Monday, July 28, 2014

Intelligent Autofocus

That's what my camera calls it.  I mostly leave it on that IA setting... because at the moment...I'm still just learning about the camera...and, not spending enough time with it...nor have I even read the little book that comes with it... or the book that came with my extra lens... bad me, bad me!

However, I am having a blast with what I am doing.  Got lots of cute birdie photos ... always on the lookout for something for Wild Bird Wednesdays now... and, also for Good Fences on Thursday.

While I was waiting for the little House Wren to come back one day...I got to looking through the few finder and noticed a few daisies out beyond the birdie bath..just nodding lazily in the heat of the day.  And, it WAS hot!  My skin was beginning to feel like it was on fire.

If I look at something.. half click the shutter shows little green boxes and, then..if I press it focuses on just what is in the little green boxes.  I pressed and pressed; here and there and, all of a sudden... thought, how beautiful would one of these shots be.

I took several.  Cropped one,  ...   and even got rid of a funny half dead twig sticking out in the midst of it all.... I love it!

I give you a daisy today...and, loaded a larger one than usual... click on to "biggity" and don't smell them... they don't smell very nice..but, they do look beautiful!

Saturday, July 26, 2014


Here is a fun thing.

This past week I've been looking for interesting, fun and just plain old likeable.

I'm sick and tired of the murder, mayhem and misery that is the news these days.  As a matter of fact I had a hideous nightmare three days ago after seeing a particularly horrible thing on our evening news.  Haven't turned the tv on since.  Who needs it?  Not me.  Not this week anyway.  I'll golf, take photos and look at interesting and fun stuff thanks very much.

So, while googling something....I happened on this... looks like some great fun to be had here.  Let's hope a robot is safe in its travels across Canada.  It will rely on the kindness of strangers... in an attempt to hitchhike from Halifax to Victoria.... if it makes it... wow ! ... won't there be some great photos and stories that will come out of it all?

If you have an interest in fun, interesting things too ..check out hitchBOT's home page and journal ... the start of it all should be tomorrow ....

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Good Fences

Actually, I'm not sure how "good" the fences on this property are.  Or, maybe it was a careless somebody who forgot to tighten down the gates... or maybe these guys are houdini horses...don't know for sure...but these two got out of jail the day before.  They took off up the road in search of greener pastures... as if... and, it became a pretty big deal as trucks barrel down the road at high speed.  Telephone calls from neighbours and friends of animals ....    all before 6:00 am.... yawn....nnnnn...... but, they are back in jail now thanks to some skillful herding by several folks.

Two lovely miniature horses.  I tossed a handful of wound up grass to the smaller of the two when he came to check me out.  He carefully unwound it and nibbled at it daintily.


But, then...over came greedy guts.. with the much bigger belly, and pushed the other guy out of the way ... so he could eat the grass.  Hmmm...

I guess there is a reason he has a big gut.

Although ..... he is a sort of rakishly handsome fella don'tcha think?  But, he does need a good comb and brush...look at all the bits and stuff in his mane...

This is, of course, more about what is behind the fence than the actual fence.  That's me.  I do love what is behind, or in front of, or entwined about, any fences....

Go have a look at some other fences and the stories and things surrounding them at the Run-a-Round Ranch.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday

 Hah!  made it!  sure I'm late... but, I had an the golf course.  Okay, it was a tee time, not an appointment I guess... but, I had to be there.  And, it was a good day..  I was hitting the ball just fine after not hitting any for a month now.  A lot of stuff has been happening....

I was wondering what to show for a wild bird.

I honestly did think I might have to resort to this little guy.  See him sitting on the hind end?  .. and try to get away with saying he was a cowbird.  But, he is on a bull... of sorts... you can tell by the horns...oh, and the big nuts dangling between his legs... not the bird's legs, the gas can bull.  You have to click on the pic to "biggify" to get a closer look.

He is in a neighbour's garden... and, they had him "duded up" for the Stampede a few weeks back.

Thank goodness I didn't have to resort to that tactic... but, I just had to tell you about my predicament.

