Thursday, April 30, 2009

There's More Critters Out And About!

Hello everybody. Has everybody had weather as crazy as ours? I am sick to death of the rain. We always get it all in the spring, but never in the summer when we really need it for the crops. The fields are all flooded now, some even high enough that the water is crossing the roads in some places.
Remember that mama Robin from two posts ago? This picture is mama and one of her babies, sitting on our bird bath yesterday morning. The baby is just so adorable! I know that there was at least one other baby, but not sure where it was.
If anybody knows what this funny looking bird is, please let me know. It has long legs. The body appeared to be about the size of a grackle or a pigeon. I've never seen one before, whatever it is!
These two ducks are Mergansers, but I'm not sure which sub-species. Possibly Common or Hooded, from looking at my book, according to their territory. Both of these pictures are of flooded fields, not ponds!
This picture of a male Mallard was taken at the same time I took the pics of the Mergansers. I played with the shadows on this, the same as I did with a previous Mallard in flight in the April 7th post.
This is the same male and a female Mallard. Again, I played with the shadows.
The past few days, I've been going out to Lyle's to take care of his critters while he is down south visiting. I'm pretty sure he went to West Virginia to see his son. There is one dog, one Cockatiel, about a dozen cats(outside) and four pea fowl, one of which is the hen and the other three are males. The picture above is the oldest male's tail. I used the "fluorescent chalk" filter to get the effect.
This is the same peacock with his tail fanned. His name is Peapot!
And this is Peapot trying to figure out what in the world I'm doing! None of them are tame. We can get closer now than we used to be able to.
This is one of the many Grackles that come around here to eat. Between them and the Starlings, I don't know which are the bigger pigs! Again, I played with the shadows on Photoshop for the effect. After leaving Lyle's yesterday, I went taking more pictures, in the rain, no less! I was having a heck of a time. Taking pictures of a Killdeer that just doesn't want to cooperate is a riot! The Killdeer is part of the Plover family. They lay their eggs around gravel and their eggs look kind of like little rocks, according to my Aunt Pat. She gets these birds around her farm all the time and she finds their "nests" in her driveway. I couldn't get a clear enough shot of any, so I gave up for the day. I also can't seem to get close enough to the Horned Lark to get a decent shot. I chased one of them around for a short while too! They won!
I'm going to get off here for now. I hope everybody has a great weekend. I hope it stops raining!!!
Love Ya

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Some Seriously Screwy Weather!

