Tuesday, August 22, 2017
I was lucky just to see what I got to show you here. The weather forecast said it was going to be cloudy here with probable thunderstorms. I planned to try to see it even though I figured I'd only see clouds. But when I went outside the sky was very clear. I was extremely lucky.
I had already planned out my viewing location. I went to a very quiet place I often visit in North Sioux City, South Dakota. I chose it because it is surrounded by cornfields with nothing to obstruct my view. And very few other people ever visit this place.
I used my phone camera because I had a filter for it to see the eclipse through. I think it did okay for just a phone. I did have to manually adjust some of the settings though. Maybe I could have gotten it a little better with some practice, but how often is there time to practice this?
It didn't get very dark here, but the light did dim quite a bit. It kind of looked like the day at sunset. As I was driving home the clouds turned almost black, and the sky opened up and we had a huge thunderstorm. I almost couldn't see the road as I traveled home.
I delayed my post that I usually deliver Monday just so I could bring this to you today. I hope you like it. It's not something you see every day. I'm sure you've seen better pictures of this eclipse on the news. But these pictures are from someone just like you. I'll talk to you later.
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.