Flying Machine

So would you strap a few gallons of gasoline in a plastic container and a very large fan behind your back and fly over the ocean????   I certainly wouldn’t but then I am not the adventurous type…well not when it comes to heights!   Watched this guy a few weeks ago on the south shore of Long Island, surprised he didn’t have a camera of some sorts with him, would have made some pretty cool shots!

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Snowy Owl

One of the items on my Long Island “bird”  bucket list was to see a snowy owl, a friend of mine has seen one for the past few winters and I was hoping to be as lucky.  WELL  today was my lucky day.   Headed down to the Hamptons area early on this cold but promised to be a sunny day.  I have been to this beach during the summer, but my first trip in the dead of winter…looks very different.  My hope was to find a snowy owl but was happy to be out and see what I could find.   First sighting was a sandbar filled with seals… not very good shots as they were in the distance quite a ways….

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Then I as I was scouring the landscape there was a brightish something that just didn’t seem right….so sure enough as I got closer and looked through the 300 mm lens there she was!  I was so thrilled!  Took a few shots, walked closer, took a few shots walked closer  🙂  you photographers know the drill, have to capture an image even if it is only a record shot and hopefully eventually get that great shot!!

 

Snowy Owl

Immature female, Long Island NY

 

Well did get some good shots, but I think between the extender and the fact that I was so cold I was probably shaking the camera they are not as clear as i would have liked…but happy to have captured this pretty immature female Snowy Owl!

Snowy Owl

Immature female, Long Island NY

 

Autumn Orange

I associate pumpkins with halloween…BUT pumpkin pie?  Now that’s Thanksgiving!  I am now in the midst of farmland and every other mile is another farm stand, they all still offer the pumpkins.  Grabbed this shot last weekend as I was exploring.  I must admit, while most of my cooking/baking is from scratch, pumpkin pie is one of those things that I buy frozen and “bake” in my oven  🙂

 

 

Long Island north shore farms

Long Island north shore farms

Sunrise on a cold autumn morning

Trying to make time to get out with the camera, with still so much to do to finish off the new home I have to force myself to get out even if for only a few hours.  Last week I was at the Babylon docks to watch the sunrise and it was so nice to have a cloud free morning.  It was a bit chilly but so beautiful.

I will admit this photo has an enhancement.  I was contacted by Jane about a week ago offering a barter, she would provide me with a few free overlays if I would try them and then share them.  Good deal to me 🙂  I chose the Light Ray’s collection, thought it would be fun.   the image below was enhanced using https://sleeklens.com/product-category/photoshop-overlays/.  What do you think?  Would love to hear feedback

Taken from the Babylon docks on a cold autumn morning,

Taken from the Babylon docks on a cold autumn morning,

Kempf Preserve at Wading River

Today was my first adventure out from my yard with the camera.  I spend Friday night searching possible places, I had originally wanted to go to the south shore /ocean but the weather was saying clouds so I stuck close to home. Edward and Dororthy Kempf Preserve at Wading Rivier is where I finally ended up, a short 5 min drive from the house.  Very peaceful place indeed.   I didn’t capture many photos as the canopy is quite full and not good light for shooting, but saw and heard quite a selection of wildlife.  The usual songbirds, some wild turkeys, deer, chipmunks, a few heron’s and if I am not mistaken I also heard a kingfisher.

So now that I am back on Long Island I don’t have to worry about running into feral hogs, or snakes HOWEVER, there is a “predator” here. My BFF warned me to wear long sleeves, long pants, and spray with bug spray.  I did follow her advise and assumed I would be OK….shortly after leaving the preserve I starting itching and feeling like I was getting bitten…figured I had just rubbed up against some bush that irritated my skin…no such luck.  I finally pulled my pants leg up and horrors……ticks, itty bitty , way too many ticks all over my legs.   I mean no bigger then the head of a pin,  if they hadn’t moved I never would have seen them.  YUCK!   showered and scrubbed and washed everything I was wearing in hot water.   Felt much better, but I won’t be visiting any treed areas again until after the first frost…that’s fine I’ll stick to the beaches  🙂

Here are the only two photos worth posting from this morning’s walk.  An immature Cooper’s hawk that was carrying on like a spoiled little boy 🙂   And there were plenty of deer along the trail, caught one before he saw me and took off.

