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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Last spring when we moved here and started going to the lake, we discovered a beaver lodge.  The park ranger told us that there was a family of beavers there, but you had to go really early to see them.  We never went really early.  We never saw them.  I thought I saw them a couple of times, but it turns out that it was nutria instead.  Well, a couple of weeks ago, John and I got up at 5:15am and hiked on down to the beaver lodge.  We saw one!!!  He didn't get out of the water, but at least we saw him.  I for sure will be getting up again to try and catch him out of the water. 

On one of my walks to the lake, I spotted a Bald Eagle!  I was so excited and pretty happy that my photo showed what it was.  It isn't a very good photo, but at least you can see it has a white head.

 Well, the next day, there was this huge bird sitting on a sign by the lake. (Read what the sign says.) John was with me that day and we both thought it was a hawk.  I posted a photo of it on my Flickr site and was informed by one of my photo friends, that it was not a hawk, but a juvenile Bald Eagle!  That made perfect sense because this guy let me get so close to it, not afraid at all.  I have seen hawks before and felt like this one was extra big, so knowing it was an eagle made the size understandable.  It was about as big as Arianna.

And here he was another day.
 Well, that day seeing the parent Bald Eagle challenged me to figure out how to get moving birds in a photo.  I studied up camera settings and have spent the last week going back and forth to the lake to practice what I have been reading.  I can see a difference, but I know I have a lot to learn still.  And maybe a new lens would help too, right?  
 The shot below was one of the shots that has really pushed me to figure out how to capture their motion.  Now wouldn't that have been so awesome to have had it in focus?
The following three shots were a little better the next day.  

So here are a few more shots of what I see when I go for my walks.  

 A turtle, mother duck and two babies enjoy the sun on a log.

 The raccoons have come out of hibernation.  I haven't seen the skunks this year yet.
 The canoes are about to go afloat.

 I was as excited to spot this Kingfisher as I was to see the Bald Eagles.  I didn't even know they were around here.  I have never seen one before.

 So, did you ever see a duck family in a tree before?  Me neither!
 Across the lake at one of the homes.

The ranger told me that the eagles leave as soon as the osprey show up.  The showed up at the end of last week.  I have not seen the eagles all week. 

 This little chickadee had a worm and was just sitting there with it.
 I tried out my new found love of shooting birds in motion.  
I know it happens, but it is sad to see how nature works sometimes.  Here is a duck family I have been following from birth...8 babies at first..then down to only 2, I was so sad...the very next day...only 1!!!  the last two times I was was all alone.  I have no idea where its parents were. 
 There are baby geese and ducks in all stages.   
 I have watched one family of geese from the first until now they are almost full grown.  Right now they are at that really awkward teenage stage...almost adult, but still baby.  Here are some collages of them young and now.

check out the one in the

 I know the photo below is not in focus, they were both moving so fast, but the look on the little guy behind is just so hilarious to is like he is hamming it up for the camera.
A friend of Jessi's had some free tickets to Dozer Days.  She was even given a couple extra, so they asked us to go along with them.  I had never heard of it, but I hear it has been going for a few years.  What they do is bring all the kids of equipment that little kids love and actually let them sit on them and feel like they are really running it.  They were handed cute little hard hats when they entered the gates and took their turns running scoopers, plows, rollers, lifts, ummm...not really sure what all of them are even called.  Josiah is so into them, he could tell you.  As he got into each one, he took on the role and was so serious.  Arianna is at the copy stage and so she was almost into it as much as Josiah.  After they finished with the construction section, we walked on over to another section and it was heaven on earth for Josiah as he got to make the rounds and sit inside Garbage trucks...yes, his first love after his Mom...they had it set up so that the kids could get up inside the trucks and even pull the levers to lift up the garbage cans.  Yes, it was a dream come true for Josiah...I am sure the person who made this happen must really know little kids to have made this event happen. (Arianna does not have a dirty face in the was all scabby from a tumble she took the day before)
Joshua's All City Meet.  It really didn't seem fair that the 6th grade boys had to compete in the same category as the 7th and 8th grade boys.  Like really....just look at the difference that size makes in just those two years.  He is a head shorter in the line up at the starting line. OK, so that was the Grandma talking, but Josh didn't let it bother him at all.  He held his own and ended up in 6th place against them, even broke his own personal record time.  The State meet is coming up, I know he is going to do great there too.  
Well, every so often you hear of somebody you knowing winning a small amount in the lottery, once a friend of mine won a little greenhouse, but normally you don't hear about anybody you know that really wins something BIG.  Well, my brother-in-law Dan, is a pretty lucky guy.  He has won small amounts in the lottery, finds money laying on the ground, that sort of thing.  A few weeks ago, he bought a $100 raffle ticket to support the Dougy Center.  It helps children dealing with grief.  He has bought tickets before and that was it...a donation.  Well, not so this year!!  He won BIG TIME!!!  A 2014 Porsche Boxster.  They picked it up last week. Unreal. 
Cyndi always offered (and they took her up on it) for my kids to drive her Corvette to the proms.  Well, now, guess what Emily and Joshua are going to want to drive?
Happy Mother's Day!!!

 May 1st!  Happy May Day!
I have seen so many photos of this area in the springtime and really wanted to get up here, but each year it just didn't work out.  Rowena Crest.  It is an hour drive from home, so it isn't like you just get up and get out there, it takes some planning.  Of course the best time to start shooting here is at I set the alarm for 4am and Bonnie showed up for an early morning drive up the gorge to see the sight.  Oh, it was so worth it!!!  The balsam root and lupine were both in full bloom and the contrast of color was incredible!!!  The color stretched on for acres and acres topped off by a perfectly blue sky once the sun rose.  The view was so amazing up high on the cliffs overlooking the Columbia river and on over in to Washington, you could even see the tip of Mt. Adams.  I was so amazed that I decided my Mom just had to see it too, so the next afternoon, Dad and Mom and John and I took a drive so I could make sure she saw it too.