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Posts Tagged ‘Nature’

I spotted a friend in the yard this morning – well, not so sure he will be invited over for a friendly lunch once the gardens are growing …

groundhog Baby Groundhog

I brought along the camera on the morning walk and captured some sure signs of Spring –

birds-along-path 

The picture is quite a distance so somewhat unclear, but those are geese in the background and the larger birds in front I am not sure!  I have seen blue heron and different cranes in the area, but one at a time.  There was 5-6 of these larger birds and I did video them but it is still unclear.  I need to scan my bird book!

ducks-on-path Pair of ducks

Video of ducks  I am learning how to video so it is a bit shaky – well,  ALOT shaky (I need to hold my breath and not move when taking videos!)   Another video

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The trip home yesterday was quite the experience – 3 hours of downpouring heavy rain that nearly lifted us from the road and swept us away.  We are extremely happy to be alive and well and seeing all the flooded areas, it is quite clear we missed some heavy rains all weekend.  I believe the Chicagoland area broke records and it is said to be the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.  I can only image the winds and rains they had and pray for their well being.  While down south I did make a unique discovery and I am not sure what it is!

 Polka dotted seedpod?  At first we thought it was a little rubber ball, but where would it have come from? So we cut it open to investigate further…

 Looks very alien to me.  I tried searching on the internet but came up with no clue.  I will have to watch for more and hope the home doesn’t get invaded while we are gone!

Something else which I found rather interesting was … a Tomato Hornworm eating our Alma Paprika Peppers which at this stage are very, very hot!  When they are yellow (the initial stage) they are raging spicy hot, then they turn orange and mellow out a bit.  Finally, when they are red they are sweet hot.

These guys are so big and nasty looking!

 

I did find some very cool mushrooms and snapped a few shots!

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As we pulled up to our home in Southern Illinois and glanced across the pond we saw White Birds!  They were wading in the water and several were on land.  Neither of us have ever seen these beautiful birds before and I did my best to capture them on the camera.  They were very observant and once they sensed my movements they all flew up in the trees and finally they flew off as I tried to get closer to them.  They are either Great White Egrets or Snowy Egrets or something else all together!  It was a fantastic sight …

As we entered the garage we were greeted by a friendly little lizard …

Walking around the property we spotted baby birds screaming for food – they were high up in the outside corner of the barn and mother bird was feeding them like crazy!  I know I saw at least 4 of them and by the time we left to return home, it seemed they had all left the nest.  I searched the internet and I want to say the birds are Spotted Flycatchers.  The reason I think this is not only do they resemble the bird, but mother bird was actually bringing the huge horse flies to the babies to eat.  Straight up … she didn’t even eat them first!

 Baby birds

 Mother Spotted Flycatcher

 This black crawfish is only about an inch long, but sure is scary looking and the two tiny peepers next were ALL over the place!

  A hummingbird in action and the last picture is ……. The Bluebird of Happiness !

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  This is Baby Cardinal on June 7 … newly hatched and very hungry!  I am blessed to have this cardinal nest right outside my kitchen window and have been watching the progress.  Today, which is June 12th – 5 days after this picture I observed the baby out of the nest and ready to GO!  I am guessing and hoping he is out in the world doing fine since I haven’t seen him since this morning.

 

  Look at this Guy!  He did IT … left the nest!  Now I have been constantly watching the action all day and this baby is half again the size of the other one in the nest.  Only two babies were hatched and there is an egg still in there, but doubtful if it will hatch.  The second baby cardinal ….

 This baby followed the actions of the other but he is just not ready to fly off yet.  He is clinging to a branch above the nest and takes frequent naps…I sure hope this baby hangs in there!  The cardinal parents have been back and forth a million times, feeding and standing guard.  Here’s Dad earlier today …

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I was waiting for the showdown to occur with the Swans and the Geese for at least over a week now.  The geese just took it upon themselves to make a home in the swan nest and the swans let them do it!  I am thinking what happened is that the swans weren’t ready for the nest and were busy scoping out the pond and such being just placed there – all the while the geese were setting up home right under their nose.  *One note I will make is that alot of establishments will use swans to keep the geese out of the area and they do DO that very effectively!  So watching this goose nest in the swans nest was puzzling to me …. Well, today I witnessed the swans making a statement and actually they were nice about it.

OK  … time to make a Statement …

When they fluff up their feathers like that …. Look OUT!  The goose in the nest didn’t move and the other half kept trying to get in the nest as well …

That appears to be an “attack mode” …  he was crusin’ after that other goose!

OK who do you think will win this Nature War?  When I finished my walk and left the scene BOTH geese were in the nest and both swans were in the attack mode ………. we can only wonder what happened.  I can make a guess here when I go on my next walk — Mama Swan will be sitting happily in that ole nest there ~ we will see

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The Swans are back!

I walk – for exercise and just time to think……so for the past 2 years I have a newer route (since walking the same path can be boring) and I walk this path a few times a week.  Well, it is a path around a pond at the local hospital and they stock it with a pair of Swans each year.  I love Swans … and was hoping to acquire a pair one day, BUT these guys are Huge so we will see!  Anyways, the first year the pair of swans had 4 babies….

 

Last year the pair had 7 babies but one was a loner – he would go off and swim by himself all the time.  Then one day there was only 6 babies……..So I have NO idea what happened to the dude.

It is SO remarkable to watch the Swans grow up and I made a guess for this  year on how many babies ……. I guess 4 – ya know with the recession and all … times are hard.  I will say though the pair I saw today look very very healthy.  I am guessing my “Picture of the Week” will be somewhat Swany lol  I will tell you I neglected to bring the camera on the walk today and totally missed a great photo shot of Mama Deer and her fawn who just stood there and looked at us.     I was like …….Where is my cameraaaaaaaa?!?!?! 

Word of advice – bring the camera on your nature walks…..because if you don’t — You will miss the shot of the year!!!

 

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