Photographing my story, one click at a time.

Posts tagged “nature

Sparrow Spooker

In the past several years we’ve noticed more sparrows showing up in the yard. Even though we love all of the birds, sparrows are like the block bullies. In an effort to protect our bluebirds and their babies, we did some research on how to keep the sparrows from going near the nesting box. Last year we discovered the “sparrow spooker” and it was literally a life saver for our bluebirds.

This website sells sparrow spookers and supplies to make your own.  We order the Mylar scare tape and build our spooker. When we put it up last year we read that it’s best to wait until after the bluebirds have laid their first egg. They are less likely to abandon the nest at that point. This year because we noticed the bluebirds fighting off a few sparrows while they were in the nest building process, I decided to make a new one and put it up right away.

Let me insert a little helpful information here. Don’t run to the store and get a Mylar balloon (like I tried last year), cut it up into strips and use that thinking “Hey, it’s Mylar”. They curl and become ineffective by the end of the first day.

There’s nothing really pretty about a sparrow spooker except the Mylar strips waving in the breeze. I build them out of whatever wood I have handy. As long as it’s sturdy and I can attach it to the post the nesting box is on, I consider it a success. When I put it up this year, it took about a half hour for the bluebirds to be comfortable around the box again. They took turns checking it out, flying over it, under it, around it, etc. Soon they were perching on it as if it had been there forever. We haven’t seen any sparrows near the nesting box since we put it up.

White Pine Photo

White Pine Photo

White Pine Photo


It’s all in the timing

“Sometimes I arrive just when God’s ready to have someone click the shutter.”
― Ansel Adams

Blue Jay
11/04/12 - Blue Jay jump

Let there be color!

We’ve been on vacation up on Mackinac Island for a while but it’s back to reality now! This coming week all of my posts will be shots of Mackinac. Today’s pictures will be of the drive up there. It’s about a six hour ride from home and the further we got into Michigan, the more vibrant the trees became. We always stop in Big Rapids to stretch and gas up the Jeep. @Elizababble took over driving so I could take pictures.

Michigan Autumn Colors - 2012


Michigan Autumn Colors - 2012

Michigan Autumn Colors - 2012


Michigan Autumn Colors - 2012

Michigan Autumn Colors - 2012

Michigan Autumn Colors - 2012

You say goodbye and I say hello….



Yellow Rumped Warblers

We’ve noticed these little beauties in the yard recently. It’s the first time we’ve seen them here.


Indiana Dunes

15 miles of coastline, over 70 miles of trails and more than 350 species of bird…..Come for a visit; you won’t be disappointed!

Thanks Summer, It’s been a blast!

Summer 2012

I.D. Bracelet

Bird Banding at the Indiana Dunes.

Blue-crowned nuthatch getting his tiny metal band with a nine-digit identification number.
bird banding 13

The band is on and all that needs to be done is to weigh this little guy

All done and ready to take off!
Female Blue Crowned Nut Hatch 1

Close your eyes and listen to what you can see

“I hear like you see — like the hummingbird outside that window for instance.”
-Ray Charles

Gentle Giants

Nature’s great masterpiece, an elephant; the only harmless great thing.
John Donne

Be a Tree’s BFF

Be a gentle friend to trees and they will give you back beauty, cool and fragrant shade, and many birds, singing.
– Unknown

Baby Hummingbird

Yellow Finch

Female Red Finch

“Good morning, Storm”

“It takes a real storm in the average person’s life to make him realize how much worrying he has done over the squalls.”
― Bruce Barton

A storm blew in off of Lake Michigan this morning. The trees were smiling.

My Little Chickadee

Today we were visited by four Chickadees. We’ve never seen them in the yard, although friends that live about a mile away have recently seen them in their trees. Needless to say, I grabbed my camera and started shooting.

Even a hummingbird takes a break

I was sitting on the patio earlier today and saw this male hummingbird resting in a tree.

Hummingbird resting

Hummingbird resting

Hummingbird resting

We can’t all be the lead singer

“Use what talents you possess: The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.”
― Henry Van Dyke

Nature gets it right every time

“Did you ever see an unhappy horse? Did you ever see a bird that had the blues? One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses.”
  – Dale Carnegie

Backyard Beauty

I feel a responsibility to my backyard. I want it to be taken care of and protected.
Annie Leibovitz

A baby Bluebirds first flight out of the nesting box. He turned around and flew right back in. (he left a while later)

I took all of these pictures in my backyard. 🙂

The Buzz

“One can no more approach people without love than one can approach bees without care. Such is the quality of bees…”
― Leo Tolstoy

The Singer

A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.
Lou Holtz

Photopalooza Tuesday!

This weeks Photopalooza pictures aren’t necessarily my favorite photos, but they all have meaning or a story.

I saw this house purely by accident one day. I call it the Amazing Technicolor Dream House. Whatever this place is, it looks like a party.

I got my braces when I was 48. I just turned 50 when they came off. It’s never too late! I’ve been smiling ever since!

We’ve done a lot of bike rides but this was the first night ride. It was interesting and very dark. 🙂

This is a portion of a beam from the World Trade Center. It is on display at Purdue University North Central. Every time I look at this picture, I think “If this beam could talk.” Still very sad to think about that day.

I love biking around Mackinac Island and anywhere else for that matter. Here I am getting my bike tattoo on the back of my leg.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtails. I love these guys. The one on the left is just a couple days older than the one on the right. We’ve yet to see one make it to the cocoon stage. Click here to read all about these little guys.

The End.

See you next Tuesday for a new Photopalooza!

Sandhill Cranes

Living just minutes from the Indiana Dunes and the Lake Michigan shore, bird migration is a common yearly ritual. In my opinion, nothing beats the Sandhill Crane migration. Their size alone; with a wingspan of 5-6 feet, is spectacular to see. On any given day during the migratory season, you can see thousands of them flying overhead.

Here are a few shots I took in March:

Grasshopper, Anyone?

As long as there are bluebirds, there will be miracles and a way to find happiness.
Shirl Brunnel

Female Bluebird waiting to bring her babies a grasshopper

A little blueberry chaser




The female Bluebird flying in some lunch for her babies. She seems to have overshot the runway a little. They can’t all be perfect.

Hibiscus – Delicate Beauty

Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.  ~Henry Beecher, Life Thoughts, 1858