Thursday, March 28, 2013

Snake eyes.

Here in Southern California, spring time can mean baby rattlesnake time. So when I looked out the slider and saw this on the patio, I was concerned.

 Then, of course, Hank spied it, he and the snake engaged in a, meet-me-at-high noon stand off, Hank on one side of the screen door the snake, flicking its tongue and bobbin its head, on the other. Cue theme song form the Good Bad and the Ugly, here.

Me, being a good cat momma, yelled at him...


 So I decided I should find out if, in fact, this was a baby rattlesnake, or as Kathy said, a snake trying really hard to LOOK like a rattlesnake.

Mean while, back at the screen door, the snake is moving TOWARD the house..

Now, I watch the nature show, I know I am supposed to leave the thing out the garage door I go with my camera and a rake... 

I took a few photos, then came back inside and googled rattlesnakes

OK, lets see now...So, baby snakes do not have a rattle...need to look close to see if they have a thing called a button...

Well, can't tell from here, get any closer and I'll get bit in the face, I think...ok, next.

Head is larger than the body...

Don't think the head is large, but don't think and venomous snakes are not a good combination... what else.

Rattlesnakes have oval shaped eyes...ok....your kidding right...oh wait I can zoom in and see if ...

Hah! a round I am ...pretty sure...this is not a baby rattlesnake. However, it is still coming toward the house, so out I go again with the trusty rake, don't worry , I just herded it away from the the house.

Hank was not amused.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Someday I am going to walk up to that pond and there is going to be a ....

I have seen this fellow here before. This morning he was like, OK shutter bug lady, catch me in all my foreboding splendor...

this is a Double-crested cormorant. A big feller...30-36 inches tall. I guess cormorant is French for sea crow.

see the blue eye...

Wonder who will be there tomorrow.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Birds, books, breaks and hidden pictures

It is spring break here in the Conejo Valley. Lots of dads and small ones at the park this morning. Feeding ducks, riding scooters, swinging on the swings. It is nice to see.

I strolled on over to the pond, was going to try to catch birds in flight...low and be hold yet a another new-for-me duck in the pond!

Eurasian Wigeon

American wigeon
I guess they visit the east and west coast from time to time.Usually found in flocks of the American wigeon, like the fellow above.

So I took lots of pictures so I could come home and figure out what I was seeing.  I added new apps to the iPhone and iPad for bird ID.

but they are not easy to uses, as in, you have to know the birds first, middle,  last name and social security number before you can find it. Well ok not that bad, but still....I am a bird nerd but not this nerdy, search by family??? Name??? I want to know its name for heavens sake. 

So I take photos and come home and open up this battered , page falling out, guide I have had since 1980 something..

find the bird in it...then play on the i pad, look at photos, listen to its call. Now I have to admit, the listening to the call helps when I can't see the bird well...other than that , old trusty paper book is the best for ID-ing..

OK. Hidden picture time!

Trying out the continuous shoot on a flock of pigeons, didn't get them but got the cloud pigeon...see

(hint...wing and tail left side of picture)

and an owl with its wings spread, bat signal, moth...what else do you see?

Friday, March 22, 2013

A little gem!

Today I was playing with my camera in my back yard, trying out the continuous shoot setting. I figured how better to test it than on a humming bird...

This is a female Rufous Hummingbird

 These little guys are only about 3 inches tall

See the reddish color near her wings. Of course the fellers are really shiny and beautiful!
Little guys are fast too.

this is the flower she was sitting tiny.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Looking at shapes and shadows at the park this morning

Some days my eye is caught by shapes and shadow, here is what I saw at the park today.

the slide 1

in the sand box

Questionable fruit under the table

new oak leaves in the sun

slide 2

dead branch in the sand volleyball court


and a rocket in a willow tree!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring has sprung

Happy first day of spring

 I looked for these violas cousins every spring when I was growing up. On the side of our house , under a huge maple tree, tiny little yellow and purple violets covered the ground every spring. For such small things they had a big scent, and left a lasting impression in my mind.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mr Cooper's Hawk goes fishing...

Mr and Mrs Cooper's Hawk have been back in the neighborhood for a week or so. They have been doing repair work on their nest. 

Today I saw Mister hunting in our neighbors yard, trying to catch little juncos it looked like. He flew into our yard and up onto the rocks by our koi pond. These pictures are pretty bad as I was in the house shooting through my not so clean windows etc etc etc. but here he is...

I was thinking he was going to get a drink and take a bath like he usually does...

right after I took this shot he took off and tried to grab one of the koi, missed , circled back and was going to try again. Of course the koi dove to the bottom of the pond and I, like a dope, tried to move to a different window , and he saw me so vamoosed out of there...

I can hear him explaining the whole thing to the Mrs...can't you?

Monday, March 11, 2013

In bird nerd heaven.

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to take pictures of an immature red tailed hawk in the park. I think Jr. was back again today. Good thing I wasn't a mouse. I was walking along , dum de dum  , hey look at that, something on the fence post up there...

 wonder how close I can get...

Hum, this is rather amazing..

I think something is wrong with junior, I got with in 10 feet, it never flew

just watching me go..
then flew to the other side of the park.

 I think something is wrong with his right foot.

pretty bird, hope he will be alright.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

strolling and looking and clicking the shutter...

A lot of activity in the park this morning..

  things blooming...

Cool color and pattern,

We had rain yesterday, the moss on the bridge is in over drive..

Nest building time.

People and pooches

California sled dog team!

a squirrel doing the pound, pound, peace, chest tapping thing..

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

It's a strange mood i'm in..

I drive by this house at least once a week, today I just had to stop and take pictures because this title popped into my head.

Hot tin cat on a roof..


Monday, March 4, 2013

Hidden picture..and a just because I liked it picture.

 A dragon .
Lycra man says its two squirrels riding a sparrow...he is on cold medicine...

I thought the cabbage was really pretty...