The Beauty Around Us

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

Posts tagged ‘Went for a Walk’

It’s Bloomin’ Tuesday!

This past weekend I photographed flowers, flowering shrubs and flowering trees in my neighborhood.

Juneberry Tree

A tree service company told us that this is a Juneberry tree. The tree is planted in our neighbor’s yard. I believe that we can enjoy its beauty more so than our neighbors because we get a full view of the tree from our yard. Do you see Bob over by the tree? He mowed our yard for the first time this season on Saturday.

This is our house.
You can see the Juneberry tree behind the house.

This bed of tulips is in my neighbor’s front yard.

I saw this neatly trimmed forsythia bush in another neighbor’s yard.

The photographs displayed above were all taken at houses on the street where we live. The remaining photographs were taken at houses on other streets in our neighborhood.

White and Yellow Tulips

Three Pansies in a Row

More Pansies
Can you see the face-like features of the yellow pansies?

Garden Ornament
Do you see me inside the sphere?

As we returned to our street from our walk in the neighborhood, I marveled at the beauty of our neighbor’s flower bed, the Cleveland Pear and Juneberry trees, and the lush green grass.

If you’d like to see more Bloomin’ Tuesday photographs, please visit Ms Green “thumb” Jean.

A Dog Named Chief

Bob and I went for a walk in the neighborhood yesterday afternoon. During our walk we met a dog named Chief.

Chief

I asked Chief if he would like to have his picture taken. He said “why sure!” and promptly posed for me.

Chief

Springtime Nature Walk

On Wednesday, April 7th, Valerie C. and I visited the Audubon Center and Sanctuary in Jamestown, New York. We arrived shortly before 10:00 AM and didn’t leave until around 1:00 PM. There are three trails at the Audubon Center. We walked part of each trail. We saw geese, an eagle (too far away for a good picture), ducks, various birds, reptiles and amphibians. Valerie saw a deer. She caught a glimpse of its white tail, as it passed in front of us a good ways down one of the trails that we were walking.

These are two of the many geese that we saw on our nature walk.

Snake!

This snake was lying curled up on top of a low bush. We wondered if it was dead. We passed by it again towards the end of our walk. The snake was still lying on top of this bush; however, it had changed its position. No, it wasn’t dead! After seeing this snake the first go-around, we saw three more snakes!

My friend Valerie

We were walking on this boardwalk a short time after taking this picture. At the same time that I noticed on my right what appeared to be a long snake curled up on top of a low bush, Valerie saw a snake in the water to her left. These snakes were much closer to where we were walking, and I raised my camera to take a picture of the one closest to me. The plan was to take the picture and get the heck out of there! As I raised my camera, the snake uncurled. It wasn’t one snake; it was two snakes! They looked as though they were slithering, quickly, towards me ONTO the boardwalk! I didn’t give it a second thought. I touched Valerie’s shoulder, said emphatically “they’re coming!”, and pushed my hand gently on Valerie’s shoulder. It didn’t take much to get Valerie moving. We both made quick steps forward, all the while watching behind us. The snakes didn’t go on the boardwalk; they slithered into the water. Seeing four snakes during one nature walk was more than enough for me! I really wasn’t that pleased when we saw that first snake. At least that one was farther away, and it wasn’t moving!

Toad ?

I think this is a toad, as it appears to have a bumpy skin. This was the only amphibian that we saw. We heard lots of them singing or as they jumped into the pond when we walked by. We didn’t see any turtles. We kept looking for turtles because I had hoped to take a picture of several of them sunbathing on top of a log or a rock.

This bridge caught my attention. I loved the reflection of the bridge in the pond.

Reflecting Bridge

While we walked through the forest, I smelled Spring … an earthy fragrance.

I tried to capture the smell of Spring in this photograph.
Can you smell the earth?

Before leaving the Audubon Center we visited the eagle called Liberty. I took a picture of her screeching. Neither Valerie nor I had heard an eagle’s cry before. That was so cool!

Liberty

Another Visit to the Audubon Center and Sanctuary

The Audubon Center and Sanctuary in Jamestown, NY, has got to be my most favorite place to visit. I have visited the center on four separate occasions this year alone.

