Monday, February 19, 2007

Spring & Summer on the Horizon!

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If Laura in NJ can photograph toads hugging each other in her post, “Not What You Think”, I’m going out on a limb and showing a little toad porn taken last Spring on my pond. Look closely or click to enlarge. See the on-looker waiting for a piece of the action? Now is the time that I am ready for fun in the sun! I’m so tired of dwelling on how short the hours are in the day so I’m dipping into my photo archives and concentrating on what I have to look forward to in a few weeks or few months.

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By May 1st, I expect to see the canna growing and multiplying, and color around the pond as in this photo taken last May. It’s so dormant, depressing, and bland now. It’s a young pond and will grow more beautiful each year as I add my personal favorites around it. I'll be ready for the hummingbirds to return in a month or so, too, and adding more Koi and watching offspring grow.

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Here's one of the residents who was responsible for a lot of noise and over a million tadpoles last year and still resides in that spot, all winter long.

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The lizards like the western side of the house where they bake in the hot sun. Might sound weird, but I like the lizards.

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The fragrance of a Magnolia blossom is so heavenly!

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This pair was my first sighting this morning on campus. It’s possible they are Millie & Johnnie, as they were perched above the house they investigated a few weeks ago. I saw a different side of bluebirds today. Not the sweet song I’ve heard before, but I saw irritated wing flapping and loud songs as if they were very annoyed with each other. Could they be courting, or was there another male invading their territory? I found a link at Life Histories of Families of North American Birds that described the loving courtship of bluebirds. I'll be watching them closely.
Here’s an excerpt from the link:

The love-making of the bluebird is as beautiful as the bird itself, and normally as gentle, unless interrupted by some jealous rival who would steal his bride; then gentleness gives place to active combat. The male usually arrives a few days ahead of the female, selects what he considers to be a suitable summer home, and carols his sweetest, most seductive notes day after day until she appears in answer to his call. Then he flutters before her, displaying the charms of his widespread tail and half-opened wings, warbling in delicious, soft undertones, to win her favor. At first she seems indifferent to the gorgeous blue of his overcoat or the warm reddish brown of his ardent breast. He perches beside her, caresses her in the tenderest and most loving fashion, and sings to her in most endearing terms. Perhaps he may bring to her some delicious morsel and place it gently in her mouth, as an offering. Probably he has already chosen the cavity or box that he thinks will suit her; he leads her to it, looks in, and tries to persuade her to accept it, but much persistent wooing is needed before the nuptial pact is sealed.

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The pond needed topping today. At the same time I dropped the garden hose in it and looked to the feeder, I saw a Tufted Titmouse preening itself, only twenty feet away from my face. He looked at me, square in the eyes. This is a bird I don’t see often it and made my adrenaline rush. It was too much for me to take and I blew five shots at this brave little bird…each one of them resulting in a blurry mess. At least I suppressed a primal scream before he fled. I really need to settle down and relax, but when you are new at photographing birds, you fumble. I have said this before…being a novice in bird photography is similar to being a novice golfer. You have your eye on under par then you wind up with a triple bogie more often than you’d like. And, each time that happens, you need to keep in mind that there is always the next hole.
I'm putting off the winter doldrums tonight. Husband is in VA and I have the house to myself. Now, I'll crank up Taylor Hicks on the Bose and clean the Beta tank.

16 comments:

vicki said...

"I'll crank up Taylor Hicks on the Bose and clean the Beta tank."
This psot sort of ranges from the ridiculous to the sublime (bluebird love). I am partial to frog humping myself and the resulting sounds, tadpoles, tiny froglets and Spring!
I'm also happy to see your lush magnolia- I have one down here in Florida that I need to whip into shape- it's big but after construction and neglect it needs shaping and fertilizer- and hopefully it will be as shiny and lush and bloomin' as yours!

NatureWoman said...

Love seeing the toads getting it on! And your May photos - they look so good to my eyes. Mary, I love lizards, too. I can't wait to see & smell the Magnolia blossoms.
I loved reading the courting of the bluebirds.
I hear you about the bewd photo fumbling. I can't wait til I can calm down, too. They just don't stick around long enough!
Crank that Taylor - his singing will keep you good company tonight.

