Monday, April 29, 2013

The Thrill Of The Hunt

I heard the sound of the bird high above in the tall tree. After I identified its precise location, I slowly and stealthily moved into position to do what I had to do. I lifted my arms to bring my camera up to my face so I could look through the viewfinder to line up my shot. Then just as I was about to press the button the bird flew away!

I quickly moved the camera away from my face so I could scan the tree for any evidence of the little bird that I was hunting. After a quick search I found the little bird a few feet away from where it had been before. I would now go through the process all over again. This time as I readied myself to press the button, I hoped things would turn out better.

And in that instance that my finger pressed down on that shutter button a sense of great triumph washed over me because my little target stayed in position. I had gotten him!

I've said many times before that taking pictures of wildlife is very similar to hunting. They both have that thrill of the chase that gets your adrenaline pumping. It's a very good feeling. The only difference is that with taking pictures your prey is left safe and sound afterwards.

Taking these pictures actually helps me understand hunting. That thrill is a good thing. I could be a hunter, but I don't like the killing. Thankfully, we now have modern supermarkets where we can get our food. This way most of us normal people are sheltered from the gruesome act of having to kill for our food.

Hunting in this modern age can still be a good thing though... as long as you don't become obsessed with the joy of killing. When that happens, you know it's time to stop. Killing should only ever be thought of as a necessity. Feeding yourself is a necessity. If I had to hunt and kill an animal, I would thank it for its life and mourn its death.

It's all just something I think about.

...And there went the little bird! I caught him in flight with my very last shot as he flew away to freedom. That's what I call a happy ending. We both got what we wanted. I got the thrill of the hunt, and I got my pictures. And the little bird got to keep its life.

I also got to write another post within only a couple of days of my last one. You all know that I've had terrible difficulty writing for the past several months. But why is it flowing so well all of a sudden. I'll reveal the embarrassing truth about that in an upcoming post. Until then, I hope you enjoy my pictures of this wonderful little bird who's life I happily celebrate in this post.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

First Cardinal Of The Year

It only took a couple of days for winter to go away and the temperatures to reach into the 70s here, just like I commanded. I gotta tell you, after my command worked so well, my ego is bigger than a house. Is it going too far to now command up $1,000,000 for myself?

Anyway, I took this warm opportunity to go out and do some bird hunting, with my camera of course. It didn't take long for me to hear some very familiar sounds. The call of a cardinal is one of the few that I always remember.

I began searching the trees in the direction from where the sounds were coming, and, sure enough, there was the cardinal sitting about 2/3 of the way up the tree just singing his bright red heart out. i heard similar sounds coming from somewhere else a little farther off, but I didn't try searching for that one. I was happy with this closer bird.

Cardinals are some of my favorite kinds of bird because the males stand out so well, and they stay in one place for long enough to get a few pictures. What more could you ask for?

Just a little update on the Google+ photo storage. I've uploaded about a year's worth of pictures, which is a ton for me, and it hasn't counted against my storage limit at all. I've decided to store all of the pictures from my hard drive on there.

I've also decided to try to share bigger pictures here, but not too big, so that they download about as fast as before. That should work out well. I think everyone, especially me, will be happy that way.

On another note, my new blog Windows 8 App News is taking off much faster than I ever hoped it would. Readership seems to double each day. I'm really excited about it. I've never had another of my sites move anywhere close to this fast.

Back to the birds. I've been taking the opportunity that the warm weather gives me to be outside constantly, and it is paying off. Birds are everywhere this time of year. I've seen everything from very timy to huge flying around here. I love that!

I had a lot of pictures of this cardinal and I had to get it down to my few favorites. I think I did pretty well, even though I had one more than usual. I have plenty of other good ones, but most looked similar to the ones you see here.

I'll be be back soon with either some other good ones I already have or some new pictures, whichever seem right at the time. I don't want to post too often after posting so little just recently. I don't want to burn myself out or go too unexpectedly fast for you. But I feel like my writing floodgates have opened for the time being. Talk to you soon.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bigger Pictures

Should I start giving you bigger pictures than the ones I have been sharing? My pictures are usually 800x600. The one I have for you today is one I took quite awhile back, and it is 1600x1200. Go ahead and click on it to see the big difference.

The reason this subject came up is because of Picasa and Google+. I told you awhile ago that Picasa, where our Blogger images are stored, wouldn't count any pictures towards your storage limit if they were 800x800 or smaller. The only problem now is that Picasa has been absorbed by Google+, so I began to wonder if maybe those rules had been changed. That lead me to investigate this little question, and I found that indeed the rules have changed.

