Monday, January 31, 2011

Armed and (semi) dangerous

My Husband saw fit to gift me with yet another camera upgrade (in late October, he had gotten me a Nikon Coolpix L110 12.1 mp point-and-shoot model).  Well, he figured it was time for me to dive into the world of DSLR so gave me a Nikon D3100.  Yippee!!  It has 14.2 mp, a 3 in. LCD which can do Live View shooting (in other words, you don't have to look thru the eyepiece to see what you're shooting), auto-focus, it came with a Nikkor 18-55 mm vibration reduction lens, AND he added a Nikkor 55-200 mm VR telephoto!  I've only begun playing, but so far, I LOVE IT!  The only thing I'm missing from my point-and-shoot models is the digital zoom (which basically just crops in the image before you take it).  But I think I'll get over it.  I have a lot to learn, but so far I am REALLY loving the auto focus!!! Here's a few photos I took of our pond...

Look out, Run*A*Round world, I'm armed and semi-dangerous now!  Thanks, honey!

"Hey you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"

Okay, so it's not a woodchuck, nor is this a Geico commercial.  But I sure wish those dang squirrels would stop hanging off my birdfeeders!  I just rigged this one back together and their fat little dangling butts ripped it apart again.  Then this one decides there must be more seed inside the feeder's metal dome base and is determined to find it.  Thank goodness these fuzzy rodenta are cute!

You can tell by his posture, he's finally resigned
that there's nothing there.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

This must have been a very bumpy ride...

Can you imagine the teeth-rattling, bone-jangling, butt-jarring trips to town that the homesteaders had to endure in their buckboards?   No shock-absorbers.  No rubber tread.  No air.  Maybe a metal spring mechanism to help bounce the seat a bit.  And we complain about potholes...

American Kestral - a retake

Same old Kodak camera in my car, but a much brighter, clearer day and the little bugger decided he'd sit on a branch for me as I eased down the driveway - but only for a moment!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Vulture overhead

A turkey buzzard shows off his soaring abilities.

Look what I did yesterday!

Oh yes I did!  I mowed some yard!  On January 28th! 
Now, technically I did it to start the mower, mix the gas, circulate the oil, and charge the battery.  But I did manage to mow the side yard along the driveway and the area within the circle driveway.  And besides the dried weeds and brown leaves that were mulched up, we had some greenery!  No wonder!  It was 73 degrees!

And I have to admit, my spring fever spiked when I mowed through a couple of patches of wild onions.  Ahhh.  That pungent odor. 
I LOVE mowing yard and it's almost time to do it regularly again here!  But I'll be patient.  We're expecting another cold front early next week.  And there's always time for another snow/ice storm I suppose. 

I know, I know.  Those of you who live in frozen white lands right now can totally rub it in later on this summer when I'm complaining about 100+ degree heat...

Friday, January 28, 2011

A load of bull...

I formally introduce you to Paco!
For you newer followers, I've adored this huge Brahma bull for years.  He lives in a pasture with his herd of ladies along the highway we take to town.  I took to stalking him this summer - with my camera - to try to get close-up shots of him.  However all summer long, he stayed under the shade of the trees and it wasn't until fall that I caught a photo of him out in the pasture.  Well, low and behold, here comes winter, and he's up near the fence all by himself, just waiting for me to come by with my trusty old "ridealong camera".  Forget the groceries I had in my trunk (after all, it's only 50 degrees instead of 105 in summer); I pull off, put on the parking brake and pop out to see this grand hunk o' beef in all his close-up glory.
He did not mind my visit - as a matter of fact, he sauntered up to the fenceline to give me a closer look. 
After I sensed he didn't view me as any kind of threat, I reached over and lightly touched his nose!  It's like I've met Elvis!

I love his huge, dewlappy self! 
And his coat has darkened into a rich dark toffee for the winter.
He is "The King of Cattle" in my book.  The most beautiful bull I've ever laid eyes on.  A rock star.
One great big living leather couch...

Oh, and how do I know his name is Paco, you ask?  No, I don't speak Brahmanese.  When I pulled off the roadside, I noticed a man and his dog in the yard next to the pasture.  He saw me "oogling" the bull and I walked over to introduce my paparazzi self at which point he explained he belongs to his nephew who lives on the other side of the pasture, and his name is Paco.  The man was amused when I referred to him as a living leather couch.  I think he thought I was nuts.  That's okay.  I met a rock star.  My life is complete.

The Curmudgeon Brothers (and some mallards)

Herons and egrets (like these two) always seem so curmudgeony to me - cranky, crabby, hunched-over. Like if you got close enough, you'd hear them muttering under their breath about everybody and everything around them.
"Do you see those two, Sal?"
"Yeah, I see 'em Frank.  They think they own the place!"
"Geesh, could these trees get any taller?! "

  I did like the long reflections they were throwing on the pond though.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

This post is for Millie

Millie Ann Saanen over at A Goat's View of Eden Hills recently won my first giveaway of a chickadee drawing.  She had commented one time that she thought I did a pretty good job on my blog, but that I needed to include more pictures of goats.  Well, when I saw Neighbor Across the Road's goats out in the front pasture near the road, I jumped out with my camera and snapped these, just for Millie. 

Isn't this young lady a beauty?  Unlike Millie, she's not used to admirers and was a bit unnerved by this weird camera lady hopping out of her car and jumping over the mud in the ditch only to point this weird little box in her direction while making squeaky voice noises and other nonsensical chatter. 
"Excuse me, but does anyone else see this weird person snapping a little box at me?!"

"Blog photo?  What's a blog photo?  Will I be famous?"
Well it didn't take her long - I'll just call her "Paris."
Then there was this silly billy who couldn't have cared less that I was even there.
" 'Sup... I'm an Aries.  What's your sign?"

So Millie, I don't know my goat types but I wanted to show you a couple of my neighbors.  Thanks for the suggestion!   I'll keep my eyes open for more!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Roadrunner close-ups

Farm Girl's comment on my last post reminded me of some photos I had in my archives.  A few years ago we had a roadrunner that stopped by on our deck a few times and would look through the sliding glass doors to see what we were doing inside the house.  I managed to snag a few photos of him looking in.  Thought I'd share.  Thanks, Kim aka Farm Girl at My Field of Dreams!

Woodland runner

I see you...

Oh yes I do...
Showing me a flash of blue.

Giving me 'the eye'.

Gotta run.
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