First Sony Bird Pics

Yellow-Dumped Warbler, a winter visitor

Yellow-Rumped Warbler, a winter visitor

White-crowned Sparrow a winter visitor

White-crowned Sparrow a winter visitor

Western Bluebird on shed roof

Western Bluebird on shed roof

Western Bluebird flew just as I snapped

Western Bluebird flew just as I snapped

Western Bluebird checking me out

Western Bluebird checking me out

Spotted Towhee - spotted at last minute

Spotted Towhee – spotted at last minute

Scrub Jay - hopping around

Scrub Jay – hopping around

Red Tail Hawk at dusk

Red Tail Hawk at dusk

Oregon Junco

Oregon Junco

Western Bluebirds on Old Fence

Western Bluebirds on Old Fence

I wanted to share the first bird pictures with my new Sony a 6000, a mirrorless camera which is very light weight. I was using the 55 – 210 mm lens to shot the pictures at my daughter Em’s house on Christmas Day. There is a learning curve. After using my Canon for a billion years, I found the Sony zoom lens works just a tad differently. I am in love with the depth-of-field and look at the fabulously sharp bits of wood fence, roof, etc. Yep, I need to use it more so that the zooming becomes second nature as it is with my Canon. Those of you from the colder climes, we are taking good care of your summer birds the White-crowned Sparrow, the Oregon Junco, and the Yellow-rumped Warbler. They are common visitors to our yard where I have bird seed out for “visitors”.

QThanks for visiting us. Now go have a crafty day.

 

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Aloha Pukana Lā

Sunrise over Ft. Hase Beach

Sunrise from the front porch as I sit drinking my early morning coffee.

Sunrise from the front porch as I sit drinking my early morning coffee.

Looking across the street, early morning coffee view

Looking across the street, early morning coffee view

Aloha pukana lā = Hello sunrise.

The beach in the pictures is about 600 steps from our daughter’s new house on the base. We’ve been taking walks down to and along the beach every day.  The Hubs and I got Fitbits this year to help us meet our goal of walking 10,000 steps every day. Meeting that goal definitely has not been a problem here in Paradise. Tomorrow morning we say aloha to our little bit of heaven, board the plane, and fly back home.

San Diego Skyline

San Diego Skyline (1 of 1)
Had to share this gorgeous picture The Hubs took of the San Diego skyline. He’s turned into a wonderful amateur photographer. I “forced” him into taking photography classes through the local adult school when he retired. Perfect choice for picking out his hobby. (I accidentally posted just the pic before I wrote the post, so here is the post.)

After walking a zillion miles hiking around the Silver Strand area, Alan wanted to take pictures of the Hotel Del at sundown. Have to admit that I was exhausted and told him he was on his own to walk around The Del. My Kindle is always with me, so coffee and treat in hand, I sat outside to enjoy what was left of our beautiful, chilly, windy day. What a perfect ending to a wonderful day. Um, my pics are taken with my iPhone.

Coffee, Almond Croissant and the Kindle - Ah…..

Coffee, Almond Croissant and the Kindle – Ah…..

View from my outside table

View from my outside table

View of the sun going down behind Point Loma

View of the sun going down behind Point Loma

Mystery Solved

Northern Lights over Seltjörn byKjartan Guðmundur

Northern Lights over Seltjörn by Kjartan Guðmundur

When posting the Northern Lights Hat post on Feb 7 I did think it was odd that the hat had rosy hues instead of green, as did Sarah. We all know how funny life is, days after Sarah made her comment and I replied, my amateur, photographer husband called me over to the computer to see an amazing picture. The picture above is what he shared, click on the picture to go to the photographer’s site. This picture of Northern Lights was taken over Seltjörn, Iceland by Kjartan Guðmundur. What a stunning picture.  I was flabbergasted that Northern Lights could be rose colored, living way down in San Diego, I’ve never seen them. Now I can see why the bright, rosy colors were chosen for the hat. Needing an answer for why the bright pink color I found wiki.ask.com:

What colors are in the Northern Lights?