Anyway...I got lucky a few days ago.  Playing with my 'newish' camera and hanging out near our birdie bath... I saw this little guy show up.

Ooooh... quick... get a shot or two!!  So cute!  Didn't know just what he was or anything...all I knew was that I hadn't seen him around before.

He flew away.  But, in hopes of him returning...I pulled a chair closer to the birdie bath ..and waited... sort of camouflaged behind the Caragana shrub.  It got hotter and sunnier and I was trying to be patient..but, my eyes didn't like it and, the skin on my forearm was on fire.  Finally, I stood up and just began to head for shade and a hat..when he flew in and sang out to let me know he had arrived.

Then, he hopped right over to very near where I was.. and, sang out yet again.  I quickly turned on the camera and snapped a few ..missed him totally in a few shots..but, got some that I thought were pretty darn good.  He was very busy ... hopping in and out of shrubbery and looking under rocks and bits of bark and even picking things off leaves.  Little insects I think.

I went in the house and pulled out the Audubon book and looked for something similar....

He is a House Wren.  They say this about him..

A plain brown bird with an effervescent voice, the House Wren is a common backyard bird over nearly the entire Western Hemisphere. Listen for its rush-and-jumble song in summer and you’ll find this species zipping through shrubs and low tree branches, snatching at insects. House Wrens will gladly use nestboxes, or you may find their twig-filled nests in old cans, boots, or boxes lying around in your garage.

 I thought it a bit unkind ... a plain brown bird indeed!  Hmpff.... that's as bad as our Dad telling us kids we were "homely"..  just not right at all!  I think he is very cute and has the sweetest little song... at least they refer to it as effervescent.... okay then... maybe I'll go back to that site.  It is about local birds...

Here are two other pics I got of him... if you look close in the last shot you can see my reflection in his eye.... he was looking right at me....

I give you...the little brown House Wren.

Check out some amazing birds and some even more amazing photography on the Wild Bird Wednesday site... these guys are real birders!  If I get a picture of a bird I don't know...they'll help.  I was happy to discover beforehand what it was.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Good Fences

As usual, I'm shocked that it is already another Thursday.  This merry-go-round keeps spinning at dizzying speed!  Time for more Good Fences.


Oh, brother...there she is again with the confounded camera!  Yeh.. must be Thursday and, she's looking for blog fodder.  Why me?

Can't a guy just get a bite to eat in peace?

Maybe if she can't get anything except broadside, she'll give up.

That's the answer!  ...     I won't look at her.  She'll find it pretty dull business and get lost.

What the...??....  Why are you still here woman?!

Oh, alright.... snap away if you must .....   I'm busy......

...  and, now...I'm gone!!!  Outta here cuz somebody left the gate open...hahahhahahahha...........

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday

The amazing photos of birds posted by this group are wonderful to see.  Mine pale in comparison, of course, but it is fun to participate all the same.   Mostly, I love to go and look at their photos.

Today I'm posting this one because I haven't a clue what it is ... and, I bet lots of the birders in the group will recognize it and let me know.

I spotted it in my sister's garden in B.C. when I was there... it didn't sit still very long when it did land, so I got lucky to get a couple shots of it.... I'm thinking it is some sort of flycatcher, but can't swear to it.  Anybody know what it is for sure?

If you want to see some absolutely amazing photos check out the site by clicking on this cute little guy below...

PS...... later in the day......

Aha!!  see that?  The first birder that took a look confirmed it...a flycatcher... but, ... which one is still up in the air.  I didn't see it for very long and definitely didn't get to see much of the antics Chris mentioned...but,..hey... I guessed correctly and am happy with that ....thanks Chris for stopping by to check out my little guy....

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I spy with my little eye..

.... Well, not exactly.  I spy with the camera eye; mine can't see nearly this well.

The Hoya plant is trying to bloom for the 3rd time this year.... this was the last flower clump, only about a month ago...gee, have I had this camera that long already?  The summer has flown.  I still have no clue how to use it..but, am having lots of fun just trying it here and there.

