

Seven or eight deer, all does, dashed across the trail in front of me today. I expected a buck to be chasing them, but none appeared as they melted into the trees on the other side of the trail. Spring is on the way, though, and today I saw new evidence: an Eastern towhee, a bird that does not winter here on the south shore of Lake Erie.This is the first one I have seen this season, although last week I ran into a binocular-carrying bird watcher who said she had seen one that day. Unfortunately, my picture of the towhee was a little out of focus, and I don’t like to post poor quality pictures, but here he is anyway.

He was hopping around in the grass, pecking for food and generally doing what towhees do. I’ll try to get a better picture soon.

For more pictures of the birds I saw today, visit my main blog. In recent months, I have been posting there on a fairly regular basis. If the natural world interests you, take a look.

~Carolyn aka Skip

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Tufted titmouse

Tufted titmouse

Hungry titmouse always shows up for a photo opp when peanuts are involved.

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Come, take a walk…

Take a walk on a sunny-blue-sky day in North Chagrin Reservation…

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Northeast Ohio is at its best in the month of October when living on the south shore of Lake Erie is truly a blessing.

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Scenes from the Arboretum

Except for cold fingers and toes, this was a good day for a walk in the Arboretum. The chilly air and grey skies must have discouraged visitors because I didn’t meet up with too many other walkers, but the scenery along the trails was magnificent as you can see in this slide show:

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Then I wandered into the wildflower garden, along a trail I seldom take, where I captured some more scenes, including a few close ups:

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Cabbage white

We haven’t seen much sun recently. Even the little cabbage white butterfly was enjoying the novelty on this sunny Sunday afternoon.

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At the edge of the marsh, this tree towers over the cattails, grasses and reeds. Standing like a sentinel at its post, it is remarkable in all seasons, but I like it best in the fall, even when most of its leaves have fallen.

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Hallelujah, a sunny day!

After almost a week of cool and rainy, mostly-below-70-degrees days, the sun came out. What a beautiful day this turned into! So after church Bob, Gulliver and I took a walk in the Holden Arboretum.  We saw a hummingbird, lots of dragonflies, frogs, flowers, gnomes, and more. It was a great way to spend the afternoon, and now I can share them with you!

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