Sunday, August 18, 2019

First Impressions

August has been mostly hot and quite humid.  If I go out at all it has to be early.  If you go to this particular pine tree you will get the attention of this particular female Blue Grosbeak, she has held vigil here all breeding season!

I think she ate this grasshopper cause that shot was taken first no grasshopper in this second shot. 

These images came from my new but used camera! Like I said it's exactly like the one I've been using a couple years now, but notice no black corners on the top edges.  

It is not as good as mine was when it was newly purchased....but I think it will do me until I'm ready to invest more money into a camera...

I did get a better shot of the white breasted nuthatch ...while this image below was a disappointment, not crisp, of the immature Little Blue Heron..I may not have the white balance set right. 

...this action shot was not too bad...

And for the video, I think it's okay..

Even tho there is no learning curve checking to be sure all the settings in the menu are set to my liking is the one thing I need to do by comparing it to my old settings...

So that's exactly what I did now it is set up exactly like my old one bit for bit. So first impressions over all I'm pleased. I uploaded these images right into blogger, but I think Blogger reduces the quality of images, in an attempt to condense the space we are next post I'm going back to Flickr hosting I've been slacking on uploading to Flickr, because I think it's a sinking ship.

These are shots I uploaded to Flickr.  Do you see what I mean it's brighter, it is sharper, bigger etc. 

and a zoom

and look who is hiding in the marigolds!

So just putting them in blogger seems to reduce the quality.  That's why I have always hosted my photos off site.  

So over all on a scale of 1-10 I'd give this camera a 7.5 it's not the 10 my current one when new and it's the not the 5 that my old is now.  If that makes sense.

Every day is a new Adventure.

Sunday, August 11, 2019


This post contains a few short videos, hope you will enjoy them, and Im trying to keep the post length short I may add a mid-week post with other news of my week.

ON Sunday last we were finally able to line everything up just right to rent a kayak and paddle around at my hotspot on Goodale Lake, or better known as Adams Mill Pond.  We rented...the price is right! $7 for half a day basically you rent at 11 am and come back when you want because the office is only open from 11-12 noon.  When you come in you lock up your boat and leave your paddles and vest by the door. 

We've been talking about doing this all summer! My son did Nanny sitting duties so we (my sis and I) could both take off.  

We pushed off and headed for the paddling trail.  It's been several years since either of us paddled, but it's kind of like riding a bike?

sis leads the way...

We had planned to paddle the canoe trail, which is the lake is marked & located to the rear of the lake...  

this ARROW on the tree marks the entrance, the trail is one mile in length and it's a one way total of 2 miles. 

        the trail is lovely and quiet except for some distant thunder :(

So we did not paddle far and decided it's better to be close to the kayak landing area jic and that ended up being the best idea...we paddled around a couple turns in the channel and turned around...and back towards the lily pad area where we had seen Killdeer and the Little Blue Heron had flushed

...we found 2 (# 115 in my 5 mile radius) Least Sandpipers...the calls in the background of the video are the killdeer while the Least are not bothered by our presence...

The Anhinga dries... up in the flat top Cyprus that is a favorite spot of many of the birds...

 I got a new camera!!  I'm glad I decided to take the old one on this paddle, in case it got wet this is how the old camera can continue to earn it's place in my can do the dirty so that's why this shot is blurred, is what I'm leading up to...the bird below makes #116 in my 5 mile radius...the White Ibis

             thanks sis for spotting this one...

Then we had to paddle to shore in double time cause the bottom fell out!!

We def got wet running for shelter! But what a fun time we had in spite of the weather and we are already planning another paddle...I do think I would enjoy having my own kayak...there's lots of places to paddle at the parks we have visited, and at the Sandhills NW Refuge.  

Every day is a new Adventure.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

AUGUST--> then fall

I am trying to bid on a couple cameras on ebay, I got outbid right away so we'll see.  Tonight I was in a last minute literally bidding war.  It was seriously tense..I lost! I'm actually bidding on the exact camera I have!  I love this camera, hate that I damaged it, but each ding, drop, and bang was earned enjoying my life and living it with zest!  Still it takes good photos, but it does not want to focus on digital zoom. So birds are hard to capture if they are far away. 

I wanted to catch the tail end of the cool weather spell we were having so up at 6 am last Sunday... I was off to the hotspot and had some of the expected birds up and this Anhinga already drying his feathers from his morning swim.

There was a lifting fog still clinging to the lake 

This immature Chipping Sparrow along with his brother was on the ground exploring this big new world.

This Great Blue Heron flushed up to the top of this flat topped Cyprus...

While the wily Red Shouldered Hawk lay in wait...hopefully not for the young birds I see frolicking all around. 

The good news for this day was a (#114) White Breasted Nuthatch I spotted harassing some red bellied woodpecker by another addition for the 5 mile radius.  This is my only July addition.  Got this one really awful for the record shot...then he zoomed off to deeper cover when the red bellied mama got after him. 

