The URL for this challenge is: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/lines-2018/
Here are my interpretations of it:
Spring is a frenetic time for birds as it is their breeding season and they are very busy courting, building up their nests and their bodies for the rigor of incubating, and in general preparing for the arrival of the next generation. Last Saturday I took the following shots of a variety of birds carrying out those spring activities.
It’s amazing how a few days of sunshine and warmer temperatures brought forth the beauty of Spring as flowers rival one another to bloom and display their colors. I took the following shots over two different mornings around our house.
The Eastern Bluebird is one of the prettiest birds with its vivid blue and rusty colors, at least for the males. As usual for birds, the females are gray and not as noticeable in the wild. It’s a bird I have not been able to photograph successfully until now, despite putting out four Bluebird houses around our backyard. House Wrens usually end up taking over those birdhouses and I have not yet found a way to discourage them from doing so.
Today, I was photographing some yellow Magnolia flowers when a male Eastern Bluebird flew by and perched not more than 10 feet (3 m) from me. It stayed there for a while, perhaps checking out a nearby birdhouse, and allowed me to take the following photos.
I haven’t taught my Golden Retriever, Jackie, too many tricks, but one game she loves to play is frisbee. Neither she or I are very good at it. However, over the past few days warm and sunny weather has allowed us to play a few games of frisbee as you can see below.
The URL for this challenge is: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/prolific/
This week we were gifted a Natal Lily (Clivia Miniata) with bright orange blooms which immediately brightened our living room. The plant originates from South Africa and is reputed to be a prolific bloomer as well as a nearly indestructible house plant in our temperate climate. It belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family, so it is related to the better known Amaryllis flowers. However, it is much sturdier and requires less care. Even benign neglect, especially as far as watering, would do.
Here are some photos I took of this new plant as soon as the sun made its appearance inside our house.
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is now a regular at our bird feeder where he takes his time munching on sunflower seeds until he has his fill, or until Blue Jays come and chase him away. Today I used my camera with a tripod to get some better photos of him.
What about the American Goldfinch who started all these photo shoots? Here he is.
He was joined today by a pair of Cardinals who waited patiently for the Blue Jays to finish their meals.
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is definitely one of the most colorful and handsome birds of North America. A male landed near our bird feeder two years ago, and I took a couple of photos which turned out amazingly good, probably due to a happy confluence of lighting and luck (see https://neihtn.wordpress.com/2016/06/18/rose-breasted-grosbeak-and-hummingbird/). However, since then it has not come back, even though I have been looking out for it in our backyard every now and then.
Early yesterday I saw some Goldfinch in their best breeding yellow color. As I set up the camera to take their pictures, I saw a Rose-breasted Grosbeak by the bird feeder. It waited for a Blue Jay to leave the scene, then spent a leisurely 15 minutes eating the sunflower seeds and did not flee when I opened the patio door for a better look.
Temperatures went as high as 84°F (29°C) yesterday, but today they are back down to 40°F (4°C), and it is very windy and cold. Even though I took the following photos last month and last week, they illustrate well this challenging weather we are having.
It was very warm today with temperatures above 80 °F (27 °C), as if we went from winter to summer, bypassing a fabled spring. I went out to Sayen Gardens for pictures of flowers and found a snake and a turtle.
The snake was caught near a pond by a man. He showed it to his son, explained that it was not venomous, then released it right after I took the above shot.
On a small island in the middle of the pond, a turtle was sunning itself. I am no expert, but I think it was a Diamondback Terrapin Turtle. If you can identify it, please let me know its correct name. Update: Eliza identified it as a Red-eared Slider, another kind of terrapin.
Hundreds of Great Egrets were still sleeping or waking up and preening at a pond at the refuge. It was a bit nippy and there was some fog and frost on the brown reeds. I had never seen that many Great Egrets in one place, but could not capture the entire flock in one photo.
All the birds were in their best breeding plumage and colors, with long white aigrettes that ladies at the beginning of the last century would have paid dearly to adorn their headdresses with.
Red-winged Blackbirds are everywhere at the refuge, with the male birds sporting red and yellow shoulder badges. This time of the year the males fly to find high perches from which they belt out their incessant songs. They show no fear of cars and humans, and are easy to photograh.
We are still having a little snow today and tomorrow. When I went around looking for flowering plants at the refuge, there were none. The following couple of shots are perhaps interesting, but Spring flowers they are not, yet.
I saw the first Ospreys for this year at the refuge less than a week ago. One of them was very busy building her nest on a platform.
At another part of the refuge, a pair of Ospreys was making distinct noises. Was the female telling her mate to go fishing?
After several minutes, he had enough and flew away to land on half of a fish that he must have brought in earlier and left on the ground not far from their nest .
He just stood on the fish for a long time as she kept calling out to him. Was she still hungry?
He would not budge, and at times appeared to take a nap!
She flew up to a top pole of the nest platform, and kept calling for him.
He did not move until a Crow flew in.
Another Crow showed up.
The Crows definitely wanted the rest of the fish but the Osprey held on. The female Osprey kept calling out.
He held on firmly.
One of the Crows started cawing, perhaps calling for reinforcement. The standoff went on for much longer, but I had to leave. Crows are known to attack Ospreys at times, so I am not sure whether these two Ospreys were able to keep their fish or not.