Monday, December 31, 2012

A birthday blessing

Today is my daughter's special birthday, 31 on the 31st. She's the best daughter a mother could hope for: loving, bright, caring, humble, creative, forgiving, graceful, kind, and so much more. Autumn, you fill my heart with joy. I'm so proud to call you my daughter. And amazed that something so beautiful could come from me. May your dreams soar and your life be filled to the brim with blessings. I love you, darling girl.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Avian Rock Stars

If rock stars were birds. Can you see it? Work with me here! :)
It's Only Rock 'n Roll (but I like it)
Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Good Golly Miss Molly
Ziggy Stardust
Purple Rain
Bella Donna
Walk This Way
What's Love Got To Do With It?
Girls Just Want To Have Fun
Crazy Train
(Oh, no, he bites the head off a fish!)
And the crowd goes wild!
Sweet Child of Mine 

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Friday, December 28, 2012

God's Gift

I found myself once again at LSU Lakes yesterday. Good thing, because today we're getting a good soak, keeping me homebound, which I hate. Although yesterday's temps were a tad chilly, I enjoyed a pleasant afternoon speaking with other photographers, and taking shots of pelicans, cormorants, Canadian geese, and egrets. As I walked back to the car a blob of green appeared in my peripheral vision. Stopping dead in my tracks I found myself no more than 10 feet away from a green heron perched perfectly in a bald cypress tree right at eye level! Miraculously, I managed to contain the gasp that threatened to escape from my throat. Being as quiet and still as a church mouse I brought Bertha and the big lens cautiously up to my eye, trying not to scare the heron away. I took three shots and got the dreaded "Card Full" message. DRATS! Bringing Bertha slowly down again, I went back to some earlier shots and began deleting as many photos as possible. In record time I deleted 90 photos and began the stealth maneuvers all over again. To my surprise another green heron flew to a nearby branch and also posed. These birds are normally so far away that I'd given up ever getting a decent shot.
Green herons lure fish by dropping food, bread, insects, etc. as bait into the water.
They are known as one of the world's most intelligent birds.
"Take a picture, it'll last longer." What a wise guy!
I just love the diamond pattern and deep green of the back feathers.

God is good and I thank him for small blessings that brighten my day. This weekend promises nice weather, so guess where I'll be?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Sounds of Silence

We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature—trees, flowers, grassgrows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence. We need silence to be able to touch souls. ~Mother Teresa (borrowed from Laura Delegal's blog. You need to go visit just to see her photo)

Our first Christmas together in Baton Rouge was quiet. The threat of tornadoes kept us homebound, squelching plans we had with my dad and his wife. Thankfully, we were spared. Hearing from each of my kids was the highlight of the day. We ate leftover jambalaya from Christmas Eve, listened to our favorite Christmas cd by The Carpenters, watched a little tv, played Bejeweled, and read. I tried to relax and get close to God, but my spirit is restless these days. I find it very difficult to be still and listen. My time out in nature, marveling over God's handiwork, is about the only solace I can find. I guess that'll do for now. I spotted this little house finch while I was photographing the yellow-rumped warblers.
Yes, God, I'm listening...
and waiting
with a hopeful heart.
My faith continues to be tested. Praying that 2013 will be a year of miracles; actually just one miracle would do. Wishing you a blessed, healthy, and happy year ahead! I'd love to hear of any plans you may have for 2013.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Meet my new friend

Introducing: the Yellow-rumped Warbler!! Once I figured out what type of bird this was, I played their song on my iphone to lure them out. Thankfully, they are very gullible. There are two types of Yellow-rumped Warblers: Myrtle and Audubon. These are Myrtles due to the white patch on the throat; Audubons have a yellow patch on the throat. There are several nouns for a group of warblers: "bouquet" (my favorite), "confusion", "fall", and "wrench". 

Bertha* and I are still at odds, though I no longer loathe her. Not loving her, but hopefully we will be friends soon. The first three shots were taken hand-held. Maybe Bertha likes to be held. Just what I need, a diva camera. 

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulders, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 

*Bertha is my 2 month old Canon 5D Mark II.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Beautiful Autumn

We had so much fun visiting with my daughter and her boyfriend. We picked them up at New Orleans International Airport, hit the French Quarter immediately after, and never stopped to take a breath. Loved every single minute! No, cherished. Okay, loved and cherished. Since they left, I've been hitting the stores trying to get ready for my trip to Dallas tomorrow. I really wanted see our other kids and grandkids before Christmas and hand deliver their goodies. Whew doggies, I am one tired mama.
At Pat O'Briens (iPhone shot)
I love this girl. She is so much like my mother: gracious, kind and loving.
On the river, New Orleans (iPhone)
Jason is a sweetheart and takes very good care of my girl.
My daughter and our precious little cousin, Brody (iPhone)
Jason & Autumn on top the levee, across the street from my grandparents' property.
She used to always tease me for buying wedge heels and look what she's wearing! Haha
Sunshine, Louisiana
My dad, Autumn & Jason
Magnolia, MS
Planning to make blog rounds tonight after dinner. I've missed everyone!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Autumn's Coming!

I was thrilled to see so much color at LSU Lakes. Hope it lasts for my daughter's visit this week! I will be immersed in everything AUTUMN (and Jason, her boyfriend) from Wednesday through Monday. Autumn is my daughter's name, btw. Just wanted to clear that up. :)

In other news, I am so frustrated with my Canon 5D Mark II. While I love shooting with a high ISO and a full frame sensor that lets in a ton of light, what good does that do if the camera is so slow to focus or the focus is off completely? I googled, and unfortunately, these are known issues with this camera. I miss out on so many shots because Bertha can't get her act together. Yep, I named her Bertha. Just now.

Breathe, Gail, breathe. You could have worse problems. Oh, yeah, you do. :/ Bertha does manage to take nice landscape shots. But that's not what I love to shoot. I now have to decide whether to trade her in on the 7D which is more suited for the action shots I love or give Bertha more time. Sigh. Any ideas or suggestions?

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

In Sync

LSU Lakes, Sunday. We got word through the grapevine that the white pelicans had returned.

Can we stop the beak sync now?
No, Clyde, we're doing the beak thing until I say so. Quit showing off your feathers.
I'm done, Matilda. You can flap that beak all you want.
Dangit, these cormorants are messing up our routine. Where's our stage director?
That's better, except now the turtles are off! Sigh.
Oh, yeah, much more like it.
Pelicans of three, let them be.