Friday, August 30, 2013

I'll Be Looking For Buffaloes

I've been looking for buffaloes for quite some time now. This statue reminds me that maybe that should be one of my next few adventures, looking for buffaloes. I'm not exactly sure where to find them, but they are all over the place around here.

I do know where there is another really great buffalo statue really close by. I'll have to get a few pictures of that pretty soon too. I've been having a little trouble coming up with a new place to visit recently, but maybe I'll go on a buffalo hunt. That might be just the thing.

Maybe this post is more of a reminder for me to find a good new adventure than anything, but that's okay. Sometimes I need a little reminder to get me going again. I have to remind myself that there is still plenty to see out there. I think buffaloes might be just the thing. Talk to you later.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Big River

I took a lot of pictures of the Missouri River here, but I only have this one to share for today. All of the others just looked so similar to this one that I decided that it would be better just to show you this one. There were little differences and variations, but this one picture showed what I wanted much better than all the others.

Now that I got that out of the way, I finally explain just what I'm trying to show you. I just wanted to share how big this one river can really get. I never think of a river as being so big. Oh sure the Detroit River, where I grew up, gets even bigger, but I kind of had the idea that it was unique in this way.

So much fresh water. I always imagine this part of the country as being kind of dry, without any bigger rivers. I think of the great plains, with endless corn fields and things like that. Here in the picture it seems that the water goes on forever. It seemed like that when I was there too.

That's all I really wanted to say. I was just a little awed by how much water there can be in some places. How much water surrounds us on our planet. I have a small fear of so much water surrounding me. I would sink like a stone. I think these thoughts as I sit here sipping on a bottle of water. Talk to you later.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Cow Capital

The sign says that Yankton is the Cow Capital of South Dakota. I guess that's a pretty nice accomplishment. I'm more interested in the statues in my pictures though. Maybe I should think more about the Cow Capital. I don't know.

I pulled over because I liked the statues. There's two of them in the same lot. Each one is very different than the other, but they're both cows. So what's so good about a couple of cow statues? Well, I like them. It's not every day that you get to see cow statues, unless you live in the Cow Capital.

You know what I like about this first statue? The head bobs up and down when the wind blows! Isn't that something? I was going to say "isn't that cool", but I'm not sure many people would think it's exactly cool. But I do. Why not?

That head bobbing thing was an unexpected bonus. I liked the statue all by itself, but then I just happened to see the head moving. Maybe I should have gotten some video. This cow is exactly the kind of thing I've been out looking for.

I actually saw this cow first. And I actually planned on coming back to get pictures of it. Why? Because it's a statue of a cow! How could I pass that up? Not only is it a statue of a cow, but it's also painted red, white, and blue.I'm not sure you can get any better than that.

Well, I actually am sure. Because this cow's head doesn't bob up and down. That definitely gives the edge to the first cow. It's actually not a contest. But if it was a contest, then the first cow would win. Still, I did stop because of this cow.

The only real problem here was that these bushes got in the way of giving me a good shot of this second cow. At least I got these two. Getting a picture of the sign would have been nice. But you take what you can get. I was just glad to be able to get something that's a little bit different, a little bit odd.

I've been trying to bring something a little different each time. Nature is still my favorite subject, but it's great to be able to branch out. You already know the story. Maybe I'll get back to nature a little for my next post. Now it will be a little change. Change can be very good. I'll talk to you later.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Flowers And Tablets

This group of flowers is a little bit different. No waterfalls, no planes, and nothing from a museum. Just nature in still and silent action. I thought this group of flowers was kind of nice looking, so I decided to make it the subject of today's post. If I only knew what to say about flowers other than, "take a look".

So I'm going to talk about something else that I really like. Maybe you won't care, so that's why I have the flower pictures. What I want to talk about is tablet computers. I recently bought an Android tablet. I was kind of curious, so I got one. I kind of like it, but I have to tell you that I'd rather have a Windows 8 tablet. That's the next gadget I'm getting.

I was going to install a weather app, but then I realized there wouldn't be live tiles like I have on Windows 8, so I thought there was no point to having that app. The same goes for several others. Android has more little games, but they don't seem very special to me, and they all seem similar. I can find little games on Windows 8. What's the difference?

After looking at my new little device, I've decided that I prefer Windows 8. Why? I think it's mostly because I have had it on my other computers for so long already. I'm just used to it. And partly because I really like the idea of the live tiles on Windows with all of that updating information. None of those others have that.

I didn't mean to make this post an advertisement for Microsoft, but this is just the stuff that has been at the front of my mind for the past few days. I've been enjoying my new little device, but not completely. There's room for improvement with anything. I really like Windows 8, but I see room for improvement there too.

So this was my post about tablet computer stuff. I think I have it mostly out of my system now. I sometimes have to do that. Flowers and nature are great, but I like many more things than just that. I'm always on a computer when I'm at home. A lot of time that also involves nature, but sometimes it doesn't. I'll talk to you later.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Planes Were Everywhere

Just one picture today because all of the others I took look identical to this one. I decided to share this one because it's a little different than the stuff I usually share. These planes kept flying closely overhead, so I finally decided to get a few pictures of at least one.

