My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

photography

Feeling Like Spring

Walk with kenser
Walking with MacKenzie

A heat spell hit Allegany State Park today with temperatures reaching 50 degrees F. MacKenzie asked nicely to have our first walk around Red House Lake and we kept finding critters also enjoying the sunshine.
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Pregnant and Representing

monarchbfly.com
Monarchbfly.com tattoo!!

Patty’s Daughter is due most any day now! This Baby Naturalist is already representing the monarchbfly.com tattoo’s!!  Below are two other of my favorite  photos that we captured this week.
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My Texas Sunset

Sunset
Last night in Texas had an amazing sunset!

This Sunset series will be the last of my Texas photos. . . Promise!! I did mention that I was going to milk this for as long as I could!! I am now ready to move on to local birds starting to move north into the area.
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Vesper Sparrow

Vesper Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow

I even had the opportunity to photograph Vesper Sparrows while out in Texas.
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Nature Haikus – Winter

Redhouse before it froze over!
Red House Lake

By Young Naturalist C

Winter
Snow laden branches
Hide secrets in the forest
Waiting to be found

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Western Bluebirds

Western Bluebird
Western Bluebird in Mistletoe

One of the most unexpected finds while at the Texas Ranch was the discovery of Western Bluebirds (CHECK Lifer). We only saw the bluebirds on the last two days in Texas but they were sure there in numbers.
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Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove
Mourning Dove

I have many Mourning Doves around my home but it takes a trip to Texas to capture my best Mourning Dove photos ever!!
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Southern Outdoor Experience

Patty Blind-00042
Patty Self Portrait in the Blind

Our Texas trip originated after Patty won a hunting trip for two at the 2009 Deerassic Classics Outdoor Expos last summer. I remember walking by the booth and seeing the Southern Outdoor Experience logo saying “Out of all the hunting shows on TV, this is the one show that I actually remembered watching ”!! We decided to stop at the booth to chat with the producers and I decided to purchased one of their hats. Southern Outdoor Experience had an amazing raffle for a 3 days trophy hunt for two in Texas, to get completely outfitted (clothing), a new riffle and scope. I noticed Patty and her mother were quickly filling their names on a few raffle tickets.
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Deformed Antler

White-tailed Deer (strange antler)
White-tailed Deer

Each spring the male White-tailed Deer will grow a new set of antlers and throughout the summer the antlers will continue to get larger depending on the bucks diet. By fall the highly vascular tissue (Velvet) will dry up and peel off leaving a hard bone behind. The remaining velvet will be removed by the deer rubbing his antlers on a small tree (deer rub). This all happens because of the bucks’ testosterone levels increasing in preparations for the rutting season. By late December early January the buck will loose his antlers and the whole process will repeat itself the following spring.
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My Texas Deer

White-tailed Deer
White-tailed Deer

The White-tailed Deer and Axis Deer were the primary deer species found on the Canyon Ranch in Sonora, Texas. During our visit the White-tailed Deer were in rut (mating season) and we had many opportunities to find bucks sparring (fighting) each other over different female territories. Watching these bucks were absolutely amazing and you could easily observe which deer were higher up in the pecking order. When a dominant buck walked into a feeding station, you would find all other deer backing away from the feeders.
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Jack Rabbit [Wordless Wednesday]

Jack Rabbit
Jack Rabbit

I would sneak up on this rabbit in Texas on the ranch and take a few pictures before it would run away. Sneak up on it again . . . . it happened multiple times!! Happy Wordless Wednesday!!
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Lark Buntings in Texas

Lark Bunting
Lark Bunting

Found this Lark Bunting in its basic plumage which has a “sparrow-like” appearance to it. This wasn’t an easy bird to identify and I spent more time studying the pictures of these birds than any other birds on my Texas trip. Lark Bunting – LIFER (CHECK)!!
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My Blunch Lifers

Prickly Pear
Prickly Pear

After breakfast I was walking around with Patty and her brother who were telling me about the deers they encountered that morning. I noticed this large bird in the distance and quickly pulled the binoculars up . . . could it have been?? (more…)


Friendly Wren

Carolina Wren
Carolina Bewick’s Wren

The first morning on the ranch brought us an amazing sunrise and an outstanding day to be out looking for lifers! I didn’t know what to expect and found myself trying to carefully analyze each bird encounter. Are those House Finch really House Finch?? . . . . . then using my field guide and iPhone app . . . what other options could this bird be??
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Texas Sunrise [Wordless Wednesday]

Texas Sunrise
Sunrise started with a purple sky!

I have never seen such an amazing Sunrise as I did the first morning on the Ranch!!
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We make it to the Ranch

Windmill
Windmill

After a quick Dairy Queen visit we finally arrived at Rocksprings to meet our 3 guides who would be taking everyone around for the next few days. The vehicles got filled up with gas and Patty headed over to the local grocery store for her hunting license. We then drove northwest . . . . drove some more. . . and drove a little longer than expected . . . . everyone showed great calmness as soon as we turned into the Canyon Ranch gate. We couldn’t believe our eyes and this ranch was more beautiful than we had ever imagined it being.
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First findings in Texas

Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird

We arrived in Waco Texas around 2am in the morning and we had not seen our first Texas bird until we woke up that morning. Patty said “can you hear the birdies outside??” . . . . scratching my head and not knowing the bird dialect that I was hearing. I walked outside and found this Northern Mockingbird outside mimicking Texas birdies that I did not know!! We also found Starlings, House Finch, House Sparrows, Rock Pigeion. . . etc. . . we added these to our trip checklist!!
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Road trip to Texas via my iPhone

Dinosaur World
Dinosaur World

Everything started with Patty winning the Southern Outdoor Experience hunting trip at the 2009 Deerassic Classic Outdoor Expo this summer. Being a birdwatcher . . . my mind was spinning with the thoughts of finding “Texas LIFERS”!! We had 5 months to plan this trip to the Canyon Ranch in Sonora Texas with the Southern Outdoor Experience film crew. The time finally came to make the adventure!

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Reminders of Summer


Found this warbler nest in the snow today!! This snow covered nest reminds me . . . that I make it through the winter knowing the Warblers will return in the spring!!

Uploaded Via my iPhone!


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Ring-necked Ducks hiding from the storm

Ring-necked Ducks
Ring-necked Ducks

The first winter storm of the season moved through Allegany State Park today. We had all kinds of weather from snow, down poring rain, sunny skies, thunderstorm, small hail and even high winds for most of the day making any bird wishing they were not migrating south. Today we had 13 Ring-necked Ducks on Red House Lake who appeared to be ducking out from this storm.
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New Birding iPhone App [BirdsEye]

BirdsEyeBirdsEye on the iPhone

This summer I purchased the iPhone after seeing the numerous applications available for birdwatchers (and I was jealous of Pattys iPhone)! I was holding out on purchasing iBird due to its expensive price and rumors that Cornell was coming out with a new application in August (which never came out until this December)! I currently purchased BirdsEye this week and for sure it is a good application . . . . but!!
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Buffleheads on Red House Lake

BuffleheadBuffleheads

The Buffleheads have been showing up on Red House Lake this week!
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Happy Thanksgiving

camera shyHappy Thanksgiving Everyone

I am thankful for many things this year and I am especially thankful for your views taking this website over 400,000 views!

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Clouds

CloudsI love big fluffy Clouds

This has been an amazing November!
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