LauraHinNJ said...

Your pond is so beautiful! How do you keep that fern going in the baking sun? Oh and that magnolia - those don't grow so well here, wish they would!

That bluebird quote was funny - the person who wrote it sounds really taken with the birds - almost too sensual a description I think! Will have to check out the rest of the link.

Laurie said...

Your "what is to come" photos really made my day. And I loved the soft frog porn. You crack me up girl! Thanks!

mon@rch said...

I can't wait for the weather to get better also!! Give me a little over a month and I will be posting frog porn also! Don't you love what amazes us? Although, no lizards where I am at, you will be seeing salamander porn also! As always, I love all your photos!

Susan Gets Native said...

Jeez...that description of bluebird "lovemaking" was almost too steamy for me. I feel like I need a cigarette.

Spring in ONE MONTH!!!!!

Jayne said...

What an exquisite photo of your pond in May!! WOW... I am sure you are anxious for it to look like that once again. Loved the description of the mating bluebirds too.

beth said...

I'll echo the other comments about the pond looking beautiful - spring is JUST around the corner!

And no mention of dog vomit! Hopefully this means everybody's feeling better...

Mary said...

Vicki, your garden will be fabulous - I can tell that by knowing you for a short time. Your camera will show it off!

Pam, Taylor kept me company last night but unfortunately I was having too much fun and went to bed very late :(

Laura, that fern made it through the summer. I spray it every evening. It hides the lid to the pump enclosure. How about those romantic bluebirds? LOL! Thanks for the compliment on my pond. You should see it now, though.

Laurie, I'm glad someone appreciates frog porn, other than me :)

Mon@rch, it doesn't take much to please me. I find something new every time I walk around the pond. I can't wait to see what you find this spring!

Susan, I agree with you. I had to wipe some sweat off my brow after reading that!

Jayne, thanks. This will be the second spring having this pond and I expect it to get more beautiful each year.

Beth, thanks for checking in! Three days of dog vomit was enough and all is well, thank goodness. I hope you are feeling well, too!

Lynne said...

I have old copies of Arthur Cleveland Bent's "Life Histories of North American Birds of Prey" from my used book store. Bent is great fun to read.
Love your pond- it's so pretty. More-more!!
That tufted titmouse would be a lifer for me!
I'll be cranking Taylor Hicks on the Bose today too! (piles of laundry)

Liza Lee Miller said...

Suppressing the primal scream. . . boy do I do that a lot in photographing birds!

And, remember the only time they'll pose for you is when you haven't got your camera! Rotten birds! :)

Sandy said...

Yes, your pond is beautiful. Is that where the heron comes sometimes?

Mary said...

Lynne, I like the way he writes about birds - so dramatic. I need to spend more time reading on that website.

Liza, I think there's a Carolina Wren sleeping/living under my deck and comes and goes through the lattice...yesterday, the bird perched on my deck railing and buy the time I found my camera...well, you know.

Sandy, thanks for the compliment. No, the heron hasn't visited this pond yet but visited in MD and DE. That's why I have a "thing" about them :) I don't mind them visiting but I do mind when they have dinner.

Sonia said...

Hi Mary, the more I visit your blog the more I love it! Your photos are fantastic and I love the big size of them. Love also the size of the font of the text, it is very comfortable to reading.

Your pond is so beautiful and looks so fresh!

Last but not least, thank you for your nice comment about my Mom's photos!

Jess Riley said...

Mary, can I trade backyards with you? Pleeeeeeze? (Love the frog porn. My new goal in life is to capture some bee or dragonfly porn this summer to share with you via my blog.)

dguzman said...

It's so good to see a blog by another beginner--maybe you could check out my blog sometime:
www.beginningtobird.blogspot.com

Believe me, I have plenty of blurry photos as well--whether it's overexcitement, poor lighting, sub-par equipment, or plain old lack of skills, I'll let you decide! It's exactly like your beginning golfer analogy; you just can't quit, though. Good luck!