There was obviously an airport near where I was, but I never asked anyone about it or tried to find out. I just wanted to enjoy the different kinds of small planes I kept seeing flying above me. This one was the biggest. I wish I would have thought to get some of the others.

Maybe I could have turned up the brightness in this picture to show the plane a little better, but I haven't really been editing my pictures since I got the new camera. The picture shows the propellers stopped in motion. I guess that's something. I want to learn how to show motion a little bit though.

I've been trying to show something a little different with each post. This plane should fit that well. I still don't know what's coming next. I've been trying to go to places with at least a little bit of natural beauty or something to learn. I'll have to decide something good for my next trip. I'll talk to you next time.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Rest Of The Falls

I gave my last post a few extra days for people to see it at the top of the list. I'm not sure if that was a good idea or a bad one. More people did see it though. I really wanted to share that video with as many of you as possible, and it's been such a long time since I've had a video to share.

Today I have a few pictures that show the other parts of the falls that I didn't get to show you before. This top picture shows all of the falls in a long view. There really is much more here than the main falls I showed you last time.

The good thing is that there are many places here to view the falls from. You can walk all around these falls to see them from just about any angle possible. I won't tire you with every single place here, but I'll share afew with you.

This picture above shows a view of the place above the main falls. The person walking down there should give you a good idea of how big all of this is.  They warn you that walking on those rocks might be kind of dangerous, but they never say not to go there.

I don't know how deep this water gets, but it really does move pretty fast in places. I went out on the rocks in a few places, but I made sure I was careful. I think it was actually pretty safe though because there were a lot of people out there at different times.

This above was what I saw when I first got to the falls. It's not too big and not too small. This is what I was kind of expecting the actual main part of the falls to be. And I would have been disappointed if I was right. I was glad that the main part was much bigger.

This was still pretty good though, especially if you take in the whole area together. I really enjoyed my time there. I'll definitely be going back. There are a couple of other places in town there that I want to see as well.

I'm not sure yet where my travels will take me next. It could be another set of falls or it could be a museum. I'll go wherever the wind takes me. I also have many smaller side trips that I'll share as I get to them. You'll see one of those in my next post. I'll talk to you later.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sioux Falls

I have finally seen my first ever waterfall! I visited Sioux Falls at Falls Park. I didn't expect the falls to be quite so big, so I was more than pleasantly surprised when I got there. I have plenty of pictures, and even a video, so I have some extra stuff for you today.

The whole park is in the middle of the city of Sioux Falls. You don't even know it's there until you get right up to it. I figured the falls would be inside a huge nature park or something, but it was right inside a sizable city park.

The video above is my newest episode of Rat TV. It's a short one, so you won't have to sit here forever watching it. I keep them short for just that reason. This one is of the falls in action. It's the next best thing to being there. The little bit of shaking you see at the end was Isabella yanking on her leash.

This one above is a side view of the main part of the falls. There is quite a bit more to the falls than just this part, but I'll save those pictures for another post. There are just too many pictures and too many views to show you in just one post.

I took this one from the viewing area you can see in the bottom left of the previous picture. The rocks all around here are very interesting. There are no smooth edges anywhere.

I got this one above after I walked out onto the rocks a ways. The part I was standing on has probably been underwater at times. It was really a great experience standing out here looking at these falls. I've never experienced anything like it before.

I'm going to leave this post at the top for an extra time to maker sure more people can get a look at the video if they want. So my next post will be on Monday. I still have so many pictures I don't know what to do with them, but I want as many people as possible to be able to keep up. So I'll talk to you later.

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Closeup Of A Bee

There was a bit of talk about bugs on flowers in my last post, especially bees, so I decided to show off my camera's ability to get good bee closeups. Actually it was only by chance that I got these pictures, but I thought they were nice and timely.

I always thought that you got a good picture if you can get your specific bug, especially bees, to look like a metallic creation of some kind. I've seen many pictures that get that quality. I think these pictures did okay in that sense. You can see the shine on the bees' backs.

Bees are some of the most beautiful bugs in existence. A good closeup always shows that. Their combination of colors seems to be just right to me. And their wings are like fairy wings. I'm not sure how you can get much better than that.

Any time you are taking pictures of plants you have a good chance of catching a bug in a shot or two. That, to me, is one of the most fun parts of taking this kind of picture. I said before that my eye for beautiful flowers may not be that good, but I know what I like when I see a bug.

A good bug can look more alien-like that anything else. That's because they so often make sci-fi aliens look like bugs. I wonder why they do that. Does somebody really think when the aliens come down they will look like bugs? I guess they might.

Aliens. Bugs. Maybe we look liker aliens to bugs. Maybe they think of us as crazed giants. Some of them do seem to get a bit upset by our presence. More of them have defenses against us than we think about. So many of them like to sting and bite. We can smash though, like the crazed giants we are. Talk to you later.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Beautiful Milkweed

I don't usually have a good eye for the beauty of flowers, but I really do identify with milkweed flowers. I said before that thinking of them as alien plants really helps me see them differently. That thought really opens my eyes to their beauty.