I can't seem to be able to get myself motivated enough to post more often! Not sure why, cause Lord knows, I don't do anything else around here! LOL
Glenna and Tim were home last week. They flew in from Anchorage on Easter Sunday and stayed with another classmate that lives near Indianapolis that night. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights, Glenna stayed with me. She wasn't feeling well most of the time that they were here. On Friday night, Glenna, Tim, Chuck and I went out to eat in Decatur, Indiana. A restaurant called The Back 40 Junction. Glenna has been there several times, but it was a first for Chuck & I. It's located in an old train station and is set up as a buffet-only place. Friday is all you can eat crab legs. That's all it took to get Chuck there! I'm not much for crab, so I had shrimp, my favorite seafood. It was really good! The picture above is me(left) and Glenna.
This is a round barn on State Road1 in Jay County, Indiana. I had to take a slight detour last week to go to Portland to Walmart to get my new glasses. I'm really feeling old now because my new glasses have bifocals! The only part that is hard to get used to is, strangely enough, when I'm eating. When I look at my plate, I have to go back and forth looking between my bifocals and the regular part of the lens.
This old barn is over in Berne. I drive over there every once in a while taking pictures of the Amish farms and buggies. I think the filter I used on this barn is High Pass.
This old wagon was in a yard of one of the Amish farms. I would love to spend a day at an Amish household just observing their ways, and taking pictures of the homes, implements and different things that they use. When I was there last week taking these pictures, I passed two teen aged Amish boys rollerblading to and from town. Quite odd watching that. I was going down the country roads shooting the farms and such, and I got behind a buggy going quite slow. There was a farm where three or four Amish boys were out playing ball. I was just barely moving because I didn't want to pass the buggy and spook the horse. My camera is always in my hand, ready to shoot whatever catches my fancy. The boys started waving at me and motioning like they wanted me to stop. I did and rolled my passenger side window down. I asked one of them if he minded if I took his picture. He said no, so just as I got ready to focus, the mother walked out onto the porch and the boys hollered "DON'T", so I didn't get my picture. Even if I would have gotten the picture, I wouldn't have done anything with it except keep it for my own personal collection. I know that they don't like having their pictures taken. Some don't mind it. When I rode over with Lori a couple of weeks ago, we stopped on the side of the road and an Amish family was coming toward us. A man and woman, holding a baby in the front, and three young children in the back. Lori shot a picture of the children and as she did, the mother was looking backward, looking straight at Lori and smiling.
This is the head of the Civil War monument in the courthouse square here in town. I used the reticulation filter to get this effect.
This is the clock tower of our courthouse. The setting sun was hitting it.
This is the same monument as the head shot above. The main focus was on the rising moon.
This is just a robin in the back yard, sitting on my next-door neighbor's fence.
Believe it or not, this is a sunset. I've been playing with Photoshop quite a bit. I finally had to buy the version that I had the trial version of. I loved it. This was the "twirl" filter. I bought Photoshop Elements 7. To me, Elements is so much more user friendly than regular Photoshop.
This is one of the Amish farms in Berne. I just played around with the shadows to get this effect, the same as I did on the Mallard duck on a previous post. I took this on our way home from Decatur Friday night. I couldn't believe the picture came out as clear as it did, because Chuck was driving and I was taking the picture as we were flying down the highway at 55 MPH!
I'm really getting tired of this weather. It just won't make up it's mind. Saturday, I was wearing shorts and it was beautiful out. Since then, it has gotten progressively colder and rainy and they are calling for snow showers tomorrow(Tuesday) then in the 80's this weekend! It's no wonder my allergies are going crazy!
Chuck is still doing well. He still hasn't had a drink, thank goodness! He has been doing a lot of work around the house. Last weekend, he installed a new kitchen ceiling light. Before, all we had in the kitchen was a small hanging lamp in one corner and small fluorescent lights above the sink and under the cabinet. Then he ripped the carpet and old ceramic tile from the master bathroom floor and put lenolium down instead. He has been landscaping the yard as well. We still need to do the guest bathroom floor the same as the master. I don't know why people put carpeting in a bathroom. It just soaks up water from getting out of the tub or shower and steam and eventually will cause mold to grow. He also had to fix or replace the faucets in the bathroom sinks and shower/tub. They were all leaking pretty badly.
Time to get off here and take my happy hiney to bed! I still don't have enough sense to go to bed at a decent time!
Love Ya

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Follow-up From A Screwed Up Week!

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, although it sometimes seems like it because I keep disappearing from blogland for long periods at a time. A couple of readers know why I wasn't on last week because I e-mailed you. So far, everything is much better. Chuck quit drinking and knows that the next beer he touches, he's out of here! Most people think I'm crazy to take him back, but I love him and want this marriage to work. I'm not in this marriage to make other people happy.
The picture above is going into a little town in Jay County, east of Blackford County. My husband got the biggest kick out of it the first time we drove to Indiana from Florida. Our last name is the name of a small Indiana town. Even when I stop at the convenience store there, they get a laugh out of it being our last name.
This is our neighbor's house behind us. I saw this momma Robin flying up to her nest on Saturday. I got as close as I could without scaring her off her eggs. I felt so sorry for her Sunday because it just poured rain all day and was quite chilly.
Still not a very good picture of a Blue Heron, but it's a little better that previous. This was much closer to home than where I was going before. I'm going to keep trying!
Lori and I went to Berne again Friday March 27. She goes there to buy grain for the horses. Much better prices there. On our way home, only about a minute from my house, we was this odd, funnel-shaped cloud ahead of us. I took this one after I got home and put my stuff in the house. It was just drifting northward. It looks like a tornado, but it wasn't(as far as I know) LOL
We saw a lot more Amish out and about that day.
An Amishman out plowing his field. I think he must have been a teenager, because he didn't have a beard.
On our way to Berne, we turned off on one of the side roads to hopefully get a scenic route to photograph. There was an old junkyard on the road we turned onto.
These buzzards were sitting on the roof of an old tool shed just before we got to the junkyard. Somehow, we went WAY out of the way. Neither one of us is any good at navigation if we've never been on those roads before. We ended up in Warren, which was the opposite direction from the way we originally turned. I got the brilliant idea to turn left on Jeff Road, because I wanted to see Five Points Schoolhouse and an old steel bridge near it. We were already past there when we made the turn. Oh well, we saw a lot of neat things, and now that we know where we went wrong, we'll go back on purpose to get more pictures. I finally found Five Points day before yesterday.
I am going to get off here and try to get some sleep. Everybody have a great week.
Love Ya