Tag Archives: Spring

Sprinter

I have been busy to say the least.  I have been out and about taking photos, just not a lot of time to write about it.  Here in Minnesota we have had a long, harsh winter.  We had 15 inches of snow on April 18 in my neck of the woods.  A week later it was another 6.  Very sad that some of the birds came back too early to the cold and snow.  Some did not get enough food, and I heard some froze to death, unfortunately.  I was frantically throwing out birdseed during the snowstorm and sweeping my deck off for my juncos, chickadees and finches.  I saw a photo from my birding group of a robin feeding at a suet feeder.  You don’t see that every day.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  We had “lovingly” calling it a cross between Winter and Spring “SPRINTER”!

But that melted within a couple of days and we have been enjoying some mild spring weather, FINALLY.  However, I hear up in northern Minnesota the lakes still have many inches of ice on them.  Our big opener fishing weekend is coming up this weekend, and some are joking they may be ice fishing!  After the storm of the 18th, my sidekick had a snow day and I took a snow day from work.  We drove around (I have AWD, so not so bad) and I took photos.  We brought buckets of birdseed to sprinkle at several parks for the birds.

Yesterday was a good day weatherwise, as is today.  We were able to head to a local birding hotspot on Saturday, saw a nice Palm Warbler, but didn’t get the shot of course; and yesterday took a walk and saw a first-timer for me, the Orange Crowned Warbler.   Have been seeing several Great Egrets around here and there.  Also, I went all winter without seeing a cardinal. Kind of unusual in a Minnesota winter, to not see a Northern Cardinal.  Now all of a sudden I’ve seen several couples flitting about.

This weekend is Mother’s Day and weather-permitting, we have nature things planned.  Saturday is a migrating bird tour with the local refuge and Sunday I think we are going to a local state park for some hiking.  More to follow on this.

At any rate, I just wanted to pop on and post some photos that I have recently taken and catch up a bit.  There is a big mix of photos in this slideshow, from winter/spring.  Hope you enjoy!

 

Thanks for looking!

Winter Barn
Winter Barn

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Female Hooded Merganser and Greater Scaups
Female Hooded Merganser and Greater Scaups
Female and Male Hooded Merganser
Female and Male Hooded Merganser
Canada Honkers
Canada Honkers
Mallard
Mallard
Male Drake Mallards fighting over Female
Male Drake Mallards fighting over Female
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Chilly Muskrat

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Hermit Thrush
Hermit Thrush

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American Robin
American Robin
Yellow Rumped Warbler
Yellow Rumped Warbler
Northern Flicker
Northern Flicker

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Bald Eagle nest at the refuge
Bald Eagle nest at the refuge

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Great Egret
Great Egret

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Self Portrait
Self Portrait

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Orange Crowned Warbler
Orange Crowned Warbler

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Female Downy Woodpecker
Female Downy Woodpecker
Signs of Spring
Signs of Spring

Enjoying Spring!

WOWSA has it really been two weeks since I’ve posted?  Why, yes, yes it has!  We have been busy running here and there, and I have been taking photos of course!  We have definitely been enjoying Spring in Minnesota!  We last left off a couple weeks ago and I was getting antsy for the birds to arrive, and a few were arriving here and there.  We have had some outstanding weather here.  It has been in the 60’s and 70’s and we have total ice-out on the lakes and rivers.  We have buds on the trees and grass is greening fast.  Very, very unheard of in most Minnesota winters. It has been a very unbelievable winter, and so far, Spring.

The last couple weeks we have had walks at the park, fed the ducks, and I have hiked some trails.  Signs of Spring are all around!

Here are a few of my Project 365 photos and more, enjoy!

We took a walk at our local pond park one beautiful evening and this was one of the first Red Winged Black Birds we saw this season.

This male Mallard was totally flirting with me and posing, he was so dang cute :) 

Mallards are plenty at this park, as you will see shortly.  However, this night there were a couple of Buffleheads thrown into the mix as well.

Throughout the week, I walked different trails in the area and saw a few “FOS” (first of season) birds for me (the above Buffleheads are included in this category). 

I wasn’t sure what this was while I was taking the photo.  When I got home, my sidekick had to identify it for me :)  A Brown Creeper.  That’s my girl.

This Song Sparrow was singing me a wonderful tune, too bad the branch was in the way.  I hate branches!

This was my favorite that day, the Sandhill Cranes have returned!  My sidekick’s favorite, I wished she would’ve been with me.

And the cattails, I love them when they are in “full display” in the summer months, but I also like to take pictures of them while they are in different seasons!

There was the day we went to our local Dam park.  We had heard of the Osprey nest, but never found it.  However, I got a couple photos of the dam, and we came across this beauty.  A Great Blue Heron rookery.  However, the herons weren’t to be found until we got back into the car and started to drive away, go figure.  But would’ve been too far away to take photos.  It was pretty cool anyway.

Someone obviously was not a happy camper when they left that day, LOL. 

Then there were these hilarious Canada Geese.  There were others across the river and this guy/gal was yelling and running around like a chicken with his head cut off.  I think it was a mating display, but we were cracking up!  There were also a couple of beautiful Woodducks (FOS) across the river, but too far away to get a good shot.  Story of my life.

