The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts tagged ‘Birds’

Back Yard Photos

This week, on nice days, I began walking around our back yard and three of our neighbor’s back yards (with permission).  I carry my camera with me.

Sue’s Primose

Chipmunk on Greg and Mary’s Bird Feeder

This is the first Baltimore Oriole that I have seen this year.
I haven’t seen any hummingbirds … yet.
These bird feeders are in our back yard.

I plan to share more back yard photos, from time to time, with you.

 

Chincoteague Vacation – Day 5

On the morning of Day 5 of our vacation (Wednesday, April 10th) we rode our bicycles from Tranquil Shores (our vacation home) to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Assateague Island, VA. It is approximately 2 miles from Tranquil Shores to the entrance booths. 

We followed the bicycle trail to Woodland Trail.  We rode the Woodland Trail, where we saw several wild horses in the marshland. 

Woodland Trail – Wild Ponies

Leaving Woodland Trail we took the Black Duck Trail to the Wildlife Loop.  We rode the Wildlife Loop. We saw egrets, birds and wild ponies. 

Wildlife Loop – Snowy Egret

Wildlife Loop – Red-Winged Blackbird

For the first time since 2011, when we first visited the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, we saw wild horses in the marsh, while on the Wildlife Loop. 

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

 

From the Wildlife Loop we returned to Tranquil Shores. 

Crossing bridge from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island (Beach Access Road)

We rode 11.69 bicycle miles in the morning.

We ate lunch at Metompkin Seafood Market in Bloxom VA, which was a 13-mile drive from Chincoteague. 

Metopkin Seafood Market

Metopkin Seafood Market
Food ordered here.

Metopkin Seafood Market
Fresh Seafood

Bob ordered a fish and scallop platter.  I ordered a fish platter.  We both had two generous pieces of fish with French fries, coleslaw and hush puppies.  Bob had scallops in addition to the fish.  There were three cats that were looking for handouts.  

A bold cat at Metopkin Seafood Market

 

On our way to Metompkin Seafood and on our way back to Chincoteague, U.S. Navy airplanes kept circling us.

U.S. Navy airplane

U.S. Navy airplane

I took these photographs from inside our car, through the windshield. We were traveling at about 55 MPH at the time. The airplanes were flying from NASA Wallops Flight Facility. It was awesome having the airplanes fly so close to us!

Before returning to our vacation home, we stopped for homemade ice cream at the Island Creamery.  

Island Creamery

Island Creamery
Ice Cream Selections

Bob ordered two scoops of coffee ice cream in a cup.  I ordered one scoop of Peanut Butter Cup and one scoop of Peanut Butter Chocolate, also in a cup.  Delicious!

We went for a drive around the Wildlife Loop in the evening.  The wild horses that we saw in the morning were still there.  The horses were even a little closer to the road than they were in the morning. 

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

Wildlife Loop – Wild Pony

For dinner we ate salad.  Bob had a Cobb salad; I had a chef salad.  Neither of us were very hungry after eating a big lunch and ice cream.

Later in the evening we watched a few episodes of NYPD Blue and then went to bed.

I hope that you are not getting tired of seeing photographs of wild ponies.  I will be sharing more wild pony photographs in my next blog post.  Those ponies were closer to us than all of our other encounters!

TO BE CONTINUED

Chincoteague Vacation – Day 4

Late in the morning we rode our bicycles in the neighborhood to Veteran’s Memorial Park. 

Veteran’s Memorial Park sits along the Assateague Channel

Our round trip ride was 5 miles.

We ate lunch at McDonald’s and then drove onto the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, stopping for photo opportunities along Beach Access Road.  We saw wild ponies in the marsh, closer than we have seen them in past years.  There were wild ponies in the pony corral, too, near the Woodland Trail.

According to a delmava now news story, published on April 1st, “Chincoteague pony stallion Riptide and his band were penned in the south corral on Assateague Island after visitors to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge disregarded warnings not to approach the wild ponies…The ponies will remain in the corral until the spring roundup April 12 and 13”.

