Thursday, February 24, 2011

So He Had A Bad Day

We enjoyed a getaway this past few days. We were just south of Memphis in the Tunica Mississippi area. We had a nice time and, as we were leaving the area, Mr. Right spotted a photo op that turned into an even better photo op. Here's what caught his eye and caused him to suggest that I get a picture:

While I was capturing this photo, a bird appeared to fly out of the top of the silo and I captured him too.

I photographed him as he flew by and it wasn't until I reviewed the pictures in my camera that I realized the drama that I had unwittingly captured.

And, even though this hapless rodent got to fly before he died and he saw the world from a birds eye view, I'm pretty sure it wasn't on his top ten wish list.

Here's the triumphant predator looking for more prey:

Probably a red-tailed hawk right?

And here's another from the series of pictures that we really stopped to capture.

And here's a camouflage hut for sure.

Ultimately, though, the shots of the day were the ones I caught by accident.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I've talked and talked about the perks of being a grandparent. Last weekend, once again, we got to enjoy those perks once again and it was a double win for us.

Like so many of our faraway grandchildren, we don't see our Louisville grandchildren nearly often enough so when Sarah asked us a favor involving spending the night with those grandchildren, we couldn't hesitate. Although it was a five hour drive on Saturday (Mr. Right had to work until 11 p.m. on Friday) and a five hour drive on Sunday, we found they were ten hours well spent.

Because we got to spend time with and enjoy:

What's not to love about spending time with those wonderful children. Then as an added bonus:
and Dane
and their mom and dad stopped by on their way to Tupelo MS where they would be spending a few weeks for Chris' temporary work assignment.

All the children had a wonderful time.

And so did Grandpa and I.

Sunday morning Ethan and Mary posed with one of their pets.

And Sarah posed with her clone:

It was weird to see the grown up version and the baby version of the same person in one picture. He sure looks like his mom did when she was his age.

On the way home, we patted each other on the back for doing a good deed which made us feel like a million bucks and recounted the fun we'd had while doing it. It was great.

Oh and I caught a couple more pictures on the way home. The bridge that's a little too long for my comfort but obviously very strong and well built.

And a really small part of the enormous Fowler Ridge wind farm near Lafayette IN.

All in all it was a great weekend. Definitely a win win for us.

Friday, February 18, 2011

You Capture - Warmth

What do you mean I'm late? Just because You Capture went up a day early and I'm posting a day later than the old You Capture day? Okay, I'm late but better late than never right? I hope it's right because lately I seem to be cruising on some 'late' style itinerary.

I had all kinds of ideas for warmth this week and none of them really panned out. However as I searched the pictures I'd taken I came across this series that said warmth to me. It's about emotional warmth and it came about when we were in Louisville to babysit for our three Louisville grandchildren. Our daughter enlisted out help because she was planning to surprise her husband with a Valentine weekend getaway.

He had no idea that we were there to babysit when she handed him the empty suitcase. He definitely looked surprised (in a warm kind of way).

Then he found the card tucked inside. I can't imagine what he was thinking but I'm sure they were warm thoughts.

You can see his anticipation as he opened the card and I'm pretty sure he was feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.

Then he read the card that said 'pack your suitcase because dinner tonight is NOT in Louisville'. (And this is definitely a warm smile.)

And finally, it makes me feel warm and happy inside when I see his face filled with an expression that combines happiness, anticipation, affection, and most of all warmth.

It might seem like a stretch but this series says warmth to me. To see more conventional warmth and maybe some not so conventional, visit Beth at Ishouldbefoldinglaundry.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Astonishing Red-Winged Blackbird

I love birds, some much more than others. The bluebird is so special that for me it's beyond description. The robin, that harbinger of Spring, is another favorite. I love gentle birds and colorful birds and birds that fly on the unusual side. That's why I've never been a fan of the red-winged blackbird.

It seems like when I was young, sighting one of these was worthy of note. But in this era, I see them everywhere. Nothing special or unusual about them at all. In fact, really aren't they just blackbirds with a little color on their wings? Not so much. In fact they're so much more and I discovered this while walking around Striebel Pond, the flood basin where I spend endless hours walking and taking pictures.

The Male
The Female
The first surprising thing I noted was that they have a beautiful song especially haunting in the evening.

And then, I found them to be so friendly! They'd flit from tree to tree and post to post just to keep up with me as I walked. What photographer wannabe wouldn't love a wild creature that poses for rather than flees the camera.

And sometimes they'd playfully ruffle their feathers for me.

But while I was researching for this post, I learned a surprising fact in "Males have been known to swoop humans who encroach upon their nesting territory during breeding season. The "perched display", with wings held away from the body, is an antagonistic behavior of the Red-winged Blackbird." (Apparently I was about a hairs breath away from capturing that ever elusive shot of a blackbird's beak closing in on my camera's lens.)

And a not so surprising fact: "The Red-Winged Blackbird can be very aggressive while defending its territory from other animals and birds. It will attack much larger birds, such as crows, ravens, magpies, birds of prey, and herons if they enter". But Wikepedia doesn't know everything. This feisty little territory protector will also attack geese. Here's proof.

They tried to act nonchalant but it's obvious the whole family was nonplussed by this surprising turn of events as they left that grassy area that belonged to a bird of another species.

Although it's a little off the subject, the conclusion I derive from this whole story is that geese aren't just annoying to humans and swans, they're also annoying to red-winged blackbirds.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

You Capture - Really Cold

I already submitted my You Capture - Cold pictures today but after being out and about a little bit I realized that those pictures didn't really depict cold.

This is cold:

To see pictures posted by people who know what cold is the first time around, visit Beth at Ishouldbefoldinglaundry.

You Capture - Cold

The subject of Beth's You Capture this week is Cold and evidently Mother Nature wanted to give us lots of cold photo opportunities. As usual, though, she's overdone it.

Here's our koi pond half hidden behind the net that protects it from leaves during the winter. I wish there were a way to protect it from cold.

And I'm hoping that lots of food will help keep the cold away from these tiny creatures.

I snapped this picture of Joan of Arc as she sadly walked through the snow in the backyard.

Mother Nature decorated a tree in 'cold'.

And we abandoned our plans for a wintry barbeque because it got just too wintry.

For more authentically cold pictures, visit Beth at Ishouldbefoldinglaundry.