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Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. I know some of you are disappointed that Millie & Walter aren’t here today but I’m having fun taking pictures of other subjects too. Don’t worry the pups will make an appearance soon, I promise.

This past Saturday Charlie and I went on a field trip with the Rochester Birding Association to Ontario Beach Park. We started out seeing what was among the crowd of birds on the beach. It was fairly early in the morning and the lighting wasn’t coming from the best direction for photography but I managed to get a few keepers.

First Winter Ring-billed Gull

Bonaparte’s Gull – Non-breeding Adults

Next we moved to the pier to see what might be hanging around there.

Great Blue Heron

There wasn’t much other action beside the heron so the group decided to walk back to the cars. I kept my eyes on the rocks along the pier and spotted a little bird hopping quickly from rock to rock. The leaders stopped to see what had attracted my attention and were surprised to find this little guy.

Least Sandpiper

He was moving fast and pecking at all the cracks and crevices in the rocks.

Hey lady are you happy I stood still for you?

According to the experienced birders this was a unusual find for this location. At this point the group was going to head to another location further down the Genesee river but Charlie and I decided to head home. On the way home we decided to make a stop at North Ponds Park to see what was there too.

One of the three Great Blue Herons at this park

Double-crested Cormorant

Other than the many herons we saw, this lone cormorant was the only other unusual find for this location.

I hope you enjoyed going along on our field trip. I’m joining the Wild Bird Wednesday blog hop. You should stop by and see some more birds.

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here again. Last week I showed you some of the smaller creatures that enjoy our sedum. Today I’ll show you some butterflies that also enjoy the nectar from the sedum.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

This eastern tiger swallowtail is looking quite beat up at this point in the summer.

Giant Swallowtail Butterfly

It’s difficult to photograph the giant swallowtail as they are in constant motion. You will see what I mean in the video below.

Monarch Butterfly

This monarch butterfly had to share this sedum with some other insects.

If you can’t see the video you can go here to view it.

The butterflies have also been enjoying the Joe Pye weed, which isn’t a weed in our garden but a perennial that we planted (there is a native variety that does grow as a weed in our area too).

Monarch Butterfly enjoying the Joe Pye Weed

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the butterflies hanging around our yard.

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Hi everyone it’s Cindy here. Okay so maybe there will be a few words. There are a few plants in our yard right now that are virtual magnets for all sorts of insects. One of the favored plants right now is the sedum. Here are a few of the smaller visitors.

White Belted Black Wasp

Zabulon Skipper

Silver Spotted Skipper

For those of you wondering how I know the names of so many different insects I just do a simple internet search using key words that also indicate the region I’m in such as “black wasp western ny”. I can usually find what I’m looking for with all the images out there.

We’re joining Comedy Plus for their Wordless Wednesday blog hop.

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here to show you a little more of what we saw at North Ponds Park a few days ago. There were quite a few wild flowers.

Cattails

Queen Anne’s Lace with a Lady Bug

Unfortunately we found a couple of invasive wild flowers too.

Loosestrife

Spotted Knapweed

There were plenty of dragonflies around but many were too fast or too far away. I was lucky to catch this little guy.

Blue Dasher – Pachydiplax longipennis

In addition to the Great Blue Heron I showed you earlier there were other waterfowl around. I found these young ducks near where the heron was.

Young Black Ducks moved away as I approached.

The ducks cut a path through the algae.

The babies were hanging together but what were the adults up to?

Maybe if we can’t see them the kids won’t find us.

I hope you enjoyed seeing a little more from our walk at the ponds.

Join the Nature Friday Blog Hop

We are joining the LLB Gang for their Nature Friday Blog Hop. You should pop over to their blog to see all the other posts.

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. A couple of days ago Charlie and I headed up to North Ponds Park in Webster, NY. It’s only a few minutes drive from our house and offers a nice paved walking path around the two ponds. We left Millie & Walter at home and took our cameras instead (don’t worry we made it up to them later).

The first loop around the ponds I had my 50 – 230mm lens on my FujiFilm X-T3 camera but my longer lens was in the car too. In the west pond we saw a Great Blue Heron wading just off shore. (Remember you can click on the images to see a larger view…I highly recommend it)

Great Blue Heron

After we completed a loop we stopped at the car so I could put my 100 – 400mm + 1.4x TC lens combination on. I had my fingers crossed that the heron would still be fishing when we got back around to him.

Great Blue Heron wading in the water

Thankfully the heron didn’t disappoint and treated us to a nice show.

A little grooming interlude between fishing

Back to fishing

Wading further into the water getting ready to…

…Strike!

He hooked a beautiful sunfish

The heron fought to regain his balance as the fish wiggled on his bill.

Determined not to loose his catch…

…the heron flew off to find a secluded place where he could eat in peace.

We lost sight of him but are sure he enjoyed a nice lunch. That was just the series I was hoping to capture. I can’t believe how lucky I was that the heron stayed in place while I changed lenses. From the first picture I took, (at the top of this post) with my shorter lens on, to the time the heron flew off with lunch it was about an hours time. I’m not sure I would have had the patience to sit for an hour waiting for some action but I happened to time it just right.

I hope you enjoyed this Great Blue Heron fishing adventure. I’m joining the Wild Bird Wednesday blog hop. You should stop by and see some more birds.

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. Summer is near the end and so is the growing season for the flowers in our yard. We still have a few daylilies blooming.

Rose colored daylily

Yellow daylily

Some of the hosta still have flowers too.

Hosta flowers

Another late bloomer in our yard is our non-vining clematis.

Clematis “Mrs. Robert Brydon”

The various bees around our yard seem to be working overtime collecting pollen.

Bumble bee on Joe Pye Weed

Bumble Bee on Blue Fortune Agastache

This little guy was so loaded down with pollen he could barely take off.

Now those are full saddle bags

Next I want to show you some dragonflies.

Orange Meadowhawk dragonfly

Orange Meadowhawk dragonfly on hypericum berry

Lastly I want to show you one of the many leopard frogs we have in our yard.

Leopard frog

There are so many of these frogs in the lawn that when I mow the lawn I have to go very slow around the edge of the grass (where they seem to be the most plentiful) to try not to squash or mow over them. We seem to be having a banner year for leopard frogs in our yard this year. It usually takes me about 2 hours to mow our lawn but since the frogs have appeared it’s taken me about 1/2 hour longer because I’ve had to go much slower. I want to get a bumper sticker for my tractor that says, “I Brake for Frogs”!

I hope you enjoyed this stroll around the garden today.

Join the Nature Friday Blog Hop

We are joining our Sorrell the Feline Boss of the Texas Branch of the LLB Gang for their Nature Friday Blog Hop. You should pop over to their blog to see all the other posts.

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Hi everyone. It’s Millie & Walter here. We love doing selfies and it’s always fun to be outside but for dark colored dogs like Millie it can be difficult to stand out from the green grass. That’s why our dad used the infrared filter to process her pictures to turn the dark green grass white.

Am I running or just laying in the grass?

I love laying in the grass.

For Walter no infrared filter is needed but he still looks good in black and white.

I’m always happy when I’m laying in the grass on a nice day.

We’re joining The Cat on My Head for their Selfie Sunday blog hop.

You should check out the hop to see some of the other selfies.

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