Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Introducing ... & Remember Me ?

The 3 newest and ''unexpected'' members of our feathered family
These baby chicks are just under a week old....

Here is how it all began....

We free-range all of our ducks and chickens and we can't forget ''skittles'', our year old Barred Rock rooster.  They are really good to go to bed, especially when they see us coming with their food! At the end of July, one of our hens went into the woods one day and never came out at bedtime with the others.... we were devastated and thought that a predator came in contact with her....It was a sleepless night worrying if she was ok wherever she was... The next morning, she came darting out of the woods and ran to the coop, and I'm thinking to myself that she must be thankful to be safe with the others... NOT!!!! She got a drink of water and helped herself to some lay pellets then darted off to the woods again... A day went by, another day, a week, another week.... and we said if she is not out this week, we have to think the worst! Then, one afternoon, we looked out of the window and saw these little balls of fluff tip-toeing along the edge of the woods with the mother hen....we could not believe our eyes!!

And here they are with the mother at 4 weeks old, and as you can see, they are getting their brand new feathers....

It will be fun to watch them's still too early to know if they are boys or girls! Stay tuned....

AND .... REMEMBER ME.........
Squirt.... 3 days old
Wow, Look how much she has grown....She is 4 weeks old here!!
She is just leaving the pond from a bath and a short visit with the other ducks....She is our "little baby" and still sleeps with her two teddy bears every single night, and Lucky duck is sleeping in his house right beside her!!!! Remember this photo and story "My Name is Squirt":
Squirt is 5 days old here and snuggling up to her teddy bears

And now look at me.......................

All grown up at 8 weeks old....
Squirt loves playing with the other ducks and is enjoying her life here on the farm....

Thursday, September 19, 2013

~ Harvest Moon ~

The full moon closest to the fall equinox got it's name the ''Harvest Moon'' and last night, Sept 18-19th, it was full and shining all night .... This full moon also marks the beginning of fall, and in this house, it is our favorite time of year !!
September 18, 2013 ~ 8:50 pm

I am glad that I followed and used all of the tips that I read to prepare for these moon photography photos!! And I am much happier with the results compared to yesterday's "eve of the harvest moon" post
September 19, 2013 ~ 6:18 am
It's going to be another spectacular night tonight to view the 'full harvest moon'... Enjoy the evening and Happy Fall

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

~ Eve of the Harvest Moon ~

This is what happens at 5 a.m. when your camera is #1 .... "NOT" set to the proper settings to capture what you would hope would turn out to be a nice photo and #2 .... thin layer of clouds and fog (both in this case) !!
But, it certainly was a 'wow' moment to watch this moon set with the naked eye and it looked as if you could reach out and touch it....  !! We are looking forward to tomorrow's full harvest moon.... I have my camera ready, do you?

Some camera tips and settings to capture the moon:
  • Tripod
  • A DSLR camera with a 200mm+ telephoto lens OR a point and shoot camera that would have optical zoom
  • A timer in your camera or a remote camera trigger (reduces camera shake)
  • Set your camera to full MANUAL mode
  • Set your ISO to 100 and make sure "auto ISO" is turned off
  • Set your Aperture to f/11
  • Shutter speed to 1/125
  • Lens focus: set to manual focus and increase it to infinity
This is just a standard guide and starting point to adjust your settings.  You can increase or decrease each one slightly until you are satisfied.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Polar Bear Skull

The polar bear is native to the Arctic and is the largest bear and land carnivore in the world.  It can grow up to 1500 pounds.  They have a great sense of smell and can live to almost 20 years.

The polar bear's favorite meal is seal meat and blubber.  Polar bear molars are smaller than the other bear species because of their soft diet... Some researchers have created computer simulations on the brown bear and polar bear to test the bite strength and the stresses put on the skull by biting....They have found that polar bears were less capable of chewing harder food than the brown bear and their skulls are five times weaker.

As the Arctic ice starts to disappear and the foraging for seals becomes more difficult, this will be significantly challenging for the polar bear to survive.

We were very privileged and learned a lot about this majestic creature and it was certainly a rare opportunity....A very special thankyou to the owner(s) for allowing me to photograph these amazing images.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Antique Disc Harrow

This rusty, retired disc is a beautiful piece of old equipment ....I took advantage of this photographic moment in combination with this morning's sunrise....

This horse-drawn disc harrow was used for breaking up and smoothing out the surface of the soil before planting.  Harrows were commonly used before modern tractors were invented.  If you know where we can get a seat to fit this now garden ornament, you can contact us here!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Kiss and Release

This goldfish was caught in our outdoor pond.  We have hundreds of them that live here year round and can easily be caught with a net (as seen in the photo above).  In the spring, we watch as the males chase and ''bump and nudge'' the females which prompts them to release their eggs.  The eggs then attach to the aquatic vegetation.  With 48-72 hours, they will hatch.

During the winter months, the goldfish stop eating and often stay on the bottom of the pond.  Plants are essential because they raise oxygen levels in the water and are part of the filtration system.  The plants are also a food source for the fish.
Ever since Skye was a puppy, she looks forward to 'kissing' the fish before it is released back into the water :-)

Goldfish are very hardy and colourful and make a great addition to any pond.