Friday, October 12, 2012

Carroll's Bay

Today we ventured out to Carroll's Bay. Mike, Aurora and Caleigh ventured out that way a couple of days ago to scope it out for birds and found a larger variety then than we saw today. Today wasn't a bust though! We fed plenty of birds, saw plenty too (though not too much variety) and had a lot of fun. There were plenty of people there today too considering how chilly it was. It was a balmy 50F (barely) and poor Rora's hands were as cold as ice when the sun went behind the clouds and the breeze blew. She did manage to survive though and almost, sorta-kinda got up the courage to feed a chickadee. She didn't quite make it, but Caleigh took some convincing too at first. Rora is a lot like her Dad, she doesn't make quick decisions and thinks aren't as cut and dry to her as they are to some of the rest of us.
  So, without further ado, here are our photos. There is something here from everyone except Eva who was happier eating rasins than taking pictures.
This is the view right across from the parking lot. The metal and the fence are where there's train tracks that the trains go over. All those trees that look like they're laying on top of each other in the foreground, those are hundreds of Christmas trees! Kid you not. They were put there to keep the carp from the lake out of the bay to help restore the pond environment. There are Egrets, Blue Heron and American Bitterns over there.
Here's a bunch of ducks, they are in front of the Christmas trees. There were LOTS of ducks and sea gulls there too.
She's fussing, not singing. Just thought I'd clarify. She wanted to keep walking. We were waiting for someone and she was getting impatient. It didn't help that it was a wee bit nippy out either. However, a box of raisins does wonders for the mood of a 3 year old.
Saw one of these there too. I'm not sure if it's native to the area or not.

As you've probably figured out by now, I kinda like taking pictures of flowers. I especially like taking close up pictures of flowers. So, you'll find some here and there in all of the pictures. Just thought I'd warn you. :-)
I would LOVE to get a Macro lens for my camera or something else that would do the same job. There is just something about taking close up pictures that I LOVE! Nature is amazing from a distance, but it's breathtaking up close. The fact that SO MANY small parts make up something so small anyway, is enough to confound you. The Maker's handiwork.
Here is a cute little sea gull. I've never seen one colored quite like this before. Maybe he's a mutant relative of one of the other sea gulls? Maybe he's just from out of town and thought he'd stop in to see some cousins? I'm not sure, but whoever he is, he doesn't look happy. I'm not sure if the feathers in his mouth are his and he plans on putting them back after taking them from another bird that thought they'd borrow them, or maybe they belong to another bird to begin with and the other bird has a bald patch somewhere now? Either way, I wouldn't want to mess with him.
You  may notice than most of the pictures you see of ducks and sea gulls are of them walking in the mud. There's a reason for that. The reason is this, the mud is closest to the edge where the kids are, the kids have sunflower seeds, the ducks will eat sunflower seeds and so the ducks are trying to convince said children to share those sunflower seeds with them. Said children thinks the ducks are cute and obliges them. Ducks win!
I just thought these clouds were beautiful. The pictures don't do them justice. The contrast was breathtaking. Do you ever see clouds in the sky and wish that you could capture the grandness, the awesome beauty of them? Me too. This is the best I could do. My feeble attempt. I wonder if there are clouds in heaven? It seems like with something as beautiful as them, that there must be.
There's not a lot of variety of flowers here, but they were pretty and there wasn't a lot of variety there either, so I hope you enjoy looking almost as much as I enjoyed taking them. There'd probably be more if not for the impatient children who think it's silly to take lots of pictures of flowers
Cormorants. There are a lot of them down there.
This was the only red flower I saw the whole time we were out. Don't know what it was, but I bet it was pretty.
See the bird hiding in there? I have no idea what it is. But it moved FAST and did NOT want it's picture taken. However, I managed to get a couple of shots, none really better than this though.
Wonder what she's thinking? Me too. Not sure if I want to know or not. You can see the wheels turning, not always a good thing.
I have to say, Weeping Willows are my most favorite of trees. I don't know what it is about them I like so much, but they are graceful, lovely and unique. Not quite as pretty bare, but none of them are (except for maybe White Birches), but this one was worth taking a picture of.
Four of my favorite people walking down the trail. Isn't that a nice picture? Wondering where the 4th child is? She's with me. She's fishing through my messenger bag as I'm taking this picture looking for more raisins.
I'm not sure why, but this picture makes me smile. I know that had I a faster shutter speed (not sure how to change that or if I can) that this might be neater, but so many things can be running through your mind as to why this bird is at this angle so close to the ground. Isn't imagination a cool thing? Ask an 8 year old or a 6 year old why they think it's there, bet you'll get some neat answers!
This is Rora. Her intention is to feed a bird. This is a good intention, but she hasn't really psyched herself up enough to do it yet. She likes the idea, but putting it into practice is something she hasn't made it to yet. I have a feeling though that once she does, she's going to be over the moon!
See, she's changing her mind. Even in the first picture she was kinda hoping it'd land on her hand  while she wasn't looking. But then, after thinking about it for a while, she changed her mind. She's not ready yet. She's still a bird watcher, not a bird feeder.
Bet you're wondering what she's reaching for. Me too. There were tiny little red berries on that tree. That might be what she's reaching for, to be honest I don't know. What I do know, is that for the next half mile, as I walked behind her, I kept finding little piles of sunflower seeds with little red berries in them. Coincidence? Possibly. :-D
Here we see Sam. Sam is reaching his hand toward a chickadee on the rock in front of him. His hand is full of seeds. He's trying to convince this poor innocent bird to take his seeds. It didn't work. It seems you can't force seeds on a bird.
This is a chipmunk whom he also couldn't convince.
He really was having a good time. Don't let the look on his face fool you. He was having a ball! :-D Really!
Guess who likes getting her picture taken.
A little bee. I wanted to get a better shot than this. I didn't really have time to try. There were little people, one in particular that wouldn't let me alone. 3 guesses who.
This is a woodpecker. I think it's a Downy Woodpecker, Caleigh thinks it's a Hairy Woodpecker. Either way, it's a woodpecker and it was very friendly. Kinda cute too.
Isn't she beautiful? All our girls are. Some just aren't as angelic as they look.
There was a Nuthatch there. This particular nuthatch was more friendly than they usually are. Sam, Mike and Caleigh were having some sort of contest (unofficially of course) to see who could convince it to take their seeds the most. I'm not sure who won, but they all tried REALLY hard. Mike and Sam had an advantage over Caleigh though, birds seem to gravitate toward the tallest people around. Since she's the shortest she has a slight disadvantage. She didn't let that stop her though, she looks sweet and the birds just knew she was a good person, so they made sure that if she lost, it wouldn't be by much.
Red Wing Blackbird. They don't eat sunflower seeds. Don't waste your time trying to convince them to try. They won't be convinced.
See the slight height difference here? She's still smiling though!

