I have to say, the best thing I did when I retired was to buy a camera with a super zoom lens. You can get up close and personal with nature, and that is SO MUCH FUN. (42 times zoom!)
Now, having said that, I have to add that most of my Minnesota pictures are taken through my kitchen window. Through my (sometimes) dirty kitchen window. I know it negates some of the advantages of having a good lens, but that’s just the way it is.
Tuesday of this week was a great birding day, out my kitchen window in our flowering crab tree. I have seen some Baltimore Orioles in the neighborhood, and I tried to lure them to my tree with some fresh orange. No Oriole, but I did get a pair of Catbirds. (You can see a bit of the rusty color underneath the tail of the bird on the left.)
A House Finch also stopped by for some orange, and to just look pretty.
The same day we also had a female duck strolling towards the house. I don’t know what it is, but seeing a duck walk up the sidewalk always makes me laugh.
I had also been trying to lure the hummingbirds, and went through two batches of syrup and no hummer sighting. The syrup was being consumed at night, though, and after the second batch was gone, I brought the feeder in on Tuesday. No feeder, so of course a hummer came for a visit!
He loved our crab tree too, and it was in full bloom. Now, two days of rain later, it’s not so nice. I hope he comes back anyway!
I’ve been figuring out my new computer, getting programs loaded on it and adjusting to Windows 8. Not too much fun. So tonight for some real fun, I thought I would upload some bird photos for the blog. Hah! I now only have PhotoShop for editing photos, and I don’t know how to use it!!! Well, I learned enough tonight to get a couple of pictures up.
The cardinals have been so pretty against the snow. You can see how our trees have been budding out, in spite of all the snow we’ve had here in Minnesota.
This is a Fox Sparrow. He is quite a bit bigger than the other sparrows, and has a beautiful rust tail.
We have had a lot of dark-eyed juncos this winter.
And I’m not sure what kind of raptor this guy is. Looking at my Raptor Guide, he looks kind of like a juvenile red-shouldered hawk, but then they all look kind of alike to me! Whatever he is, isn’t he pretty?
PS: I passed off the tufts on his head as the wind blowing, but now I’m wondering if they are ear tufts, and this is some kind of owl, maybe a short-eared owl? I’m so confused…
I just wanted to send a little promise of springtime to those of you who are sick and tired of winter…and I know that applies to a few of you! Here are a couple of photos I took Thursday just outside the birding center. A pair of Queen butterflies:
and a Pipevine Swallowtail.
by Sue Hecker — Maker, Traveler, Photographer, Mother & Wife, Lover of Life