Friday, March 20, 2009


St. Patrick's Day was beautiful! Mostly sunny with the high reaching 70 degrees. Big, puffy, white clouds scattered in the sky...the birds were singing their songs and the hawks were gliding in the stronger wind gusts high above.

As I was walking around the pond and my sleeping gardens, I was hoping to see the pair of Mallards return. The only inkling of the Mallards I saw were quite a few feathers left behind. They were floating about on the pond and a few were barely hanging on to the rocks at the end of our waterfalls leading into the pond. Each breeze brought movement and they shimmered in the sunshine and water. I liked the image of the delicate feathers clutching the strong porous rocks... contrasts that compliment each other.

My first Spring bloom! It's a weed!! I'll take it's a bloom and it's color!

I witnessed a bloom spring open! I was photographing the above bloom and maybe I touched this bloom on the brink of opening...perhaps the heat of my hand encouraged it to open. Whatever the case, I got a real thrill as right in front of my eyes the bud just came to life. I let nature takes its course? I have the power at this moment! I couldn't resist...two more light taps and it fully bloomed. For a moment I felt like Mother Nature! Maybe a little too much time back in the woods, huh?!...never.

I'm curious of the name of this it of the dandelion family? Anyone have the answer?
The cattails are spreading their joy. Hundreds of seeds everyday blowing everywhere. We're going to have our work cut out for us! The dragonflies love the cattails, as do the birds, turtles and fish.
At a slightly overcast moment, I photographed this Japanese Willow bud barely opening long the bank of the pond with the sun reflecting just beyond on the waters' surface.

Remember when we were children, and looked up to the clouds...we imagined elephants, birds and who knows what taking shape in the clouds? (o.k....I still do that) Imagination is you see my angel in the middle of the forest?

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009


What do keepsakes of the heart and Mallard Ducks have in common? father. Not only did Dad have a lot of Irish in his blood, Patrick was his middle name and he was born on St. Paddy's Day. This past week, as every spring, the Mallards have returned. Whenever I see them, I think of him.

When my children were young and Dad was still alive, he had a weekend ritual with his grandchildren. We lived right next to what is referred to the Emerald Necklace, a stretch of the Metroparks that extends for miles. There are several areas to enjoy the wildlife, picnic areas, ball fields, bike/walking trails, playgrounds, nature centers, toboggan chutes and the list goes on.

He would take them there to feed the ducks. After a couple of years a sign was posted asking visitors not to feed the wildlife. That didn't stop Dad and the kids from their visits, though. I truly believe he had even more fun than the children. He came back with just as many stories as them!

My father loved being in nature, we went camping almost every weekend. Many vacations were spent traveling state to state for 2 and 3 weeks at a time. I feel he played a large part in how I appreciate nature now. It's really something how seeing a simple image as the ducks swimming on our pond, or anywhere for that matter, calls on certain fond memories... the keepsakes of my heart.

I chose to share my images of the Mallards on this day, his birthday, as I remember my father...who I miss very much. He's passed on to a better place, but he's still alive where it counts. I have lots of fond memories.

Now on to the Mallards! I took these photographs from inside the cabin, I just opened the window and went for it. Now what I'm going to tell may not believe, but in my fathers' name...I speak the truth. I was going into the kitchen and thought to myself...hmmm?...I should start looking out the window for the ducks, usually they fly in around now. I walked over to the large window facing the pond, and there they were! My radar was in fine tune that day!

The sky ranged from slight sun to overcast. The male got most of my attention due to his brilliant coloring. It's too bad that I couldn't get this shot from a different angle, that's the railing around the top portion of our dock in view. I like their reflection on the water, too.
The couple were quite lovey-dovey the entire time... playing around, searching for food, and they seemed to enjoy each other's company immensely.
Last year, I think I witnessed a turf battle as two pairs of Mallards showed up around the same time. One pair stayed on one side the majority of the time and visa-versa. When the two males both swam towards the center of the pond, there was alot of noise and flapping going on! Eventually, both pairs just flew off.
I often think too bad Dad isn't around, he would've loved it here in our woods! My husband and I didn't know it when we first met, but quickly found out that his father was my fathers' supervisor at their mutual workplace. Both of our fathers were deceased when we met. My husbands' father loved the outdoors, too, and was into fishing. I wonder if they're both up there, looking down and smiling?!

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Thursday, March 12, 2009


March has finally arrived...and it has begun in a whirlwind...literally! These first two weeks in March the weather has been seasonably variable, but wow, have we ever had the wind gusts going. What has impressed me is the action going on in the upper atmosphere. Clouds changing and reshaping at such rapid times I felt as if I were watching a documentary on the climate. You've all seen clips where the speed of the film is increased to show the changes of the weather in quick time...well, it has been somewhat similar to that. Personally, I'm not a fan of strong wind here in our lower atmosphere...but up in the clouds, it's just fine. These captures were all taken between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. on March 5th and 7th. The skies changed from bright and sunny to a mixture of bright sun and dark clouds...and everything in between. I have upcoming full moon photos were you can actually see the speed of the clouds as I'm photographing (well, trying to photograph!) using the tripod.


Many of you may have noticed that I haven't been visiting your blogs as often...I have...and I haven't! Most of you know of my weak connection as we don't have high-speed. Some of you, I have explained the amount of time it takes for me to blog due to my regular issues with our location and poor internet connection. Well, here's the scoop to anyone who cares!

On any given day while blogging, ONE page may take several minutes to load, I'm lucky for it to load in 40-60 seconds! Even then, the page may load, but not fully. Sometimes in the middle of reading a post, typing a post, leaving a comment or preparing a post, I lose whatever it is completely...and then have to start the whole process over! You should see how much time is involved for me to prepare a post (today was a doozy!). On a regular basis, I have a couple of good days a month with few problems, usually the fore mentioned is the norm 95% of the time. It is extremely frustrating!

These past couple of weeks, my issues have been worse with connection problems to many other sites, usually the blogs. Some blogs I can get to, but can't leave a comment....some blogs I can't get to at all. My dashboard hasn't shown my followers, nor has my blog. I contacted blogger, maybe they took care of this recently, now it's showing.
I'm spending hours on this computer a day, attempting to enjoy as many blogs as I can. I am tired of struggling with this computer and need to spend more time getting things done! I've had a few people try to drive these DEMONS(can't think of a better word!!) away.

So! Now that I've vented, I hope you all understand my dilemma. I will try to visit you all when I can on my better days, it won't be as often as I would like, believe me! I've got to manage my time better here in the real world and not spend hours a day on this computer...and stressing so much over it! I know that I will probably lose followers over this and I understand. Who knows...maybe someday this will all click into place! My fingers are crossed.

WOW!!! about afternoon drama!?!?!
EDIT...After publishing these past few posts, I viewed my followers are gone again.
I give up!

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Twilight on the pond
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Good Morning beckons me for a walk in the woods.
Fall, winter and a touch of spring.
Managing a kernel of food

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This woodpecker claims this branch as her very own. Several times a day I can look out the window and there she is. Sometimes her eyes are completely closed.
More of the patterns that I enjoy in the early evening sun casts the long shadows of the tall trees across the pond. Contradicting that effect are the vertical images of the cattails.
Watching me... watching him!

One VERY large cloud!

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