Now, I have to warn you. It's not my fault that there are so many Cardinal pictures here. There was this cardinal there who wanted to have his picture taken, LOTS! He just wouldn't leave me alone. I had to oblige him. So, here's his photo shoot.
I know what you're thinking, that's a lot of cardinal pictures! It is, but that's not all of them. There's more.
Caleigh is still trying to convince the nuthatch to eat from her hand. Just thought we'd pause for a moment to let you know that. Besides, every good fashion show has an intermission, right?
See this picture? Of course you do. He's looking right at me. "HEY! What you lookin' at?!" you just know what's what he's thinking. Look at him! Didn't stop him from doing more posing though.
Don't worry, he didn't trip. Not sure what he's doing, but I think it was just to make it more interesting.
Well, that's the end of the show. I hope you enjoyed it. Now on with the rest of the hike. It's nearing it's end though, so don't worry, you won't be suffering much longer.
I want you to pay attention to this picture. Not because it's been taken especially well, not because the nuthatch is actually in focus, but because you'll see it again, from Sam's view point. I don't know if you remember or not, but a couple of weeks ago Sam found some bones on the shore in Hamilton. He took a picture of them in his hands, I took a picture of him taking a picture of them and Mike took a picture of him taking a picture of them. So, just watch out, when we get to Sam's pictures, you might see this bird (perhaps not quite so in focus) again.
She got one! Actually, this wasn't the first one, it's just one of the first one's she would hold still for.

Alright, after thinking about it and considering her alternatives, Aurora decided she'd try something different and work her way up to feeding birds. So, she decided that she would sit down, put a pile of seeds beside her and wait and see what happened.

 Eva decided to sit beside her and try her luck at this version of bird feeding too. After all, the birds weren't landing in her hands and no matter how often you suggested that she OPEN her hands so the birds could see the seeds, she wouldn't be convinced. So, she thought she'd try and do it Rora's way.
Looks like it worked!
Now we are back at the beginning. The girls were very thankful. These are my last few pictures.

Okay, that's all for me. Here's Mike's! I will narrate anything that you might need clarification on. It's all in chronological order. I know you'll enjoy it as much as he did.
See all the Christmas trees?

That's the end of Mike's pictures, here's Sam's!
I'm not sure if you've ever noticed, but some men like to take some pictures, who are we kidding, MANY pictures of the same thing. They take pictures over and over and over again of the same subject. Sam was enjoying taking pictures of ducks. These are not all of his duck pictures, there were MANY more, these are the best ones though. He's starting young. Good thing that the pictures are digital and not on actual film! I can't even tell you how many rolls he would have gone through.
Despite the way it looks, this bird did not just jump up to Sam and ask him to please take a super close up of him. Nor did he just jump in the way of Sam taking another picture so he could get some attention. No, Sam bribed him into this close up. Now I'm sure you'll notice that the bird is somewhat out of focus. The camera is focusing behind the bird. I've tried and so has Mike explaining about how cameras focus, but honestly, I think the problem has more to do with short arms than it does anything else. I'm afraid he's going to have a lot more out of focus bird pictures until his arms are a bit longer. Oh well, he really enjoys this anyway!
I love this picture. He did a good job taking it.
Bribing more birds. He's working on making his arms longer, It's almost working!
I'm putting this here under duress. Believe it or not, this is the best picture of me that he took. I have to confess, I enjoy feeding the birds too. It feels so neat to have them land in your hands. They weigh almost nothing. They are beautiful! I'm just a kid at heart I suppose. I must also admit, there's always a part of me that wonders if I'd be able to pet one while it's there, we both know it'd never happen. They're too quick. But it's a nice thought.
There's that cardinal again! I guess he could have considered us the paparatzi!
Remember I made a big deal of telling you to remember me taking a picture of Sam taking a picture of himself feeding a bird, well, here it is!
Doesn't it look like it's sitting there trying to decide which one to take? I wonder how they decide which one looks better? He was just flying off after he'd take them to poke them into tiny holes in the tree next to us anyway. He came back MANY times. He was glad for the free seeds.

Okay, not it's time for Rora's picture. Yes, you read that right. Picture. She only took one. Not sure why, but she did. So, here it is.

Caleigh on the other hand took TWICE as many as Rora! So, I uploaded all the ones she took! I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. Both of these girls made sure all the pictures they took turned out well. Good job girls!

And with that I bid you adieu.I hope you enjoyed looking at the photos as much as we enjoyed taking them. We will (Lord willing) have another hike next week. I'm not sure where we're going yet. I'm kind of leaning toward Grindstone Creek, but I'm not entirely sure. Either way, there's sure to be lots of pictures! See you then!

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