Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I love Grackles

Many people view grackles as nuisance birds. Sure, they're pushy. And greedy. Stubborn too, I suppose. I think of them as the NYC cab drivers of the bird world. But at the same time they're such animated birds and exhibit so much "personality" that they're great to watch. And those shiny black feathers...

Unfortunately they're not so easy to photograph because while they're very aggressive and pushy with other birds they're very shy and alarmist around people.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Daffy Bootie

While my girlfriend stood in front of them to keep their attention, I snuck behind this pack of begonias Daffodils and snuck a picture of their collective backsides.

Sweet Begonia Daffodil bootie--it doesn't get better than that! I'm tellin' yah, they never even knew I was there.

UPDATE: Utopia commented that she didn't think these were begonias, and that would be my take on it also but one of my pics of the flowers included a sign identifying them as begonias. Maybe the sign was wrong...

UPDATE2: SRP stated, with authority, that these are Daffodils regardless of what any silly sign says. I believe her.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

yellow flowers at the Arboretum


Saturday, March 24, 2007

JC Raulston Arboretum

I took some pictures at the Arboretum this morning. It's in Raleigh NC just off of the NC State campus. In a few weeks there'll be a lot more going on there but even in late March there's plenty of flora to take pictures of.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Pear trees in white and green

I took this picture Wednesday morning as I was getting ready to leave for work. I liked how the sun was lighting up the trees on the East side of my property.

The Bradford Pear in the picture is almost in full bloom and already the leaves are starting. It's a shame but that's how it always is with Bradfords. Just when the blossoms get dense enough for pretty pictures those damn green leaves butt in and make the white look kinda sickly. Thank God for cherry trees--they space things out better.

Spring is here. At least that's what the trees think.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

lunch counter

This was the scene earlier this week. Every so often I go through a fit of bird picture taking and that was the case two days this week. In this shot we see a mildly concerned bird seeing some motion at a window--me with the camera--and keeping an eye on me. Below, we look over the suspicious fellow's shoulder and see another bird eating at the feeder behind the deck. Lotsa meals served here. Feel free to fly in and grab a bite.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Crinkly Flower

I came across this beautiful girl (actually it's got girl parts and boy parts but I didn't peek) two weeks ago in Sarah Duke Gardens. It was a lovely Winter day and the biting wind was offset by the warm sunshine. Deep blue sky and bulbs coming up to greet the coming Spring. I hope to go back in a week or two when the rest of the flowers start to show their lovely boy and girl parts too.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Who needs the showers?

The old saw is that "April showers bring May flowers" however this year having a warm Winter seems to find these flowers doing just fine in early March. They're in my front yard by my sidewalk. Even my pear trees are starting to bloom and the leaves won't be far behind.

Today it almost made it to 80 f and the past 2 days were in the mid 70s but March being March we've still got some cold weather coming. Both nights this weekend it's supposed to go below freezing with daily highs in the 50s. Time to get those sweatshirts ready again!


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Monkey see, monkey depressed

I saw this little fellow last September when I was at the NC Zoo. Most of the other monkeys in the enclosure were playing on some logs but this fellow was sitting all alone and looking quite sad. I hope that things got better for him later on...

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

man and nature

I took this picture yesterday at the outskirts of Umstead State Park near Cary, NC. This is a small creek that flows near I40 and every so often there'll be one of these pipes that allow water from the other side of the highway to flow under and join the creek. As you can tell from the color of the water, it's not the cleanest but at places it's still pretty.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Purple Crocus

A picture I took at Sarah Duke Garden this past Sunday. Crocuses are such pretty flowers and I especially enjoy the white striations on the petals. The stripes give the purple coloring even more impact.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Duke Forest in October

I took this picture in October 2006 when hiking in Duke Forest. Ren, as you an see, was focused on a leaf reliving some botany class she took at UNC, no doubt. We were entering the forest at this point and had just walked down the hill behind Ren. We weren't looking so calm and composed a few hours later when we had to walk back up that damn hill. LOL

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

unanswered prayer

I was walking on the Duke University campus this past Sunday and I came across these two geese praying. While I admit they didn't confide in me the subject of their prayers, I'd have to guess it related to the basketball game between arch-rivals UNC and Duke later that afternoon.

Poor geese. Prayers are for humans. Duke lost despite drawing some blood late in the game.

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Blossoms, ducks, and water

I took this picture last April at the Sarah Duke Gardens on the campus of Duke University. We've had such a mild Winter this year that I think I'll go over to Duke in the next week or so and see what the gardens look like. Since the bulbs in my yard are starting to come up--and I'm in a slightly colder and much more exposed location--I bet the bulbs at Sarah Duke Gardens are blooming now. I want to take some pictures of that since they really have a lovely spread of flowers there.

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Friday, March 02, 2007

Green Lizard

I took this picture 2 years ago. While it looks very tropical it was actually taken at the side of my parent's house in South Carolina. It was a hot sultry summer day and I'd just gotten back from kayaking. I love the leaves on this plant and was looking at them when up popped this lizard. I took over 20 pictures of it before it tired of the attention. This is the one I liked best.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

birds of a feather, swim together

I took this picture on Saturday while walking near a lake. There were quite a few geese and the gulls were everywhere. Here's a few, as you can see. I tried to get one in flight, but the sun was on the wrong side and I just couldn't make it happen. Sorry!

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