Archive for July, 2013

22
Jul
13

Sandhill Cranes: Bug Eating Machines

The best shots I got this weekend were of a pair of Sandhills.  I ran across them at the park’s entrance.

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They continued feeding while I slowly worked my way closer and into a better position to photograph.

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With the sunlight positioned from over my shoulder, all I needed was for the birds to turn.

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Which they did, surprisingly.  I had thought they would spook and fly away.

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I stayed only a few minutes, while they continued to feed.

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Harried by flies, I wanted to get my shots, but I didn’t want to disturb them too much.

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Satisfied I had gotten some good shots, I left them to feed in peace.

21
Jul
13

Mallards

I haven’t spent enough time at Lake Kegonsa to know the story behind these four ducks.

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I can guess they are a mother with three surviving ducklings.

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Two of the ducklings dove into the surf – presumably to feed; while the large female to the left stayed onshore and fed.  The fourth, rather stalwart looking duckling, just stood onshore.

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Occasionally, she put her head up to check on me as I inched in closer.

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When I felt I had gotten close enough, I took a few final shots and then walked away.

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20
Jul
13

First Hike

I mentioned yesterday, I went hiking for the first time since last Summer.  I am very out of practice at spotting wildlife, being able to only see the obvious like this tiny bunny.

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Or this fellow singing from the treetops.

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Not exactly Whitetail Deer or Bald Eagles, but then again this was Lake Kegonsa State Park, not Yellowstone.

19
Jul
13

Find New Roads

Chevrolet’s newest media advertising attempts to sell their product by encouraging Chevrolet drivers to “Find New Roads.”  The only problem I have with that is east of the Mississippi there are no new roads, because I’ve been there, but west of the Mississippi would be a different story.  I haven’t been there.  Why am I bringing this up now, especially considering how little I’ve been posting this past year?  Well, as one of my readers expressed concerns for my health, I’ve been having a great deal of problems with my left knee.  By the end of the workweek, I would be in so much pain not even Vicodin could knock the pain out.  Not very conducive to hiking.

What has this got to do with Chevrolet?

Well last week I traded my faithful Saturn Vue in on a new Chevrolet Silverado, and before any of you Ford or Dodge guys chime in, I’m not going to get into a hissing contest with you guys.  I have a twenty-three year old Silverado in my garage and I wanted another.  End of story.  So save your comments, I’ll just delete them anyway.

What has this got to do with hiking and knee pain?  Good question!

My Saturn had a dual purpose.  First was, economically, to get from point A to point B.  Basically from home to work and at twenty-nine miles to the gallon it served me well during the ten years I drove it.  The other purpose was that it could carry enough gear so I could go camping, and in that it had an additional bonus because I could use it like a chuck wagon.  I‘d leave my coolers in the back and just shut the doors at night keeping the scavengers out of my food.

When I was considering trading in my Saturn, I had joked with my boss, “Wouldn’t it be funny if getting rid of the Saturn helped my knee get better?”

Now, you might be asking how getting rid of a car could help my knee?  One of the reasons the Saturn got such good gas mileage was because it had a manual transmission.  A five speed overdrive transmission to be exact, which meant pumping a clutch in and out every time I shifted gears.  More importantly pumping a clutch in and out with my left leg.  The same left leg that is attached to my left knee.  The left knee which has been giving me problems since last October.

I have had my new truck for a week now.  It has an automatic transmission.  A six speed overdrive transmission that shifts itself.  No pumping a clutch.  This is the first week since last October that my workweek ended without me cursing my inability to sleep because of the somewhat hellish pain in my left knee.  Today was also the first time I’ve gone hiking since last Summer.  I went out this morning for about an hour, including driving time and time to stop to take photographs.  I only hiked for a little over a mile.  I didn’t want to push things too hard my first time out, but right now my knee doesn’t hurt and I have a fresh batch of photos to share.

So here’s to Finding New Roads.  I’ve already run through my mind an epic trip out west.  Now if only I had a whole mess of money and didn’t have to work.

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