Friday, May 27, 2016

May 27, 2016 It's Official ~ Bug Season is Here!

It's that time of the year when the wild flowers are blooming ~ baby animals are being born ~ new life is  springing up all over the place.  It is so nice to wander about and observe all that is happening around us.   Unfortunately, with that pleasure comes the little black flies ~ to soon be followed by the mosquitoes.   I just don't have a lot of patience with bugs anymore.   Not like I ever had a lot.........

I have been out and about this week, trying to avoid them.  Some of these are on the shore of Lake Superior ~ such as the ones above ~ bird's eye primroses.  I have always thought these were such pretty little flowers.  They are pretty dainty.  They are also really taking hold in some of the places I used to find one or two plants.  There are now lots of them ~ which is why you see a large group above instead of a close up of one plant.   I am so pleased.   It's always nice to see some of life's pleasures expanding their ranges and spaces rather than disappearing.
Of course, Miss Betsy always enjoys our wanderings ~ whether by Lake Superior or back in the brush.   I think our trips in the brush are done, as far as the extended wanderings, for a bit.  On Monday we were over east ~ around beaver ponds and just moseying all over the place.   It was a sunny day with a good breeze until the storm clouds moved in.  So, to start the black flies weren't bothering.  However, with the heat of the last few days also came the ticks.  They really came out.  I looked down and they were crawling up both legs as fast as their little legs would go ~ lots and lots of them.  I got to the creek crossing and picked and pitched a heck of a batch.  When I got home, the jeans came off as did the socks.  I turned everything inside out too.  You wouldn't believe all the ticks!  It's been a couple of years since we had ticks in that kind of numbers over there.   It was just about the time I like to hike into one of my favorite ~ mostly unknown ~ water falls.  WELL.......that isn't going to happen any time soon now.   I have been bitten a few too many times by ticks, that I managed to miss.   So far, I have been lucky.  One never knows when that luck runs out.   And ........ I know for a fact some of the tick borne diseases aren't pleasant.   So ~ sometimes, better safe than sorry.
To end ~ here is one of the more difficult flowers of Spring to photograph.  Ginger.  No shortage of that around anyway.  They are definitely an interesting plant.   Too bad they aren't more useful, since there is an abundance of them.   I did harvest a bunch of nice fiddleheads again this Spring tho.  They are always tasty.  Spring has sprung ~ enjoy it!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

May 14, 2016 Egrets ~ beautiful egrets!

Just for something different to do ~ we went on a road trip for a couple of days and watched these beautiful birds building nests, bit of mating displays yet, sitting on nests, and just doing what they do.  It was interesting watching a large bird like this walking around in the spruce trees.  Here, we have much smaller birds hanging out in them.   There isn't a lot exciting going on here at the present time ~ just waiting for Spring to come to stay!  26 degrees, cloudy, gray, snowflakes on roofs, decks and railings this a.m. ~ not exactly "Springlike" weather!  Plus, we got to visit with folks we don't see often.  So, this was fun.  Miss Betsy enjoyed getting to meet a new dog friend too!
Over in this area, it looked like Spring.  The leaves were out.  The trees were all blooming!  It was just beautiful.  One of the first photos I took, upon getting out of the truck, was an egret playing peek a boo with me from up in a blossom covered tree.  Talk about beautiful!  Now, if I had only had some blue sky to work with instead of gray and drizzles ~ I'd have really been in my glory!  I guess I was anyway ~ but, the contrasts I'd have gotten with the blue sky and white birds would have been amazing.
A number of photos like this ~ when I caught some in the open with their displays and nest building ~ would have looked so good with the blue sky.  Oh my ~ I really will have to go back there.
Here is just one example of all the birds nesting in one of the trees.  Cool and gray ~ they were just hunkered down and that's the way they stayed.  There were quite a few of these trees full of birds.
There were also some cormorants on the island.   I captured some with sticks for their own nest building projects.  They really are pretty cool birds ~ even tho, I know a lot of people don't like them.  I guess they compete with the fishermen too much!
Here is one busy working on the nest.  It never did turn and face me but it was a shot with color to set off the plumes blowing in the breezes.   Watching the mates bring the sticks and the hand off and then the placement was pretty cool to watch.
Here, again, just a posing in a tree shot.  But, what a difference the blue sky would have made.

It was also cool to watch them walking around on the ground.  Whether in flight, trees, or on the ground ~ they are beautiful birds to watch.   It would be fun to go over when the babies are hatched and getting fed in the trees.  But, I really want to get there on a beautiful Spring day next year for the mating rituals, for sure.
Here is one more photo of a group in the trees.   So, if you are a bird watcher ~ you should be enjoying the little photo story of some birds I have always admired from a distance ~ whether it be on TV or in a book.  Now, I finally got to watch them in person.  Once isn't enough!  :)