Anyway... look how waxy they appear before they bloom... maybe even plastic....don't look real at all to me.

And closer yet...I see little hairs on the have to click to enlarge to see those....hahahhaha..

When the flowers open, the centre looks like a title plastic star...and the petals.. ...   barely a hint of pink...and, so soft and fuzzy looking... they have the most amazing scent in last evening and early morning.  It permeates the whole house.  Apparently it is to attract a certain type of moth.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Who knew?


Who knew the centre of a pansy looks almost like it has fuzzy teeth or something ... my new camera sees so much more than my own eyes do, that's for sure!

A pretty pansy in my pot.

But, on closer inspection... furry fingers ... probably to aid in pollination or protection or something...

Look...I can see right down the throat....

Wild flax is beautiful too..

and, up close... stamens that look like they've been dipped in sugar... click on any pic to make it even BIGGER....

Awww... and, look at this poor guy ... not visible to the naked eye just admiring the little stems of drooping hearts...but, something definitely happened here....

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Not exactly "leftovers" ...

....but, there are always some pretty pics that get more or less left out .. nowhere in the weekly blogging to use them I guess.  I wanted to put them on today...

When we drove to the neighbouring province to visit family a couple weeks ago we stopped a few times ...  for construction and for snacks... and, got a few nice shots of the surroundings.

A pretty little creek bouncing over the boulders...

The lovely blue green of the Kicking Horse River where it meanders through a place called Field in B. C. .. it definitely doesn't meander most of the areas believe me.  ...   ...but, this is a huge flat pebbly and rocky place where it breaks up into streams all over the flats... and, then gets back to the business of being pretty mean.  Huge rafting river for those that like to try it...

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fluffy Friday

  Really..... this is Fluffy.  One of my sister's cats.

He was totally wild at one time... only showed up to grab some food if it was put out (by my sister as she loves ALL animals.... and, tries to help them all.

She was finally able to trap him...but, he fought it all the way... you can still see scars on his nose  where he hit against the cage many times... but, the vet persevered and neutered him for her on a trap and release program their community has... he took off when she let him go and she didn't see him again.  Until a whole year later.

One day he showed up on her porch...looked at her through her screen door...said "meow"... and, sat down to stay.  She has four other cats.  They weren't exactly happy to share their porch with an interloper.... but, she makes them behave.

It was a long cold winter and she worried about him in the little shed where he had to stay... he can't be inside as Mister Thompson and Shadow are the live-in cats...and Mister is the elder statesman... it just wouldn't be right.  So, she put a cat door in the shed for him to go in and out... I think his big fur coat made it pretty easy for him to stay quite warm really .... but, still she worries.... when it gets down to -25C it's pretty darn cold out there.  Some days I don't she gets any sleep at all...worrying 'bout the outside cats.... people drop off strays and newborns all the time.  How can adult human beings be so stupid?  How many barn cats do they think one person can handle?  Why do they expect others to step up and do the right thing?  I'd like to do the right thing and get rid of some idiots.

Now that he has been around for a bit...he has turned into a complete softie... purring constantly, loving to be brushed and groomed by anybody and everybody.... well, except one guy he doesn't like. Wayne.  Bad Wayne pushed him with his boot one day... he doesn't really like cats.  Fluffy will never forget Wayne.  And, he doesn't forgive either.

What a lovely boy he is...not Wayne... Fluffy...!

 Look at that face..... oh, my could you  not love this guy?  I'm sure he will weasel his way into her house as well as her heart... maybe this winter....

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Good Fences

It's Thursday ....again!  How the weeks fly by!

Thanks for the good wishes for my sister... it's going to be a long haul, but she is able to move around a bit now and hopefully will remember not to even try to lift anything heavier than a pound of butter ...or her tiniest cat.  It's so difficult for her to NOT do anything... I know it is.  She is so used to doing everything around her acreage.... and, I'm afraid as her older sibling...I did do quite a bit of scolding and nagging while there ....... sigh..... sorry Vik.....please be careful...

