Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Elusive Bird

As you can see from the header, I finally got the elusive Kildeer! 

And of all places, in our neighbor's yard, right next door as we were 
leaving for the park this morning! 

He was peeping the whole way. 

I just didn't get him with his mouth open.

Two days in a row I have tried to get this blue heron at the little pond. 
No luck. 

I'm going to try sneaking slowly up on the pond tomorrow to see if I can get him. 

My favorite birds are back. 

This guy was a long way away from me the other day. 

Off he went on his way! 

When I went down to put bird seed out, I saw this in the planter by the door 
where I had a tomato last year... I know cotton rats have moved in, because Lil goes straight to this barrel. 

So... I have an announcement... when the suet I put out yesterday 
is all gone, I am taking down the bird feeders for a while. 
They have created a nuisance with the starlings, cowbirds, 
red wings and grackles, and I know they are bothering our neighbors. 

Once the big mobs of birds have gone away, I'll put one back out for the smaller birds. 

My hummingbird feeders will be out soon, too.  

The cotton rats are going to have to look for food! 

We were forecast storms for this evening, and we do need the rain... but they have 
not materialized and the sun is coming back out. 

Tomorrow, I'm going to work on the patio, and go through my gardening things. It's time to do some paring down. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Good Luck!

One day last week, I went over to my son Jim's house, and in passing, saw this: 

These birds were laying by a large pond on a farm.  There were cows farther up the hill, which is actually more gently rolling than it appears to be here. 

A few days later, they were up by the road. 

Every. Single. Picture. Was. Blurred. 

Arrghhhh.   I had Jester in the front seat with me, sometimes it happens. 

So today, I was glad to see them again.  They were back across the pond... 
they are not domestic geese, but snow geese and blue geese, the 
Canada/Snow cross. 

As I came back home... 

They were a little closer. 

Aren't they beautiful? 

I'm guessing they have decided to stay on this pond for some reason. 

Here's a closer look at two of the blues. 

Up, Periscope 

There was one Canadian goose in evidence... and yes, it's blurry. 

I am still using the broken camera but I am also still having fun with it, and 
happier and happier with my manual settings. 

You haven't seen Keith in a while... we actually sat and talked at lunch today, instead of being on the run.  I had to cut the yard, which I started right after he finished his sandwich and went out for a while. 

He has lost 14 pounds in the last few weeks, on a quest for 40 pounds! 

We are expecting thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon... real spring weather has started in Kansas! 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Different Pictures

You are really supposed to photograph the 
moon in context with something else, so it's majesty will be apparent. 

This is the unframed uncut version from this morning, with a shorter lens. 


We had an Easter morning suprise!
(that's our side yard) 
In one day, we had rain, snow... and then sunny with mild 
temps, so that the dogs and I had a good walk after I had 
gone to church and Keith and I had had brunch. 

The new portion of the park at Basehor was landscaped 
on Friday, and some terracing was done. 

Just in time! 

There was a runoff creek running through the old and new sections of the park, spilling into the creek whose treeline you see in the distance. 

Park employees have also installed numerous benches on which to rest. 

Last year I had tomatoes in the big barrels on either side of our garage. 

This year, they are planted with perennials, a sage and a heuchera on each side. 
The neat thing is, I got each of these perennials at Grass Pad Nursery, they were 
last year's plants just coming back to life. 

$2.00 a piece. 

Uh huh. 

They will be joined by geraniums. 

This boy was on a pole on Leavenworth Road on our way to the park. 

And this grackle and about a hundred of his friends were in the yard when we got home. 

And this robin serenaded us from above. 

I have been trying to get a Western Meadowlark, and a Killdeer. 

I did pretty well with the meadowlark today.  I LOVE their song. 

We see you, Mama.  (click to enlargen) 

This is our friend hanging out at 155th and Fairmount. 

About 4:30, the phone rang.  It was Keith, who was coming 
home from the store with Chinese for dinner. 

He said "Mary Ann, get the camera and come out through the 
side door, the hawk is here". 

This is the Coopers Hawk that was hiding in the tree on Friday. 
He is watching for cotton rats on the patio. 

I was all Stealth Operations behind him, but he eventually flew. 

These guys were not coming back down, no sirree... until he was good and GONE. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter!

A truly joyful Easter to all of you, where ever you are, 
and however you believe! 

We are thinking of you today! 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Some More Pictures Seen Along the Way

The other we were going the long way around to the park to walk (as we usually do) and I had to stop for something. 

This is what I could see: 

There is a long line of Bradford Pears along Leavenworth Road there. 

Here they are, closer.  As of this morning, almost all the blossoms are gone, because of all the winds we have had this week. 

I miss my daffodils at the old house.  These are near the park where we walk daily. 
I'm planting some this fall. 

Cresting the top of a hill, I saw this. 

And this. 

This little guy was along the way today. 

And his partner was in the next tree over.  He posed for me... the sunlight was glinting off his whiskers. 

I got out of the car to take this near the little pond.  I know the people over there think I'm nuts. 

But.... I had a funny end to my afternoon. 

This morning, I was thinking about the Coopers Hawk.  I have not seen him 
for three weeks... either in our yard, or on one of the telephone poles over on Dempsey road, to the north of us. 

I was wondering if he were gone away, or dead. 

So, I'm be-bopping along, because I had decided to get a Fish Filet after church, 
and had to drive 15 miles from Tongie to KCK to McDonald's to get one. 

I had the camera tucked away in my purse. 

I drove home the "back way" from McDonald's, listening to a CD I had made.  I 
came up our block, and pulled into the driveway, and glanced to the left and noticed there 
were no birds at the feeder in the side yard by the patio. 



I'm usually a little more observant. 

I grabbed the camera, but honestly thought he had gone out the other side. 

I took a chance from 10 feet away and snapped pictures. 

I snapped about ten, even though I was less than ten feet from it, because I couldn't see anything. 


That's as good as it gets, folks. 

Can you even see it?  Upper right quadrant. 

At this point, it flew across the street low to the ground and into a pine tree. 

So, I came in, fed the dogs, and then fed myself my fish filet. 

I was in the tv room and thought to look out and see what birds were at the feeder... and...


Waiting for a Cotton Rat to come out to eat. 

I grabbed the camera and ran downstairs and realized Keith was in the bathroom (he had been napping).  I got to the far end by the windows JUST as the hawk lifted off, and at that point, he disappeared. 

Darn it! 

I'll keep my eyes peeled from now on. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

More Bird Pictures, Sorry

I know you're getting sick of them, so am I, sort of.  

I took the long lens today. 

Wait, those aren't birds! 

Nor this. 

Or this. 

Love the colors on this little guy. 

Two white rear socks, a white blaze and chest. 

The long lens makes a difference, doesn't it? 

See Mama right in the middle? 

Dad was not happy - and was blurry, too! 

Black animals and black birds are VERY hard to 
get in pictures. 

I was lucky with this crow, right down the road from the nest. 

He landed and went about his business.  Over his head, I saw that the elk cows were 
up against the fence, and I could have gotten their pictures, but the dogs and I were tired. 

Keith called me to the deck to see the rising moon... glorious. 

As the sun was setting to the west. 

I went out to see it again after it got dark... see Jupiter shining to the left of it! 

What a beautiful world we have to be able to see things like this. 

Sad news from Belgium this morning, but I believe people are 
mostly good, if treated right.