Friday, January 31, 2014

Zoo Visit

It's been awhile since I've visited our local Zoo.  But the weather is cold, and there isn't much to be found out there these days.  I would probably have to spend thousands of dollars to travel to the homeland of these animals, so being able to see so many in a couple of hours is pretty nice.

The first stop was the Butterfly exhibit that is there for a short time.

 Love is in the air.

The birds at the zoo are beautiful.  The colors on this one are unbelievable. 
And look at the lashes on this beauty!

Are these love birds?  They were snuggling so cutely, but when they looked away, they formed a heart.

And who doesn't love a snake? 

Or a frog.

Or a turtle.

Whatchew lookin' at?


Even a little alligator emerged from the water to say a quick hello.

There were lots of inside creatures to enjoy, but on the way back to the car, a quick stop was made to see the Bald Eagle that was healing from an injury and taken to live in an enclosed area.  I could not tell where it was injured so hopefully it wasn't too bad.

And last, but not least, the Polar Bear that seemed to be loving this cold weather came out to show off his beauty.

Your local Zoo.  Don't forget to go enjoy the amazing creatures that live there.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Kensington Park

Kensington Park is North of Ann Arbor.  It's a beautiful park, and I went there for the first time yesterday.

The rolling hills were beautiful and The park makes a home for many Sandhill Cranes.

 Here are a few images of them.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Everything Has a Price

Wandering through an antique store gives me unique kind of energy. What is the history of these items.  How were they used? Did they bring joy and happiness, or were they unappreciated.  Or were they simply a necessity.

 Horses, horses, horses.

How many happy children went round in circles on these carrousel horses?  Were they happy, or did they get dizzy and cry.

 Were the owners wealthy?  Were these lights hanging over dining tables looking over people having fun and laughing? Or maybe the guests were dressed in their Sunday Best discussing the current problems of the world.  Or maybe both.

There was surely music played after dinner in the grand ballroom.  Or did this belong to a small town music teacher.

One thing is for sure... people sure were fancy back in the day.

There was no air conditioning and so I'm sure there were several of these located around every room.

Laundry basket?  Potatoes?  Apples?
It's just a joy to find these treasures and let your mind wander for awhile. 

Antique stores.  They rock.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Winter Birds

Finding Winter subjects to photograph in Ohio can be tricky.  It's usually a matter of luck.  One day there can be several species to choose from.  But you can go back the very next day, at the very same place and time, and find nothing.  One lucky day, there was a Great Blue Heron fishing, surrounded by ice.

Once humans were spotted, he took off.  So, it was on to the Gulls.

 They, too, were fishing near the ice.

 There would be successful catches....

 And failed attempts.  So close!

 It's so fun to see them grab one!
 Even when they'd miss... they'd keep on trying...
Their eyes were focused down on the water.  Searching, diving, missing, catching.   I wish I had this much energy and patience!
I also wish I could fly.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Deer Season

 The Rut.  It's the time of year (Late Autumn, Early Winter) when the boys chase the girls in the Deer world.  Because of this, many deer are visible and easier to spy.
 The Bucks antlers have grown and they love to show them off to the ladies.
 This girls usually are munching leaves and minding their own business.
 Occasionally, they will get a scent and wonder what to do.

 Very often, they hide in weeds and can barely be seen.  And every now and then, they take a drink from the nearest pond.
 But seriously, girls, watch out for this guy!  He is waiting right around the corner.

While all of this deer mating stuff goes on, other animals go about their merry way.  This Woodpecker is building a new home in a dead tree.  Nature sure is busy!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Grand Canyon Vacation

When people say they went to the Grand Canyon, nine times out of ten times, they go to the Southern Rim.  It is closer to Phoenix, Flagstaff, Sedona... all of those popular places.  But as luck would have it, my wonderful and talented niece is working just a short distance from the North Rim, and my sister and I decided to go visit.  (Oh yeah, happy Birthday, Sis!)

The trip got off to a bumpy start... literally.  We took off from Detroit into a storm, and if nothing else, I was impressed with how well-made an airplane is.  It didn't break in half!  That told me it was going to be a good trip.

Bye-bye Detroit.

I got a window seat.  I love looking at the clouds from the top.

Just sitting in my sister's back yard was heavenly.  She has lots of interesting birds.
And dragonflies that smile at you.

 But Friday arrived, and it was off to Sedona!

We shopped at Tlaquepaque.

And I learned a lesson or two about the Prickly Pear Cactus.  They don't pull out easily.  Thank goodness I only got impaled by two of those guys.

The next leg of the trip was the longest, but by far the most interesting terrain I've ever driven.  There were scattered showers in the distance.  And there was always something beautiful to look at.

Winding roads were fun to drive and beautiful to see.
I never really considered jumping off of this bridge that goes over the Colorado River, but when I saw this sign, I was glad I wasn't planning on it.  That would have been a real bummer.

 Cliff Dwellers was an interesting place to view from the road, but we stopped to grab a photo or two.
We finally arrived at Jacob Lake.  The lake itself is not large.  Really.  The lake could probably fit into this building, which is the only place to eat in town.  There is a gift shop and an inn and cabins around the back.
There is also a visitor center.

Hi Laura!  (This girl knows her stuff!)

Arizona dragonflies are large and this one hovered long enough for me to snap his photo.

Ok, so this guy wasn't actually alive, but there are live ones out there in the forest!

The squirrels out there have white tails and pointy ears.  They are very shy and difficult to photograph.

About 45 minutes South of Jacob Lake is the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  This is the Lodge at the Grand Canyon National Park.

And here are some views of the Canyon.

This is called Angels Window.  This view is about another hour's drive from the main Lodge.

 The sun always sets, and it's such a treat to watch.

We stayed in a Cabin right on the Rim.  And I was able to go outside and see more stars than I have ever seen. 
The Milky Way was also visible.

 Dinner and breakfast were served in this 4 star dining room.  Delicious and great view of the Grand Canyon.

This hawk was not invited to the 4-star restaurant.  But as you can see, he found something to eat all on his own.

My sister got a little bored with me and my camera, so she pulled out her knitting.

It was finally time to leave, but not without seeing thousands of acres of land that had been on fire several years ago.  It's slowly coming back.  And so am I.  Back to reality.  But what a fun trip we had!