I visited the Audubon Center with my friend, Linda H., this morning. Linda has visited the Audubon Center with her grandchildren; however, she had never walked any of the trails. We followed the blue trail a short distance to a photo blind overlooking Big Pond. It was a lovely morning. The temperature had the feel of autumn about it, cool but not cold. The sky was a pretty blue color with streaks of white clouds tossed about. The sun shone brilliantly, basking the earth in its warm glow. The colors of the changing leaves were gorgeous.

Big Pond

Linda and I at Big Pond

Before leaving the Audubon Center we paid a visit to Liberty, the resident eagle. It was Liberty’s lunch time.

Liberty, eating lunch

Liberty looks like she is asking us what we are looking at!

It was time for OUR lunch when we left the Audubon Center. Linda and I ate lunch at Perkins Restaurant. Our lunches were inexpensive. Linda had a coupon for buy one entree get one free. To use the coupon we had to order a beverage, other than water. We each ordered from a special offer menu — lunch entrees for $5.99 each. Linda ordered a chicken salad sandwich with french fries, a petite salad, and a large homemade chocolate chip cookie. I ordered a ham and Swiss cheese sandwich with a petite salad, fruit cup and a chocolate chip cookie. Both of our sandwiches were half sandwiches, and the salads were tiny. When the menu says “petite”, it means petite. Our lunches were scrumptious and well worth the cost.

Nature Walk with a Friend

I spent 6 hours (10:00AM-4:00PM) this past Wednesday with my friend Lynn B. We went on a nature walk at the Audubon Center and Sanctuary in Jamestown, NY.

The Audubon Center includes over 5 miles of well-maintained trails: the Blue Trail, the Orange Trail and the Yellow Trail. Our nature walk took us on all three trails. We walked well over 2 miles!

We began our walk on the Orange trail. The Orange trail makes a big loop around Spatterdock Pond, which is the Audubon Center’s second-largest pond. Within a couple minutes of starting our walk we saw a deer! It crossed right in front of us. Neither of us captured a photograph of the deer, though, as we hadn’t yet removed the lens cap from our cameras! We stopped at a photo blind that looks across Spatterdock Pond. The blind had cut-out holes of varying heights, allowing small, regular and tall people a comfortable place from which to view.

Spatterdock Pond Photo Blind

After leaving the photo blind, we crossed a boardwalk into a wooded area.

Boardwalk trail

Lynn on the boardwalk

We saw this lily pad as we crossed over the boardwalk.

Somewhere along the way we got off the Orange trail and started following the Yellow trail. The Yellow trail leads all the way around Big Pond, which is the Audubon Center’s largest pond. There are two photo blinds and a tower that overlook Big Pond. We passed by the first photo blind because the bugs were bothering us so much that we were hurrying back to the car.

Lynn wore the hat and jacket in an attempt to keep the bugs at bay. Note in this photograph that the hood of Lynn’s jacket is up. Lynn’s attire didn’t help. The bugs were bad!

We did apply bug spray before beginning our walk. Apparently the effectiveness of the bug spray diminishes with time. Next time we will carry the bug spray with us.

We made our way to the parking lot. After reapplying bug spray we followed the Blue trail to the photo blind nearest the nature center. This photo blind is the second blind that overlooks Big Pond. We stayed at this blind quite a while, snapping pictures of geese and blue herons. The photographs didn’t turn out, as the geese and blue herons were too far out on the pond.

Before leaving the Audubon Center we followed the Orange trail once again to the tower. The tower is two levels and looks out on Big Pond.

Tower

Some geese took off, while at the tower.

A visit to the Audubon Center would not be complete without a stop to see an eagle named Liberty.

Liberty

 

Lynn and I enjoyed our day immensely. I hope we make a return trip. Lynn suggested bringing picnic lunches next time. I think that is a good idea!

A Late Summer Nature Walk

Roger Tory Peterson Nature Interpretive Center

I went for a walk yesterday at the Audubon Center and Sanctuary in Jamestown, NY. The Center is approximately 12 miles from my house. As you would expect, having a nature center so close to home, this was not my first visit. It will not be my last visit.

