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Archive for the ‘Photos’ Category

Snowtastrophe

Somewhere under all that snow is my garden.

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Birds, birds everywhere at Cantigny Gardens last weekend. This Cedar tree was filled with about 50 Waxwings. This is a fairly common bird but you’ll only see them if you look up. They like to travel in flocks and can be seen eating berries in fruit trees or catching insects in mid-air.

More Wordless Wednesday.

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This is an award winning short film about how a recent widower deals with his grief through his wife’s broken camera. Or is it really broken? As a photographer I can relate. And bring tissues.

While it’s only 4 minutes long it’s quite powerful.

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Christmas Bird Count

Saturday I participated in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count at Cantigny Gardens, part of the counting circle for the Dupage Birding Club.

The longest running Citizen Science survey in the world, Audubon’s annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) will take place between December 14, 2009 and January 5, 2010. From Alaska to Antarctica, tens of thousands of volunteers will add a new layer to over a century of bird population information.

Scientists rely on this remarkable trend data to better understand how birds and their environment are faring, and what needs to be done to protect them. Data from Audubon’s signature Citizen Science program are at the heart of numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies.

The weather was not the best. It was cloudy with temperatures in the low 30’s and light snow most of the day. We didn’t see as many birds as we expected with a final count of 519 birds and 25 species. Not one robin was seen and house sparrows were scarce. There were a lot of geese, and no crows.

After I was done counting I spent some time near one of the feeders and took some pictures of a few of the birds:

NorthernCardinal_IMG_3912
Northern Cardinal – Male

NorthernCardinal_IMG_3855
Northern Cardinal – Female

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Black-capped Chickadee

More Wordless Wednesday.

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Autumn Prairie

Saturday was a gorgeous, sunny day with temperatures in the low 70’s, a rare treat for November. It was much too beautiful a day to be indoors so I grabbed my camera and went for a walk in the Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve, an 80-acre remnant prairie, wetland, and savanna complex.

Wolf Road Prairie
The prairie looks very different in the fall with none of the vibrant color and lushness of the summer flowers.

Wolf Road Prairie

 

 

 

 

Even though it is surrounded by development I could barely hear the traffic. In these photos you can see the office buildings in the distance.

 

 

 

Wolf Road Prairie Oaks Savanah
The prairie has an interesting history. This land was originally planned as a housing development in the 1920s, but then the Great Depression came along and plans were halted.

 

 

Wolf Road Prairie Oak Savanah
Three cutouts were made for streets and sidewalks were poured, but that was all that was developed. The sidewalks are still there. An eerie grid of them leads you through an oak savanah to the open prairie.

 

Although this prairie is home to over 150 species of birds, very few were visible. I could hear them and see a few hopping in the dried grass, but they weren’t interested in letting me get too close. Perhaps the Red-tailed Hawk soaring above had something to do with it.

TreeSparrow-WolfPrairie_IMG_3494

A tree sparrow stopped just long enough for me to get off a shot and a tree full of starlings didn’t seem too worried.

Starlings-WolfPrairie_IMG_3427

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Immature Cedar Waxwing

Immature Cedar Waxwing

Taken with a hand-held camera using a zoom lens.

More Wordless Wednesday.

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Pink Dahlia

The dahlia is still blooming. We haven’t had a frost yet. I expect that to change this weekend.

Pink Dahlia

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Pool Party

My birdbath was a popular place last week. Perhaps because until Sunday night we hadn’t had rain in 22 days. To say the weather here has been unusual this year would be an understatement.

The young robins enjoy splashing around in the bath. They like to play in the water more than any of the other visitors.
Robins Splashing

The sparrows were trying to get a drink.
Splashing Robins

Even the squirrels are thirsty.

Thirsty Squirrel

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Flowers After the Rain

I like the way the flowers look after the rain stops and the sun returns. Here are a few photos I took last week.

Surprise Lilly

Surprise Lilly

Hosta Flowers

Hosta Flowers

Pink Spider Flower

Pink Spider Flower

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