Sunday, April 24, 2011

Nature Sundays Vol. III

Well, it's Easter Sunday. It was about 35 degrees this morning. I thought about sleeping in, but once I woke up at 6:15, I was up for good. Kinda glad, too. There's so much you miss by sleeping in, as far as nature goes. And sometimes, God rewards those who get out there and take in all that He created. Or, so I believe.

I was driving around, just looking for some good landscapes. I had missed the fact that there was wildlife out this morning. I was lucky this pair of sandhill cranes stuck around long enough for me to spot them from the road. They're so pretty. To some people, bird watching is for old people in shorts that are way to short for them, and big binoculars hung around their necks. But I enjoy watching them, especially because so many of them hang in breeding pairs. And two birds for a photo are almost always better than one.
I wish I could have composed this better. I stumbled around in the grass, and the shallow puddles, trying to find a better angle, but was unsuccessful. Still, it's worthy of Nature Sunday.
Ah, big, beautiful Timpanogas. I have a special place for it, in my heart, especially after climbing it last September. It was actually a pretty hard hike. (Who knew my knees would be so sensitive to the climb up and down?) But there's so much to see up there. I'd be tempted to climb it again this year. And I may. I'll probably try to get up Nebo first though. Just thought this was a pretty scene this morning, on my way back into town.
I've shot these before, and this, by no means, is a very artistic shot. I just like looking at the wind towers. Especially with Earth Day having been yesterday, it makes me smile to think of this, and other projects like it, where man is finally realizing the potential for clean, renewable energy resources.
I've taken many pictures of hawks before, but couldn't resist trying to capture this one. He/she was pretty willing just to sit there while I did my best with a cheap 300mm to get a closer glimpse. I wonder how many mice or squirrels he's tried to catch and eat this morning.
If I were a horse, I'd definitely prefer a home like this, to a little stall in someone's tiny yard.
It's Spring time and the deer are out enjoying the new green food source on the ground. These ones are starting to scrape off their winter undercoats. They always look so scrappy in the Spring. With all of the deer I saw on the hillsides, browsing the brush and the ground, I couldn't help but think there was a mountain lion, or two, watching and waiting for a good Easter meal. Mountain lions are about the only animal that scare me. I'm uneasy knowing that I'll probably never see one before it sees me. That said, I've spent hours and days in lion country and have never seen one, or had a run-in with one. I have seen their tracks; I've even seen their tracks in my tracks--made the hairs on my neck stand right up. But they are beautiful and I'd love the chance to see one through my camera lens. One day...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Nature Sunday Apr. 17, 2011 Edition

I'm about 11 or 12 minutes late getting this up on Sunday. But at least I'm trying to be true to my intentions and sticking with the Nature Sundays entries for a 2nd consecutive week, right? Well, I didn't exactly get out and about, but when I went to feed my dog, I took the camera, and decided to capture a few evidences of the Spring season.

Pookah and I took off for a little walk toward the orchard. This pic was taken about 5 minutes after she killed one of my brother's chickens :( And I had just told my brother she wouldn't do it if I was with her. I knew there were chickens ahead, but I didn't worry too much. I had just looked down long enough to turn my camera on and then saw that Pookah was already chasing a hen and I couldn't get her to call off the chase. Ugh. Poor chicken!
The buds are on the trees in the orchards. These are buds on a cherry tree; soon to be beautiful blossoms.
These little things will eventually become yummy apples!
This is Mt. Loafer. It's sort of how I know I'm home. It's always been there, in that pretty corner of Southeast Utah Valley. It's always made a nice backdrop for the apple trees in this orchard. Still quite a lot of snow up there, especially for mid-April. I'm sort of exited to see the rivers and streams raging with Spring melt water. (Keep your cameras handy; it might get REALLY, INTENSELY good in a couple of weeks when the temps rise into the 70s for days at a time.) I don't wish anyone's home to be ruined in a flood or a landslide, but if there is flooding and landslides, you can be sure I'm going to be there, looking at the mess through my lens.

Happy Spring time, Everyone!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Nature Sundays...

I MIGHT begin a weekly blog post called Nature Sundays. It will be short and sweet; I'll just post a photo from my weekly Sunday morning drives. Here's one from today's drive; it's near Utah Lake State Park, Provo.

Nearly every Sunday morning, I wake up--even though sometimes I'd like to sleep in--and go on a nice drive. I have a few favorite routes and destinations. Where I end up just depends on how much time I have. Today, I didn't have a lot of time, so I took my dog and drove over to Utah Lake. I love the cat tails and the reeds in the shallows. Always so brilliantly colored. I little flock of ducks flew up and I was lucky enough to capture them in this shot, though I only made them one element of the shot, not the main subject.

I love many things about this Sunday ritual; I love that early morning cup of chai from Joe's. It was extra good this morning, as I woke with a touch of a sore throat. The music is good on Sunday mornings; I like to listen to KRCL 90.9 FM, which has "The Circle of Life" on from 6AM til 10AM Sundays. It's all Native American music. I rarely understand the words, but it's usually very spiritual, and whether you're Native American, or just a White dude, if you try, you can feel the spirit of that music. I love the quiet of Sunday mornings; no traffic, almost anywhere. You really feel like you can get away from all of the unwanted noises in life. I took my dog, Puka, this morning. She loves to get out and run and sniff around a new place. This was her first time by the Utah Lake State Park, and she was extra excited to explore. And I had promised her yesterday that I'd take her for a ride today, so I had to make good on that, even though it'd be easier for me to get around without her. I'll bet we look funny, me in the driver's seat, and her, riding shotgun, in the front seat of my blue work van. We do get some funny looks.

Anyway, it was a good morning; still cold; still fighting the inevitability of warm and hot weather. I know so many of you are hoping and praying for sunny skies and warmer temperatures. For me, I'll take the cold. The longer the upper 90s and 100 degree temps stay away, the better. But I know they're coming, which is why I'm not hurrying them here.

Have a great day, Everyone! Peace.