There was the night that we went for a walk after it had been a bit rainy, and I had gone during the day to the same walking trail.  Residents have been saying there are a couple of whooping cranes calling in the park.  I had heard a couple of squacks, but didn’t know what it was.  When my sidekick and I went back, we heard it again, but didn’t see it.  It would be fantastic, as they are very rare around here, around anywhere I think.  But we did see another set of Sandhill cranes fly over and came across this beauty.  I think it’s my favorite of the whole couple weeks.

We stopped back at the “mallard park” on our way hone and this time brought some bread.  Oh, my.  What fun she had.  At one point she had almost 20 mallards hanging out following her with that bread.  She called herself the “duck whisperer”.  It was hilarious!  We saw and heard a Bluebird couple (FOS) but I was too far away for a good shot.  Not worried, they are in abundance this time of year around here :)

Last but not least, these were taken yesterday.  Woke up yesterday morning to fog and had to stop by the river.  I was 8 minutes late for work :)  My boss laughed because the minute I got to work he said “let’s see the camera” LOL.  Then I walked for a bit at lunch, and this little guy was following me.  “chipmunk stalker”  hehehe…

And I suppose I should throw in a couple barns from the last couple weeks.

We went back to the mallard park today with bread in hand.  Not very many mallards, though.  Seagulls, geese and one lone Redhead (another FOS for me).  Wouldn’t you know, I grabbed my camera to find no memory card.  It was back at home still in my laptop from last night!  UGH.

At any rate, we are headed to my Peaceful Place hiking tomorrow, hoping to find some Sandhill Cranes or other furry or feathered-friends.  We are bringing along one of my old highschool girlfriends, we should have some fun! 

Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed my photos.  I will try not to stay away too long this time :)

Sheila

Spring….and Project 365

I figured I better post the last couple weeks of my Project 365 photos before I got too far behind.    I had a few good ones and a few that I just didn’t feel it.  But I told myself a long time ago that the challenge was a photo a day for 365 days.  Not a “masterpiece” a day.  If I take a photo of my foot, it counts, LOL.  So I will showcase some (and add a few other favorites from the last couple weeks) and put the rest of the “duds” out to pasture.  I do post my photos every day on my Facebook page.  I know I shouldn’t say “duds”, as I can’t believe I have gotten this far in my Project 365.  I have 50 days left.  I’m pretty proud of myself, excited and sad at the same time, for it to end.  I will miss it and will continue to bring my camera everywhere I go.  I have decided I am going to do some type of 52 week challenge next.

We have been enjoying some awesome weather in the 60’s here, the latest snowstorm snow is all but gone and it is actually supposed to reach 72 tomorrow.  But in Minnesota, I do believe it will get worse before it gets better.   We have had snow in April, so we may see the other shoe fall soon.  However, any snow we get at this point will be gone within a couple days with the warmer temperatures.

Spring is definitely arriving, slowly but surely.   Over the weekend, on my photo drive (for more barns and old houses), I saw motorcycles out and about.  Up here, that means Spring.  I saw two robins, a red-winged blackbird and heard a mourning dove.  All definite signs of Spring.  This morning while I was taking my sidekick in for a throat culture (another sign of Spring, unfortunately), she saw a couple robins, pointed them out to me and said sheepishly, and with a bit of a red face, “I think they’re mating.”   I said, “tis the season”.  LOL. 

I can’t wait for mid-April when the Wildlife Drive opens on our local refuge.  We  went there a couple times a week last spring and summer.  One of my first blog posts last fall was about my peaceful place here.  We have scheduled birding outings at the refuge throughout spring :)  Headed to a local park this Saturday.  Another along the river, supposedly they have an Osprey nest.

Day 315

 Today I went on a short walk looking for buds. I didn’t find many, but there was a tree that had a few.

Day 314

Yesterday I watched these two clowns for the better part of my lunch hour.  “Hey, Baby, come here often?”  They were too funny, and I didn’t get half their antics on camera. 

More of the bumbling duo.

 

 

Day 313

This day I was going stir-crazy.  I had to get out of the house.  It was a beautiful day, we were cleaning with the windows wide open listening to Adele.  My woman-crush, LOL.  Her album came out at the right time for me to ease my pain.  Perfect music for cleaning :)  At any rate, I had to get out and about.  So I grabbed my camera and was off in search of old barns again.  My new favorite.  I came across a few, then I saw this gem.  An abandoned old house, looking all spooky and Halloween-ish, so I did a bit of post-processing to make it even more so.  There was a house next to it on another property and a house across the street, so I didn’t dally.

 And here are a couple barns I came across that day.  In April, my photo club is headed on a barn tour of about 10 barns close to the area.  I’m excited to say the least.

 

Day 312 

My sidekick and I went for a walk on this beautiful Saturday.  We went to one of our favorite parks on the river. 

Day 311

I drive by this church almost daily, it was one of the first churches in my little town.  Also did a little post-processing, but mostly just to frame and highlight.

 

There was Day 310 where I almost got the heart!

Day 306 was another barn

And another that I fancied that day….

All that were left were nothing to write home about, except this one that I am very proud of.  Day 303.  My sidekick is going to regionals for her History Day Project she did on the Beatles.  She will be judged this Saturday :)

So that is that for this installment, hope to have more for you this weekend, hoping for that Osprey nest and hope they are back!

Enjoy your week everyone, thanks for stopping by!