A few hours exploring

Saturday promised to be a sun-filled day, I’ve spend the last 3 weekends packing and organizing and cleaning….and I was done with that.   Well still a lot more to do, but I needed a break.  Journeyed off to LLELA…Lake Lewisville Environmental Learning Area, one of my favorite spots and only 10 minutes from the house.  A quick explanation is likely due here to those that read my blog and do not live in the Dallas area.  Last spring resolved all of our drought concerns…Lake Lewisville was full so the dam was wide open allowing the water to rapidly flow down the trinity river and throughout LLELA.  Trails have been underwater since last spring.  I haven’t been there in about a month so I was pleasantly surprised to find the dam at a trickle and the trails emerged fully from the water.   I arrived around 7:30 and the mist was still coming off the many little ponds

early morning mist

As far as birding goes, it was not a fruitful day, rather quiet but the walk was wonderful.  I hadn’t realized how far I’d walked until I came upon the Bittern Marsh Trail, zig zagging along I’d probably gone 5 miles.   Wildflowers were starting to bloom and butterflies and dragonflies were everywhere.

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I ended up at the dam and heard one of my favorite fishermen….the Belted Kingfisher…they are sooooo fast and I was amazed when I got home to find I had finally captured an in-focus photo of one in flight…couldn’t resist the captioning 🙂

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As I was about to head home there were two gentlemen looking up at a treetop,  knew there was a bird up there but couldn’t really tell what it was, thought perhaps an indigo bunting. Allen and George,  were trying to identify the little guy.  They asked if I would snap a shot and then zoom in so they could get a better look.  Well a lifer for me.   It was a blue grosbeak,an immature male so all the blue was not yet there.  They apparently spend their summers here and return south when it gets chilly

 

 

LLELA , Lake Lewisville, TX april 23, 2016 Juvenile Male

LLELA , Lake Lewisville, TX april 23, 2016 Juvenile Male

 

All in all a wonderful Saturday morning 🙂

Home is Home

The title for this post is borrowed from the movie Brooklyn

We are making some significant changes in our lives over the next few months, very excited about it 🙂  Shooting time will likely be cut to 0%.  BUT, I do have thousands of old photos that I can go back to when I have a little time at night…which is what I did last night.

Oh those significant changes…? We are relocating back to NY!  Yeah   We’ve been in Texas for 10 years and the time has come to go home.   Along those lines thought I’d share a few images from our homestate…

Chrysler building

I doubt this image needs an  explanation, The Chryster building and the Brooklyn bridge are my favorite structures in the city.

 

brooklyn Beer

A little artistic license taken with this one.  The Brooklyn Brewery Sign.  Took this photo in 2012 while visiting my kids.  Saturday at the Brooklyn Flea Home, great food vendors and flea market. Below is an image from inside the flea market, just loved all the vintage items 🙂

Brooklyn flea market

 

This next image is from 2011, downtown when the Freedom Tower was under construction.  Love the body language on these guys, and I love the texture of the building

 

workers at WTC

Concluding this grouping with a world recognized icon, altho probably not seen often from this viewpoint

 

Lady Liberty Poster

Lady Liberty

Bobcat

As usual, if Saturday is predicted to be sunny, I will be out somewhere in search of that new bird.   This morning I decided I would visit VCDB aka Village Creek Drying Beds as I hadn’t been there for awhile.  The weather was beautiful and I was soooo enjoying the peacefulness.  Of course I also really want to take pictures 🙂   This was just not going to happen today, the ducks where too far away and spooked whenever I tried to get close,  my favorite songbirds were just not singing…. Oh well still enjoyed the 3 mile walk.  I was going to head to the car when I decided that one more walk down this particular path that usually provides luck was in order….too early to go home.   As I made my right I saw something in the path, I don’t carry binoculars as I have enough weight with all the camera stuff, I use my 400mm lens as my binoculars.   So put the tripod down, took a peek and WOW, there she was.   Bobcat sitting in the path.  I snapped a shot knowing it was not going to be clear but figured I wouldFirst sighting get one of those “documentary” photos so my husband would believe me 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walked a bit closer and she layed down, that seemed strange.   Took another shot.

