Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Groundhog in the Stairwell

I saw this little groundhog walk past the patio door this afternoon.  I grabbed my camera and ran outside.  He was caught in the breezeway as the little red gate was closed.  Got his head stuck between the little slats in the gate.  I went over to the gate and scared him so much he pulled his head out and ran down the steps to the basement.  I decided to just back up and give him some space.  Talked to him for a few minutes even though I couldn't see him.  Finally he came to the top of the steps, peeked out and then ran away as fast as he could.  Loved having a new little visitor today.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Mute Swan

Yesterday I woke up early and got to John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge by 6:30.  The mute swan was waiting for me and posed for many a photo.  It was a good thing as I was using my new Nikon D850 and the only way I could process the photos was in Lightroom and/or Photoshop.  I had a wonderful three hour lesson on Lightroom today from a marvelous young and very talented photographer  - Ray Hennessy.  He had the patience of a saint while I slowly began to absorb how this new software works.  Here are two photos of that beautiful swan enhanced a bit by Lightroom ala Ray.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Little Toad in the Grass

My friend Christian Hunhold came over today and graciously helped me process my first photograph in Photoshop.  I am on a steep learning curve here folks, but I am determined to learn this new software.  This little toad making his way from the pond to the woods is my inspiration.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

It's Just Been One of Those Days

I recently purchased a new camera - the Nikon D850 which is a total gem, except for the fact that I cannot import the images from the camera into my software for processing them.  The image software I use is Apple's old outdated Aperture.  I have resisted going to photoshop all these years, but now am being forced to with this new camera.  I worked almost all day today trying to figure out just a little of photoshop.  I feel just about as frustrated as this little gosling...... Tomorrow is a new day.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The March of the Toads

About a week ago I was looking in the two ponds in the lower field at Pauling's Farm in Valley Forge and noticed large black moving blobs.  When I looked closer I realized the blogs were hundreds of baby tadpoles.  Today, I went back and looked in the pond and saw nothing.  Just a few water bugs.  As I turned to go, I noticed a little moth land in the brush near the pond.  I kneeled down to take a picture and saw all this movement in the grass.  Again, I looked closer and there were hundreds of little tiny frogs or toads that had emerged from the pond and were making their way back into the woods where they would reside until next spring.  It was amazing to see all these little tiny creatures hopping towards the woods.  I would pick up leaves and find maybe ten little toads under each leaf.  I picked up a few and tried to place them on wildflowers with limited success.  These little guys were less than 1/2 the size of my pinky fingernail.  They were fast and quite elusive.  Here are a few of the toads I found.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Yumiko Officially Graduates from NYU this Very Morning!!!

Yumiko shakes hands with Gene Andrew Jarrett, Dean of NYU's College of Arts and Sciences.  She graduated officially today cum laude.
The Golden Tassel

With Aunt Barbara Reid

A Kiss for Mom

So Proud!!

Friday, May 11, 2018

The Fox and his Prey in Valley Forge Today

I was in the woods quietly trying to photograph an elusive common yellowthroat warbler.  As I gingerly walked to the edge of the woods to get a better angle on the warbler, there was the fox right in front of me!!  I froze, the fox crouched and jumped and caught the little vole.  I just barely got a few shots before he saw me and ran away, but for that minute, oh it was so good!!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Baby Ravens are about to Take Off into the Great Blue Yonder!!

The raven family have their tiny sparse nest on a small ledge in the cliff wall about 30 feet off the ground in Valley Forge.  Mom and Dad are the most attentive.  The babies look like they could fly soon.  (Click photo to see how they have grown.) I'll keep checking.....

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Bluejay Love

Notice the emerald green Tiger Beetle in the Bluejay's mouth

"Well are you going to kiss me or not?"

The Kiss

Bluebird with Raised Foot Wins First Place!!

Sometimes I wonder what it is that makes the judges choose what they choose.  But if this is first place in the contest, I'm not complaining.  Waahoooooo!!