Birdie on the golf course

Or several birdies on the golf course.

These were all taken at Buffalo Creek Golf Course, home of the 15 foot alligator.

Yes I was playing (sorta). No I’m not very good. Yes I kept getting distracted by alligator hunting. No I wasn’t allowed to drive the golf cart in the ponds or through the sand pits (Seemingly that’s frowned upon on golf courses. Who knew!).

I would have loved to get closer to the Ospreys but there was a stonking great alligator in the pond in front of me, hence the 300mm long zoom plus cropping.

Heron2
I got a birdie on this hole. A Heron to be precise.
Osprey
Osprey. Would have loved to get closer but, you know, alligators.
Heron
Another Heron looking pretty beside the flowers.
Spoonbill
Spoonbill and another bird.
Vulture
Cute Black Vulture.
Cormorant lowres
Cormorant

5 Years in the USA :-)

5 years ago today we moved to the USA. Some of our friends thought we were mad, (some probably still do) some thought we wouldn’t stick it out and be right back, and most of them called us ‘brave’ for trying out life here in America. Certainly it’s a lot different from our life back in Scotland but I wouldn’t change a minute of the rollercoaster ride that has been our life for the last 5 years.

We’ve had wonderful highs – kids have both graduated from High School now and are in college – one Senior and one Freshman this fall (autumn). I’ve started my own business – which NEVER would have happened if we’d stayed in Scotland and we’ve managed to tick off a fair amount of places in the USA we’ve visited.

We’ve had some incredible lows too – the death of my dad in 2012 and the death of my mother-in-law in March this year, not to mention both my pets I brought with me from Scotland. Yes, pets are important family members too in our house. But I also have a brand new baby nephew (in Scotland) and a new puppy here so life does go on.

And I now have a whole new set of friends here in the USA as well as managing to keep the friends I had back in Scotland. It takes effort to keep in touch with faraway friends, but it’s totally worth it when you go home and get to catch up with people who have know you for a long time.

Would I recommend it to anyone else. Yes. 100% go for it. If we didn’t make the move when it became available to us we’d always have been sitting thinking ‘what if’….

"When you go, will you send back, a letter from America? Take a look at the railtrack, from Miami to Canada."
“When you go, will you send back, a letter from America?
Take a look at the railtrack, from Miami to Canada.”

New life

Red Cardinal chicks
Red Cardinal chicks

Life is such a roller-coaster, full of incredible highs and lows and rushing around at 100mph that sometimes it’s nice to STOP and just wonder at the miracle of nature.

As an aside – Red Cardinals must be the daftest birds around though – why would they build a nest 2 feet off the ground when there’s a gigantic puppy running around the garden. We had to erect a temporary fence round the tree to keep the dog away from the chicks. There’s plenty of trees round the side of the house where the dog can’t get to, but no, they nest right in the dog’s ‘play’ area!

Photography 101: Scale and observation

It's an alien!
It’s an alien!

Keeping up with a photo a day – Epic FAIL!

Too much life getting in the way of blogging-time I’m afraid.

BUT – I am going to finish the assignment, I’m just going to be last over the finish line, so please stick with me my blogging friends.

This photograph for ‘Scale and Observation’ was taken during a massive harvest moon and I thought the praying mantis looked a bit like aliens had invaded the Earth and they started by landing on my roof!

Alba – Always looking at the world sideways (thanks Dookes) 🙂

Photography 101: Motion & movement

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Once again raiding my archives to try and keep up with the photography 101 course… Where does all the time go?

Come summertime I admit to being just a teeny-tiny-wee-bit obsessed with hummingbirds! I have a strategically placed plant that I hide behind with my camera to try and get the perfect shot. They are the most fabulous birds and really quite unafraid of anyone or anything – well maybe except for my mutt. He thinks he needs to protect me from all the birds/moths/insects/leaves by barking ferociously at them.

Sock Monkeys and Giant Mice

Wildlife photography is something that I wish I could do much better. I’ve attempted to shoot, with a camera – see previous blog, the birds that come to my feeder out the back door (backyard) but only having a 90mm lens it’s pretty hard to get any decent results.

The birds round here are pretty cool anyway. We have Turkey Vultures, Owls, loads of Hawky-type birds as well as tons of Woodpeckers, but I still get excited when I see the bigger birds and feel the need to point them out to whomever is nearby at the time. Have to say Dawg isn’t very enthusiastic about me pointing them out to him if I don’t let him out to chase them!

Well one day I was driving along with my teenage son in the car only half paying attention to what he was saying when he pointed out a Hawky-type bird to me, but because I was keeping my eye on the road and couldn’t really hear him correctly I THOUGHT he said “There’s a sock monkey up that tree”

Why I would think he said Sock Monkey I have no idea, but from that day onwards all hawky-type birds have been Sock Monkeys….

Another strange thing to us now that we live in the USA is the variety of mammals – we are used to rabbits, squirrels and haggis in Scotland, but here you get all sorts. My favourite are the raccoons. That is until you get close to them and they turn into Tasmanian Devils a’la Bugs Bunny! But they look like tiny cute furry robbers so I like them anyway.

My 5 year old nephew was visiting last summer and he shouts out “Look, a giant mouse!!” whilst pointing at, well actually, I’m not sure WHAT it was. It certainly looked like a giant mouse, but was probably a possum or something. But from then on, yep, you’ve guessed it. All furry creatures that aren’t squirrels (squiggles) or raccoons are giant mice!

Here is a photograph from last year of the tiny robbers stealing the bird food from the sock monkeys 🙂

Robbers