Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Critters Everywhere

There was something at every turn at the park yesterday:

Could hear this fella before we saw him. I think it's a Hairy Woodpecker
because its bill is larger than the almost identical Downy Woodpecker.

Sophie met up with Steve and his 'pack' of 10 dogs (he's a dog-walker).
She loves seeing him because he calls out her name and gives her special attention.

This little fella is called the 'Woolly Bear Caterpillar' which will very soon
turn into an 'Isabella Tiger Moth'. Click on the link below if you wish to learn more:

And last but not least we found these very soft 'feline-type toes'........
Pussy Willows.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Using My New Macro Gadget

A couple of weeks ago I ordered a' macro gadget' from
It arrived a few days ago and yesterday I tried it out in the garden.

It is an extension tube made by a company called Fotodiox.

The tube is made up of two mounts and three extension rings
which can be used separately or together,
depending on how close you want to get to subject.

These 'rings' are not lenses. You attach your regular lens to these rings
which are mounted on your camera.

It took a few minutes to adjust to this system 
and set my camera in 'manual mode' and shutter speed setting
and away I went!

Macro photography is an art in itself.
 It will take time to feel comfortable doing close-ups.

I can also see the advantage to using a tripod
 (a very small tripod)....when one is so close
to the subject it is surprising how much one shakes
which can affect the sharpness of the focus.

 Snowdrop (single).
So this new gadget worked better than I had anticipated.
I wasn't sure how it would be
and because it was much cheaper than a macro lens, $15,
I was very willing to chance it.

We have a good macro lens and I plan to compare the 'finished products'
over the next few days.

Now there won't be a rush to get the macro lens 
to capture all the new blooms this season.....
this new gadget does a pretty good job.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Contemplative Monday

***I thought these different photos would be indicative of how thoughts
are constantly coming and going in our heads.

The following is from 'Heart Advice, Weekly Quotes From Pema Chodron'.


"When the thoughts arise it may occur to you to wonder where they come from.

Where do they come from? It seems as if they come from nowhere.

You're just faithfully following your breath....and Wham!'re in Hawaii surfing.

Where did it come from? And where does it go? Big drama, big drama's happening,
big, big, drama.

And it's 9:30 in the morning. 'Oooh. Wow! This is extremely heavy.'

A car horn honks, and suddenly you're not in that drama anymore,
 you're in another drama.

I was once instructed to meditate on thoughts.
 I investigated the nature of thought for two whole months.

I can tell you firsthand  that you can never find a thought.

There is nothing there of substance, but with our mind 
we make it an Extremely Big Deal."

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Eclectic Tastes

Changing things up just a bit for this week's selection.

Here is some 'music' for the eyes.

On Saturday Ron, Sophie and I saw and photographed
 two of these lovely creatures down near the trail at the beach.
They have been here for a few months
 and have been causing quite a stir with the birding society.

We were careful not to get too close
 as we didn't want to disturb their routine.

With lenses fully engaged and some 'cropping'
this is what I got:

The first one we saw.....

Too cropped but you get the idea I hope.

And the second 'Snowy' a little further down the trail closer to the beach:

Check out all those feathers around its legs and feet.

And it was off!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday Morning Post

Nature and urban hodgepodge this is usually the case.

A very old Anglican church/graveyard in neighbouring community of Westphal.

'Nursing-log tree stump'

'Main Street' anywhere.

Roof of gazebo at the park.

Traffic lights reflection on wet street.

Steady photographer at work....

Part of a very old British fortress at the park in Halifax.

Future sea glass.....

It's April in Nova Scotia!

Our favourite path at the park.

Poor baby! One more week to go Sophie.

On the boardwalk at Lawrencetown Beach.

Oh my! He thinks he can fly! (must be the new meds!!!)

This makeshift 'nest' caught our interest this week down at the beach 
amongst Bay bushes. It was huge....about 8' X 8'.
Any ideas?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Frosted And Tumbled

Having been a very keen 'sea-glass' collector for the past few years now,
I really get excited about finding cobalt blue glass that has been tumbled by the sea.

In fact, it was this colour that got me hooked about five years ago at this very beach.
It was a beautiful, hot summer day as I was sauntering
 down the beach at the water's edge.
I was looking down and just ahead I saw something blue and wet in the sand.

It was perfectly 'frosted' with no edges and a beautiful colour.

So, I got into the habit, as many others do, to add to somebody else's
delight in finding sea-glass by throwing coloured bottles into the ocean,
much like the one above which was a vitamin bottle.

'You throw glass bottles into the water at a beach which people use', I heard you ask?
Yes I do.
But I don't in the summer for obvious reasons. By the time this water is 'warm' enough
for people to use, this bottle will be tumbled to death by the very strong
north Atlantic currents that rip up and down these beaches all year long.

And it is my hope that some day in the future someone will be
walking down the beach on a beautiful summer afternoon
and see part of this cobalt blue glass bottle
that has been perfectly tumbled just for them.

This is the piece that got me started.
I couldn't get a very good photo of it
but I hope you get the idea.
It's diameter is about that of a quarter.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

As The Crow Flies

Did you know that.......

.....crows living in suburban areas require only 10% of the nesting territory that crows
living in the wilderness do and that they build fake nests to fool predators?

.......that crows will crush an ant and rub it all over themselves 
like perfume because the formic acid in the ants helps 
ward off parasites and that this is called 'anting'?

........that pet crows give their owners names and this is identified
by a unique sound they make around people that they
would not otherwise make?

........that female crows mate for life, but male crows will cheat?

.....that crows can count to six?

......that crows will sunbathe for vitamin D?

......that crows have been observed chasing sparrows into buildings
in order to stun them. The result is sparrow for lunch.
They also pick on birds their own size.....and that mobbing crows
can seriously injure hawks. 

All this information was obtained at the following website:

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