Above the entrance of St Mary’s Russian Orthodox Church in Jackson, NJ is a mosaic reproduction of the famous Theotokos of Vladimir icon which dates back to the 12th century. It surely deserves its own blog page here. You can click on the image for a larger version.
Today, I drove by two Russian Orthodox churches in Jackson, NJ. They were strikingly beautiful with their onion domes glittering in the sun, so unlike other Christian churches that we are used to seeing.
St Mary’s was dedicated in 1955 and has undergone several expansions and renovations since then. It is surrounded by a cemetery which belongs to the other Russian Orthodox church, St Vladimir Memorial Church located less than a mile from it.
Construction of St Vladimir Memorial Church began in 1938, but for various reasons, the church was not fully completed until half a century later, in 1988.
The link for this challenge is: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/seasons/ and here are my entries, flowers grown inside the house to dispel winter blahs and hope for an early spring.
Last but not least are these bright flowers from our Thanksgiving cactus which is blooming a second time in three months.
About two minutes after the mare scratched her back on the ground (see my previous post from yesterday), a male pinto pony followed suit. He started by using his right front hoof to paw at the ground, making clods of grass and dirt fly up and scatter. I thought he was mad at something, but shortly after that, like the mare, he simply fell to the ground.
Assateague Island is a long barrier island lying off the coast of Maryland and Virginia. It is famous for two herds of ponies, descendants of horses from a Spanish galleon that sank offshore in the 1600’s. Living off the meager resources of the island, the horses gradually shrank in size and came to be known as Assateague ponies. Half of them lives in the southern part of the island, an area called Chincoteague. The other half roams the northern part of the island where Assateague Island National Seashore is located. The two herds are kept separate from each other and are raised by two different organizations.
Six years ago I went to Chincoteague and had a hard time finding the ponies, only seeing a few from a great distance. This past Saturday I went to the northern part of the island and was immediately rewarded with the sight of six ponies munching on very short grass near the entrance to the park.
Signs everywhere warned visitors not to pet or feed the ponies, or even to come within 10 ft of them. However, those I saw were very peaceful and completely ignored the tourists, young and old, who surrounded them and took their photos.
We got some more snow yesterday, not much, but enough to make the Cardinals stand out from the mostly white scenery.
Meanwhile a male Cardinal was dining at the bird feeder, unaware of what was going to happen to him.
As I pressed the shutter a few seconds later, another male Cardinal streaked in, forcefully chasing him away.
What do you do when hundreds of Snow Geese descend from the sky and started landing around you? This happened to me at the Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge two weeks ago.
I initially tried to capture everyone of them in one photo! But I quickly gave up that attempt and concentrated on two of them. Here are the results, with all the following photos taken in less than 2 seconds.
At the beginning of this year, you may remember that I posted the following picture of a Dark-eyed Junco with a very visible growth on its left side.
Since then I hadn’t been seeing it and was thinking the worst could have happened. However, today, I noticed a Junco that had the same lopsided gait, and took the following photos. If it is the same bird, the tumor is no longer visible, and only a few feathers are still sticking out.
If it is the same bird, this Junco is a resilient bird indeed, appearing so bravely in a very cold an windy day. If it could talk, perhaps it could tell us volumes about how to cure tumors.
Temperatures are plummeting today and may reach 0° F (-17° C) by tonight, while the wind has started howling outside. I put out roasted peanuts for the birds, and the Downy Woodpecker, who had refrained from eating them in previous weeks, finally relented and started today.
He was standing on a bank of the marshes, his back turned to me, his face to the water. I stopped to take his picture, and as I aimed my camera at him, he turned around, a severe look on his face.
So I drove on. The tide was falling, and water from the marshes was pouring out toward the ocean. At one of the outlets, I found a Hooded Merganser swimming by himself, coming very close to where I was, as if he had not noticed me. This was the closest I had ever been to these usually shy ducks.
There were female Hooded Mergansers in the vicinity, but they were paired with other males. None paid any attention to our handsome bachelor!
I moved on to another pond and saw a pair of Northern Pintails busy in their favorite pursuit: dabbling in shallow water to find plants and crustaceans to eat.
After a while, they paused and struck a classic pose, with water still dripping from the male’s bill.
More snow is forecasted for several days next week, but today the snow that felt two weeks ago has melted almost completely. To help out our backyard feathered friends, I put out sunflower seeds and roasted peanuts for them. Many came out, and they did not mind me taking their pictures, even with the patio door partially open.
A pair of Blue Jays flew in, each grabbing several peanuts at a time.
Within less than an hour, the birds had finished half a box of peanuts!
Vibrant is the challenge word: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/vibrant/
I took the following photo at Grand Canyon National Park almost six years ago, when I started getting interested in digital photography. I had a new camera and had never heard of HDR or any of the esoteric terms that photographers like to bandy about. I just saw the beautiful colors as the sun was setting, and they kept getting better and more vibrant by the minute. So, I took the shot.
I showed the photo to a person who knew a lot about photography, and who said: “Very nice, but how do I know this was taken at the Grand Canyon?” He said I should have used HDR to get some features of the canyon walls out of that mass of black at the bottom of the image. Oh well, one lives and learns.
Lately I haven’t had a chance to do any hiking to take pictures of wildlife, so the following photo comes from a previous outing in early December at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. It shows five Green-winged Teals foraging for food. They were very small dabbler ducks but they also swam very fast as evidenced by the long wake behind them.