The old rule of 800x800 is still in fact the same, but there is an add-on rule if you have become a member of Google+. If you have joined Google+ then you can use pictures that are 2048x2048 in size or smaller, and they won't count towards you storage limit. That means you can upload an unlimited amount of 2048x2048 sized pictures, or smaller.

Now before anybody leaves a comment telling me that I'm wrong about all of this, I'll give you the link from Google that tells about the whole thing. I urge all of you who use Blogger to read it to learn more. Here you go:

I'm going to start using larger pictures while watching my storage size closely, and I'll give you a small update in about a week. Who knows? Maybe I got this all wrong. I doubt it though.

I'd also advise anyone who wants to take advantage of this larger size to join Google+. I don't know what any of you non-Blogger bloggers use to store your pictures, but you can use Google+ too, with the same advantages.

I just thought I'd share this with all of you just in case you might be interested in my findings. Even if you don't care about any of this then you have a pretty picture to look at. Two for one! Let me know what you think in the comments section. I'd love to hear your opinion on this.

Monday, April 22, 2013

It Just Won't Go Away

It just won't give up! It only took a couple of days after the last snowfall for it all to melt, but here it is again! I'm watching out the window as the snow keeps falling. I'm starting to believe that winter will never go away.

I think I've had enough of winter this year. I want to go outside and take pictures of birds and green plants. I want to go out without a jacket on. I want the warmth of the Sun to shine down on me. I'm ready for all of those things.

There's only one thing I can do to end all of this nonsense. Here it comes... I COMMAND THIS WINTRY SNOW TO END RIGHT NOW!

How's that? Do you think it will work? I certainly hope it does because I don't have any good pictures for another post until I can get out there to take more. Snow can be fun, but there's only so much more I can stand. It'll work. I know it will.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Last Snow Of Winter?

Well, I was hoping winter was over, but this is what it looks like outside my house as I type this post. This late in the year, I'm hoping this is the last snow of the winter. Winter... It's been spring for a month already. Last year spring got here so early that I thought something was terribly wrong, and now I think the same thing, but about this late winter. Woe is me!

On a positive note, I did hear plenty of birds out there, but the brightness of all that snow was blinding me so bad that there was no way I could seek them out with my camera. But they were there!

I'm guessing that next week at this time I'll be looking at warm, sunny skies, the birds will be everywhere, and I'll be outside happily clicking away on my camera. nothing at all like today.

Actually, I must admit something to you. I'm ashamed to say that I've been hiding something from you... I don't feel bad about this weather at all! In fact, I saw all that snow and I joyously ran out of the house and began happily taking pictures. I barely got my shoes on before I was running out the door.

I needed some material to write a post about, and this was the perfect thing. What more could I want but this strange weather behavior to spark my creativity and excitement. I'm still constantly looking out the window at this wonder of a late winter.

Okay, on to some blogging news I promised to tell you all about in my last post. I've started a new blog about a much needed subject. When Windows 8 was released I immediately liked the idea of the Windows App Store. It's a nice safe place to get apps for your computer where you'll never have to be worried about becoming infected with a virus or trojan.

I noticed something i don't like though. The Windows Store is a bit of a monotonous mess. So how do we know which apps we might like? That idea took me to the web. I thought there would surely be a few sites that shared recommended apps for us to download from the store. Nope. I guess Windows 8 is not quite that popular yet. I waited and waited... and waited. Nothing like I was hoping for.

That's where my new blog comes in. I decided to create such a site myself. I scour the Windows Store for Windows 8 apps that have enough value that people may be interested in them. I'll share news of those apps with everyone, and I'll also share news of any sales or events involving the store. I already have two posts up, but serious posting there will start Monday.

I know most of you are probably not interested in something like this, but for those who have Windows 8 or are planning on getting it, I know this new site will be of great value to you. You can find the link in the toolbar at the top of my blog. The new Site is called Windows 8 App News.

Well, that's it for me today. this was my second post in just one week. I'm getting better. hopefully the next one will be up just as soon. See ya then!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What Is It With Little Birds?

Remember my last post where I explained that I almost didn't remember the name of the little bird I brought to you? Well, guess what? I have no idea what kind of bird I have for you today.

I'm guessing that this bird is some kind of sparrow or something related. The size seems to match, and so does the beak. I'm also guessing that this bird is a female. In fact, I'm more certain of that than I am of what kind of bird it is.