I was looking through my newest pictures, and the one above really struck me as beautiful. That rarely happens for me. Like I said, I just lack an eye for the beauty of flowers. I like them okay, but I'm just not as excited about them in the same way as most people are.

I do like a good closeup of a flower though because that gives that alien-like view that I so identify with. A flower can look pretty weird when you look at it in a certain way, which is how I like it.

I threw this second picture in mainly because it is from the same group as the first one. That first one really impressed me though. This second one has a bug in it though, so it has its own good quality. A bug can always enhance a picture, depending on the bug.

I mean, if it's just an everyday housefly then it may take away from the picture. But if you get a nice colorful bee in there then you have something extra. But honestly, with milkweed you don't really need the extra bug anyway.

But anyway, I think what I keep trying to say is that I really like milkweed. Do I really need to say it anymore? Maybe not, but you know that one of these times I'll bring another milkweed plant out to admire. Talk to you later.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Fun Little Critter

I found a new little friend while I was out exploring the other day. This thirteen-lined ground squirrel popped up in the grass without noticing me at first. These little guys look a bit like chipmunks at first. But once you get to know them you realize they aren't really very similar at all.

This one caught me a little by surprise because I didn't know yet that they might be common around here. I saw a couple of them in Michigan, but I've been seeing them kind of frequently here in the mid-west.

I tell you, it's kind of fun to be doing a post about an animal again. It's been so long since I've really done any like this. It seems like animal posts were always what I did in the past. The nature parks I go to today are much wilder than my older ones, so the animals are more shy around humans. This was a little more populated area though.

I didn't get the chance to take any more than these two pictures. He noticed me almost as soon as I lifted my camera. I was able to follow him pretty well with the new camera, but he quickly disappeared into the grass. I didn't see him again after that.

Just like that he was gone. That's okay because now he's famous. Now there are these pictures so we all know that this little fella exists. Some small part of you will always remember him now. That thought always gives me a good feeling.

I hope now that I'm traveling around a bit more that I'll get to see more animals like this. I've seen wild turkeys and deer while I was driving, but it's kind of hard to get any pictures in those situations. Maybe I'll get some turkeys one time. I've never had pictures of them yet. I hope so. Talk to you later.

Monday, August 5, 2013

I Love Milkweed

I'm getting back to nature today with a few pictures of the flowers of a milkweed plant. This particular kind of milkweed is, I believe, swamp milkweed. As far as I remember, you can kind of tell by the color of the flowers.

I have to tell you, I really love milkweed plants. Maybe they're my favorite plant in existence. It's partly because of these wonderful little flowers, but it's mainly because of the pods they grow after awhile. I knew about the pods before any other part of the plant.

These plants don't have the pods yet. But they look like little alien pods from Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. All that's really in the pods though are seeds with a cottony section that helps the seeds fly so they can be distributed all around the area. That part is fun.

Then later after I began this blog, I learned about the flowers of these plants. I thought the pods looked like something alien, but take a good close look at these flowers. They look almost like they have alien-like mandibles or something.

That feature is something a science fiction lover like me can really get into. These supposed claws are actually soft, so there's nothing to really worry about. And you only really see them with a good up close look. But it enhances the alien theme of the pods even more. Don't you think?
I usually say when I have pictures of flowers that I don't know a thing about plants. But milkweed is kind of an exception. I was able to learn quite a bit about milkweed a few years ago. I wrote several posts about it that are still some of my favorites.

Because of my car accident from a couple of years ago, I've forgotten much of what I learned about milkweed, but I still remember quite a bit. The pods on each kind look a little different. Some are smooth, and some look kind of spiky. They're all shaped kind of like jalapeno peppers, but their surfaces are rough.

I don't want to get too much into describing everything, but that little bit is okay I guess. You can see that I can go on and on with milkweed. It makes me feel like I used to when writing a post. Maybe some of that will spill into my future posts. Anyway, I'll talk to you later.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Missouri River At The Dam

I got a chance to look out over the Missouri River on both sides of the dam. I have a few good pictures of the side before the dam. I was glad there were a few places where I could pull over and look around.

I don't know if the formations in the top picture are natural or if they were cut into the side of the hills when the dam was built. I suspect the latter. They're not exactly cliffs, at least I don't think, because it's not made of rock, it's dirt.

This second picture shows a hint of just how big the Missouri River is at this location. It's a lot bigger than I thought it was. Not quite as big as the Detroit River, but I can compare the two favorably.

I took this last picture while the truck was moving across the dam so it was a little clumsy. Still not bad though. I wish I could have missed the railing, but that's the breaks. At least I didn't run off the road.

My next trip will be to some place where I can get a little bit back to nature. I haven't been able to test out my camera in my usual type of place yet, so that's where I'm going. Besides, it's going to be nice to go to a place where I can be alone. All the people around get tiresome sometimes.

I still have more pictures to share from this location, but I'm pretty much dome with the dam and the water. I'll mix those posts in with posts from newer trips. I'll see how it goes each time. I said before I'd have too many pictures. Now I don't know what to do with them. Oh well. Talk to you next time.