Snowing Days

Winter arrived in Dallas this past week, snow and ice and very cold temps.  Just too cold to go outside and honestly without some sunshine to brighten up the dreary days I saw no point in wandering outside with the camera (not to mention it’s hard to click the shutter button when you can’t feel your fingers!)

So I set up the camera in the warmth of the house and snapped a few shots of my feathered friends…how do they manage to stay warm in this weather???

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Correction…

A few posts ago I showed a hawk that was outside my kitchen window, I mistakenly identified it as a Red-Tailed Hawk….ooops.  Well my visitor came by again yesterday and I was able to get a full body shot.  He is in fact a Coopers Hawk.  They are much smaller than the Red-Tail.  It’s been cold here in DFW area so I guess he is having trouble finding food, everything is iced over.  As long as he leaves my little birds alone I guess I don’t mind his visits  :)

Coopers Hawk

Coopers Hawk

Red-Tailed Hawk juvenile

Look who came to visit me today.  He was sitting on the fence by my bird feeders, obviously all my little birds were no where to be found.  I was going to go outside and chase him away, but had a grab a few shots through the kitchen window first :)  He apparently got tired of posing and flew off on his own.    I see I need to clean my windows again!Red-Tailed Hawk

 

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H Ferrell Hogbottoms

Don’t you just love that name! H Ferrell Hogbottoms This place is a little, well not so little, something like 146 acres in Irving TX…it is an oasis in the making.  A gentlemen by the name of Jim is creating this wonderful refuge, it’s whimsical and natural and oh my gosh can grow into  a wonderful getaway for both nature lovers and nature itself!  Went on what I’ll call a “scouting visit” yesterday, actually didn’t take a lot of photos, just enjoyed exploring the place….and hoping Jim will allow me back in to take more photos!  Spotted quite a variety of animals and ducks and birds.  From llamas, to Rams, to Wood ducks to Lincoln sparrow and a bunch in between :)

I actually shot with my wide angle lens for the first time in probably a year…I’ve been so engrossed in birds I really haven’t taken the 400mm  lens off the camera.  Also decided to play a little with textures in Photoshop,  something else I haven’t done in awhile. Hope you enjoy as much as I did exploring.

There is a facebook page and a website, you should go check it out!

hogbottom fog

RAM

hogbottoms

yellowlegs

Wood Ducks

I’ve seen and learned a lot in the past year since I starting shooting Birds and Ducks…by far the wish list duck for me was the Wood Duck.  OMG, what a beautiful creature!  Finally a few weeks ago, thanks to my friend Randy who seems to know all the great spots to find ducks and birds, I spotted my first male wood duck.   They were pretty far away, so the quality of the photos is not the best, but WOW. Look at those colors and design!!!

wood duck

Some interesting facts:  unlike most waterfowl, the wood ducks perch and nest in trees.  They find their mate in the winter and usually produce two broods in one year. A clutch can have between 6 and 16 eggs and it is not uncommon to have two females using the same nest so if one were to take a peek, there could be 30+ eggs in there!

wood ducks

You can see the female here, not as colorful but still beautiful.

Got my camera and lens back!

Yeah! after almost two months I picked up my camera and lens from the shop. (see Camera-less) Looks good as new and after a quick few sample shots in the backyard this evening appears to be in tip top shape!!!

The cardinal, I’ve named him Sammy, posed for me. I think he know I was looking for something to shoot :)

cardinal

And one of the many juncos that hang out in the yard also came by to see what I was up to!

Junco

This Saturday is supposed to be warm and sunny…here’s hoping mother nature provides me the opportunity to go out :)

Wild piggies…

Texas has a feral hog problem, actually a few states do.  They destroy property and while not aggressive by nature, will attack if cornered, hurt or a sow with young ones.  There have been times when I am on a isolated trail and see the signs of furrowing hogs, I do get a bit concerned …HOWEVER when it comes to baby anything…

There is a water management area in Arlington TX that is a great spot to capture (well usually) ducks and birds; last fall they drained most of the water so the usual visitors were not around.  They’ve recently been adding the water back…where am I going with this you ask?   A hypothesis… there is a little “island”, basically a patch of land in the middle of one of the areas.  On the “island” is a family of baby pigs/ feral hogs.  I’m guessing they were born in that particular spot and when the water was re-introduced their home became an island.

piglets

There are nine of them but no sow in sight.  At the moment they are like pigs in $h!!T….lots of roots and plenty of water.  I must say they are just adorable!!!!  Three blondes, three redheads a dirty blonde and a brunette…yes I know that’s not really what they are called :)  indulge me!

hogs

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I tried to find out if pigs swim, (I know they don’t fly) I learned they can climb but no information on their swimming abilities, at some point they will probably need to leave the area they are on…

I spent an hour on Saturday watching and shooting them, totally entertaining :) They’ve dug themselves a pit where they disappear to, (out of view), probably to take a nap in between eating, which they seem to do on a constant basis.

Will probably go back in a week or so to see them again, with the endless food source at the moment curious to see how fast they grow!

Please Please Please open and read

Originally posted on Finding a Cure by Walking:

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BREAST CANCER  SUCKS!

I have never been one to easily ask for help, I tend to bulldoze my way through things and just “get ‘er done”, but there comes a time when one must ask for assistance….and the time has come.

For the past 5 years I’ve been involved with the Susan G Komen organization, raising funds for awareness, research and assistance to those in the fight against breast cancer.  I’ve walked the 3 day 60 mile walk and raised a lot of money for a disease that touches so many of us.   This year I’ve upped the ante and will be walking in the New York Avon walk as well …another 40 miles and another terrific organization

Did you know that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and that someone in the world is diagnosed every 3 minutes!!!! Those are staggering and scary stats!

I’m asking, no…

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