You can just barely tell what it is. At first I thought I caught his backside but nope its his face, beak turned to the left.  I'm busy turning those grey bars to green in my hotspot ebird bar graph.  I changed July to green, and now onto August.  Today is the 209th day of this yr.  Even if not one bird is around there is always something lovely to see.  


On Wednesday we took our picnic to Poinsett State Park, named for the Statesman Joel Roberts Poinsett who is buried a few miles away.  I got a stamp for my book and we enjoyed some exploring, it was hot so we didn't wander too far from the car's AC.

And as is the case in most of our parks, the Civilian Conservation Corp was working here in 1934-1942.  

We chose to sit in the shade and keep Mom on the cement covered areas...and that worked out great for us.  We were able to admire the beautiful work of the CCC. 

the Sluice of an old Grist Mill 

I was a bit remiss on getting photos of our day! We didn't see many birds around only a few..we had a list of about 12 including this Eastern Wood Peewee who I wanted to be something more but with long wings Im sticking on Peewee There has to be an easier way to distinguish these empids..this one never made a sound otherwise it would be an easy call...

there was some young with her/him.  

We checked out the campground, no one there only a host!  And the 4 rental cabins, looked nice and rustic, and there is a lot of hiking trails for later on when summer is over.  It is not very friendly to handicapped we had to wrestle mom's chair over rough paths and roots, the restrooms had no handicapped stalls so that makes life a challenge.  We really love taking Mom along on our outings, and although she does enjoy it, it's also sometimes hard for her to enjoy it when access is so hard.  

We stopped at Gen Thomas Sumter's memorial park, he is buried there along with his wife, and son and other family members...


On the way home we stopped at Boykin Mill Pond and saw hundreds of Egrets! The entire far bank was lined with them in the trees.  We also saw lots of Little Blue Herons, Double Crested Cormorants, Anhinga, some unknown ducks and lots of White Ibis, and I saw at least one really dark Ibis, possibly an immature or even a Glossy, but flying overhead into a dull sky impossible to tell... this is possibly a rookery?  It is a privately owned pond, and there is a tiny town called Boykin built along it's bank but everything was locked up tight..

We had a busy week and it was a great one too...hope your's was the same. 

Every day is a new Adventure.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Way Up There...

The heat index that is, which has hovered around the 106 mark this entire week and why would the weekend be any different? There should be a mark on the thermometer that says "YOU don't want to know" and that is about where we've been!  My eyes are swimming in puddles that collect in my glasses, makes binocular using hard at best.  Sis and I made a trip over to Cheraw State Park, got a stamp on my book and this was her first visit..

 stamp goes in the square on the bottom edge...I'M so much enjoying this stamp collecting.  

There is kayak rentals here but $10 a hr didn't sit well with a couple of bargain hunters so we will do that at a cheaper rate some place else! 

The boardwalk is nice we did some birding, and enjoyed the lake views on our hike.   Mostly by ear birding as the birds are hiding back in the cool shade rather than the verge where the sun is making it hotter.  

We didn't have any new birds to add on this trip, we did scrape up 14 birds to list for our walk...including some Mississippi Kites. 

Somebody didn't clear up their lunch trash!!  

Last Sunday I wanted to hit my 5 mile radius hotspot Goodale State Park. Its only a couple miles from home.  I got a stamp for my new passport book...this is fun! I love collecting "free things" and this fits right in with my stamp collection of the National Parks Passport books, and the penny turning penny turners yet but I must keep my eye out some of the gift shops may  have one. 
Again the heat was photos turned out pretty awful everything was way far out there...

the sun beats down...and puts a white glare on everything, i have to make friends with summer, hello summer I love you but can you leave earlier than expected this year? :o)

I soaked my bandanna in cold water at the picnic shelter then put that under my cap on top of my head this helps me stay cool.

...way back across the pond, I had one Mallard, one Gr Blue Heron, 3 Anhinga, one Great Egret...

...back even farther away was the prize for going out on this scorching hot day the Little Blue Heron..New for the 5 Mile Radius! I think I had my count off and I'm not sure where I went wrong on relating my count this makes bird #113 according to ebird.  A blurry for the record shot...I even thought it could be reddish but it was too small for reddish egret. 

Had a Black n White Warbler looking down on me from the leafy canopy..

A juvenile Eastern Bluebird was out learning the ropes on how to catch insects for a living..

The views are closing up as the vegetation reaches out to close the gap...

And lastly a mother Blue Grosbeak was giving me the evil eye..

Time to head home and hit the showers!

there goes my Little Blue!

And Friday we made another trip because our weather is so awesome this week what a difference a week makes.  We drove about 1/2 an hr up to the Carolina Sandhills Natl, Wildlife Refuge.   For a quick picnic and wildlife drive-by birding.  Mom joined us.  By the headquarters building they have Butterfly Milkweed in the flower beds, I want some of this...

This place has lots of ponds and all are beautiful...

painted lady butterfly & friend

The button bush was attracting all kinds of butterflies and other pollinators. 

Eastern tiger swallowtail 

Not to mention the Passionflower.

We had lots of Eastern Kingbirds....

And found at least one immature Pine Warbler, 

And then it was time for the weekend to start!!

Every day is a new Adventure.