Friday, August 18, 2017
Oh, you think, "So what? It's just a turtle." But I don't see many turtles around here. I have seen other turtles in this pond, but these are the first pictures I have of one from here. Who knows? Maybe I'm the only person ever to get a picture of a turtle from this out of the way country pond.
This idea is maybe the main thing I love about nature. It's the thought that I'm the only person to get to see the things I see. That's much better than sitting home watching a ball game or something just like everyone else. No. I want to explore the unknown. And that's what I do every time I'm out there.
And I'll go back to this pond again. Maybe I'll see another turtle. I probably won't feel quite as special about it when I do. But maybe I'll see more than one. Or maybe I'll see something completely unexpected. That last part is why I go. I'll talk to you later.
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Besides the bright sun, I decided to try and use my big camera to get some of these pictures. I have discovered that my phone camera is much better for close-ups than the big camera, so I take both from now on. The phone camera also does better with bad lighting, bright or dark.
If I had a big zoom on my phone, I'd probably just use it for everything. It has such a good camera that I prefer it over the big one for most things now. Most of my flower and plant pictures are now done with the phone because it's just so much better.
With the phone, all I have to do is point and shoot. It focuses right on whatever I point it at. And if I want to use special settings, it can do that too. And the view screen on the phone is bigger than on the big camera too.
So, what about the daisies? I found them by the side of a country road very near one of the many farms scattered throughout the area. I don't like to take too many pictures if I think people might be around, so I took what I could and left.
I find that it's usually easier to not have to deal with other people while I'm taking pictures. And it's usually an annoying complication to have to explain why I'm taking pictures to someone who isn't interested in them. Maybe I'm wrong, and maybe I'll never find out. I'm Grumpy Ratty, and I'll talk to you later.
Monday, August 14, 2017
These two pictures are the best I could do under the circumstances. And I never claimed that this blog was all about the pictures. I think I'm just an okay photographer who sometimes gets some great ones.
The important thing is that I try to share real life with you. That definitely includes the pictures that most people won't show. I'll share the great ones, and I'll share the terrible ones. These pictures today are okay. Not the best, but they have some beauty.
And since milkweed is one of my very favorite kinds of plant, I just had to share this with you. And you knew I wouldn't do it in a straight forward kind of scientific examining way. I'd give you something a little odd. This way you might remember this plant a tiny bit better. And everybody should know about milkweed. Did I tell you how much I love milkweed? I'll talk to you later.
Friday, August 11, 2017
I was taking a little bit of a chance because they're not always out where you can see them. But I got lucky this time. That's not always the case. This time I was able to see this big male and a couple of females too.
There was one time when I began furiously taking pictures of what I thought were antlers, but it turned out to be a strange looking feeding rack. This time I suspected the same, but I hoped I was wrong. I'm glad it was a real animal.
And if you look very closely, you can see that each one has a tag on its ear. So while these Elk may or may not be wild, they are confined to the area within the fence. They seem happy enough though.
So that's my Elk post. I'll talk to you later.
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
My dad would tell people that he could live without modern conveniences, like electricity, easier than anyone else. And he would go about proving it to everyone, including himself. There is still an outdoor wood stove attached to my house, and I use it every winter. It makes things a little more difficult, but it saves lots of money.
I like the land around me to look wilder than is normally accepted by lots of others because it gives me a sense of being more natural. I don't really care about a manicured lawn. That looks kind of sterile to me. I'd live in the middle of a forest if I could do it. But unlike my dad, I do appreciate modern conveniences like electricity and computers.
So by the time you read this the flowers will be gone. I kind of had to do it because the weeds were getting a little too close to the house. I try to keep the area near the house straightened up just a bit. I still like it kind of wild though.
We'll see if the birds deposit seeds of flowers in some of the more overgrown areas now. That will be a little better. Then I won't have to get rid of them. It's a big area and I'll keep looking for interesting plants. Who knows what I might find? I'll talk to you later.
Monday, August 7, 2017
I always admit that I'm not the best at identifying flowers, but these have me particularly stumped. I tried really hard this time. And I am sure these should be easier than this. In the back of my mind, I seem to remember seeing these somewhere before, but I just can't remember anything more.
Oh well. I still have lots of pictures of them to share with you because I think they look so cool. They looked even cooler while I was out there seeing them myself. That's always the best way, but the pictures are good too.
This is what I was able to do back when I was living in Michigan. I felt like I was part of the natural world, and it seemed to welcome me when I would visit. I'm beginning to get that feeling back. Now if I can start to be able to coax deer to come right up to me again, I know I'm on to something. I'll talk to you later.
Friday, August 4, 2017
There is an area there where a lone bison has been hanging out for some reason. I shared pictures of that one with you before. So this time I slowed my truck down a bit to see if he was still there. Maybe I could get some better pictures of him. Yup, he was there.
I haven't been back there since this visit, but I'll go back in a few days. Who knows? Maybe they're still there. Maybe the rest of the herd has even come down from the top of the hills. Or maybe they have returned to the wilder parts of the grasslands. I guess I'll find out then. I'll talk to you later.
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
I took several pictures of this deer through my windshield as I was driving towards it on a country road. It looks like I was very close to the deer, but I was actually very far away. The deer only looked like a speck. I had to use the maximum zoom through a dirty windshield while in motion to get these pictures.
Most of the deer I see are near the busy highway right before it gets dark. That means there's no way to get any pictures. This was very different so I thought it was a rare chance to show everyone that there is indeed deer around here. Now I have absolute proof. Ha! I'll talk to you later.
