Friday, February 28, 2014

Bits and Bobs

It's been an exceptionally busy week working from home. Thank you for your patience as I hobble around visiting whenever possible. Our birding class is going very well, but the first field trip was canceled due to rain. Two field trips are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday this weekend―both start at 7AM! Ugh, we are NOT morning people. At. All.
Male house finch
Did you know birds with thick beaks like finches and cardinals are seed eaters?
I learned that in class. :)


Barbara the barred owl from Feb 15th.

Downy woodpecker.
Their tails are used as a prop to help them climb trees. I learned that in class, too.

Male flowers of the swamp maple.
I did not learn that in class.

Injured ibis from Dec 29th. :(

See how his right wing droops? I think that was his problem. Hope he's okay.
I checked on him two days later and he was gone.
Hope everyone has a fun weekend! I'll check with y'all on Monday.

Beautiful things are never perfect.
(Seen on Pinterest)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tricolored Tuesday #9

The last of my December 15th tricolored heron series. I hate ending on an uneven number of posts, but I think I'm done even though I still have about 10 more from December 1st. Thank you for humoring me with my first ever series that went on much longer than I anticipated. You guys have been so great and generous with your comments!!

This is my last scheduled post unless I can get out with my camera. January and the first two weeks of February we saw record cold periods here in the Deep South. Plus, I was down with my back for most of that time. It's much better now; I think the cold had set off the arthritis in my lower back. If I'm not blogging, I will still be visiting, though my appearance may be sporadic due to my current work schedule, and I apologize ahead of time if that happens.

Sharing with I'd Rather B Birdin' and Our World Tuesday.

May your joy be as deep as the ocean,
your sorrow as light as its foam.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Carnival Time, Part II

More photos of the CAAWS' Mystic Krewe of Mutts Parade. What a blast!
I don't know why, but whenever I go to a public place with my camera, there is always a little boy tugging on my sleeve
begging to have his photo taken. I loved the way the dog jumped up to sniff his face and the expression on his little brother's face. It certainly appears the taller boy had been eating something good by the looks of his shirt. :)

Dyed and doodied-up poodles

Blues Brotha

This was the only dog there that did not seem to enjoy being dressed up and pulled along the route.

Dorothy and Toto

This one didn't care for the Mardi Gras theme, insisting on a Hawaiian costume instead. 
Breed a pointer with an Irish Setter, you get a Pointsetter. A traditional Christmas pet!
Good Dog! Magazine

Friday, February 21, 2014


What do you think? Thought I'd try something different. Image processed in Lightroom 2 using a preset called Solarize. Hope everyone has a good weekend. I'm ready for rest after a week of WORK! This ol' gal is not used to this. 
St. Joseph Cathedral
Downtown Baton Rouge
Linking to Skywatch Friday. Thanks, hosts!

The day we find the perfect church, it becomes imperfect the moment we join it.
Charles Spurgeon

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Carnival Time, Part I

It's that time of year in Louisiana with parades in full swing. This was our first time to attend CAAWS' Mystic Krewe of Mutts Parade, which benefits the Capital Area Animal Welfare Society. Animals (and most dog owners) were dressed in traditional Mardi Gras costumes, throwing beads and candy to children, and dog biscuits to dogs who were watching from the sidelines. Everyone was in a good mood, all the dogs behaved like angels, with some even appearing to have wide smiles. Next year we will definitely be participating with one or more of our pups!

I decided to take my 100mm lens because I wasn't sure how close I could get to the action. There was a newspaper photographer kind enough to give me tips on where to stand, encouraging me to get out in the middle of the road to get my shots. That's part of my problem with photography: I'm too timid around people. But I overcame that pretty quickly, shadowing the reporter for a good portion of the parade route. Whatever shot he took, I got right beside or behind him to do the same.

Because of changing light conditions throughout, I shot on Aperture Priority, setting it at f/8 and the ISO at 800, 640 or 400, depending on the situation. I'm wondering now if I should have shot with a wider aperture to get a faster shutter. Only a few people stopped and posed for me; the rest were going by in a blur. Any tips on shooting an event like this?

