featured

Here Comes the Sun

To quote the Beatles, Here Comes the Sun, it feels like years since it’s been here! :-D

Ha.. well, after literally weeks of daily rain, it appears we will have a few days of sunshine and I was really pleased to get out into the warm weather. I decided yesterday, that I would go out after 4 for a couple of hours to be back around 6-6:30 for supper, which seemed reasonable and I thought the sun would not be as direct than earlier in the day. When I got up in the morning, it was still fresh, so although I had a shirt on, I was wearing pants that were kind of thick (like fake suede) and thick socks, but I thought I’d be fine so didn’t change when I went out. I also only brought 2 lenses… because, well, they get heavy. So, since trees are just starting to flower, I brought a macro (which also being a 105mm ) can take slighter wider angle images and a telephoto .. well, just in case!

I went down to an area where there is usually a tiny stream.. since several years, it seems like it was just a trickle, but with all the rain we have had, there was plenty of water. Water is always so lovely in the woods as it brings lightness with it and reflection and just makes any image better.stream

If you look at the top of the image, you will notice a couple logs that are crossing the stream. As I was about to leave, I noticed some movement there but I was using the 105 and it was too far to see. So I switched lenses to the telephoto and had to up the ISO as it was darker up there where the sun was hidden by the trees.  Moving in closer, I was to have a bit of a surprise… there was a Mallard Duck! Holy Cow! How cool was this?

Mallard Duck

Actually, I was just telling Carol about this on Skype this evening and only when I was doing post did I realize there was another duck there. If you look directly right of the log, almost completely hidden is another mallard… a female! This was a surprise to me tonight because I did not even notice until just now.

Sadly I couldn’t get a composition that I really liked as this was taken from way up a small hill, looking down, and it was very steep. I was thinking that if I was with someone, I might have shimmied down and then I would have back-up to get back up! :-D But it was not to be and I tried going around to the other side, but there just was no way to get a better view … so I figured I’d come back the next day in the morning when the light was on the side that would illuminate it better and I’d at least have a less noisy image.

On the way into the woods, I noticed these nice yellow globe flowers someone had planted in their backyard so took a few photos of those. Nothing extraordinary but most photogs will understand not being able to pass anything by.

 

globe flower

 

I then entered the woods and parts of the trail were simply full of water and you had to walk on the very side and grab a branch or two along the way to not fall into those huge puddles.

I was starting to feel quite hot and sweaty and not great… really not great… like I should get to a bathroom soon, and not to pee. Yes, I ‘m sure you all understand what I’m saying. To make matters worse, the mosquitoes were relentless and I was getting pretty hot. To save weight, I had not brought any water, and having had only an orange for lunch, was thinking I should have brought some nuts or something to keep my blood sugar up… well, no.. of course not! heh.

So I decide that I will go home. There’s no way I’m going to defecate in the bush with swarms of mosquitoes watching close-by awaiting their chance and it was just not going to happen. I took a trail that leads out but into the back lane of a row of houses. At the end of the lane, I can see an elderly man cutting the grass behind his house. When he sees me approach, he stops me to ask how the mosquitoes are.. haha… I don’t want to be rude as my mother taught me to have good manners and be nice.. so I stop to chat. He says “Why don’t you have a big referee whistle around your neck? ” “Now, why would I do that?” and he goes on to tell me that he’s lived in his house for the last 40 years and in that time all the instances where bears, coyotes, wolves etc., have traveled through his back yard.  Now, remember, I need to go to the bathroom… but I can’t tell this stranger that.. but the sweat is starting to burst out of my forehead and I’m starting to get really worried. He seems oblivious.. oh, yes, one time he left something in the bbq and went somewhere with a friend and to be honest, this part of the story gets a little screwed up as my mind is preoccupied with what is going on in my body and that I really, really need to go. After this, I tell him that I’m really sorry but I need to be somewhere and must leave and reluctantly he lets me go.

It’s another 10 minutes before I get home and seriously, unlocking the door, I think I was starting to shake a bit. Open darn door… and finally it does, and I sprint to the bathroom without a second to spare.

 

PHEW!!!!!!!

 

 

So this morning, another beautiful day with warm weather, I decide I’m going to go back to the stream with the light in the right area of the sky and hope that the duck is still there (yes, I know now there is another duck.. I guess they were trying to have a bit of a love connection but I didn’t know about the other duck, right? ).  I don’t bring my bag, I only bring my telephoto as that’s what I’m after. It’s already hot out, but it’s not very far, I will be fine.

I get there and there is not a duck in sight.  Nothing, nada. Ugh. I’m disappointed but there is nothing to do, that’s how the cookie crumbles some times. I’m just about to leave when something starts crossing the top of the tree trunk. I pull up my camera and missed his face by a millisecond.

muskrat1

 

oh my gosh.. what is that? I think it might be a beaver, but I’m not sure.. I’ll have to check the photos at home. I’ve been able to take 3 photos in all before he disappears to the other side. Once home, I realize that it doesn’t have a beaver’s tail, it’s furry and internet search makes me believe it’s a muskrat! Of course, someone out there might know better and correct me and that’s fine as I’m not positive.

muskrat's tail

I try to enter the woods from the other side to see if I can see it better but I cannot see it. To be fair, he does blend into the landscape pretty well. Also, since it had rained for so long, the ground is not mushy, but certainly spongy and although not leaking water, it felt like walking on marshmallows. No matter, my trials and tribulations, no muskrat anywhere to be found and I went back to the same spot in the stream hoping the duck would reappear but he was not putting in an appearance either. I decide just to go home.. it’s hot.. and I have trees in my backyard, let’s see if I can find a bird or something.

Well, the birds were really quiet.. either further away or in hiding but I didn’t see any. At all. I did however see this small day moth. It’s a Mourning Cloak or so says the internet. I know I seem very ignorant but one of the fun things about finding a new animal or bug is finding out online what the heck it is. It’s not rare and lives just about everywhere. It’s prettiest with it’s wings open and with it’s wings closed, it pretty much resembles a dried leaf and could easily not be seen. At first I’m perhaps 15 feet away but I slowly move up closer… very intrepid.. I move silently and without brusque movements as I don’t want to spook it and have it fly away. I am shooting with the telephoto so can’t really get as close as with another lens anyways.
Mourning Cloak

And that was it. As I entered the house, I could hear a bunch of ducks that seemed to be in the gully below but my foot was in the door and it was hot; it will have to be for another day.

I hope you enjoyed my small adventure.. my life is quite boring so this is just about as exciting as it gets.. lol. If you stop by to read this, I’d love to hear that you’ve been here, so leave a little comment as it makes me so happy. Remember too, that the first time you post, the site doesn’t know you and waits for me to allow the comment, but once allowed, next time you come, it will remember and the comment will appear right away.

:-) Maggie

p.s. Clicking  on the images will make them bigger!