It has been a whirlwind for us since we headed out on our trip to Lake Tahoe last Thursday. I think we pretty much hit every weather condition we possibly could have starting out with Midwest heat and nonstop rains on our way to the airport. Landed in Reno for a cold shot to the system as it was down in the high 30’s low 40’s which gave way to low 30’s, rain, sleet and golf ball sized snowflakes for our stay at Lake Tahoe. Reversed those weather patterns on our return back to the broke state of Illinois which put the weather cherry on top with today’s tornado warnings. Fortunately, it was a small bit of tribulation that was quickly replaced with jubilation as the targets of my trip are safely in the tin! Oh, and my nephew, Ron’s son, Matt successfully tied the knot with his wonderful bride Anna. Before I get to the Tahoe prizes, I need to finish up the Georgia Trip back in May 2015 that has been consuming the blog output as of late. Being through with the series shots, thought I would go ahead and just give a blast of other birds that caught my eye while out on the hunt.
Will be light on the commentary for this collection and let you simply enjoy a variety of shots. Think I mentioned this in a previous post, but the Skidaway Island State Park employed this Great Egret as their “Walmart Greeter”. As we pulled up to the visitor center, Wally here came right up to the driver’s door, looked around the inside of the RV, looked me over a couple of times and took a few steps back to let us proceed. Grabbed The Beast and did my best to get a shot – so close I had to pull all the way back and still barely got the head in.
Hit the jump to see a variety of other specimens from the Georgia birding trip!
Continue reading Georgia Bird Blast Pt 1 of 2
Wanted to get another post out as I’ll be hunting for a White-Headed Woodpecker over the extended weekend. Will likely have difficulties getting to new posts during that time being deep in unexplored wilderness fending off Cougar attacks, dodging Viper strikes, wrestling Bears and befriending wild Wolves to survive long cold bitter nights. Well, for at least part of the trip, there’s a wedding event involved so I’ll have to clean up to at least attend that ceremony … but then back into hiking boots with The Beast to seek out the prize.
As we’ll back in snow conditions for this hunt, thought it would be appropriate to feature creatures that give tribute to the white fluffy stuff.
It is awfully hard to take a birding trip (short or long) where you do not have the opportunity to come upon an Egret or a Heron. If you happen to be a wildlife photographer, I will bet the farm that you have tins full of these birds. Also guessing those primarily came from your early birding years as they are the PERFECT photography subject. When these birds are hunting it will make you wonder if they make Ritalin for Sloths. Need to learn how to use an expensive camera, desire to understand the exposure triangle (ISO, Shutter Speed, Aperture), maybe want to practice breathing techniques to stable your long glass – either way, these shore waders are the go to subject.
What you do not often get a chance to get in the tin are Egret/Heron offspring.
Hit the jump to see a few more shots and try your hand at an ID.
Continue reading Summer Blossoms
Well, here I sit with a completely drained body trying to speculate just how bad it is going to be tomorrow when the adrenaline drains out. Don’t feel sorry, I willingly chose to test myself once again on a nasty half marathon trail run. I wasn’t expecting the heat to come in so fast especially after heavy rains the last two days and quite frankly most of this month! I’ll leave the details for a post on the mothership blog, but today’s course was a wicked combination of multiple water crossing (one was a spillway up over the calves), rocks, roots and a nasty collection of hills that beat me down like an after school encounter with the local bully. As soon as you dived into the valleys you were suffocated by Mr. Heatmiser while you tried your best to make sure your shoes came out of the ankle deep mud. Didn’t help I smacked the ground at mile 11 badly bruising my ankle and leaving me wondering if my ribs were still attached – gotta pick up those feet Bri regardless of how tired you are! The good news is there’s new hardware on my running shelf for my efforts so as they say … worth it hehehe.
Going with a short one tonight so I can get a good amount of foam rolling in before crawling (literally) into bed.
Hit the jump to see a couple more shots of the Ibis.
Continue reading Sky Commander
With the upcoming half marathon trail run scheduled for this Saturday, I had to get the first two races of the 2019 season out of the queue before recollection bits started leaking out on the trail- my mind tends to be strained on these difficult runs and wanted to make sure I got the posts out while I still could remember them . With some of the running posts out of the way, I can direct my attention back to our feathered friends.
Pretty sure the Georgia queue is just about popped at least from a full series perspective. Will probably have a few catch all posts to officially close out the captures during that productive trip to the Georgia swamps back in May 2015. This set happened to catch my eye while in the digital darkroom. There is something about a Northern Mockingbird that can be downright scary. Reminds me of the Seinfeld “Two-Face” episode. One angle they look somewhat innocent, cute if you will. Change the angle of the glass a bit or tilt the head a bit and next thing you know you are running for the darkroom exit.
Hit the jump to be Mocked more.
Continue reading Two-Faced
Probably wasn’t a stretch to guess the topic of tonight’s post based on the foreshadowing in the previous one. The Allerton Trail Race Weekend was a double event. The previous work went into detail on the first of those two events, the Trail-Glo 5K. I covered a lot of ground in that initial recollection knowing I would be able to skip over those details in the second race’s recollection. So, let’s just jump right into it.
The first race is really just a fun run – a quick warm up if you will before the big race the second day. There are two race options to select from, the 10K version and the uber manly (I may be biased) Half Marathon. I really shouldn’t be condescending on the shorter distance – everyone is a winner that makes it through any race distance, toeing the line is a victory in itself. Note, like the 5K, they added the extra logs for those that made additional contributions to Make A Wish Foundation.
Hit the jump to see some of Linda’s work from behind the camera and learn how the race went.
Continue reading A Test Worthy of the Gods
So there are some posts that whip out pretty quickly. Image processing goes fast, getting them uploaded to Smug an added to the post goes seamless and the words flow through the fingers effortlessly. Then there are the posts that seem to take FOREVER. This posts happens to be one of the ladder thanks to a multitude of image sources ranging from my cell phone, the real camera and Facebook (thanks to a race photographer). For a while there, didn’t think I was ever going to get this post completed. Not wanting to go past 4 races behind, decided it was time to hunker down and do this…so here we go.
Now, if you had the opportunity to attend the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana of course) or simply like strange parks in the heart of Illinois, then you probably recognized the statue above. If not, then I should mention that is the Sun Singer statue located at Allerton Park. If you enjoy odd and eclectic this is the place for you. You can see some of the artwork that is scattered throughout the1,517 acre park from my previous posts (link here and here). Oddly enough, neither of those posts featured the Sun Singer which is definitely the signature piece when you think of Allerton. The picture doesn’t relay the true size of the Greek sun god Apollo which is a 16′ statue sitting on a three tier pedestal (clipped out in my shot). More on that later, because right now we have to get to the meat of the feature.
Hit the jump to read and see some recollections from the race!
Continue reading Moon Singer
Had a great training run today which translates directly to being completely exhausted. There was finally a break in the rain for a couple of days allowing me to get some quality time in on the trails. They were surprisingly dry considering the amount of water that has poured out of the skies as of late. That didn’t mean there wasn’t any swamps to navigate in the valleys and the one stream crossing required some precise leaps to stray rocks struggling to keep their heads above the onrush, but at least the hills were dry enough to get traction. Clearly need to get a steady barrage of heat conditioning – felt the warmer temps about halfway through the 11 miles. Figured I’d be productive while the legs calm down prior to tackling the mowing (rain on its way back to start the week off).
Hit the jump to see and read a bit more about this Chatty Cathy of the birding world.
Continue reading Sitting in Georgia, Looking at Carolina