Three Birds and a Chipmunk

Last week’s assignment for my photography group was the theme of “Animals.”

It wasn’t until I had picked the final four and had written captions for each one, that I noticed that the majority were birds.  Haha!  And one solitary chipmunk.

So, here they are:

Animals #1 –  A swan looking comfortable and foraging in the grass on the banks of a pond that’s part of the huge expansive property of the Linderhof Palace in Bavaria (formerly one of King Ludwig II’s residences).

 

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Animals #2 –  On a hike along the Weitach river in Augsburg-Inningen, among a variety of water birds, my friend, Toni, showed me the nest of this Eurasian Coot family that he’s been observing on his daily walks there.
It was fun to see the babies poking their heads from beneath mama coot’s warm feathery embrace; one of the babies ended up following dad’s coaxing call into the water.
Also, I love how the colourful heads of the ducklings contrast and “jump out” compared to the more “formal” colouring of grey, black, and white of the parents.

(Note:  I had posted a lengthier story with photos on this coot family; find it here ).

 

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Animals #3 – It seems that I took predominantly bird photos on my recent trip to Germany. Haha! Here’s one of a grey heron that I observed for a good length of time as it hung around the Nagold river by the village of Underreichenbach.  At one point it flew up to the top of the train bridge, and that’s where I captured this one.
When it first flew up there, it had twigs in its beak, so I’m assuming it was working on a nest? I particularly like this pose.

 

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Animals #4 –  And here’s the chipmunk!  Recognize it from this recent post ?

This photo was taken up at a cottage near White Lake. There’s a resident chipmunk who decided  that the scent of my fresh untouched apple – MY lunch snack – was too irresistible and fair game for sharing. I had put my purse on the front porch with a slight opening…..not really thinking more about it. And along came Chippy! Poked its upper body into the purse opening….scratched up some fresh apple, sat up on its haunches, munched with gusto, and always kept a keen, curious eye directed at me. Did this several times. Haha!

 

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A Cheery Hello!

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Robin flies in low,

Soft landing; then hip, then hop –

Time to catch some worms.

 

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As I was sitting in Stewart Park (in Perth, Ontario) today in the afternoon, waiting for some friends, I looked around….enjoying the view of the small brook flowing nearby, and the trees, and….

This beautiful robin flew along from behind where I was sitting on a bench and then passed in front of me, swooped a little semi-circle, and landed in the grass.

Seemed to me she didn’t mind my presence, as she hopped a bit and then stopped.  Hopped some more and stopped.  We gazed at each other; it felt like a cheerful greeting “hello!”

Here are some more views of the park….

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Returning to My Walks…

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Chilly wind blowing;

Birds chirping; Watching cows…geese,

Time for walks again.

 

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My schedule has finally eased up again, and so I have been looking forward at the prospect of incorporating my daily walks….or almost daily walks, like I did last year.

What discoveries shall I make this year?

Well, it was fun to see the neighbour’s tractor trundling along the path leading to this fenced-in pasture, bringing with it a bucket full of hay.  You should have seen how fast the dairy cows got moving, once they saw the “delivery” truck!  Feeding time!

And before I had arrived at that spot, I was walking past some trees, and there were several birds flitting about among the branches and calling out their songs.  Cheerful and happy and going about their business.  I think I caught sight of a goldfinch…..??

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There were two Canada geese couples looking as if they were settling in on one of the farm fields down the road.  I watched them.  They checked me out.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get photos of them.  However, if they ARE making a temporary home there, I hope to see them again on a subsequent walk.

I had the wind blowing into my face on the way back…..even with a jacket on, it felt oh so Brrrrr!!

 

 

Poetry from My Walks

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Dry is the cornfield;

Tall and Silent.  And in front

My shadow dances.

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Early evening

Where the sun hangs in a tree –

See the flying geese?

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A stately maple,

Standing tall and fully dressed,

In golden yellow.

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A Surprised Squirrel

Stops…..we watch each other……Runs

Then comes the scolding!

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Cabin by the woods,

Blends with every season’s hues,

Saying, “Come on in!”

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As I head back home,

Flying high above….honking

“It’s time to migrate!”

