Late one afternoon, we finally got over to Willow Lake to visit the white pelicans that flew in a few weeks ago. They are earlier than usual- and staying longer- perhaps because of the hot weather. As I drew closer to photograph them, it seemed the pelican on the right was becoming nervous, and it looked as if the bigger one was reassuring him. This went on for awhile, and eventually he did take off over the water to find a place to swim.
FYI- It has been about 11 months since my knee replacement, and during this walk, I noticed that I really don’t even think about my knee at all before taking a step. Before surgery, each step on uneven ground was wobbly as my knee was very unstable. I can’t say that it feels like a normal knee, but it WORKS!
Newport Beach in February
August 2020 was the month of the hummingbird in our garden- they rule the back yard. When we are outside we are constantly “buzzed” as they make sure we know we are in their territory. We’ve had many more than ever before- is it the hot, dry weather? the fires elsewhere? Whatever the reasons, we have enjoyed having so many! Our local bird expert writes that some will start leaving soon (as they always do in September), but we imagine that we will continue to have a few that will stay around through the fall.
There seems to be a Hummingbird Fight Club going on in our back yard these days. In the last month, we have had more hummingbirds than ever before, and although it has thinned out a bit in the last week, we have constant territorial battles going on- especially in the mornings and early evenings. We have four feeders, but there is always one that is the feeder of choice that must be guarded by whoever seems to be in charge at the time. Often there are six to eight hummers involved in the dispute over the chosen feeder! I like this shot because this little one chose to take a break on a high willow branch, which made a nice composition.
We are home a lot these days (no surprise. . .) and have plenty of time to watch the hummingbird drama unfold in our yard! This handsome little guy is one of a group of newcomers to our yard and has the others on their toes, so to speak, as he chases them away from the feeder. I have yet to capture a good photo of him hovering, so here he is just after landing on the feeder.
I confess I haven’t spent much time on photography since this whole thing started. But thank God for birds! I’ve been emerging from my office lately to sit in the yard with my camera and watch the goings-on. We’ve noticed less bird activity than I can remember from previous summers here (despite feeders and fountain), but I was happy to see that the mourning doves are back. So today’s bird portrait is of one of those quiet beauties.
Goldfinch- stopping for a drink in the late afternoon light
I’m reaching back into the archives for another beach photo. This one is from our 2018 trip to Homer, Alaska. Really sad to miss seeing our Alaska family this summer. . .
Beaches are open, but not for us cautious types. This is from last March’s visit to Newport.
Daydreaming about the beach . . .
This was from our last trip to California- February 27- before the lockdown but just as we were becoming aware trouble was headed our way.
Edited with one of my beach textures, created in my at home time.
Last night as we were getting ready for our Easter dinner, I spotted a quail kind of hunkering down in a clay pot near the patio. I grabbed my camera and took a series of photos through the window as he fluffed his feathers to warm himself in the wind. When I looked through the resulting photos, I realized that he had gradually made himself fluffier during the quick photo session. My photographer friend, Carol, had recently informed me that a fat bird is called a BORB and a fluffy one a FLOOF. So my Easter quail had transformed himself from a borb to a borb that is also a floof in a matter of seconds- your Fun Facts for today!
This was a fairly mundane image, so I decided to try some creative edits to create an image to submit today to my photo group. I have been working on creating textures for the last few months, so I made a custom background for the quail, starting with a copy of the original image and adding a painted texture and a Topaz Impression chalk drawing filter. I finished it off with a clipping mask border, another skill I’m working on.
It was the noisy squawking that led me to look up and see this pair of gulls as we walked on the Queen Mary. My first thought was that it was their first date, hence the name of this post.
Gulls can sometimes be pretty annoying when you are at the beach, but this one caught my eye as he perched on a rooftop surveying the scene in Newport Beach.
Good Morning, Sunshine!
What a joy it was to be back walking on the beach with my new knee! It still doesn’t feel “normal”- but I can walk without pain and without poles. And watching the waves and the birds is the best therapy!
At Newport Beach
It looked like the Canada geese felt right at home as they paddled through the chilly water on this cold winter day. It was just Tuesday that Watson Lake was surrounded by white- but now the beautiful Arizona sunshine has melted most of it, leaving white in just the shadiest areas. I have learned to get out and take photos right away here in Prescott, as more often than not, the snow only lasts for a few days. This image was taken with my iPhone.