Sunday, April 26, 2015

April 26, 2015 Spring's a usual........

This, is a "leucistic" junco.  This means the bird has no pigment in its feathers.  An albino, has no pigment.  It has been hanging around for just over a week now.  There is a normal colored junco behind it.  Once, a number of years ago, I had a cowbird hanging around that had the same issue.  It is always interesting to see one of those variations in our wildlife.
It has been one of those teasers lately.  For a few days, we had sunshine and warm......65 degrees.  Wow, that was nice.  Then, this last week we dropped right back into getting some snow with lows as cool as 16 degrees and barely making 40 degrees during the day.  I guess we should not be surprised.  Usually, our Springs do tease a lot.  Except.......some years, like last year......Spring didn't want to come at all.
Anyway......we are having enough nice weather to bring all the little varmints, like the chipmunks, out to scrounge what it available.  Then, the other of the big ones......a bear, showed up on the deck to remove a suet from its feeder and take down the big metal hanger that was attached to a deck railing.  I had been taking in all the other feeders because of the raccoon(s), no damage there.  But, I hadn't seen any sign of the bears out and about yet so I hadn't started hauling the suet in at night yet.  Well.......there isn't a suet left to haul in now.  At least it didn't destroy my suet feeder for the "long tailed" woodpecker type birds.  That is a nice feeder.  Over the years, a lot of feeders have bit the dust because of bears.  Keeps the bird feeder people in business.......I guess.
We also had enough rain to bring the creeks and rivers up.  I had fun doing some sort of abstract styles of photography with the running water.  I feel a need to get something a little different once in a while. 
Here is another, sort of unusual view of a lot of current running in a river.  Our photo group had as a subject this week....."Abstract water", I was trying my best.  I did enter this vertical shot.  I also had another rather interesting shot I took of water and sun shining in a shallow creek and it looked like liquid gold.  I really liked that one. 
Speaking of photos.......I try to get out regularly and find something.  Since I don't use  Photoshop or Lightroom, my photos may not always be as "pretty" as some of the very serious pros out there.  However, I still find some pleasure in keeping them real.  Nature is quite beautiful all on its own without using the programs to pretty them up to the point of being totally unrealistic at all.  I   admit, there are times I wouldn't mind learning how to use lightroom.  Sometimes, you are at an item of interest and the light just isn't right and you just can't pull it off......been there, done that.  With one of could save the day...........if you know how.   Maybe someday!  Never say never, I guess.
I will leave you with a shot of Betsy, by a reflecting pool, on the shore of Lake Superior......I took on  Friday.  She is growing to be quite a model dog and pretty well behaved.  Anyway, both of my dogs like being the "star."  Toby actually gets pretty jealous if he isn't getting in all the shots.  So, I better not leave him out........'s Toby.  Both of the shots with the dogs in, at these various reflecting pools, were so much better than without them.  They were pretty.......but, just missing something. 
Have a fine week........all!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

April 16, 2015 Rights, Privilege, or Hypocrisy........

