Friday, January 16, 2009

SURVIVING THE ARCTIC BLAST...BLUE JAYS

BRRRRRR!!!!....Here is where I often wonder if we are truly the fittest of all life on this earth. Survival of the fittest...while I am warm and cozy nesting in this cabin, I think of how all the creatures outdoors flex their will to survive with all their strength. Through the series of storms and bitter cold this past week, I have seen the most activity yet this season around my feeder. As I prepare this post, the actual temperature outdoors is -10 degrees. The wind chill factor brings the temperature to -30 degrees!

























I have this fascination with viewing a subject up close and personal. I'm not sure why, maybe to be a little closer to the heart and soul. As I was admiring the woods covered in snow on a dreary day, I stood at my back window gazing up the hill behind our cabin. There in front of me, icicles regularly take their form until my husband knocks them down. While I know they can cause damage to the roof, that doesn't stop my love of icicles. They constantly change, and if the sun or moon is in position over the back hill, they glisten all the more. Drip, drip, drip...tempting me, teasing me...hmmm?? Can I catch a drop falling from the icy fingers? After thirty four shots, I finally captured a water drop. My challenge to myself was to NOT use my feature on the camera that will automatically take a succession of shots. I stood there counting seconds between drops in an attempt to meet that challenge. VICTORY!!...now I just let you into the quirky side of me..I know, too much time on my hands!
On the 11th of this month, the night skies over Wishnik Woods were too cloudy to photograph the moon. The night after was another story. This first capture was taken out the same window were I shot the icicles. I had a rough nights' sleep and awoke at 2:20 a.m., there was my old friend waiting for me in the sky.
These next two captures were taken a few hours later at 5:oo a.m. in the same morning....except this time I braved the cold. I took my tripod outdoors and sturdied it in the snow. The atmosphere was very hazy with a good dose of cloud cover. Perhaps that explains the overall softness to these photographs.
Just a sliver shy!






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28 comments:

flydragon said...

Great shots, spooky. Love that Jay looking over his shoulder, watching you watching him. I saw that moon the other night and debated about going outside to shoot it, but unlike you, I'm a sissy. I'm afraid I don't have the patience that you have either, with that icicle drip. Love it.

Mo said...

That kind of cold seems impossible to me here when we are getting temps into the 70's which is warmer than usual. I too often wonder how the animals make it in extremes of heat and cold. Lovely pictures!

Gallicissa said...

Hey Kim!
Nice trick with the capture of water drop. Great to hear that you are experimenting with your camera. I am quite sure that the coming season will see a dragonfly bonanza!

Your Blue Jays are quite adorable.

p.s.-30C is NOT my cup of tea.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Beautiful pictures, the shots of the moon are great. When we were small kids we use to love to eat the icicles. Probably would be to polluted today to eat them.Good memories though.
Lona

spookydragonfly said...

Hi Flydragon...That shot was one of my favorites. I have to go outside to experience the moon whenever it's that beautiful. Cold or not, I've got to feel it, if that makes any sense. The icicle drip is proof that I have been in the woods a long time! Thanks for stopping by!


Hello Mo...I have forgotten what the 70's feel like lately. For that matter, I've forgotten what the 30's feel like lately! Thanks for your comments and stopping in...enjoy that warm weather, I'm jealous!


Hello Amila...The Blue Jays are beautiful birds, a bit too aggressive around the smaller ones, though. They have a nasty reputation for attacking humans on occassion, too. I'll probably be overposting my dragons in a couple of months...hey, how's your pond coming along? Any more dragons appear? Thanks for the visit!
(the cold...I'm one tough cookie!)


Hi Lona...Thank you, I couldn't resist posting more of the moon when it's that full. Can't get enough! I ate the icicles as a child, too. You're probably right about the pollution now. Thanks for dropping in!

Gallicissa said...

I am determined to do a post on my pond before the end of this month. Please bear with me until then.

p.s. I get busy with a tour in a week's time, so I am keen to do this post in the next 6 days.

Pseudothemis zonata said...

Hello.
You seem to have been used to a new camera.
Your art sense seems to make use of the performance of the camera enough. A splendid photograph is born one after another.

T and S said...

Beautiful images. You got that Blue jay giving you all possible poses and you did well in capturing all of them...Thomas

Chad and Brandy said...

Wonderful photos. It is amazing what animal can endure. I complain when temps drop below 60. No way I would have been outside for those moon shots. Great stuff.

spookydragonfly said...

Amila...Great, I'll keep on eye out. I'm most excited to see what you've accomplished! You have a fascinating job as a tour guide. To me...that's an ideal position. Good luck with your next tour!


Pseudothemis...Hello and thank you. I've so much to learn yet. I don't think I have the patience to experiment with the many settings. Patience has never been a virtue of mine! I am enjoying my new Nikon...just can't wait for warmer weather to use it in. There's that lack of patience! Thanks for stopping by! Hope you are feeling better each day.


Hi Thomas...Thank you, the Blue Jays weren't as easy to photograph. They were leary of me, unlike the smaller birds. My other wildlife seems to be hiding out in this cold, I haven't been able to photograph anything but the birds(and the moon). Thank you for the visit, Thomas!