Another Day of Wonders!

Hello, Friends in this Enjoyable Blogosphere!

Guess what unforeseen and exciting encounter I had on my walk today….

Give up?

Well, yeah, I DID get to see a few new things along the way.

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Like, for example, my first Woolly Bear Caterpillar of the season – uh huh….a future Pyrrharctia isabella! Yep, the Isabella Tiger Moth. Who knew that a woolly bear turns into a tiger?? Haha!

And yes, another monarch flitted in front of me…..geez! Still not fast enough to get a pic! Beautiful to watch even so.

Then there was a bird flying above…..just soaring on the wind currents, and I thought at first it might be a hawk or along those lines. I watched until it disappeared further into the sky. And then I walked along some more and saw about 4-5 of them all flying about one of the farms I go past. Then I thought….crows? But they looked more brownish in colour…..??  (A friend suggested to me later that it looked like a turkey vulture.)

One of the tall maples that I always admire on my walk had a little secret to show me. All surrounded by its still lush green leaves was a tiny “pocket” of already-turned reddish leaves – like its own little heart of autumn or its own little red “heart” of leaves.  Isn’t that cool?

HOWEVER, the absolute highlight for me was meeting up with someone new! You just never know what a new day will bring! Soooo exciting! She passed me the first time, as I was walking towards the turnaround point, and we briefly said “hi” and “what a beautiful day!” And my iPhone camera was being slow, so I only got a photo of her backside. Darn, I thought at first. Oh well, but at least I got something to remember the unusual contraption she was riding. Well, but wasn’t the Universe having some fun with me, when I later on spied the same cyclist coming towards me on my return leg of the route!! Haha! Second chance here; not wasting it! Got my iPhone ready for some more pics. And then we ended up having an initial brief chat…..and then she pulled over for a lengthier one! I was some tickled!! Oooooeeee! What a cool way to meet someone, and we fell into conversation easy peasy, like that, and had some laughs already. Yes, yes, you guessed it. We ultimately exchanged phone numbers and will be getting together for a really long visit! Gotta love life and its wonderful gifts!

P.S. Later on I googled a bit to find some more info on recumbent trikes, because that’s what she was riding. Just the coolest thing!

On My Daily Walk….Yesterday

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Yes, it’s become my daily walk and not necessarily always at the same time.  It can be mornings or early evenings (like in these photos I took from yesterday’s walk).  I started this new form of exercise in the first week of June and I plan on keeping it going, because it no longer feels like an exercise that I need to do as my goal….but more of a fun new activity that I look forward to and don’t want to miss doing and now can’t imagine NOT doing – hahaha!

Primarily, I walk along two country roads, the bigger one being paved.  There are uphill and downhill parts on both of them, so that adds a bit of “extra work” as well.

I was loving the sunshine on my face and arms as I walked along at my usual good, comfortable, steady pace.  And as I was facing homeward bound again, that’s when I paid more attention to the clouds in the sky and really noticed that darker cloud.  I liked that “heavier” looking cloud that still somehow seems to be so light in the sky.  And I liked how the rows in the field showed up distinctly.  So, I stopped and took a few pictures.  Interesting isn’t it, when you look just a smidge to the right, which is the next picture in sequence…and even though the dark cloud is still in the sky to the left (outside of the frame), you wouldn’t know or think it was there just looking at the second picture.  All the clouds are white, and the sky is blue.

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This third picture I took going closer to the edge of the left side of the road, mostly because I love the sight of these grasses with the lighter beige tufts that always invite me to fan my hand over their softness…..as well as run my hands through the soft ferny ground cover right at the edge of the sandy shoulder, running along the right edge of those taller grasses.  Adds some tactile exploration….and fun!

From time to time occasional birds – red-winged blackbirds and sparrows and bobolinks and mourning doves, among others – briefly perch along the hydro lines, and we check each other out.

Interestingly, every walk is never quite the same….different clouds, occasional rain sprinkles or little “showers,” total cloudiness, breezes or barely breezy, and the haying in certain fields, and the slowly growing taller of the corn crops in other fields.

Sure is peaceful and calm.