Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

When I drove home from my aunt and uncle's yesterday, the wildflowers in a field I passed on my way caught my eye. Since I knew I had plenty of pictures for posting already, I decided to go back today to photograph the spot:

The yellow flowers are Buttercups, and the pink-purple ones are Ragged Robins:

I just happened to notice this heron flying by overhead as I got in my car:

My usual route to my aunt and uncle's place involves going through a one-lane covered bridge; the sign on it never fails to make me smile:

Some Asters growing alongside the road where I parked to photograph the bridge:

Later in the afternoon I decided to go for another drive, and on one of my stops walked to a spot along the edge of the Battenkill. There, I spotted some more Forget-me-nots:

I also took some photos of a bird that I'm pretty sure is an Eastern Peewee as it snagged some insects over the water:

I vote for three-day weekends every week. Who's with me?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dog day afternoon

Today I got to spend a fun and relaxing afternoon with my family over at my aunt and uncle's place. The weather was terrific, the food was plentiful and delicious, and the company—consisting of my folks; my brother; my Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Bill; my grandmother; my three cousins Emily, Katie, and Anne; Anne's husband Dmitri; and my aunt and uncle's neighbors Don and Mori—was outstanding. Plus we had plenty of entertainment in the form of Kaylee, Bonnie and Bill's dog Molly, and Anne and Dmitiri's golden Lab Butter. The three of them, needless to say, make up the majority of today's photos. But before I inundate you with cuteness, a few other photos I took while I was there...

My aunt and uncle seeded a small field next to their house with lupins, a move that I'd say worked out beautifully for them:

Later in the afternoon, my uncle took me over to their neighbors' place to check out Don's poppies, which are quite justifiably his pride and joy:

Given the number of people around, not to mention the three dogs, we didn't see a lot of birds over the course of the day. And I very much doubt I'd have spotted this female cardinal at all if Greg hadn't seen her land, given how well she blends into the tree she'd chosen to perch in:

The only bird brave enough to come in and eat from the feeder while we were all sitting nearby was this woodpecker:

And now it's time to go to the dogs:



Butter had a run-in with a sharp bit of metal about two weeks ago, which is why her side and parts of her forelegs are shaved. No need to worry, though—from watching her today, I'd say she's definitely well on her way to a full recovery:

Talk to the paw:

I liked how they looked against the lupins:

Time to just let the adorable speak for itself:

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Saturday songbirds

Despite having enjoyed a nice, relaxing afternoon with my parents, the three of us sitting on their back porch and watching the birds, I find I'm fighting a wicked headache this evening. So for the most part I'll just let today's pictures speak for themselves.

We enjoyed the rare treat of an oriole coming in to the feeders in front of us; usually they stick to their oranges and grape jelly:

A male cardinal in the blue spruce:

And on the feeder:

I just liked how this grosbeak shot turned out:

A tiger swallowtail checking out the plants in one of Mom's gardens:

Butterflies aren't the only creatures attracted to this garden—I managed to capture a male hummingbird working the same plants:

A blue jay highlighted by the afternoon sun:

A woodpecker taking a look around:

A female goldfinch with a mouthful:

A couple of action shots, starting with a woodpecker coming in to the feeders:

And a very lucky catch of a grosbeak backlit by the setting sun:

An indigo bunting came into the feeder on a couple of occasions. This first time, just after it had landed something in the area startled the entire bird population—a bunch of birds suddenly flew off over our heads, followed by a lot of blue jay calls, and then mostly silence. The bunting and the chipping sparrow next to it didn't vacate the premises like the others, obviously; instead they froze exactly were they were for at least five minutes, barely moving a muscle the entire time:

Later on, I had another lucky break when a bunting joined one of the orioles over at the other feeder:

A couple more indigo bunting pics, just 'cause it's such a pretty bird:

And, as always, no parental visit would be complete without pictures of Kaylee. In this first one, she and Robbie enjoy their second-favorite activity together: playing.

Followed by their favorite activity: mooching.

Scratching an itch:

Since she had a bad insect experience as a puppy, Kaylee tends to keep a very watchful eye on any bug that gets too close:

Clearly, being so adorable is exhausting work: