Thursday, October 23, 2014

Red Maple Leaf

The reds and yellows and oranges of Autumn. What beauty.
I had a chance to capture some images at Bernheim earlier in the week. ENJOY!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Barn, Bluegrass Scenic Byway

Fall scenery as I drove the Bluegrass Scenic Byway was so beautiful. There are still a few trees that hadn't turned, but by next week I'm sure they will be in their peak.
This week and next the weak colors will be everywhere.
I passed this tree with beautiful orange red leaves and finally decided to stop as I drove back and capture a couple of images. Right outside my own back door, the maple trees have turned bright red. They are late turning this year compared to the past few years. I hope you are able to get out and take some in the Fall foliage. ENJOY!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


A quick note to mention I have just completed a major overhaul of my Pinterest page and if you would like to check it out here's where you can find it.

My images date all the way back to 2006 and especially from 2008 when this blog began. So if you are new to my blog, you might want to take a trip down memory lane. ENJOY!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fall, Bluegrass Scenic Byway

In Kentucky, you will find.
Carpets of bluegrass that cover the landscape.
Horse farms and thoroughbreds. Stables and barns.
Limestone and wooden fences. Stallions and brood mares.
You can come along and take a ride with me.

You thought I was kidding. Oh, and before you go, let me introduce you to a beautiful chestnut filly you see hanging her head over the fence line. Her name is 'Love Me Good' and she was sired at the most famous horse farm known the world over, Three Chimneys Farm, in Lexington, Kentucky. Nowadays she resides at Sheltowee Farm in Midway. Her ancestry includes a Kentucky Derby winner, Northern Dancer. And she loved hamming it up for my camera. ENJOY!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Bernheim's Autumn

Images I have captured thus far of Fall's colorful display.

Beautiful Bernheim in the arboretum area.

Red maple leaves.

More beautiful red leaves. Anyone have an identification on this one, leave me a note.

Fall is the perfect time to take a drive along Bernheim's forest road. Around every bend in the road comes a new surprise. Yellow, orange, red. It's gorgeous. ENJOY!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Scarlet Tanager

Sunday proved to be interesting as I photographed two different birds that from a distance looked similar, but when looking at the images in my software, definitely are not. The Palm Warbler proved more difficult to identify while the bird I am posting today needed less research to uncover the identification. This is a female Scarlet Tanager. I read that the female Scarlet Tanager never turns scarlet red, as its name suggests. Only the male has the strikingly beautiful scarlet red body with jet black wings.
In the winter, this female will turn completely yellow green. She may have a hint of darker color to her scapulars. Now you may ask me, what is a scapular? I had no idea what that was either. It is the 'what I like to call' layers of feathers. The feathers lay in rows with upper, lower and sub scapulars. Under those scapulars are the tail, undertail coverts and greater coverts. Who knew? I guess you need to know when you have thousands of birds to identify in varying stages of ages and sexes. Not to mention breeding plumage. Another interesting note, Tanagers and Orioles seem to have similar markings and coloring.
This Scarlet Tanager seemed as curious about me as I was about it. Turning her head back and forth, I thought for sure she was going to fly away. But she hesitated for a bit. Here is where a long fixed lens would have come in very handy. A 300mm fixed lens would have gotten me some fantastic images. As it was my 300mm zoom kept auto focusing on branches. So I only got a few really good images that were in focus. My guess is an avid bird photographer will carry those fixed lens as it has to be to their advantage.
Female Scarlet Tanagers are entirely yellowish green, with a yellower throat and sides, and dark wings and tail. A thin bright yellow eye ring and greenish edging on their wing coverts are markings that can help identify these birds. Tanagers breed in the eastern United States, all the way to the Gulf Coast. Wintertime you will find them migrating to Amazonia and the foothills of the Andes in South America. What a trip these birds make. I truly am amazed at how far some of the smaller bird species travel in migration. As I mentioned in my last post, it has turned into the rainy season here in the Bluegrass State, with storms and heavy rain. After grabbing lunch today, I looked up to see a really dark ring of storm clouds moving in. I have to admit I checked out the whole ring just to make sure no circular motion was going on as tornadoes and wind have brought damage to homes and businesses and even several deaths south in Kentucky and in Tenessee. ENJOY!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Palm Warbler

Every now and then you can find me hanging out on the path that surrounds Kingfisher Pond at Bernheim Arboretum. The pond itself is so small that if you blink, you might miss it. However, it is a good spot for bird watching which I did today. This area of Bernheim has a lot of trees and bushes near the pond which attracts lots of different species of birds.
As I stood on the path that surrounds the pond, a small bird sat on a nearby tree for a few seconds allowing me to capture a few images. When I got home I did a search on the internet to find out what type of bird he was thinking perhaps he could be a Warbler. And discovered he is a Warbler, a Palm Warbler. Not sure how he got his name although he spends his winters in the Caribbean. He is a Life List bird for me which is even better.
I learned that Palm Warblers breed in the farthest northern part of Canada than any other Warbler species. They migrate from that northern Canada summer breeding ground to the Gulf Coast and the Caribbean in winter. This particular Palm Warbler is an adult and was sporting its Fall plumage.
After searching for what type of Warbler this was, I have come to the conclusion you could go mad identifying Warblers as there are so many of them. And to make matters worst, once you do identify what type of Warbler then you have to figure out if it is a juvenile or an adult, a male or a female, and then what plumage is it sporting. Maddening.

I have another bird I will post this week that I captured images of near the pond. I haven't quite put my finger on his identification although he could be a Grosbeak of some sort. I did see a Cardinal, a Cedar Waxwing and a Black Capped Chickadee in the same vicinity. I expected I might find a Waxwing what with all of the bushes heavily laden with berries. And yes, I have images of those too to share soon. I hope you had a great weekend. Here in Kentucky, we could use a bit of sunshine and I don't mean the peak through the clouds kind like we had today. It has been gloomy for days, rained most of last week, just ugly. ENJOY!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Herons, Mustatatuck NWR

He's on the prowl for lunch or perhaps it's dinner. As I scanned the marshland and swamps and lakes at Mustatatuck a few weeks back, I managed to find a few Great Blue Herons on the prowl. This guy was at a pretty far distance so I had to heavily crop the image to get you a closer view.
I love photographing Herons because they are such amiable subjects. They stand motionless for what seems like hours so getting a good crisp photograph is easy. This particular Heron stood for an eternity and never moved nary a bit the entire time I was photographing him short of one turn. Does that means he's really hungry and 'hell bent' on catching a fish. I wonder.
Every now and then I will capture the beautiful blue skies along with the gorgeous blues of Lake Rickert to show you how fantastic this wildlife refuge is to visit.
As you can see, the refuge was teaming with Herons the day I visited. In this case, this Heron was fishing intently in the lily pads at Rickert Lake way off to the side. He eventually disappeared into the reeds never to be seen by me again. ENJOY!