Free Download - October 2013 Desktop Calendar

Yes, the cooler month of October is upon us and my Blog header still sports a photo from July! I promise to update it this month. Along with cooler temperatures, we are bound to see some colorful leaves - at least I'm hoping so - you never know with the current dry weather (no measurable rain in 8 weeks).

To download, click on the link at Free Download - October 2013 Desktop Calendar

Have a great October!


Along My Evening Walk

With Baseball season officially behind us, I found myself on Tuesday evening free of any sort of obligation. I suppressed the urge to pilfer that time away by lying on the couch watching Love It or List It on HGTV; instead I hauled my butt outside with my camera in tow.

[Side Note: If you have ever watched Love It Or List It, why is it that 90% of the time the family decides to Love It? I had to watch at least 10 episodes before the final verdict was "List It". I would love to see follow ups with the families a year later to see if they regretted their decision.
End of Side Note]

I should have headed out earlier - the evening sky was beautiful, but the light was fading quickly and I am sure there was a prettier show a mere fifteen minutes before I shot this one.

I crossed over the foot bridge over the local slough and spotted an egret. I have seen them occasionally around the retention ponds, but never this close, wading in the water. Edited to add - I have been informed by my mother that the bird is a great blue heron, not an egret!
Out for a Stroll

Lucky for me, he was walking against the current, towards me on the foot bridge.
Fishing, Perhaps

I may have spooked him a bit because once he was under the bridge, he took off.
Taking Off
It's not the greatest capture - my shutter speed was too slow to get a perfectly sharp image. What a beautiful bird - I am amazed by the wide wingspan, the elegant neck, the stick legs.

Through the Marsh

I'll admit I didn't walk very much that evening but I'd rather stalk a pretty bird anyways.


For the Love of Baseball

A couple of weeks ago, I rejoiced as I received my "third child" (aka my D600) back!

The Nikon Service guys replaced its shutter mechanism, updated the firmware, cleaned it up and even wrapped it quite nicely in plastic.
My #Nikon is Back from Nikon Service. Hoping no more sensor issues. #d600

I unwrapped it, put a lens on it, adjusted the focus back to single point (I had to break out the manual to figure that out, sheesh) and then it sat in my purse, unused.

Actually, since I keep it in my purse, I lugged it around with me everywhere. But I was slow on the picture taking. I blame it on the late summer heat and humidity - it was so hot and humid, all I wanted to do was hide in my air conditioned house (until the air conditioning unit fan shot craps, but that is another story). I had no desire to go outside and take photos.

Slowly, it made appearances at my son's baseball games. One or two shots here and there. Then I got into a groove and remembered how much I enjoyed capturing these moments in life. And I remembered how awesome this camera is at capturing action shots.

vs. Bloomington
Yup, he was out at second, but it was a good effort.

At Danville
Strike! And a poof of dust at the Catcher's Mitt!

vs. Bloomington
The Coach gives some constructive direction after a tough inning.

At Danville

They are certainly having fun playing ball this year. Our team has a winning record and we're heading into the post season - wish us luck as we play in a semi final on Saturday! I'll be there to capture more action (and those in-the-dugout shenanigans).


Chicago Day Trip and Blog Friends

I'm here to testify that the connections made through the blog world are real and genuine. Meeting a blog friend in real life is so special - I was so happy to have the opportunity to meet Tina yesterday in the Windy City. She's visiting Chicago all the way from Sweden and she is as awesome in real life as she is on her blog!

Snack Time with Two Sweeties! #sweet #sprinkles

We spent some time shopping along Michigan Ave - something [I am ashamed to say] I have never done... I had the pleasure of introducing Tina to Lululemon and I think she's hooked! We walked and walked and walked and after all that walking, treated ourselves to a sweet treat - cupcakes from Sprinkles. We walked all the way up to Navy Pier, where there are amazing views of the city and of course, lots of people to watch.


1. Disappearing Act #chicago #skyscrapers #fog, 2. Conversations #chicago, 3. Snack Time with Two Sweeties! #sweet #sprinkles, 4. Sunday Stroll #chicago, 5. Day Trip to #Chicago with @tinajo73, 6. Light My Life #church

It was a really fun day - something I wouldn't normally do on a Sunday. Meeting Tina was the "icing on the cupcake". She is the third blog friend I've met in real life and I hope to meet others in the future. You can read her blog post on our adventure here - there's even a photo of me!

Have you met blog followers IRL? Aren't they always exactly as you would expect them to be?

Shared with Mosaic Monday.


Unexpected Visitor

We had a surprise visitor to our backyard pond the other day - a young hawk! Scott noticed him (her?) perched on one of the stones, looking down at the water.

On the Perch

He appeared to be watching the gold fish in the pond. Maybe hoping for an afternoon snack?

Then he moved closer to the house - on to the cover of the pond's recirculation pump, where he continued to look down at the water. He was less than 3 feet away from the house - certainly the closest I've been to a raptor in the wild.

I love how the tail feathers are fanned out, and notice the slight lean forward in this next photo - just prior to him taking off in flight:


I didn't get a decent photo of him in flight, but it was cool to watch. He never did take anything from the pond, either. We only have little goldfish in the pond and since some of them swim very close to the surface, I thought he would grab one.

I am not any sort of raptor expert, so if anyone out there knows what type of hawk this guy is, please let me know in the comments!

Shared with Tuesday's Muse and Communal Global.


Free Download - September 2013 Desktop Calendar

Even though we are in the midst of a heat wave, September is bound to bring us cooler days as Autumn approaches. With the shorter days, one doesn't have to stay up too late to catch a lovely evening sky here on the prairie.

To download, click on the link at Free Download - September 2013 Desktop Calendar

Enjoy your September!



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The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code. and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act) prohibits the use of digital property to be used without the consent of its owner.

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