Thursday, July 25, 2019
I invited a friend and her grandson to go along with me on a birding photoshoot. I’d hoped to show them some herons and egrets that typically inhabit a swamp not far from where they live. But, as often happens when I’m out photographing nature, something different presents itself than I’d planned.
We visited the marsh and didn’t find the birds I’d hoped for so we took a drive around the nearby countryside to see what else was out there. We’d driven a while when we spotted a striking chicken striding along the road edge. I did a u-turn so we could get a closer look.
How handsome a bird this was! Its red crown made me think it was a rooster, but I truly didn’t know. And my bird app was no help with it not listing a single chicken. The critter moved along quite fast, not liking the attention we were giving it. When I got home and looked on the internet, it appeared, from the feather coloring, this chicken was a Dutch Bantam.
Further down the road, we saw the tail-ends of three more chickens. The grass appeared to have been freshly mowed, and we surmised they were eating the grass or seeds that had flown into the undergrowth.
The first chicken to emerge from the undergrowth was this variegated chicken, which I quickly identified as a Plymouth Rock. It’s one of the most popular chicken breeds, raised both for its meat and its brown eggs. Meat? Oh my, is this what I’ve been grilling?
The Plymouth Rock wasn’t happy with our presence either. It began moving along too but was vocalizing the whole way.
The second chicken to finally pull out of the flower bed was this red-feathered chicken, probably a common Rhode Island Red. In my research to identify these chickens, I found a post about how to tell a hen (female) from a rooster (male). The roosters generally have larger, more developed, and vibrant red combs and wattles. Roosters also have more flashy plumage that says: Look at me. Aren’t I something?
Finally, a third chicken emerged from the undergrowth, another Dutch Bantam. Its feathers were exquisite too.
The bantam turned and looked directly at me, which allowed me to get one of those goofy, front-on shots that I love to take of birds. It really changes the appearance.
As we moved on to see if any activity had come to the swamp, I wondered what these roosters had been doing out loose on their own. Had they flown the coop? Or was this property their farm and they were used to wandering freely on their own? Or maybe it was just a boys’ night out on the town.
Thursday, July 18, 2019
Like roses and irises, lilies are among my most favorite flowers. I love the beautiful yellow-gold Stella D'Oro lilies that are so popular in landscaping. But on this day, I was looking for lilies that were a little different, and, perhaps, more striking.
Thursday, July 11, 2019
I hadn’t been out to farm country since mid-June, and it was a beautiful evening for a drive. Gracie nudged my camera bag as a hint to get going so off we went. I wondered what changes I’d see.
Right away as I came over a hill, I saw one of my favorite scenes. Hay Bales!
I even saw a farmer baling the hay as I watched. He drove his green John Deere tractor up and down a field where the hay had been cut. I watched in amazement as the machine sucked the hay inside and spit out perfectly rolled hay bales every few minutes.
The corn had also taken off too, thanks to some much-needed rain. It looked to me like it had reached knee high.
And there were also plenty of beautiful barns. This one had window boxes filled with flowers. Imagine that.
Who doesn’t love a red barn? This one even had an intact silo.
As usual, I had an eye out for critters. I pulled up along side this fenced pen and wondered at first what this long-eared animal was. It certainly had blood-hound ears but not the body.
Then it looked up. Oh, duh! It was a goat with a mouthful of grass. As I went further, I saw a young one in a pen, bleating its heart out.
There was lots of road work going on, so I had to divert myself down some new places. I immediately saw this beautiful horse with a very active tail swatting bothersome bugs, I guessed.
We’d left the house shortly after the news. The weatherman had said the sunset would be red because of all the smokey haze in the atmosphere, so I’d kept an eye peeled for that. Sure enough, I caught a glimpse of the reddish-sun as it began to set behind a copse of trees. Nothing like a sunset, even ones out in farm country.
Thursday, July 4, 2019
I hadn't planned to photograph the Thunderbirds because I'd done a blog on them in the past. But when they flew directly over my back deck, I couldn't resist the challenge of trying to photograph these planes flying at 700 miles per hour. Their precision flying and intricate formations did not disappoint although I could have done without the noise. I guess that's part of the show.