Here's a shot of one of my favorite crooked trees on the shore of Lake Superior.  I have tried and tried to take a really nice photo of this tree for a long time.  It is just in a hard spot to get good light and a good angle both at the same time to show it off.  I think this works. 
However, I have had other things on my mind for a while......especially since the new ruling in Indiana.  I am having a hard time to know how to write it and not make everyone mad.  But, on the other hand, I think there are some subjects here that need to be discussed with open minds.
If you hadn't figured it has to do with the gay/lesbian issue.  I know a good many of them and would call many friend besides ~ both men and women.  I understand a lot of the issues.  I'm sure I probably don't understand a good many either.......but, short of having a serious sit down with some of them and calmly discussing some of the issues.......well, they may never get resolved.  Judging by some of the letters to the editor I have been seeing in papers lately, I am not the only one bothered by some of the issues either.
One of the issues that bothers me the most since gays have been given the privilege of getting, now that they can.......a few seem to think they can make everyone accept it as ok.  Well, not everyone does think it is ok and some are never going to agree on that one.  I fully understand a committed couple wanting "rights" in as far as owning things together, death benefits, visitation rights at hospitals when one is ill.......I could go on ~ but, I think you get the idea.  A good many people, and I would include myself here......grew up thinking that being gay isn't something to be proud of and church told you it was wrong.  Well, some people who have been brought up this way are never going to accept that marriage is anything but between a man and a woman because of this.  This isn't just a  United States thing!  You don't just take a lifetime of how you have been brought up and say "OH, it's ok now" because a judge said so.
Another part of this issue is, a good many people have learned to accept the gays living together as couples and are ok to let that be.  It's their life in their home and leave it alone.  They would even go as far as saying they could have a civil ceremony that gives them the rights to all the benefits of married couples, legally.  However, they still aren't ready to agree to gay marriage.
Ok, so my point here that they can get married.........everyone is supposed to accept that.    Ok.  But, while accepting that they now have this right......does that give them the right to go to a caterer, or a flower shop owner......or whatever........and want their service and if they sue them right out of business?  Do you really think this is right?  It goes back to "rights" of people.  If you honestly think it is ok for the gays to do this to an individual because they won't bake them a "gay" wedding cake or whatever........well, this is out and out hypocrisy.  You can not make others accept you by bullying them into it.  It will not happen.  In the mean time, you are taking away someone's livelihood simply because they wouldn't serve you.  That should be their right.  If you want rights, don't take away other people's rights.  By doing that, you are doing nothing but making people who opposed the gay marriage thing in the first place more antagonistic.  Is that what we really want?  I don't think so.  Isn't it time to live and let live and be fair to all people about their rights?  There are other people out there to make that flower arrangement, bake that cake, cater that party, or take those photos.  Personally, I wouldn't want someone doing it for me...........that didn't really want to..........just so you can prove your point.
So, people, let's quit the hypocrisy.  We all deserve to be loved and respected.  So, no matter who you are and what the issue......let's try treating others as you wish to be treated. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

April 3, 2015 Some April's Fools going on..........

April greetings!  I took this yesterday when I was out and about with the dogs.  It was a pretty sky day and the weather was teasing us with promises of Spring.  It got to 55 degrees in my neck of the woods.  It was 50 degrees at noon when I was on the shore.  But.......tis the season, isn't it!  One day, it's a pretty sunny day with promises of real Spring.  Then, it's snowing an inch or three!  We have had a couple of snow days this week and Sunday was the first with 3" of the white stuff.  Then a day or two later we had over an inch again and the whole yard was white.  I was actually driving on snow packed roads again, up here.  The highway was wet and bare when I got down there. 
Then, since it has decided to maybe be winter again......a bunch of the deer came back.  That even includes some of the big bucks, yesterday.  I thought they were gone til next winter as they had been gone over a week.  Some of the deer had been gone over two weeks. A big doe and her soon to be 2 year old daughters were back this morning too.  They had been gone about 10 days.  So, the dispersed deer herd is mostly back.......with a few new ones.  This deer above, Miz Spectacles, saw me walking around the yard and had to see what I was up to.  You see parts of her two girl fawns here too.  She stays around all year.....for several now.  She lives across the road but she comes to visit quite frequently.  I love those big eye rings she has.  She is a very striking deer.  Now, this morning.....there are deer laying around the perimeter of the yard all over......because they can.  There is some bare grass and a bit of, life is good.
And is the season for the cluster flies to come out.  I vacuum and vacuum and there are still more of these darned pesky things in the windows or on the floor.  Sheesh......those things drive me stinkin' nuts!  Honestly.  They are so annoying.  Not to mention when one falls out of the air into one's coffee cup!  When we were first moving in to our home, it was a bad year.  I had EcoLab come and spray for the darned things.  I didn't appreciate not being able to see out of my windows for two weeks........but, I liked the no flies part.  Now, the past few summers, we have been sanding and refinishing the outside of the house so haven't been able to do that.  I have a hunch I am going to be calling them this year when the time comes they do that.  Plus, new puppy.....Betsy, thinks they are so interesting.  She gets up on the couch and tries to catch them in the window.  So, not only flies and fly spots but puppy noses all over the window!  Oh well........there could be worse things, I guess.
Speaking of she is, earlier this week.  She is getting that posing stuff down pretty good these days.  She is such a cheerful, happy dog.  Everything is fun!   So, you see, there is an upside to everything.  That is also a good thing because that is an extra set of puppy feet to carry in a lot of mud these days.  But, mud season too, will pass!
Here is Toby, out and about with me this week too.  He is getting old enough that now, anytime I stop to take photos, he stops and lays down to rest.  He doesn't want to miss any adventures.  But, he doesn't have the stamina anymore either.  He will be 12 years old in just over a month.  So, I am thankful for each day he's healthy and getting around. 
Some days........we just have to stop and count our blessings.  When we think about the good stuff.......the minor annoyances in life seem insignificant.