Thursday, June 22, 2017

Summer Solstice, Sunset to Sunrise

The gold inside this experience wasn't from the sun, there was quite a bit of rain off and on while I watched and read. The gold was the experience. It's been a long time since I watched this. It wasn't as amazing as the night the Youth Group from the Baptist church went to Stormy Lake and then McGahn's, but it was beautiful. 
As I said, I read during the darker hours. 'Tatiana'. This book is not your typical story book. Rachel Cooper and Alan Dick wrote this journey of the life of the woman known as Tatiana. It is like a memoir or biography, following the young girl as she runs from a world she knows and loves into uncertainty and a future never imagined. Tatiana and Tazdlin are unlikely companions who grow into lifemates for an adventure beyond story books. Captivating and fascinating, you learn facts from a time period and peoples who lived and died on the far side of Cook Inlet. A perfect story to read while gazing at the mountains and the waters of my home and theirs. 
 I arrived at one of my favorite beaches just before midnight. The sky was lit up with color. 

I wasn't sure if the ship was going to leave the dock or not. It did! I was reading and realised a shape outside was different. I propped the camera up on the door mirror and hoped for the best. It isn't 'best', but it is interesting! This was after 2 AM. 
 I finished 'Tatiana' about 250 and went out to stretch my legs. It was a bit more chilly than I expected. I took lots of photos-they are almost as bad or worse than the one of the ship! The water was really high and I managed to find a skewed heart before my fingers froze off!
I knew I needed to get back to the house by 4 (night nursing) and stopped at Arness Dock to see the color start to return to the almost the same place it didn't quite retreat from!
 I was hoping for a non lake photo, but at almost 5 Am, this was pretty awesome. I'm glad I had this opportunity to chase the solstice. I wasn't expecting all the raindrops in between, it all worked out!
Blessings on your summer season!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Piper pal tiptoeing thru the rushes-
 Baby mallards of assorted sizes. There are not quite as many as there were. There are not as many as there were when I took these photos on June 19! As I've mentioned, predators love duckling. One of the babies can't walk very well, I keep thinking I need to catch it to give to Janet.

 Baby Golden Eye. These guys don't nest on the ground. They nest high in trees. When the babies hatch, the momma duck chirps at them from below. They are expected to tumble out of the hollow onto the ground, where they collect themselves and toddle off to the nearby waters. Thankfully, these families will adopt  if mommas go missing or babies get lost.

This little guy is a white crowned sparrow. They look much more streamlined as mature birds!!! 
 They also wiggle a great deal! Birds of assorted feather are everywhere, if I can only catch a few with the camera!

Do it for the seed!

I was unable to chronicle how this guy gets into this feeder stuck to the window. He (it is a male) pulls himself up from the window edge below after climbing the trellis and siding. He didn't like me watching and jumped from his prime snacking seat. The birds took over again and he moved on. I will keep an eye on him and if he does this again, I'll catch it on chip.  

 Mum  has many bird feeders in the yard. Most of them are on shepherd's hooks...which don't seem to be an issue for agile squirrels. This guy climbed up a pole and entertained me for quite some time.

 This last one hasn't the squirrel in it. He was trying to reach across the feeder, got tangled up, ended beneath it, and fell to the ground. He landed on all fours and was visibly unimpressed by my laughter. He ran off into a bush and didn't come back for quite some time!
photos all take with cannon powershotsx 15 ix or something like that, the logo is worn off and the grit  from the tree cutting last fall is still inside the lens.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Deadly Beauty

You can't really tell from the photos, but this giant predator was only feet from the house. I went out and watched him for a couple of hours. I also took about 70 plus photos with my point and shoot-Which is obvious in many of these shots. When the bird was perched on this snag, you could tell it was wet. Really wet. It sat in the chill wind and sunshine to dry off. Many of my photos are similar-I did sneak closer and closer, til I was almost directly under him. He wasn't afraid of me. Eventually, he was dry and flew down to the lily pad portion of the lake. Some of the ducks were outside of the greens and he struck. I managed to take several really very bad photos of his snacking, only one is posted. It was across the lake around 1030 pm and the eagle was eating rapidly. After he finished, he flew the length of the lake again, lowering his talons on families of  ducks who dove (maybe why the bird was wet in the first place??). However, he soared back down to the lily pads and I am pretty sure got another baby. I watched it in a tree and when I lost sight of it, there was a LOT of noise.  I reckon this particular bird will hang around for a while. I didn't see the osprey or immature eagle and I only saw one loon today. These babies aren't going to last long. 
I can't find who said this, but it is true: "Nature is not family friendly." 



                                                                    A baleful look!

                                  Duckling on a branch? I think I will. Delicious, who is next?

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Loon Pair

Predators come in all sizes on a lake. Today we had an osprey visit and a pair of loons. I was able to get fairly close to the loon in the kayak. I wondered why and then I remembered. They are predators, not much scares them. 
 I did research on these creatures and WOW! Loon are not ducks, they are more akin to penguins and cormorants. They have denser bones, which allows them to sink and dive more efficiently. They are mostly monogamous, they stick with the same mate for about 5 years. Unless one vanishes or gets chased away by another mate. They are territorial birds and defend their area fiercely, chasing and killing other birds or even large fish. They also leave their kids and visit other lakes, most likely to distract other predators from knowing where the loon babies are. They can have two broods a year with two hatchlings per brood. If one pair doesn't survive, they work on the second pair. The babies are self sufficient fairly soon after hatching, but rely on the parents for nurturing and rides. One instance I read about (see link), shared a loon adopting a golden eye baby. Which made me wonder. After loon visit, the golden eye population on this lake has diminished!
At any rate, I was incredibly fortunate to follow these two around in the kayak and capture them on camera. (because I had to use the telephoto feature and was shooting floating birds from a floating object, sometimes things are not entirely all in the frame!)

 I searched all over the lake for babies. There were a few out, but most of them were in the lily pads. You can't really tell, but there are at least 3 families of several ducklings floating out there in the pads. I don't go in this area until the babies are larger. It is the lake nursery and I don't want to rile up anyone. I'll let the dog, osprey, raven, and eagles do that!
These are just random fun photos I took not on the lake-