We saw great blue herons, egrets and wood ducks.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Snowy Egret

Pair of Hooded Mergansers (Thanks EileeninMD for ID)

We spent a couple hours at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, before returning to our vacation home.  We relaxed for a couple hours.

We returned to the Wildlife Refuge around 4:30 pm.  We went for a drive around the Wildlife Loop.  We saw birds, a fox, Sika deer, egrets, turtles, snapping turtles and a muskrat.

Red-Wing Blackbird

Mama Fox

Mama Fox – What a face!

Mama Fox

Two Egrets

I love the reflections!

Two Egrets, a Great Egret taking flight

Three Egrets, a Snowy Egret in flight

Snowy Egret

 

Muskrat

Snapping Turtle

Painted Turtle

Two Snapping Turtles Mating

Leaving the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, after an approximately 45-minute visit, we drove to Food Lion and picked up dinners for three nights (through Thursday).  Our purchases included three ready-made salads and three Culinevo ready-made dinner entrees–lasagna, beef stew and beef and noodles.  All dinner entrees are microwaveable. We shared a Chef Salad and the beef stew for dinner.  For dessert we had cheesecake.

We watched a few more episodes of NYPD Blue and went to bed.

Mourning Dove Mating Ritual

This is a series of 11 images, out of 32, that I took with my new camera–the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II.  I used a new feature called Pro Capture mode.  The 32 images were captured with lightning speed.  This was the first time that I have used the Pro Capture Mode.

The mourning doves look like they are kissing, but I think they are preening each other.

Look at that puffed-out chest.

Performing “the deed”

Performing “the deed”

Performing “the deed”

Performing “the deed”

Look at the flared tail feathers on the male mourning dove. I would say he is pretty proud of himself.

The mourning dove is monogamous and forms strong pair bonds. Pairs typically reconvene in the same area the following breeding season, and sometimes may remain together throughout the winter.

Ducks, Geese and Seagull

On Sunday, March 10, Bob and I went for a drive along NYS Route 5, between the Daniel Reed Pier in Westfield to the Dunkirk City Pier in Dunkirk, and NYS Route 60 to McCrea Point Park in Jamestown.  We saw a waterfall, seagulls and waterfowl.

I published two prior blog posts about our drive.  The blog post was about Barcelona Falls at the Daniel Reed Pier.  The second blog post was about seagulls and geese that we saw, while at Lake Erie.  This third, and final, blog post is about the ducks, geese and seagull that we saw at McCrea Point Park.

McCrea Point Park was my favorite stop.  We saw ducks, seagulls, and geese.  I took a few pictures of geese flying away from me.  The lighting was getting dim, so the ISO was higher than I desired.  The bird-in-flight pictures did come out OK.  A big HIGH-5 for my new camera!

Two ducks

Canadian Goose

Seagull

Two more ducks

Flying Goose

Flying Goose

Seagulls and Geese

On Sunday, March 10, Bob and I went for a drive along NYS Route 5, between the Daniel Reed Pier in Westfield to the Dunkirk City Pier in Dunkirk, and NYS Route 60 to McCrea Point Park in Jamestown.  We saw a waterfall, seagulls and waterfowl. My earlier blog post was about Barcelona Falls at the Daniel Reed Pier.  This blog post is about the seagulls and waterfowl that we saw, while at Lake Erie.

An ice fishing seagull

This seagull was noisy!

Canadian Geese at Barcelona Harbor.

I just missed a bird-in-flight opportunity, as the geese took off the ice and flew overhead.  I had returned to the warmth of the car, after taking this photograph of the geese.  It was quite windy and COLD at Barcelona Harbor!  I jumped out of the car in an attempt to photograph the geese in flight, but I was too late.  I did capture a photograph of a seagull flying, though.