Monday, July 31, 2017
The horses noticed me as soon as I got there. And they all looked right at me, just like the donkeys. But that's where the similarities ended.
These horses stayed huddled in this small group. They stared at me while the two in the front stamped their hooves and shook their heads at me. That didn't seem like they really wanted to make friends. That's okay. I only wanted pictures and a video anyway.
But these pictures are exactly what fun is all about because you get to see a bunch of horses all grouped up. And the ones lying down are just fine. While I was there, they were looking around as if they were on vacation.
So now you know what I do all day. I stand there annoying horses and other country critters with my camera. Maybe they wanted me to go away, but I was having fun fun fun. I'll talk to you later.
Friday, July 28, 2017
Whenever I go out with the purpose of getting lots of pictures I forget everything else and I just concentrate on getting those pictures. Nothing else. The real purpose of going out is to enjoy nature, but I forget to do that at its fullest when I get locked in on taking nature pictures. And I go too fast. I always do it and I can't help it at all.
So I only remember taking a bunch of pictures. I don't remember what the specific subjects of my pictures were at the time. I only remember taking lots of pictures. There were just so many flowers out there that they all seemed to run together a bit. I need to slow down and think a bit more. But I've been trying for years. I still have lots of fun though anyway.
But it looks kind of funny. The petals are thinner than any chicory I've seen before. The plant looks like chicory to me in the pictures. And I did examine the plant while I was out there, but I don't remember enough about it. So I'm just not sure.
I did do lots of searching on the internet and in a few plant guides, but I found nothing other than it might be chicory. I know one person who would have an answer for me right away, but she has become a hermit. So maybe I'll never find the answer. Such a shame.
Nature Center Magazine for a bit, you'll see that I'm a terrible liar. I pretend to be a beginner because it's more fun that way for me and for you. While I'm not a super expert, you probably won't find many people with as much knowledge of nature and wildlife as I have.
So now you know my terrible secret. I'll deny all of this in my very next post. I'll be back to bumbling my way through an encounter with a skunk or an elm tree or something like that. It's all about having fun with nature. And I really am having a lot of fun. I'll talk to you later.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
This plant goes by many names, but the name I found first was Western Salsify. The scientific name for the plant is Tragopogon Dubius. Some people think of it as a giant dandelion. I read that it even starts out with a similar yellow flower that turns into these big puffballs.
As always, I might have terribly misidentified this plant. I never claim to know much about plants except what I learn on the internet. And I usually learn as I go along. I will say though that I think I know more than most people about plants because I have actually gathered quite a lot of information over the years.
If you like, you can find more information on this plant by searching the internet. It's pretty easy, and fun too. I'm not trying to be an encyclopedia, which would be terrible. I'm just trying to spark your interest in nature. That is fun too. I'll talk to you later.
Monday, July 24, 2017
Donkeys may not seem unusual, but I don't see donkeys most of the time, so I made sure I stopped for a few pictures of them. What I usually see is either cows or horses. Any other kind of animal is a little different.
The last time I tried to get pictures of cows they all kept turning their backs to me. I thought farm animals would be just fine with me getting out of my truck and taking a few pictures. But apparently not cows or sheep. I began to think they all hated me. I'm glad these donkeys are nice and friendly.
I didn't stick around much longer. I just wanted to get a few pictures, not necessarily make new friends. But I guess I did make friends with them. They were certainly friendly donkeys. For that I'll remember them for a long time. I'll talk to you later.
Friday, July 21, 2017
So now after I just kind of insulted the place, what is it that is so interesting about it? Don't worry, I'm getting to it. What makes it so interesting is that I'm not sure anybody else goes here at all.
There is never a hint or a clue of anyone else visiting this place when I visit. The only things I've seen are signs of maintenance on the roads going into this very hidden nature area.
I think at one time this might have been a popular fishing spot. Today it is mostly abandoned. In a way, that seems like kind of a shame. But I like it because I can come here and be all alone surrounded by nature.
I've shown you this lake before in the past. But after looking at the old pictures from that, I think this post gives you a little better look. One of these times I'm going to have to get you some video and really show you around the lake. I've really been doing a lot of video experimentation recently. You're going to like the results of that. I'll talk to you later.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
But first, let me tell you a little about the pond since I have these pictures here just waiting for their story to be told. I've told you I keep seeing water birds in this pond. Every time in fact. But that was then.
But let's move on to the star attraction.
My video today features just some of the things I see in the countryside around where I live. I couldn't feature everything in such a short time, but I got a lot in. I'll always have future videos to show you my newest nature findings. I'll talk to you later.
Monday, July 17, 2017
For some reason, I don't see many ducks around here. There is a lot of water here, but none that water birds really like to visit very much, except this one place. So far every time I've visited this pond I've seen water birds of some sort. But nowhere else.
The one thing that I did find out was that these ducks aren't the usual kind I get. Usually, my ducks are the standard Mallards that I see a lot. These ducks are clearly not Mallards.
From what I can tell these appear to be Wood Ducks. You can't get a good look at them from my pictures, but the head of the mother seems to give away the identity.
This video of the ducks was actually two videos that I took, and I needed to merge them into one. For awhile before this, I was just uploading my videos straight to Youtube. I've never been happy with that. Even though my videos aren't much, I still like to enhance them just a bit.
I once saw an Egret in this pond so I know other birds come here too. I didn't have my camera with me back then, but I'll be sure to have it every time from now on. And I think I'll visit this place again this weekend to see what's going on. Who knows what I might find. I'll talk to you later.