Outdoors In Western Kentucky

Dec182014BaldEagleMaturingFlyingWingsUpIt was a good day outdoors in Western Kentucky. Bald Eagles, gulls, hawks, and ducks to please the eye. I was lucky enough to be out at dawn, then again mid-day, winding up watching a maturing eagle as the sun set. In this mornings post I will let the photos speak for themselves. Oh, what a lucky man I am………………………………………..

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Western Kentucky On A Grouchy Morning

Dec172014FIshermanAndGullsI woke up grouchy. Had to go get blood drawn for testing. Grumpy as hell, my little women settled me down. She said run out and take a few pics then make the drive to Paducah you are dreading. So I did. Nice to have a sensible person in my life. As luck would have it a juvenile Bald Eagle was at my first stop. The eagle was chasing gulls in the poor early morning light. I have watched juveniles do this many times. Don’t know why? Maybe it was in a grumpy mood as well? The sight of the eagle ripping and racing around the river changed my mood for the better. Happy then I took off to give blood. Got back home and stopped by the eagles nest. The pair were there, I shot an angle of them in the nest I liked and left. Took a walk on the farm. Jumped what I think is a Goldeneye Duck off the pond. First time I have seen one there. Now the sun is shining. Heck, with being in the house, out again I go. Now in a chipper mood!

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Traditions, Fun, And Laughter

Dec162014ElfI wonder who started the elf on the shelf? A new Christmas tradition for our family. Tradition can be fun. If you are not familiar with this, the elf above moves each night for the child or children to discover each day. Old traditions can die out. Growing up for me and as we did for our children the tree was not decorated until after bedtime Christmas Eve. Then when the kids woke Christmas morning, there was a glowing tree with presents below. That tradition has died out in our family. No matter the tradition how wonderful that parentsĀ  and grandparents do whatever it takes to add excitement to a child’s life.

Dec162014HarperByChristmasTree2014Ornaments are another fun tradition. Those special ones that hang on the limbs each year.

Dec202012ChristmasTreeLarryBirdOrnamentYep, that is Larry Bird shooting a jumper.

Dec162014GreatBlueHeronLandingIn a way it is holiday time every day for me when I get to venture out and see what I can find. Some days the discoveries are slim such as today. That does not take out the fun of the search.

Dec162014BaldEaglePerchedLooking for eagles is becoming a Christmas season tradition for me. Those cold wintry mornings on the hunt for that white head along a treeline or gracing the sky.

Dec162014BaldEagleInSyncLife feels more in sync I believe if we retain and create new traditions. We feel in sync with all around us when we can laugh together. Especially when we can at ourselves. Click on ling to see me singing the first verse of Jingle Bells. Our granddaughter and a nephew’s son enjoy it and are learning the song.

Jingle Bells, Hope you get a laugh.

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Mid Day Mallards

Dec152014HorseHeadIt was nap time for our granddaughter. Unable to get out at dawn I headed out to take some pictures. Along the way I spotted this horse in a pasture. When I looked through the viewfinder this is what I saw. Its funny how certain images trigger a memory cell to fire. Seeing this horse head took me back to my grandmothers kitchen table. Horses were a great love of “Mick” as grandmom was called by some.

Many a pleasant hour I spent watching her draw horse heads. Her drawings composed exactly as this horses head appeared. The only difference was the position of the ears. She always had the ears up or pointed slightly forward. An ear posture of a happy or content horse. The mare in the photo was evidently not thrilled to be photographed. When a horse lays its ears back pay attention. If you were saddling the horse it might swing around and take a nip at your bum. I may be about to buck to throw you off, had I been a straddle.

Dec152014GreatBlueHeronPerchedArriving at Long Run park this Great Blue Heron was perching on one leg. The bird high in a dead tree. The drizzling rain made me think that this was weather fit for a duck. It was quiet with only the occasional chatter of a kingfisher breaking the silence.

Dec152014KayakFishermanA kayak fisherman out on the lake seemed so peaceful. A cigar clenched in his teeth as he waited for a bite.

Dec152014MallardsA small flock of mallards were bathing in the shallows of one cove. Easing up behind some brush I hunkered down to watch. The ducks dipping and dipping under the water bathing. Then raising up and flapping to dry their wings.

Dec152014SongSparrowA song sparrow landed nearby. The bird shaking the dampness off, then fluffing up its feathers.

Dec152014MallardMaleFlappingToShedWaterIt was comfortable sitting in the misting rain. Calming as the ducks eased back and forth, stopping to bath and shake off. Now and then dunking their heads feeding with tails raised.

Dec152014MallardMaleFlyingA few ducks flew off quacking as if to say “heading out to exercise my wings”. There is a certain grace to birds flying that thrill me as much as watching a leaping three finger catch by a wide receiver. A short time later the mallards that left would drop back in to the flock. Winging almost straight down. I missed some good chances as it was a neat surprise as the ducks plopped down hard sending up a wave as if they were a kid doing canonball jumps in a pool. Nothing graceful about their landings.

Dec152014MallardFemaleFlyingThe patches of wing color of the female mallard are eye catching against the mottled tones of their overall brown coloration.

A sound like a jungle bird calling struck my ears. I looked up to see a Pileated Woodpecker pounding away at a branch.

Dec152014PileatedWoodpeckerAfter a few quick hammers it flew off. Every now and then I could hear the bird drumming away in the distance.

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Dec152014MallardMalesFlying2The intensity of the mist began to increase as the flock of mallards flew off together. I headed back to the house at peace from a splendid mid-day sit in the rain.

 

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Creatures Of Habit

Dec142014GeesePanningShotWe share being creatures of habit with other species. Having observed geese at one location for several years I can come close to knowing what they will do. This allows me to view and photograph them in many ways. There are several groups of geese at this lake. A couple groups remain at the spot overnight. Some fly in before sunrise. They gather together, feed a while then in stages they fly out. They swim to one end of the lake then prune, stretch their wings, some will bath. Next they ease out in the lake, the geese will start to honk, this honking progresses among the group as if taking a consensus that all are ready to go. At a certain level of honking they take off. Each group of geese follow close to the same ritual, leaving the lake. The next day the same ritual normally repeats. If there is much wind they will set up to take off in to the wind. The geese wind up in other locations to feed on different food sources. From what I have observed a wet place to pick grass to add to the craw and balance the diet I assume.

When the geese are gone I walk on and see what else I can find. Places with seeds or berries are where the smaller song birds can be found. Any place with small gravel is likely to hold songbirds, doves, jays, etc. The birds requiring gravel to grind up the nuts, seeds, and such they eat. Bird predators also are aware of the smaller birds haunts. So look for a hawk or feral cat to be nearby at the usual craw filling spots. Birds also use the same perching spots over and over. The connections we share with nature are many.

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