Friday, June 23, 2017

Woodpecker Watching Weekend

Woodpecker Watching Weekend. Say that 3 times fast. Hmmmm, could be good for a laugh. 😀

Is there anything better than a nice relaxing weekend, where you actually just relax? Possibly, but a whole weekend to relax is wonderful. No kids. Don't get me wrong, I love kids, but sometimes it's nice to just be in adult company, and then have quiet times with no kids. I don't think the Woodpeckers that I watched all weekend would have been as social if kids were running around playing, screaming, and having fun, as kids do. It's their job.

High in a dead, hollowed out tree nest was a family of Woodpeckers. Mother diligently bringing food to the babies. What an awesome sight to see. Behind our camper, next to the wood close, yet so far away. The nest, of course is really high in the tree. Which made amateur photography challenging to say the least. But what fun!

Saturday morning was my first introduction, which was odd. My husband and I returned home from the camper on Wednesday and returned to the camper on Friday, but they weren't on my radar the first part of the week. I was distracted and not relaxed at all during that trip. This trip? Relaxation. I could hear nature, even the pesky mosquitos trying to get far too close. Lots of chirping, squawking noises were coming from somewhere and that's where the investigation began.

If you look closely at the pictures that seem to be just the hole/nest opening, you'll see a tiny little head in there, sometimes two heads. Noisy little things at feeding time and so fun to watch.

Mother bird was quick. It took a long time to get a shot of her. Any of them really. I did a lot of spying and waiting over the weekend, just to capture a picture of them. Waiting is fun when you're outdoors, with a campfire, and Saturday evening's dinner was cooked over the campfire. Plenty of waiting time. LOVED IT!!

From a photography standpoint, and I am a complete amateur, the telephoto zoom lens I used works great, but for such a far distance the camera really needs to be stabilized. The tripod was at home and it was just me holding the camera. There were a plethora of blurred pictures to delete, but there were some pretty decent pictures also. That's just my opinion.

Note to self: pack a tripod or a monopod, just in case there is something wonderful to photograph. One never knows what they will run into while enjoying a beautiful day outdoors.

Higher up in the tree on the opposite side was a pair of nest openings as well. No sign of activity, but my focus was on the nest that was closest and most convenient.

See the two little ones in the picture below? Sweet baby birds. This was a truly fun lesson in photography. Being able to snap photos of the same object, and moving objects, at different times of the day with different lighting is a wonderful learning environment. Being able to get a better grasp of what needs changing on the camera and be able to change quickly is challenging for this beginner.

It was a fabulous weekend and I did learn a lot about my camera, lighting, steadying the camera, sneaking up on birds, and the fact that they seemed to sense when I was getting the camera. Sure, they can't see into the camper, it just seemed that way. They would get active, I would walk to get the camera, and they would stop.

Sometimes, all I had to do was walk inside and touch the camera and they would stop. If I walked inside and started washing dishes or cleaning, they would keep right on chirping and squawking. Tricky little feathered friends.

I managed to get a great shot of a darling dragonfly also. He/she just happened to be on a bush next to the camper while I was waiting for my Woodpecker friends.There were so many dragonflies around. While kayaking, they just land on the kayak, paddles, or any part of your body and stay a while, getting a ride down the river. They are lovely, just look at those transparent wings. Such a pretty blue on the head and the funny little eyes.

A break from the daily grind and a weekend of relaxation. Just what the doctor ordered. It was truly wonderful. Good times. Great friends. Campfires. Kayaking. Sunshine. Blue skies. Sleeping in. Breakfast in bed. Nature. And lots of laughs. Hard to beat that kind of a weekend.

Go out and enjoy the beautiful weather and nature.

Thanks for visiting. Come back soon

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