The Wren and I

Those of you who have read some of my earlier posts will know that for me, sitting outside is something of a risky business. Being outdoors means being around birds and it seems that the older I get, the worse my phobia becomes, which is unfortunate, to say the least, when one of my favorite pastimes is nature photography.  However, during the first visit to our daughter’s new house on Lake Dalecarlia in Indiana, I took a chance and made myself comfortable out on the deck, the only birds visible being a group of female mallards and a heron basking in the sun on the boat dock (strangely, larger birds don’t seem to bother me quite so much.)

I was just settling in for a restful afternoon when I began to hear a persistent shrieking and chattering. Whatever it was didn’t sound happy and, before too long, the source of this noise became apparent.  A wren landed on the railing of the deck, hopped back and forth and took off again.  The process was repeated several times and, although I was somewhat apprehensive, I found this performance mildly entertaining and, with camera always at the ready, managed to get a few shots.

Then things got a little more unsettling.  The bird abandoned its stance on the railing and flew down onto the deck, making a quick tour around the table legs.  And I stood up, preparatory to beating a hasty retreat, which is why the following image was rather blurred.  It drives me crazy when people tell me, “Oh it’s much more afraid of you, than you are of it!”  Not so, dear reader!  When it comes to birds this is never the case and my screams have been known to be heard from one end of the street to the other when I’ve been caught by surprise by a sparrow or chickadee whilst out in the garden.  And this particular, pesky little ball of feathers was not afraid of anything. This wren was a wren on a mission and I was torn between my fears and a desire to record what was happening.

I edged closer to the steps which gave me a clear escape to the garden below and followed the wren’s progress as it scuttled behind the chair that I had so recently vacated.  Once again, it took off only to reappear a few minutes later on the roof.  It edged closer and closer to where I had been sitting and finally flew down. And to where?  I direct your attention back to the first picture and the planter hanging at the left of the image.  The wren was greeted by much enthusiastic chirping as it disappeared into the greenery.  I had been sitting just below its nest.

I informed the rest of our party what was going on and, while the others dined al fresco that evening, I watched from behind the window as the wren made several passes above their heads and perched on nearby fencing and furniture while generally making itself at home.  It made me wonder just who was hosting whom.  I hope to see the wren again, on future visits. At least next time I’ll know what to expect.

Advertisements

APAWC – Angry Birds

Nancy Merrill has chosen birds as the subject for this week’s Photo A Week Challenge and many of you will know that the only way I’ll take a picture of a bird is either from a safe distance or from behind a window or similar barrier.  My life-long fear of birds has kept me at a distance from these beautiful creatures but it doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate them or enjoy capturing the occasional image.   However, these birds were definitely not in a mood to be trifled with.

One angry bird!  This swan did not appreciate an over-inquisitive visitor to the Chicago Botanic Garden getting too close to its young ones.

Never get between a hawk and its dinner. This angry bird evidently didn’t welcome anyone else getting near the plat du jour.

This bird, at Brookfield Zoo, was decidedly cheesed-off about something. It kept marching up and down and making a lot of noise and I, for one, wasn’t about to get in its way.

Also at Brookfield Zoo, this eagle obviously considered it an invasion of his privacy when I used the long lens to get some candid shots.

For more on Nancy’s A Photo A Week Challenge go to A Photo a Week Challenge: Birds

OWPC – Heron

Perfect timing!  The subject for Jennifer’s One Word Photo Challenge this week is heron.  Traveling down to Indianapolis for our grandson’s wedding last week, we stopped at Lake Dalecarlia for a couple of days and were greeted by a heron that visited the family’s boat dock every morning and evening. It followed the same pattern each day, landing on one side of the boathouse and strolling around to the other side to take off again.  For more on Jennifer Nichole Wells One Word Photo Challenge go to This Week’s Challenges: July 9 – 15 (OWPC & WW)

A Photo A Week Challenge – Mountain

This week, Nancy Merrill has us looking to the mountains for her Photo A Week Challenge.

Taking a picture through the dirty windshield of a fast-moving car is not the most ideal way of capturing a shot but I managed to salvage this view, seen in Colorado, with the help of a little HDR.

On our way through Wyoming we drove along the Snowy Range Pass where we encountered some wonderful scenery.

And then on to Utah.

During our stay in Salt Lake City we took a side-trip to do a little hiking near Alta.

For more on Nancy’s A Photo A Week Challenge go to A Photo a Week Challenge: Mountain

Tongues

When I posted a few giraffe pictures recently for Jennifer Nichole Wells’ One Word Photo Challenge, fellow blogger, Scillagrace, pointed out that I had omitted to include any which show the giraffe’s prodigious tongue.  Going back to the photo files I managed to find a few that give only an idea of just how long it really is.  A giraffe’s prehensile tongue can measure anything up to 18 to 20 inches in length. Very useful for reaching those tasty leaves on the topmost branches of a tree in the wild but at the zoo the food is put within easy reach so there’s not much call for any kind of strenuous tongue activity.

 

 

OWPC – Giraffe

The One Word Photo Challenge from Jennifer Nichole Wells this week is Giraffe.  These are such graceful creatures and Brookfield Zoo offers an excellent opportunity for capturing some nice shots.

Measuring up.

I love you, Mommy!

 

Tree smooching.

For more on Jennifer’s One Word Photo Challenge go to This Week’s Challenges: June 11 – 17 (OWPC & WW)

 

A Photo A Week – Moving Waters

Nancy Merrill has suggested Moving Waters as the theme for her Photo A Week Challenge this week and, looking through the archives, I realized I had quite a few images that might fit the bill.

Pictured above, Copper Falls State Park near Mellen in northern Wisconsin.

A fish ladder on the Grand River in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Tahquamenon Falls State Park near Paradise, Michigan.

The fountains at Brookfield Zoo, Illinois.  A refreshing sight on a hot day.

For more on Nancy’s A Photo A Week Challenge go to A Photo a Week: Moving Waters