 Answer:

Three colors generally.

The main color is green, then blue and finally red. It depends on what gas is involved and how high in the ionosphere the reaction takes place.

  • Oxygen gives off green light usually, or sometimes browny-red.
  • Nitrogen gives off blue or red.
  • If the collisions take place high up then oxygen gives off red. Lower down oxygen gives green and nitrogen shines blue and red. Lower down still oxygen is quiet and nitrogen still gives off blue and red.

There you have it! I guess, the red spectrum is the least common according to info I could find.

Here is the Northern Lights Hat, which I’d still like a pattern for:

Northern Lights Hat

Northern Lights Hat

The Monarch Is Here

~Any follower knows by now that we love butterflies and have landscaped our gardens to attract birds and butterflies. I specifically planted two Milkweed plants to attract Monarch butterflies. I really like the bright orange-and-yellow flowers on the plant and the seeds are wonderful, they are dispersed in the wind as are dandelion seeds.

Milkweed - not flowering yet

Milkweed – not flowering yet

While watering yesterday, a Monarch paid a visit to the garden. Fluttering around, I could almost feel the breeze of it’s wings as it flew quite near my right shoulder. I had camera in hand but held still while it flew around me. It finally picked a lantana’s nectar as a likely candidate for a snack.

Friendly Monarch "eating" a snack.

Friendly Monarch “eating” a snack.

When I went out to water the potted plants this morning, this is how I found one of the Milkweeds. They ate almost everything.

7 Monarch caterpillars stripped the Milkweed plant.

7 Monarch caterpillars stripped the Milkweed plant.

The caterpillars are really quite beautiful, but my question is: The Milkweed is not blooming, how the heck can they tell what it is? By smell? Recognizing the leaves? How?

I used my Canon Rebel XSi for the top two shots and Hubs Canon 5D-MK3 for the caterpillars.

Time For Checkers?

~Confession time! Lately, I’ve been so busy gardening and taking pictures in the garden that I haven’t been knitting, spinning, or sewing. Followers may remember that I have planted flowers to attract hummers and butterflies. It is so exciting when a new bird or butterfly pays a visit. I’ve been trying to remember to have my good camera outside with me at all times, keeping the 55 – 250 mm lens on so I can zoom into the critter. Hurray! Yesterday a new butterfly, Checkered White, visited the yard. It was so polite, remaining on the verbena while I grabbed the camera and shot some photos. I wonder what type of knitting pattern for a shawl could be designed from the pattern on its wings? Don’t you think it looks a bit Art Nouveau?

checkered_white

Anna’s Always Around

q8~Anna’s always around; flitting from flower to flower, buzzing by our heads, sitting on my favorite dead dwarf peach (another story), squeaking at us, or just generally flying about. This hummingbird does not migrate from our area, even in the coldest San Diego weather, Anna is always around. We are amazed at how brazen this bird is, I guess without any natural predators she doesn’t have to be afraid. I know there are he’s, I swear I see the female more even though the male is “prettier” with the gorgeous red neck feathers.

During the fall, if we leave the front door open Anna’s will fly in straight through the house and try to get out of the vaulted-roof-high window. The Hubs has had to save many a hummer. He climbs up a ladder and plucks the bird down when it’s become too tired to fly. Holding the bird in your hand is as if you’re holding air.

When I go out to water the garden, I’ll spray the water into the air so Anna’s can come and enjoy. I was amazed the first time this happened.  Our garden has a lot of hummingbird friendly plants, so I figure I’m being thanked

Anna looking at me as I take her picture.

Anna looking at me as I take her picture.

Anna loving the purple salvia.

Anna loving the purple salvia.

Male Anna's enjoying the Verbena flower's nectar.

Male Anna’s enjoying the Verbena flower’s nectar.


I actually dusted off my Canon Rebel XSi with the 55 – 250 mm zoom lens to take pictures. My Anna’s deserve better than the iPhone point and click!