There are three well-marked nature trails at the Center — the blue trail, the orange trail and the yellow trail. The blue trail is approximately .5 miles in length; the orange trail is about a mile in length; and the yellow trail is approximately 2 miles in length. I walked the blue trail. The blue trail starts at the parking lot and follows a paved trail to an overlook. The trail offered pleasing views of field, forest and pond.

Bob’s Garden is at the beginning of the blue trail.

Bob’s Garden was created to honor Bob Hallquist.

This plant is called Korean Licorice Mint.
It was growing in Bob’s Garden.

I passed by a few small ponds. I kept my eyes open for frogs and turtles. I heard a few splashes, but I didn’t see either a frog or a turtle.

The nature trails are marked well.

This was the third pond that I saw.
Isn’t it picturesque?

When you get to the overlook, you will have a wonderful view of “Big Pond”, appropriately named as it is the largest pond at the Audubon Center and Sanctuary.

Big Pond

I watched waterfowl activity on the pond for several minutes. Even though I had my 50-200mm lens with me, the waterfowl were too far out on the pond to get a decent photograph.

From the overlook, I went for a walk through the woods. My walk through the woods was hurried. We have had a lot of rain this summer. The forest was quite damp. I saw lying water several places in the forest. The mosquitoes were terrible! I should have brought bug spray with me.

My last stop was at Liberty’s enclosure. Liberty is a bald eagle. Liberty was found in the state of Washington, with an infected cut on her left wing. Liberty cannot be released because the muscle damage in her wing prevents her from flying well enough to hunt in the wild. Liberty can fly short distances inside her habitat. Liberty has lived at the Audubon Center and Sanctuary since June 2002. A group of volunteers take good care of Liberty.

I spent at least an hour watching and photographing Liberty. The time I spent there and my patience paid off. Until yesterday I had seen Liberty on only one perch. Yesterday, I saw her fly from one perch to another a couple times.

Liberty, preparing for flight

Liberty, preparing for flight

Liberty, on another perch

Close-up photograph of Liberty

Finally! I captured a photograph of Liberty about to fly.

Liberty was on another perch across the enclosure in the blink of an eye.

Like “The Walk to Paradise Garden”

Do you know the name W. Eugene Smith? I didn’t know the name until one of my Flickr.com contacts left a comment on one of my photographs. The comment, which has since been removed because I deleted and subsequently re-uploaded all of my photographs on Flickr, read: “Like the “Walk to Paradise Garden”. I used Google to search on the phrase “Walk to Paradise Garden” and learned of a famous photograph taken in 1946 by W. Eugene Smith.

smith_children_walking
The Walk to Paradise Garden
© The Heirs of W. Eugene Smith
Photo courtesy of Masters of Photography

W. Eugene Smith is a legendary American photojournalist who, according to Wikipedia, was known for his refusal to compromise professional standards and his brutally vivid World War II photographs. In 1945, while photographing an essay titled “A Day in the Life of a Front Line Soldier,” Smith was seriously wounded by a Japanese shell fragment. For the next two years Smith took no pictures. It was doubtful that he would ever be able to return to photography. However, one day during his period of convalescence, Smith took a walk with his two children. Even though it was still intensely painful for him to operate a camera, he came back with one of the most notable photographs of all time: “The Walk to Paradise Garden.” This image was the final picture in the most popular exhibition in the history of photography — the “Family of Man” Exhibition.

Now, on to my photograph. Bob and I made a 20-minute stop at the Audubon Center and Sanctuary in Jamestown NY on our way home from a motorcycle event that we attended on May 31st. We visited an eagle called Liberty and took a short walk around a pond.

An eagle called “Liberty”

Roger Tory Peterson Nature Interpretive Center (back view)

Then we entered the forest. There was a man, woman and a young child walking ahead of us. I wanted a photograph of the forest trail that we were on. I snapped a picture.

This is the photograph on which a Flickr contact left the comment “Like a “Walk to Paradise Garden”.

I want to thank my Flickr.com contact, Brian Corll, for his kind comment that led to my discovery of W. Eugene Smith and his photography.

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