Winter sky

Simple story this time. I was out for a short walk, the usual short route because it was a bit cold. As I headed through a park I saw some interesting cloud cover moving in. So I walked over to the lakeside portion and stopped along the fence to photograph over the lake. I photographed with my P7700 as a horizontal (above, converted to black and white), even taking some snaps on my Yashica Lynx 14e with yes, black and white film. I then walked west about 150 yards and made some more photos, this time vertical with the P7700, a few bracketed frames for the HDR look (below, converted to black and white) and them with my iPhone 5s (one an be seen on my iPHone feed here).

I call these moments gifts. Some say luck, or chance. But the fact is I was out there, saw it and recorded it. You can’t win if you don’t play.


Long story short

Bald eagle in nest, re-arranging the furniture.

Here’s the story.

With the temperature hovering at 50 degrees today, double what has been the norm, I decided to go to the Sandy Ridge Reservation of the Lorain Metropark system. It’s a great place for birding and to get some exercise. I took my longest glass with me (techtalk - Nikon D7000 with 300 f2.8 lens and 1.4 extender).

It was bright and sunny but the footing was poor – mud and snow on a gravel path. As I emerged from the woods to the lake area I saw a fellow photog set up on a tripod with easily double the glass I had. So I grabbed my binoculars (8x) to see what he saw. Oh, a Bald eagle nest, about 500 yards away.

I felt bad about vulturing his shot but it was a public venue. I made a few frames but then decided to walk around a bit since the eagle was in its nest and making no indication of leaving. I walked a bit; squirrel, chipmunk, red-winged blackbird but not much out there. I was approached by a ranger in a Club Car (a modified golf cart with knobby tires) who reminded me that the park closed at 4:30 (two hours before sunset). It was 4:10 so I started back.

This is the full-frame image that the above photo is taken from.About half way there I heard someone coming up behind me on the trail, on the run. It was the Ranger, who said he had gotten his Club Car stuck along the trail and was heading back to the HQ to get a truck to  pull it out. He sized me up and asked if I would be willing to help him. Yup, not doing anything else.

He came back with the truck and we headed to the cart. As we cleared the trees and made the turn there was the eagle about 150 yards away, sitting on the top of a dead tree. Awesome photo. I told him that on our way back he had to let me stop and get the photo. He agreed.

We got to the Club Car on the side slope of the walking path. We could move it, but not get it back up to the path. He hooked up a tow line to the cart but it was way to sloppy to get any traction with his two-wheel-drive Chevy S-10 in need of new tires. He had to leave it for the morning shift guy to deal with and we headed back to the HQ.

At the junction where the eagle was I took a look and it was gone, back in the nest. Oh, well.

When I got home I related the story to my wife (BA in English, former copy editor). Apparently the story I told (above, near verbatim) was waaaaaay too long as I perceived from the eye-roll. So I asked her what I should have said.

“You saw an eagle in a nest. A ranger asked you to help get his cart unstuck but you couldn’t. You saw the eagle closer on the way to the cart but it was gone when you came back.”

Isn’t that what I said?

This week’s theme – Icicles

By anyone’s standards this has been a rough winter. Probably not any worse than when I was a kid, but it really doesn’t affect kids.

The cycle we have had here on the North Coast, has been days and days of subfreezing weather, mixed with a day or two of near non-freezing temps and occasional sunshine. What this does is set up a cycle of melt, freeze, melt, freeze, etc. So, lots of icicles.

In some cases you can see the layering that takes place each time it happens. But in most instances you just get icicles that continue to grow.

Pick a theme, then fight cabin fever by taking your camera out for a walk.

Caption Info: All photos make with a Nikon P7700 camera. At right, a weed is encased by layers of ice belowing a dripping eave. Clockwise, below: Ice forms as the snow on top of a grill grating melts; an ornamental star above a door is encased in ice; a single icicle droops from the roofline at the end of a caboose; icicles form along a dormer;

Click on an image to see a larger version.