The reason I think the bird is a female is because of its brown color. For birds, the males are quite often more colorful than the females. The females often come in shades of brown only. It doesn't seem fair, but I guess the males need that extra splash of color more than the females do.

I saw several of these birds in the trees, but this one was the only one I could get a clear shot at. Isn't that weird that we use the same word with cameras as we do with guns? Shot! Sounds painful when you think about it. These birds are lucky I only use a camera, unlike the guy that lives down the street from me.

Senseless. That's the word I use for him. I'm not against hunting at all, but nobody needs to hunt little birds like these. Where's the benefit? You can't really eat them. At least I don't think you can. I'd have to ask that guy. I haven't really talked to him in awhile though.

Let me change the subject to something a little more positive. I have an upcoming blogging project that is separate from this one. You'd think it would be way too much for me in the condition I'm in, but it's actually helping me to write this blog more often. That's why I decided to do it. Most of you probably won't be interested because it's technology related, but I'll still give you the details when the time comes.

I'll also be taking more pictures, not shots I guess, of little birds like this one. I told you, All this stuff going on is really inspiring me to write more. It's giving me the focus and drive I haven't had for quite some time. Exciting!

So, back to the bird! Do any of you know what this little lady might be? It's okay if you don't. It's still fun to just look at the pictures, but I'm still curious. Maybe I'll go ahead and do a little research on the web. I'll find out one way or another.

No birds were harmed in the making of this post.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Just A Little Bird

You didn't think I'd be back this soon, did you? I told you in my last post that I was getting excited about my pictures. Springtime is here, and so are the birds! This little guy in my pictures today is a black-capped chickadee. I almost forgot details like the name of this bird, but I was able to pull it back up from the recesses of my mind.

I've been concentrating extra hard to get back to posting here more often again. Who knows? Maybe I'll be able to return this blog back to its former glory. One of these days I plan on exploring the wider area of my part of the country so I can bring you more than I was ever able to share with you before.

This little chickadee is just one of the creatures I can find right out near my own house. That's something that can't be done quite so easily in the big city where I used to live. It was always fun to try though, so you city dwellers should always keep looking for all the little critters that live in your yards.

I found a few of these little birdies lurking around in the trees as I was looking for some interesting targets for macro shots. I got a lot of blurry pictures along with these two better ones. I'll keep the blurry ones to myself... Your welcome.

I don't know what it is about little birds, but every time I jump up and down and yell, trying to get their attention, they fly away instead of coming closer. How's that for gratitude for a guy with a camera? They could have been famous! At least this little guy was receptive to the idea.

I'm really loving nature right now, so I hope I'll be back sooner than later, so look for my next post to show up, uh, soon! Maybe I'll share my real bird stalking skills with you one of these times. Hint (It involves standing far away with a good zoom lens.)

Okey dokey!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

What Things Look Like Today

Spring is finally starting to feel like spring around here now. It took quite a bit of time for temperatures to begin warming up. I was starting to think that winter was just going to last forever. It was kind of a depressing thought. I guess in the end things worked out pretty equally because spring temperatures got here about a month early last year.

But now it's spring, and I've been out taking a few pictures. I always get excited when I've been out with my camera. I can't wait to post them here when I get a few decent ones. Trust me, I've got better ones than the pictures I'm sharing today.

What I thought I'd bring you today are some of my experiments with macro photography. I've been trying to improve that aspect of my photography for quite some time now. I never seem to get the focus right. I can't see my subjects very well. I recently found out that's because my eyesight isn't what it used to be. Just another little thing to take care of. Oh well.

Since I was just restarting this experiment I thought I'd practice on the weeds I saw growing around. After looking at these pictures again I'm not too sure about their artistic value, but I did get the camera's focus right. I guess I'll have to get one thing right at a time for now. At least I tried.

My writing is still coming hard to me, but it's feeling less clumsy when I am able to do it. That's a very good sign. That means I have one less hurdle that might prevent me from being able to begin posting more often.

I have plenty more pictures than these that I took, and some that are much better than these. That means that my next post should come a lot sooner than this one did. Who knows? Maybe I'll even be able to get another one up in a few days. See? I told you I was excited.

Oh! I'm not sure what any of these plants in the pictures are. I think the first one is some wild hemp weed. That stuff grows all over the place around here. I liked the thorns on the second plant. And the third one looked like it must have contained some interesting seeds.

That's it for this time. Like I keep saying, I hope my next post will be much sooner. This time I think it will.