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Walked closer and she decided she’d had enough of me and scooted into the brush.  So I continued to walk but as I did I realized that where she ran off to was water….didn’t think she would swim away so as I walked I kept an eye on the bushes, sure enough she was hiding behind some reeds.

untitled-50-EditI didn’t know if she had babies in there so didn’t want to put her in a defensive mode so I walked past her and then stopped.

BobcatAs I turned around she came out of the bushes and scurried down the path away from me.

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Love the white stripe on the ears.

What a thrill!  I’ve seen many a photo of bobcats at VCDB but figured I’d never get one.

UTSW Rookery

I’ve heard about a rookery in downtown Dallas for a few years now, gone a few times to try to find it but never could.   My son-in-law starting working there a few months ago and I finally asked him where the heck it was…..  Sunday promised to be a beautiful spring day in Dallas so decided I would try once again to locate this special place.  Well damn, so easy to pass it by, because it is between 3 major roads and who would have thought!   There are hundreds of Great Egrets and hundreds of nests!!!  I walked without the camera for a bit just to take it all in…Egrets are monogamous  and then there are those males that are trying to find a mate.  They do this fantastic ritual, poof out the feathers, shake their heads and reach for the sky.  Totally captivating!

Engaged in the mating ritual

Engaged in the mating ritual

Those that already have mates tend to the nest.

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They rarely leave the area, and when they do they return with twigs.  I didn’t see any returning with food, but I have to imagine at some point they must.

 

Great egret BW

The entry to the rookery faces east and the early morning light provided an opportunity to silhouette some of images….added a little text here, but otherwise a straight shot against the morning sun.

 

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had to convert one to B&W…while you lose that green facial breeding coloration, the contrast is striking.

So according to the information posted at the Rookery, the Great Egret is the first to arrive, after their chicks hatch and can fly, the Snowy Egret then comes.   I will be visiting again and share the latest update

 

Architecture and Research in Las Vegas

 

13x19 architecture

Visited Las Vegas a few years ago with some friends.  Mike insisted that we take a ride to see this crazy building…just had to see it.  It was, in fact, something quite unique.   Totally enjoyed photographying it but never  checked it out any further.  When  my kids wanted a printed frame of it, I thought I would investigate further.  Turns out it is the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health building.  I’ve linked the Wikipedia information here, famous landmark for both architecture and fundraising for research and eduaction on Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s Dieasess, Multiple Sclerosis and ALS.

The Mushroom

At the behest of one of my followers MVSchultz  I am posting some of my older photos…   I must admit I did not spot this on my own, a group of us went for an autumn trip to Beavers Bend, Oklahoma and did A LOT of walking on trails.  Doug spotted the mushroom and I believe he posed it so the lighting was perfect….I just came behind him and captured my own version.

Mushroom

Do You Remember

When you come across an old photo do you remember the moment?  Do you remember what you were feeling at the time.  They say that the sense of smell is the most powerful memory, but I’d have to say that an image is a close second…to those of us that walk around with a camera around our necks at all times.

I mentioned in the last post that I’ve been going through old photos to find some for my daughter and son-in-law; they want to have some prints to decorate her new home.  In the process I’ve had to comb thru ALOT of photos trying to find them.  It’s been fun 🙂  Anyway where I was going with this….so many of the images immediately bring back memories, feelings etc.  It’s amazing how I cannot remember things I am suppose to at work…but damn remember every detail of a photo from 5 years ago!  LOL

Another image to share for today

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When I picked up a camera again, after many years of not shooting,I joined a photo meetup group…figured I’d meet some nice people that I could share the passion of photography with, and as the case with this photo, go places that I would not go alone.

Adobe Lightroom print module

I subscribe to KelbyOne and always find a course of interest…came upon one last night “Lightroom Series: Cool Layout Ideas for Lightroom”.  For those of you that are subscribers, I highly recommend this class, those of you that are not signed up….What are you waiting for? so many tips and tricks with LR and PS.   No I don’t get any royalties for this promotion 🙂   Want to improve your photos…sign up!

 

Birds Poster

 

 

NYC poster