Took a drive out to the wildlife refuge yesterday. The seasonal changes are becoming more obvious. More water, leaf bare trees, etc. .
Most of the birds were just out my lens range to get a clear picture. The only birds up close and personal were the coots. Coots around here plentiful and it is very common to hear photographers and bird watchers say there is nothing here but the coots to let each other know that there are no interesting birds about. (I actually find the coots fun to watch.) I spent most of my time just watching and listening. It is the first time in a long time that I have managed to get myself out there. The sun was shining (yeah) and there wind was not too bad, although a bit chilly. After about an hour and a half the clouds came and the sky became grey. Brrr . . .. so I headed back home before I froze what little arse I have off.
On the way back I found this scene interesting – different birds one without feathers:
Driving down the road I spotted a hawk atop the telephone line. I pulled the truck over and the bird flew off and landed a few poles down along the side of the roadway. I drove forward and as soon as I rolled down my passenger window the bird flew away again LOL. You thing I would have this down by now eh? I left the window down and slowly crept forward past where the hawk had landed figuring that each time he flew he landed ahead of me. This time it worked. Even with the vibration of the running truck and shooting at an odd angel out the passenger window I managed to an ok set of it landing.
I left the photos untouched except the second one – I bumped up the brightness a tad so you might see the the hawks colorful plumage more as I did in person.
This morning I managed to drag my arse out of bed at 6:30a.m. Those of you who know me are aware that me awake and moving prior to 8:30a.m. is nothing short of miraculous. I am a space flight fan – yeah I know some of you are anti space exploration – as a kid I loved anything and everything about the Apollo Rockets and the lunar rover. The grainy black and white transmission from the first moon landing enthralled me as a child. It still does.
The end of the NASA Space Shuttle program – an end to an era – saddens me. So, how could I not take advantage of heading up to a helipad atop on of Sacramento’s buildings? I could not! It is a rare to be allowed access to the top of a city building anymore. The last helipad I was on was atop the Renaissance Tower post 9/11. A few of us returned to our long standing once a week lunch up there only to be interrupted by folks in full Armour because someone from another building called us in as terrorists . … So when the invitation was offered yesterday afternoon I jumped on it! A couple of the folks up there this morning were past co-workers and it was fun to catch up with them. All the surrounding buildings had people on the helipads or on the top levels of the parking garages.
The shuttle came out of the southern horizon flew over the capitol building made a circle and came back from the northern horizon. It still amazes me how something as large as a 747 can fly let alone one with a space shuttle piggy backed on it. I toured the Boeing plant and watched workers building 747’s and came away remembering how huge they were and wondering what would happen if a worker missed a few rivets.
Well around 20 of us courtesy of the building manager sat atop the building and took photos of the people atop near by buildings as they took pictures of us LOL. Then the 747, Endeavour piggybacked, along with the military escort became a faint dot in the horizon.
A few of the shots I took:
Well, I got up early, made it up the stairs for the last few floors where the elevator ride ended, waited for the Endeavor and it’s 747 ride, I am now headed off to take a nap!
It was a windy day – not the best for taking photos of scenery. But we rarely have a day where everything come together. One where I am having a good day and KRP is off work. Normally I would not bother going out to take photos and drive around on such a day but now we take advantage of such opportunities. This time of year there are not many big birds hanging around and finding the little birds in the brush gets harder and harder for me. Chalk it up to age and optic neuritis. I did get a few good pics of the different foliage. The changes in the environment between seasons has always held my interest but now I take more notice of the sounds and smells. How the songs of the little birds changes whenever a bird of prey is around and the smells in the air as the winds change.
I had a geography teacher pull me aside on a field trip to tell me he had never had a student that paid so much attention to the details. That physical geography field trips were set up to notice the larger picture. The soil creep, the features, the formations of mountains and ponds etc. etc.. I remember asking how else would someone know where to look for the details without noticing the larger picture. He chuckled. I count him in my mind as one of my better professors. I still think along those lines to this day. It drives my friends nuts sometimes. I will look across acres of land and say lets go over there. Eh? no really that is the best spot I noticed where _____ or _____ could be. to me it is somewhat of a no brain-er, if the land come to a low point, or if the vegetation tends to support a particular species, then that is where we should go if we are looking for . … my pals and KRP find this annoying for some reason. Maybe because statistically I am usually correct but sometimes getting to where over there is can be a bit challenging.
This was not particularly a problem when I was doing most of the driving and the one pulling a stuck vehicle out of the muck. At least now the water ways are mostly dried up and the mud has turned into hard pan or dust. Ok that is my side of the story and I am sticking to it. For whatever reason I have a game I like to play now when out and about the delta area. I pick a spot and wait and wait to get a picture of some little bird. Not a rare bird or anything, just well – a little bird that is being illusive. I will stay in this spot until a manage to find the little bird in the brush and get a photo of it. Apparently sitting for long periods of time in one spot is not as fun and interesting to others. Umm.
A few pics that show the changes. (I took the photo of the canal for you Webster.)
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I found a nice spot that a small area of water and spent some time trying to catch the little bird that was chirping away. I looked down and caught a small moth, shot a pic of a thistle, and found one of the bird nests. Oh yeah I finally got a pic or two of the little bird. Can you find it in the reeds in picture 2?
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Well that is what we did yesterday.