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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Today's Lens (06/26/14)

Today, we'll take our usual trip down to the barn, but then we'll also take a quick swing by Merli Sarnoski Park to check out the scene. Thanks for joining me (click here to view images individually and post comments).

It almost looks as though someone posed these three! Not only are they in order by size, but they're also perfectly spaced and staggered. I couldn't have gotten them to do this if I tried!

Island hopping. This great blue heron decided that he wasn't happy on one island at Powell Pond, and took a quick flight over to the second one. I didn't have a clear view of the landing, but rest assured, he stopped by for a bit before taking off again for the pond behind the barn.

I'm not sure if this little fatty reminded me of Punxsutawney Phil, the real one, or Phil the spokes'chuck for the PA Lottery. Of course, even though it's not a gopher, I also had the phrase "...greasy, grimy, gopher guts" running through my head too - thanks Bill Murray (Caddyshack)

It caught sight of the dog approaching, and ducked down for cover, but I still saw it peeking!

And, here we have Curious and Curiouser, also known as Muffin (foreground) and Rocky (background). While Ann is back in the barn tending to her new baby (a week old yesterday), these two are out roaming around and seeing what trouble they can get into.

It really does look like he's contemplating trouble, doesn't it?

Next stop: The boat launch at Merli Sarnoski Park. I never fail to catch a glimpse of a heron in the boggy end of the lake. I stuck around for a while to see if this guy would go fishing, but he never really moved from this place. In fact, I walked all the way down to the handicap dock, and he was still pretty much in the same position. 

I had to run to catch up to this little fellow. Even though they say turtles are slow, this one was on a mission to get across the road quick! I waited until he was just on the edge and out of harms way should a car come along before I got close enough for it to stop moving. I'm guessing, from the very brief research that I've done to identify this guy, that by the length of his claws, this is a male Eastern Painted Turtle. One other way to identify gender was to look at the length of the tail, but that's not clearly visible in any of the shots I got.

This Red-eyed Vireo flitted around in the brush near the handicap fishing dock. He was quite a playful little fellow, and kept stopping to pose for me. You can see his red eyes a little more clearly in the next shot.

He was quite a pretty little fellow, but the red eyes are kind of scary looking when the light hits them just right.

I saw the orange of this little guy, and instantly thought, oooh, Baltimore Oriole. Wrong. After I got home and pulled the photo up on the computer, I could clearly see that it wasn't. This is an American Redstart. I'm always amazed at the different types of birds I see at the Park vs. what I see at home, which is only "over the river and through the woods" away - as the crow flies, it's only about 0.6 mile to the main parking lot, but driving it's 1.1 miles.

Peek-A-Boo. This chipmunk thought it might be fun to play peek-a-boo for while. Naturally, I indulged

We'll end with the uglier side of man. Throughout the Park, there are numerous, and I mean you don't have to walk far to find one, garbage cans and recycle bins. Why? Why, why, why do people have to be so lazy and inconsiderate? These items were just out of reach, and at the bottom of a not so friendly looking drop-off, and I couldn't do my part to help clean it up (at least not without fear of falling in, and I didn't think the Canon would take too kindly to that. Although I did fall in the fountain at Nay Aug in the middle of the winter a few years ago and tested the Canon's swimming ability - it survived, and I'm still using the same camera today - but that's another story).

This one, I did pick up and carry through the woods with me until I got to the next nearest can - a whopping 300' or so - boy was I exhausted from carrying a plastic water bottle (which according to the International Bottled Water Association weighs approximately 12.7 grams - less than 1/10 of a pound) that far. No wonder the previous owner just dropped it along the side of the lake where it can do far more harm than good. I really don't understand people! 

Aside from the litter bugs and their sloppy laziness, I hope you enjoyed today's journey.  As always, if you would like to comment on individual photos, please use this link:  Today's Lens (06/26/14) Photo Library.

Join me again next time for more "Today's Lens."

Thanks for joining me!


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