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Saturday, December 22, 2018

Winter 2018 - 2019

We had an early snow for us between December 8 and 10, 2018. 

The shot above almost looks like the sun is rising but that's a street light on the right and that's where the sun sets in relation to my house.

The shot below is of my neighbor's son's play house at the top of his slide. 

Below is my front yard with St. Francis almost completely covered.

We had a late fall so after it snowed the rest of the leaves fell from from the trees.

I always see juncos (above) in the winter when I put out food during a storm.

I see cardinals (male above and below) all the time as well as rufous-sided towhees (female below right).

I think that's a sparrow below. I get sparrows and some finches mixed up.

Below is a female cardinal right and a male rufous-sided towhee. 

Peace and I wish everyone a magical season during whatever they may celebrate. 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Late September through Late November 2018

The hard part with blogging so much less than I used to is it's harder to select photographs. 


Late September was almost like summer although the dogwoods did begin changing early as they always do.


There have been more egrets on the lake near my house lately than heron.


I used to see great blue heron frequently but they seem to be supplanted by the egrets for some reason.


Heron hang out at a lot of different lakes in my area so they may have decided other places have better fishing.


The guy above looks a little off kilter.


The shot above and quite a few below are ones I took in the NC mountains. 


The mountains are always ahead of central NC with fall color but everywhere was later than usual in my state this year. 


I got some great contrast with the light playing on the mountains.


We drove on the blue ridge parkway from the southern end to the northern end of the mountain range.


The weather was better than expected.


It was supposed to rain the whole time we were there but it ended up with a very small amount of rain that we drove out of.


I think I love the rocks in the mountains as much as anything.


I think the cyclist below must be very tough.


I wouldn't be able to ride a bike in the mountains much less in the rain.


And here comes the sun.


The rest of the shots are at home and on Shelly Lake walks


The bittersweet on my deck is very abundant this year.


I photographed the camellias a couple of weeks ago but we had some very cold temperatures at night so even being hardy they've probably all been zapped by the freezing weather.


We still have a lot of fall color in central NC although the leaves are changing and falling very fast now.


I heard a story on NPR about how climate change has been gradually making fall leaves change later.


It does seem to get later and later.


There are a lot of evergreens at Shelley Lake so there's green year round.


One of the people in the shot below had a red jacket which looked like part of the leaves from a distance.


The gulls have returned for the winter.


The cormorants have also returned. Both gulls and cormorants go to other places in the spring.


I miss the cormorants when they leave.


There are gulls year round at other lakes near me but I usually only see cormorants in the fall and winter.


I think I like reflections in the fall as much as anything.


Even without colorful leaves in the reflection below I think the duck is photogenic.


I'm guessing by next weekend there won't be hardly any leaves left on the trees. 


I used to think of all the fall leaves dropping well before Thanksgiving but that hasn't happened lately here.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

August and September 2018

Hot, humid and wet pretty much sums up August and September in the Triangle area of NC where I live but we lucked out with Hurricane Florence having minimal impact in my part of the state. 


I wish the coast and eastern part of my state had done as well.


The coast and eastern part of NC has had a very hard time and rivers are still rising even as the storm moves out.


Although we've had hot weather this summer it has been so wet that in some ways leaves look more like spring than late summer.


The photographs in this post started with August and cover up to yesterday (Saturday, September 16) at the end.


I was surprised to see wild grapes during a walk on the trail that extends past Shelley Lake. 


The shot above, below and beyond were taken at the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) Park walk.


I had a lot of unexpected dental appointments and after what I thought would be my last for awhile I walked at the NCMA.


I've written about the NCMA before but the collaboration between North Carolina State University and the museum to create an environmental ecosystem that is sustainable has been quite a success. 


I'm not expressing it well but through water collection and recycling the pools around the museum that are part of art gardens are self sustaining.


I think water and plumbing inside the museum is also supplied with the collection and recycling systems.


There is a mixtures of native plants including grasses as well as paths of mowed grass.


The great blue heron above did a great job of hiding.


I always enjoy seeing both the long term sculpture in the park as well as newly installed pieces. 


I didn't make it into the forest section of the walk this time but there are always new surprises with both temporary and permanent art.


The piece below is in the children's discovery garden.


There is a sign that instructs children not to climb on top of the pig. 


Don't they know if you design a piece for children to walk up and into it that the fun part is to climb on top, especially if that's not allowed.


The butterfly below was my first shot in September.


It was flapping its wings open and shot so fast, I had trouble getting clear shots.


The shot below is of what used to be mostly grasses and wetland but we've had so much rain long term that on a walk this month it was flooded.


Although we didn't take a direct hit from Florence we did get a lot more rain so I'm sure that the area is even more over taken with water


The mallards above will be replaced in the fall by cormorants who always take over those perches when they return.


The shot below was taken of my deck day before yesterday.


I took the last shot yesterday of the dogwood starting to don it's early fall colors.



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