There were so many great fences around her area....and, I got a few...but, in the last few days it was unbearably hot and I didn't do a daytime walk...and, it seemed there was quite a bit happening in the evenings or earlier't manage to get some that I had seen in my walks and not carrying a camera.  Darn it.

However, I do have a few that are worth seeing..
like this bit of weed that entwined a portion of her post and rail fence down below the house...
Don't forget to click on the pics to "biggify" them and get a better look.

... And, if you've ever wondered about the age old question of why the chicken crossed the road?  Well, here's the answer.

It followed this handsome dude..... all of them taking their lives in their hands... lots of the cars whizz past at breakneck speed some days... I can't believe they made it every single day I was there......silly things!

Mickey is having to share his paddock with 5 foolish hens and this cock-of-the-walk..... although, I have to say...he doesn't seem to mind at all.....

If you'd like to see other fences and see other stories .... check out Good Fences here..

Friday, July 4, 2014

Thursday has been missed!

'Cuz I'm not here ....

I'm attempting to use my sister's toally unfamiliar equipment to post something...

Her timing was terrible ...I just got home from visiting her a week ago  and then .. ...  she underwent emergency surgery ... what an ordeal!  But, she is home safe and sound.

And, so.... the city girl is here in the country, ....  feeding and moving Mickey around.  He's her big pet of a horse.  Who can't be allowed to graze on lovely green grass for very long as his system doesn't handle it.. his feet get hot pretty fast... but, we're low on the right type of hay for him.(the farmers in the area are just getting their crops off this week) ...and in between washing some older stuff to get off the dust ...and mixing it with other kinds of low carb hay...and letting him graze on grass for an hour here and there, we are trying to keep him safe and fed.....til this weekend, when we hope to get some better hay.

My invalid can't be up or out for any length of time yet has to instruct and point and fret and try to stand close to help me ..hahhah... yeh..right as if... cuz if she had to move fast there would be a disaster...  but, so far there has only been one close call when a damn horsefly bit poor Mickey.  He leaped into the air and thundered towards the little shelter when I was in there tidying things... I had to leap out at the same moment he came charging into was a type of pas de deux .. ...  somehow in mid charge, he held up just that split second for me to sprint out of there when Vikki and I both yelled WHOA at the same time and I threw up my hands to "make myself big" as she has instructed me to do many times if I need to get him to stop.. ...   it worked and luckily I managed to dodge out of the little opening.....yeh, WHEW!!  I think my eyes were the size of big saucers... maybe even frisbees...., but, thank you Mickey for stalling a bit when we said Whoa ... .. good BOY!!  He was still jumping around even after he got to his little shelter so that rotten fly must have followed him in there.  We got some fly spray and some tea tree oil and a few bounce sheets for good measure (we try everything)  and when he finally came out looking almost sheepish.. to see if it was safe to go back to munching his hay ... we went in and sprayed and tucked in the sheets near the hopes they may help stave off more of the big flies.  There are not many around but, the weather was at that weird 'hot and still' just before a huge thunderstorm...and for some reason..there were some around.  The neighbour's horse had a similar incident about 10 minutes later..and darn near took out a very tiny shed he tried to bolt into and turn around in.. it was not really intended for a big horse....We just got the hay tarped down and got back to the house and thunder crashed; the lightning flashed; and then...the rain pounded what a torrent of water was running down the driveway... It filled empty buckets in a matter of minutes... that was a lot of water!
And, then..a pretty rainbow over the whole valley...

So... as you can imagine...there is one event after another here on the acreage... oh, just a minute...I must take a rodent out somewhere away from the house and deposit it onto the top of a fence pole for some bird of prey... ... don't want one of her many cats bringing it inside....ick.... ever the hunters, even the inside cats; they catch them all day, every day, and you know how cats are...they love to bring them as trophies... and present them as gifts .. thank you guys, but no thanks.....

There are lots of fences in the area for photos ...and soon I must get around to a few so I have some fence shots for next week...when I will be back home...

I'm just mentioning the word fences for the Thursday Good Fences group... in case anybody stops by and wonders why there are no photos... I don't have time right now to figure out how to upload a photo..sorry..