Saturday, February 19, 2011

For the Birds

For some reason I love the huge birds in Florida.  For all of my life my parents' bird station, and then my own  in Michigan attracted wonderful little birds...LITTLE birds.  I knew about these large birds in Florida and saw an occasional one from afar in Michigan but some of these birds come right up to you with no fear.  I love taking their photos but love digitally scrapping them even more.

Here are this year's favorite bird photos so far.

Wood Stork
 This handsome fellow was the first bird I hand-fed eight years ago.  He was also the first bird I photographed with my new Canon Digital DSLR camera.  Yes, I can get very close to him without spooking him, but, no, I do not let him eat from my hand.  I am “respectful” of that long, sharp beak.  It could do some damage.

Florida White Pelican

White Ibis
 Usually, the past 8 years, we would see one or two Ibis mixed in with a flock of Cattle Birds but this year we have a flock that ranges from 10 to 25 Ibis and no Cattle Birds.  I started feeding the Ibis each morning and now they come knocking, or at least come close to the screen house.  I was surprised to hear their “grunt” when fighting for bits of food.  The fellow I photographed alone hangs back and just refuses to allow me to feed him.  We like keeping these birds around because they shove their bills into the sand/soil getting out all the insects.  The more they do that the better for us.
Great White Egret

A Sebastian friend posted to Facebook for all Sebastian folks to look out to the West.  This is what we all saw.  It went from this to deeper colors as the sun set further but also became darker and harder to get good photos.
Friday, February 4, 2011

"FRIDAY FOTO" #1

Coffee Shop Actions blogger, Rita, has started posting her favorite photo of the week every Friday.  I like that idea and will try to keep up.

My second-cousin-once-removed, Jennifer and me.
 Through matching tree entries in Ancestry.com, Jennifer and I discovered "missing" branches of our families.  Her grandfather, and my mother's brothers had been so close once.  Her great-grandmother and my grandfather were close siblings.  The two families had their children's photos taken together, and my mother remembered the 7 children being together often...then when Mother was about 7 or 8 they didn't seem to spend any more time together.  Why?  I had not been able to locate information on the internet and that branch of the family tree was just gone.

The story was this:  My grandfather's sister, Jen's great-grandmother, died in her early 40s leaving her minister husband with 3 youngsters.  Eventually he remarried but the link between the two families was gone and never was restored...until now!!!

Jen had a photo of the old family home where her great-grandmother and my grandfather were raised.  How precious THAT was!  I passed on the originals of about 8 photos of her ancestors that belong rightfully to her and her sister.  We exchanged information about our respective branches.

A lovely afternoon!!!
Thursday, February 3, 2011

Promise

As much as I love watching birds and flowers, waiting and anticipating heightens the entire experience.


Take the Osprey.  THE moment is when the parents help the babies fledge.  Watching the parents nest, wondering when the eggs will hatch; trying to figure out the babies' stage of growth...all of that enhances the moments of flight so much more than driving along the highway and just seeing some young in flight.

Is there a baby in the nest or not?
Since our late neighbor started my interest in orchids I have stumbled along, reading articles and books that didn't really help.  So much conflicting advice.  We transport the orchids back and forth from Florida to Michigan because we have to and so far the plants don't seem to have suffered, however, is there a better way?  Am I potting them right?  Should I be bringing them in at night?

I have two  plants promising to bloom so I can't be TOO far off in caring for them, but nevertheless, I signed up for an Orchid Potting Class on a Saturday coming up.  I love the facility and they have a great reputation; Orchid Island Botanicals.  I am SOOO looking forward to this class and more, I hope.
This was just a tight bud a week ago

More little orchids to come

Is there anything prettier?

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Laura Lou
Michigan/Florida, United States
I am a retired Middle School Science teacher from Michigan spending 4 months each winter in Florida and learning about a whole new world.
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