An in-flight seagull

Leaving Barcelona Harbor, we drove about 15 miles to Dunkirk.  I didn’t find anything to photograph at the Dunkirk City Pier.  In fact I didn’t see even one bird.

Leaving Lake Erie behind, we followed NYS Route 60 to Jamestown, where we stopped at McCrea Point Park—the subject of my next blog post.

Our Hawaiian Vacation: A Relaxing Day in Kona

Sunday morning, September 9th, found Bob and I at the Kona Inn Shopping Village once again.

20180909_180550977_iOS
Kona Inn Shopping Village

We arrived at the shopping village before the stores were open.  That was the plan.  The only reason we drove to downtown Kona again was so that I could take a few more pictures.

_LG28244Gray Cat at Kona Inn Shopping Village

I took several pictures of the cat, but I am sharing only two with you.

_LG28263Big Yawn From Being Tired of All the Pictures
or
“Go away, leave me alone.”
I caught the cat mid yawn.

I spent several minutes watching wave after wave roll in at Kailua Bay.

MVIMG_20180909_084438Bob took this picture of me on the seawall watching the waves roll in.

_LG28277One of the waves

I watched several crabs crawling all over the rocks that kept getting washed over by the surf.

_LG28286Hawaiian Crab

We decided it was time to go, when we saw chairs being placed in the lawn for the morning church service.  What a view, though, for a church service!

If you have read my blog posts from the beginning about our Hawaiian vacation, you will recall that several days ago a pair of Kalij Pheasants visited John and Dorothy’s yard.

_LG27668I captured a photograph of the Female Kalij Pheasant at that time.

Around noon on September 9th the pair made a return visit.  I captured a photograph of the Male Kalij Pheasant.

_LG28296Male Kalij Pheasant

Don’t the two Kalij Pheasants make a cute couple?

We relaxed at home until around 4:00 pm, at which time Dorothy, John, Bob and I went to Honokohau Harbor in Kona.

John has a fishing boat that is approximately 25 feet long.

20180810_155336
John’s Fishing Boat is the one in the middle.
I received this picture from Dorothy, after we had returned home from Hawaii.

John launches his boat from Honokohau Harbor.  He had planned to take us all out on the boat for a fishing trip.  That plan didn’t materialize for a couple reasons.  John had taken the boat out of the water before Hurricane Lane blew over the Island of Hawaii.  He had not put the boat back in the water by the time we arrived.  John would have put the boat back in the water; however, he wasn’t feeling 100% during our visit.  Before our arrival one of John’s toes got infected, and he was prescribed an antibiotic.  The antibiotic caused an upset stomach.  John missed out on a few of our sightseeing jaunts because he wasn’t feeling well.

We went to Honokohau Harbor to go to the Harbor House Restaurant, where we enjoyed cold beverages and snacks (French fries, onion rings and cheese poppers).

_LG28300Honokohau Harbor, as seen from inside the Harbor House Restaurant.

We learned during our first trip to Hawaii that you come to this restaurant for a schooner.

_LG28301The Harbor House Restaurant serves its beer in thick, 18-ounce chilled glasses called schooners.

_LG28302Honokohau Harbor
Do you see the storage sheds along the stone wall?
This is where John will put the storage shed he purchased the previous day.
John’s boat slip is somewhere in front of that wall.

After we had enjoyed our refreshments, Dorothy and I walked to the Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park beach. John and Bob stayed at Harbor House Restaurant for another round.

We were still on the harbor grounds, when we saw a chicken.

_LG28303
I like the green color on the chicken’s wings.

_LG28306Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park beach

Dorothy had hoped to show me green sea turtles. The tide was in higher than she had ever seen.  We didn’t see any turtles.

We turned around and walked back to the Harbor House Restaurant.

_LG28309Another photograph of Honokohau Harbor

We collected the boys at the restaurant and returned home.

At sunset we watched as the sun slipped into the ocean.

LJG28310Sunday’s Sunset

LJG28311A truly wonderful way to end a day!

 

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