On silken pond

While chasing this sweet family of mallards for a crisp shot, I snapped as they glided through a silky surface of reflected foliage. Their wake created a mesmerizing abstract of greens and yellows.

 

Double take

On a recent walk down our driveway, a bit of white on the dark ground of grass and dead leaves caught my eye.  At first I thought it might be a feather but under closer examination I found it was a 4 inch/10 cm seed pod that had split open revealing the seeds still neatly packed. The slightest breeze would lift them up, up and away! I was mesmerized by the beauty of the intricate layers unfolding.

Note the gentle curves on the left end (dark drown exterior/white interior of seed pod) and the light brown spiral on the right that would have been a long edge of the pod.

Beauty in the details.

Flashy Feathers

Having observed a male ruffed grouse drum off and on for the past week or so (see previous post), I was surprised when, this particular day, he changed his resting posture from the usual. He stood taller and extended his tail feathers straight back then began to fan them out.

Apparently he had spotted a hen who answered his invite to rendezvous.
I could hardly believe this was literally unfolding right in front of me and into my camera! Admittedly, seeing this face looking straight at me freaked me out a little! My heart was already pounding at an increased rate.


Look at this gentlemanly bow!

While I focused my attention for a moment on setting the camera to video, he disappeared off the far side of the roof. When I found him again, he was on his merry way to meet his mate.

I was able to watch, but not capture the pair as they waddled away into the safety and privacy of the underbrush.

What a treat to witness the courtship!

The beat goes on

In the past week or so, we’ve been entertained by a male grouse perched on an out building in our backyard. (We recently acquired additional property across the street and apparently, he came with it). He continually performs a love song which he drums on his breast. We can faintly hear this all day long inside the acreage home!

I had only been able to catch him from behind – until this morning!

Having captured images of practically every position of his wings from behind during previous days of drumming, I was thrilled to get the show face on. Here are a few corresponding front and back shots from my image collection.

All that made for an exciting morning but there’s more! You’ll have to wait for the rest of the show….

Water wings

The quiet at our lake shore was disrupted the other day by a female merganser and chicks playing a game of catch-me-if-you-can. In order to not fall behind mom too far, the chicks actually lift their feet right out of the water paddle-wheel style which makes a fair bit of splashing.

If you look closely in the above image at the 3rd last chick in the line, you’ll see how high they are able to lift their feet out of the water to stroke.

Just as the chicks catch up, mom starts to pick up speed again.

She slips into the shadow and creates an interesting wake as she leaps ahead.

Her wake morphs into what looks like watery wings on her back!

Eye on the sky

Living at the water’s edge offers us a large view and ‘front row seat’ to the weather systems in our area. We face east south east and systems typically move from west to east. Often we can see what’s coming from our front window. With all the technology in our palm (mobile phone), we have incredible weather stations at our fingertips to get specific details!

This afternoon we had been out and about when we noticed the dark clouds on the western horizon. The radar confirmed something menacing was headed our way.

We hurried home to shut the windows and set up to watch the ‘show’.

Thankfully, the worst of the wind and rain passed just south of us. Spectacular nonetheless!

The image above is a composite of about 5 captured in portrait orientation then merged in Photoshop. I posted a video of the sky on my Facebook page as well. Check it out and like/follow my page while you’re there. Thanks!