Archive for January, 2013


Subjects don’t always present themselves for the best of photographic opportunities.

I took these pictures from the truck with the motor running, the window part way down, trying to aim the camera over a fence and stay behind Buffy.

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 Ducks and geese commonly visit this small private lake.

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Then I noticed orange legs. My son, the hunter, calls them speckled bellies. Technically, they’re greater white-fronted geese.

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They’re only common west of the Mississippi River, and we live in southern Illinois.

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This was the perfect ending for a perfect outing.

My Fascination with Ice

The creek on my rural property was a mixture of running water, frozen and freezing ice.

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The darker areas had water touching the ice underneath.

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Air filled the light areas.


I’m sure the explanation for these shapes would be too complicated for an artistic mind.

Just amazing!


The sequence of next 6 pictures was taken in two minutes.

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The light areas were light because air filled the void below the ice.

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The whole surface was frozen. Air would rush under the ice in spidering directions.

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First here and then there. Obviously, the water level was slowly dropping.

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 Sometimes small areas turned white; other times much larger areas.

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This whole area was about three feet square.

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The arrow shows where the original opening was.

The word amazing came to mine.

Teeny Surprise

The red color of these teeny moss spore capsules caught my attetnion.

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The teeny ice “crystals” didn’t show until the picture was in the computer.

A miniature magical garden …

Velvet Tree Apron Moss

 Buffy and I  rounded the corner of the creek on Eagle Mountain.

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All the drab colors of winter made the green moss on the bases of several trees stand out.

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This was the first one I came to, and it had the most dramatic root system.

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Frost dulled the green in the shaded area of the moss.

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Velvet tree apron moss grows on rocks, the bases of trees and decaying wood.

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It’s appearance changes when it dries. This was higher on the same tree.

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This arrangement just begged to be photographed.

Brake for Ice

 One of my absolute favorite things is designs in ice.

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So, I just had to stop and investigate this ice. We had an accumulation of water from melting of 20 inches of snow, followed by heavy rains, then freezing tempatures.

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The water gradually went down and left designs in the forming  ice.

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All these designs were small.

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Deserves Respect

The ground crunched under foot in the backyard. The sun shone through very few clouds. The 9 a.m. temperature sat at 27, and the northwest wind blew at 20mph, gusting to 29, making a wind chill of 15.

I walked right up to this dandelion, in full bloom, showing no signs of even knowing it was cold.

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  I know many people consider dandelions to be a weed. Not me. They’re one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring and last in the fall. Butterflies and other insects visit them. Kids of all ages like to blow the seeds from their ball-shaped seedhead.

The flower sure had my respect, and my appreciation for the beauty it added to my day.

Ice and Water

These are a few of the reasons I like ice and water.

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Reflections make pretty pictures.

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Patterns in ice create interesting designs of light and shadow.

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This ice curiosity formed in a cavity not 3 inches across.

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Tumbling water rolled over on itself, trapped air and bubbles resulted.

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Rippling water cast yellow-rimmed shadows on the rocks below.

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Add the sound of running water to all this, and it explains why I’m drawn to rocky creeks.

Manifesting Foxes

As some of my followers know, we had a family of foxes den under the barn last summer. Yesterday, I started going through the BIG file of fox pictures, thinking about doing another blog about them. I thought that might manifest them returning this year.  I even told my husband last night that I’d like to do something to cover/hide the 2 barrels of oil.

This morning, I sat down at the computer, looked out the window, and a small fox went across the back back of our backyard and into the shrubby thicket in the corner. It wasn’t long and a larger fox came around from behind the barn, looked under the barn where the den was, and left the yard going south. Two other foxes were in the yard a little later at different times.

These are a few of the 488 pictures I took between May 8 and May 24 last year.

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This was the first picture I took of them. Then I had to clear items from my garden area, since all pictures were taken from inside the house.

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Little sibling rivalry here.

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Meal time. The male would bring the food in

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and then take it away when they were done.  The little ones didn’t eat much on it. They were still nursing.

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I couldn’t fool her. Four other pictures had her staring straight at me too. Here she was at the water garden for a drink.

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Looked like an afternoon romp.  Maybe the fourth was napping.

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The prey looked about the size as the kit.

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She was always on alert.

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Three were nursing. Wonder if the fourth was full or waiting its turn?

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Almost done with their meal.

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Something was gettting to close.

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They looked like they were enjoying the sun’s warmth.

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Another morning out for a short time. Notice the blue on the left. They apparently started raiding garbage cans and bringing scraps “home.”

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This was one of the last pictures taken of the foxes.


Maybe if we all look forward to seeing the fox family, it just might bring them back to den under the barn again.

Orb Mystery

It all started in the middle of November when I found the orbdelight blog site. She told how to go out at night and take pictures using a flash. I did, and I found orbs. Orbs are said to be emanations of Spirit Beings.

This picture was taken after a blizzard that  left us with 14 inches of snow.

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Then early one morning I actually got this picture of a spirit. Seven others placed themselves so they would be in pictures too.

Photographing orbs has been frustrating for me at times, because I have night blindness. This obviously limits my orb-picture-taking to my 2-acre yard.


The next additition to my orb questing came when I least expected it.

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This cropped picture above shows a spirit — the cream-colored “line” — across the two trees. If you look on to the right, there’s a faint trail of energy left behind the moving spirit. Then if you look on to the arrow on the right edge of the picture, you’ll see a small green spot. I had no idea what that was until last week.

Buffy and I hiked the trail around Jone’s Lake. The cloudy sky reminded me of the picture above. So, I stopped twice to take pictures with the sun in or near the picture. No orbs showed on the camera’s display. The rest of the pictures were cropped so the orbs can be easily seen.

IMG_7339 crop redI took 11 pictures and didn’t see the kelly green orbs until I got the pictures in the computer. I also wondered about the area with the pale violet color shape. It’s rounded on the bottom and fades into the background at top. Is it an orb? The kelly green spot is definitely an orb.

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This picture was taken from the same spot. Notice how the color energy is fainter and how the kelly green orb changed its position.

The next 4 cropped pictures were taken from the same spot and notice how the green orb still kept changing positions.

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So, now I’m wondering if I have a new “hiking companion?”

I hope so.

Farewell to Snow

After being snowed/iced in for almost 2 weeks, Buffy and I headed to my rural property for a morning hike. I heard running water in the creek before we reached the ravine.

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After “oohing and aahing” a bit, I ended up noticing the designs that snow falling from the trees made in the snow below.

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The angle of the sun was just right to showcase them.

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Snow melting contributed to their designs too.

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 My pictures didn’t do them justice. I didn’t know how to set my camera to compensate for the bright snow.

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These discs measured 4-5 inches across.

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The east-facing slope had less snow than the west-facing one did.

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This last one measured over 12 inches from top to bottom and 3 or more inches tall. I couldn’t figure out how it formed. There were concentric oval “lines” and a slight depression in the center. Maybe it rolled and fell to the side, resulting in the design. Nothing made sense …

It had to be magic.