Hello Chad and Brandy...Before we moved and built here in the woods, I lived in an area considered a snow belt. The amount of snow we get here doesn't compare. I have family in California and Florida. They are like you and complain when the temps dip below the 60's. I would love to "suffer" in your cold weather! (je-a-l-o-u-s!) Thanks for the nice comments and stopping by!
P.S....That's a sweet photo of you two!

JGH said...

I've been so worried about our birds since it's dipping well below freezing lots of nights this week. But the feeders are as busy as ever. Your little jay seems braced for it. Love the icicle photo too.

Shellmo said...

My favorite blue jay shot is the one where his butt is facing you and he's looking back over you from his shoulder. Great shots today!

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

I have a tag for you on my blog. Since some do not go into the tagging fad it is naturally up to you if you want to participate. Thanks, Lona

spookydragonfly said...

JGH...Thank you, I was surprised to see so many birds out in our storms. Our daytime high got up to 13 degrees yesterday, a heat wave!! I enjoy looking out the window and seeing so many different species of birds at once. Stay warm and thanks for the visit!


Shellmo...That's my favorite, too. A couple shots would've been perfect and they turned and mooned me just as I took the photo. As a result, I have a few close-ups of their rear ends! Thanks for visiting me!


Hi Lona...I stopped at your blog and left you a comment. Cool photo you have posted there!

Maria said...

Hi, Spookydragonfly, I also feel the same way about closeup photos. We have bluejays here but they are all dark blue..not white and blue like yours. We don't have cardinals though...you are lucky to have them. You've got some great shots here! Maria

spookydragonfly said...

Hi Maria...I don't think I've ever seen an all blue...Blue Jay! I'll have to look it up. I'm struggling for photos with color, and the birds are it! I have some nice female cardinal photos I want to post as well as the Pileated and Downy Woodpeckers. Thanks for stopping by!

perennialgardener said...

Beautiful photos Spooky! Isn't wildlife amazing with its' ability to survive the elements each season? :)

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Hi Kim:) Your photography is going fabulously I see! You are doing very well with your new camera.
I love that puffy bluejay; his color is like a powder-puff blue, if there is such a thing:) And I, too, love the photo of him with his back toward you, turning his head toward you at the same time!
Love the icicles, brings back memories for me too...like Lona, we used to eat them:) I grew up in PA and NY, ME and OH! My parents lived over 20 yrs in Hudson. I was in college and/or married during that time, so it's not really my home--but I've spent quite a bit of time there. I went to grad. school at Youngstown State!

Bye for now:)
Jan

Anne said...

I just love the pictures of the Blue Jay. I just love Blue Jays. Their so pretty.

Anne said...

I've tagged you! Come see.

spookydragonfly said...

Hello Racquel...Thank you, it is amazing. I was reading how much of the wildlife uses the snow to their advantage, as it is a great insulater. I'll stick to my insulated cabin! Thanks for the visit!


Jan...The coloring on the breast of the Blue Jay is what I like best...it's somewhat platinum. I never noticed so much until I took these close-ups. You certainly have been around...I've only lived in Ohio. Growing up, my parents took us on many vacations up and down the Eastern coast, though. The icicles are down as of yesterday, too bad they can cause damage. Thanks for stopping by, Jan!


Hi Anne...Pretty...but mean. I read another blogger refer to them as "the James Gang", that pretty much describes them when they fly into the feeder area! I hope you're not upset, but I'm going to decline the tag game. Within the last week, two others besides you just tagged me and I declined as well, (I don't play well with others!). As a matter of fact, the one tag was the same game as yours. Thank you for thinking of me though, I hope that you're o.k. with that?!

Anne said...

I don't mind at all. Sometimes I to decline to participate. I forgot to tell you in my last comment that I just love how you added Spookydragonfly to your photos. Is that something you can do with your camera?

spookydragonfly said...

Hi Anne...I'm so glad that you understand. My screen name on my photos I add through my Picassa program. They just updated and added that feature, I went back and forth if I wanted to add that on my photos. I decided to go ahead and use it only on the photos that I post in my blog. I have so many similiar photos, this way I know which ones I've already posted. In a way, I think it takes away from the image. So far, I do like it as a reference tool.

joey said...

Lovely, lovely ... blue jay and night sky. Love it!

Natural Moments said...

Cool, having caught and timed your water dropping from the icicle. I like to follow the rhythms too. It makes me feel more connected and eventually allows you to jump off of your own personal rhythms easier.

spookydragonfly said...

Hi Joey...Thank you and thanks for dropping in!


Hello Bernie...A little quirky, I admit, but quite honestly, that is me. Sometimes, I wonder where my thoughts come from! Thanks for trying to make sense of it for me. Thanks for the visit!

fishing guy said...

SD: That bluejay was surviving, we have had our share of cold weather and February is yet to come.

spookydragonfly said...

Hi Fishing Guy...We sure have some large Blue Jays this year! I guess they are eating well. At least Feb. is a shorter month...trying to look on the bright side. Thanks for the visit!