Kempf Preserve, Wading River NY

Kempf Preserve, Wading River NY

 

Kempf Preserve, Wading River NY

Kempf Preserve, Wading River NY

The Journey has ended

It’s been a 5 month journey.   We decided, well I desired and my hubby agreed, to move back to NY.  We had been in Texas for 10 years and I longed for home.  Last April the journey began with listing our TX home, packing, planning and waiting.  I won’t bore you with the details but we are finally settled into our new home on the north shore of Long Island NY.  I just love it, surrounded by trees, vineyards and farms, 5 minute walk to  the water and only  miles from any store you could possible need.

Those of you that follow this blog know I’ve been hooked on photographing birds for 3 years now.   Well I am in heaven…our home is surrounded by big old oak tress and all kinds of new species for me.  We are going on our third week in our new home and today I pulled out the camera to see if I could remember how to shoot 🙂 I put out thistle, suet and sunflower seeds last week in feeders and have been greeted by the locals!!! The goldfinches have discovered the thistle and I believe they will be too fat to fly soon!

GoldFinch

Younger male goldfinch

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White Breasted Nuthatch

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Titmouse

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I will eventually leave my yard,  but until then I am so enjoying all the birds that visit daily!

The Bridge

There is a story behind this bridge… This is the bridge that connects the “mainland” to the barrier beach in Suffolk County on Long Island.  There is another bridge that then connects to the other barrier beach known as Fire Island…for  those of you not familiar with Long Island…this can get confusing  🙂    So way back when I was in grade school and God was a child, I lived on Oak Beach which was a bridge ride to school every morning.  There were 3 families (with kids)that lived year round on the beach, it was myself, the McCroddens, and the Lynch’s. While the Lynch family had like 13 kids…the rest of us combined were 4.  The school bus came every morning…it was a full-sized school bus by the way….picked up the beach kids and drove us to the “mainland” to school in Babylon.  The original bridge that connected Babylon/Islip to Jones Beach was built back in 1951,   however the need for more lanes to the beach required a second bridge be built.  I cannot remember exactly how long it took, but we rode that school bus and watched the second bridge being built…It is hard to see in this photo, but there are 2 bridges side by side here.

This photo was taken at the Babylon Dock last year when I had my annual visit home, lots of stories at the Babylon dock too…but perhaps another time.40 x 13.5 pano bridge

Mona’s Garden

 

 

 

 

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I love gardening, it is my escape and therapy …but a northerner trying to make a  garden in Texas has been frustrating .   The long warm season, the very hot summers and all kinds of other issues have turned my green thumb very brown.   I do go “home” at least once a year, sometimes more, and when I do I so enjoy the spring season in the NE.    My BFF in NY..and her husband, I know he does a lot of the work too, have the most beautiful gardens.  When I visited last summer I captured many photos but this is one of my favorite.

Quogue Wildlife Refuge

It’s been months since I’ve had any “me” time…work, a wedding, commitments, fundraising etc….I’m finally able to have some  time to do what I am passionate about…photography.  I had my annual summer visit to NY last August and yes I am just now able to start looking at the photo’s I took 4 months ago.  My thoughtful DIL Noelle made it a point to set some time aside to take me to Quogue Wildlife Refuge,  a 300 acre non-profit nature preserve that was founded in 1934 and is home to diverse wildlife. The outdoor wildlife complex houses permanently injured wildlife that require human care to survive including a bobcat, owls, falcons, a bald eagle, foxes and other native NY animals.   This beautiful bald eagle arrived at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge in 1988, making him over 30 years old.  Unfortunately a gunshot wound resulted in the amputation of his left wing, leaving him unable to fly.

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