Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

I’m loving these pied-billed grebes…except SoyBend just pointed out that it’s a ring-necked duck. Thanks. He’s still handsome, though.

The generally preferred method of taking macro photos is with a macro lens, unless you’re carrying a camera with a telephoto lens for bird photos. In that case, the preferred method of taking macros is from about 6′. πŸ™‚ That’s what happens at the Preserve unless I’m taking my photos with my phone. In this case, think telephoto at a distance. Welcome to Monday.

Even in Arizona, if you get high enough, you’ll see leaf color change. Mr. Lemmon tops out over 9,000′, reached by the scenic Catalina Highway. We drove up the 27-mile Catalina Highway, a designated scenic byway, Saturday, starting in the desert, ending in alpine forest by the ski area where we managed to catch some leaf color. Mountains!! Yeah!!

Tuesday I shared the excitement of seeing my first roseate spoonbill at the Preserve. Those in charge put out a map (I still don’t know which lake is which number) with a list on the back of all the birds that might be/have been seen there and indicating whether or not the bird is there year-round and how rare a sighting is. “A” is the last, rarest sighting designation for “accidental”, meaning it’s very unusual and that’s what the spoonbill is.

Even though I would have considered my day complete with that sighting, I had yet another surprise in store. As I wandered along a small back path, another hiker told me that back and just across the path was a falcon. I hustled over, finding the spot easily by the several birders with binoculars, long lenses, or fingers all pointed in the same direction.

The “falcon” turned out to be an osprey, another bird that’s been on my mental list of birds I’d like to see and this handsome fellow with the piercing gaze didn’t disappoint. He seemed happy to pose for us on a nearby branch. One birder was unhappy not to get a shot of the osprey in action while another regaled us with the description of a photo he got of an osprey catching an enormous fish. Me? I was thrilled to add this to the spoonbill sighting! Quite the looker, isn’t he, even though not rare or unusual here.

P.S. I’d love to see a falcon one day, too, and they have been seen. πŸ™‚

Several weeks ago while I was walking at the Preserve on the lookout for something interesting and unusual, a birder with the requisite long-lensed camera hurried up and asked me if I’d seen the spoonbill. I had to tell him no, but instant spoonbill-spotting envy struck. Unfortunately I didn’t see hide nor hair of one . Maybe beak and feathers would be a better phrase.

Today I reversed my usual path and although it was a lovely, cool morning, I didn’t see anything exciting until I stopped at one of the little open areas along one of the lakes where I often see egrets, which by now are usual. I did see an egret…and then by golly, a roseate spoonbill! And I was the only photographer in the area. πŸ™‚ Oh, yeah!

(more…)

I really did want to do Friday Flowers but frankly there aren’t that many flowers here right now that I haven’t already shared so we’re flying instead. Just a bit of fun to kick off the weekend, which I hope is a wonderful one.

Not everything in nature is large and/or showy. Look closely and you can see other things that bring joy, such as this little cutie hiding among the reeds.

Look higher and you might see this somewhat fierce-looking guy sporting some very natty threads!

My friends in most of the rest of the US are talking about the chilling effect of fall/autumn. Believe me, we’re feeling the chill, too! It’s been 105 or below for the high for some days now and later this week, temperatures are set to plunge into the 90’s or possibly even 89 for the high! Getting my fleeces out from where they’re packed as we speak. We even have some leaves in fall colors, although most of them are still attached. πŸ™‚ It’s definitely a new adventure.

for Six Word Saturday 10.3.20