I want this dog AND the owner's shirt!

This lady was kind enough to pose for several shots

Chia Pet

I LOVED the name of this organization :)

This is Bowie, a long-haired dachshund. He is deaf. What a sweet little dog
who happily watched all the parade shenanigans from the sidelines.

One of my favorites of the day. Cute dog, cute outfit, cute tongue!
More photos of this event are forthcoming until I can get back out in nature again!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Barbara and Barry: A Love Story

Since I moved to Baton Rouge two years ago and discovered Bluebonnet Swamp, I have been introduced to some wonderful birders and photographers, learning much along the way. This past Saturday we crossed paths and they were eager to lead me to a big surprise. You see, every year around Valentine's Day, the resident barred owls, Barbara and Barry, set up house in the swampy part of the preserve. Usually, they find a tree several hundred yards away, so high in the treetops that our camera equipment is pushed to its limits.

The past few days our little lovebirds have found a new tree for their family. And it's RIGHT NEXT TO THE BOARDWALK; mere feet from us! This was the scenario: Barry began calling from the other end of the preserve. Barbara's muffled response from inside the tree cavity let us know she was there. After several minutes hooting back and forth, Barbara emerged from the nest. She then flew to a nearby tree, hugging close to the trunk. More minutes ticked by and here came Barry, flying past us towards the east. Barbara flew to him and they had what I call a "quickie", and believe you me, it was quick! Barbara flew back to the cavity of the tree to lay an egg (we hope).

And that was one of my big adventures for the weekend. Being trapped for weeks inside my house, on a heating pad, I can't tell you how elated and exhilarated I felt after watching nature in action. Whew doggies, I was one happy camper.
Emerging from the tree cavity

Getting ready to meet Barry

Barbara graciously posing for two slap-happy photographers

Feathers ruffling during her "conversation" with Barry

Barbara off to join her mate
Linking with Anni at I'd Rather B Birdin' and Stewart at Wild Bird Wednesday. Thanks so much link hosts!

Collect moments, not things.
Author unknown

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tricolored Tuesday #8

Getting to the end of my December 1st shots, finally. I have one more batch to post and then I'll be done with this series.

This week and the next, blog visiting will be a bit sporadic for me. I am working from home for my former boss. Also, starting Monday evenings, Double D and I enrolled in a birding class at LSU. The class is taught by the president of our local Audubon Society. I'll try to visit when I can.

I so appreciate the wise and wonderful words on my mom's memorial post yesterday. Y'all are amazing and I love each one of you!

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
Ralph Waldo Emmerson

Monday, February 17, 2014

Two Years

It's been two years today since my mother passed away. I miss her sweet spirit, her love and concern for her grandchildren, and her example of faith. I am comforted to know in my heart that her soul is at eternal rest in heaven.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Revelations 21:4

Friday, February 14, 2014

Think Pink!

My sweet blogging friend, Renae, of Simple Sequins, has recently discovered that she has breast cancer and will soon start treatment. Her blog is about fashion, and she simply shines when she is modeling her ensembles. Renae's attitude is perpetually upbeat and she's incredibly KIND with a huge HEART.

For Valentine's Day I thought I'd try to honor Renae and let her know that I am praying for her and thinking about her each day. May God continue to watch over you and others battling this disease. I am confident you are going to beat this and do it in big style along the way! Hugs and love to you dear girl.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Cypress Island

Last Sunday Double D asked where I'd like to go since the temperature was supposed to be mostly sunny and 70°F. I decided on Cypress Island, about 50 miles west, hoping to see the nesting herons and egrets; unfortunately, it's still a bit early, and it ended up being chilly with mostly cloudy skies. Very disappointing, BUT, I did spot a new lifer which is always exciting. Go me!

Hiking on the island - there is water on both sides of this strip of land.

My new lifer: the common yellowthroat. I fail to see anything common about him!
This was a shy guy and I was lucky to get this shot.
"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished."
Lao Tzu