Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Disturbing the Peace


It was the kind of morning to enjoy an early nap in a hammock wrapped in a light blanket. The rising sun was warm. The only sounds were a Red-winged Blackbird's "oka-reeee" and the rustling of dried leaves as the winds were just beginning to gust.


Peaceful Mallards paddled without a care


and dried themselves on the deck.

I could have sat in the sun all day and enjoyed the scenery.

Well, look who the wind blew in.
Canada Geese and their ear-piercing honk.


The first fleet arrived, announcing their landing.

I’m convinced I need to sit on a bench for an entire day and wait for birds in flight to practice photographing them. I always jump the gun and press the shutter before I allow the camera to auto-focus and I also confuse myself with manual in/out zoom during those times. You see, it’s difficult for me to stay calm when I rarely see birds fly overhead. It's also challenging when I’m standing on a bank and fear losing balance and rolling toward an algae bath.


I’m fond of this photo, even as a silhouette. It’s purely accidental that I allowed the camera to focus before taking the shot.

Flapping wings and thrust were heard overhead; seemingly close enough to lift my bangs.


The second fleet arrived but not without opposition from the first. Hiss.


The kack acking began and filled the atmosphere with ack.


The first fleet acked back, too.


Fifty ackers


and one hundred hairy eyeballs.

So much for peace.

The confrontation ended within a minute or two


and the Mallards knew it was time to give up the deck.

The day progressed from warm, light wind gusts to whipping cold winds.

Oak leaf silhouettes suspended in air. Wow.


Susan Gets Native said...

Yay, I'm first!

Canada's all act like they are off their meds.

Word verification: crest. Don't you love how the jumbles have turned into words?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Mary these are great photos. I love to see the Geese interacting. They are absolute in their thinking of the way things should be.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Oooh, May! That last photo is AMAZING!!!!

Canada's are beautiful, but I've been chased by them too many times (they can run fast!) so I tend to give them a wide berth.


Kim said...

LOVE the photos. The geese pictures are great. I especially like the one where they are gliding into the water. The sky shot is stunning.

And I am jealous that you could be outside in your hammock today. It is 20 degrees here right now. Grrrrr. ;o)

Mary said...

Kallen, I was only dreaming of a hammock on Saturday - it was warm. Now, record-lows tonight in the 20s! Brrrrrr!

Susan - yes I like the WORDS in word verifications. Mine is FLWAY

Laurie and company said...

incredible pix, mary. made me feel a hint of warmth in our mid-Indiana chill. thanks for sharing.


Kathi said...

I just hate it when two rival gangs meet up, don't you? First, the hissing, then the acking. The next thing you know, they'll be having a dance-off, like in West Side Story or that Michael Jackson video.

That sky photo is awesome! Keep it up, Mary, one day, you'll actually take a picture, LOL!


KGMom said...

Love those dueling geese--the photos all but make the acking sound.

jane augenstein said...

Oh, Mary.........last shot is breathtakingly gorgeous!!! good job!
When and if I ever get another sleigh, I'll invite you to Ohio to go for a sleigh ride with me and the boys! Sleigh bells and all!! :-)

Rose said...

I thought the geese in flight was an awesome photo until I got to the last one, Mary--spectacular! What a great way to spend your early morning.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

I can't believe you could lay outside in your hammock today, Mary... It was in the 20's-30's here ALL day. Brrrrrrr!!!

Love the geese pictures.. We have them--and when they fly over, they really are LOUD!!!!

The last sky picture is incredible. Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

Mary : These are beautiful images cute birds. I pick the 2nd one as the best of this series.

I have added you to my blogroll so that I can follow your blog...Thomas

beckie said...

I looked at your waether widget on your side bar and the temp there is 25! Same as here. I'll bet that stings a little. The geese pictures and the narrative are great. I love the way you see life. You should get an award for that last sky picture. Just gorgeous!

Unknown said...

We have Canada Geese year round. They can be annoying but I still like them and love watching them in flight coming in for a landing at the bay.

And yes a gorgeous last photo

nina at Nature Remains. said...

I think the idea of hanging out on a bench for the day is fantastic.
You name the bench, I'll be there!

But, you're so right about catching birds in flight and how tricky it is. Plus, the backlighting that may work for or against you.
I really like your silhouettes. Very random=very real.

And the pink clouds are always my favorites.

NatureWoman said...

I love reading your posts, Mary. Ack ack! And that last photo, yowsa, how beautiful!

NCmountainwoman said...

Great shots. Canada geese can become quite a nuisance. In our Wisconsin village, we had them all over the place. Goose poop everywhere! Suddenly, one morning the geese were gone.

Coincidentally, the food kitchens suddenly had lots of geese to feed the homeless.

Don't ask; don't tell.

I especially loved the last picture. Fantastic!

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Being a nature photographer for a living is the best! Not only do you get to sit out on a bench all day, if you want to, but you are suppose to! You are working!!!
Now the tricky part is getting someone to put the check in the bank for you!
You have the first part down...now we need to find a check book.
Watching the geese is always delightful. Watching them through your lens is a divine "ack".
Stay warm,

RuthieJ said...

I love your last photo too -- like fire in the sky.
Do you have a goose hunting season in NC? It's quite a big deal around here--especially since Rochester is year-round home to 1000's of them. People in town think they're a nuisance, but I would be thrilled to have some land in my backyard (another reason to dig for a pond).

Cheryl said...

The last photograph Mary is wonderful......so angry....such rage......I love it, its hot......

Canada geese are great.....we get a lot here......I love the silhouette of them in flight........
I am still having trouble taking bird photograph....despite new camera, new lens........I am going to have to build a hide, I think. As soon as I walk outside, bye bye birdies.....it driving me nuts........

Desert Survivor said...

Love your photos, I know what you mean about the difficulty of clicking at just the right moment to get birds in flight.

Tina said...

What a nice series of photos, Mary, loved going through your day with you. Wish it were a little warmer here..in the 20s today and not much better for the next 5!! Your sunset pic is to die for, love those colors! Enjoy that hammock..when you can!

JeanMac said...


MicheleRF said...

Beautiful, especially that last shot. I know what you mean about getting so excited when seeing birds in flight that you fail to let the camera do its thing. In some ways I hope that excitement never goes away.

Unknown said...

It's the sound of geese as much as the sight. Honk honk honk. It's the trumpet blast of late fall.

Wendy said...

Your photos are super! So clear and vivid. As if I'm right there. Oh by the way, one of those geese was me (in disguise). I wanted to winter where it's warmer - with you!
So, I'll just stop "acking" and shake the water off my wings so you'll let me stay. Pretty please? LOL!
That last pic looked stormy and spooky. Wonderful!

Unknown said...

I just found your blog through the Nature Network....glorious photos. I think we are kindred spirits but on opposite sides of the continent.

Thanks for sharing your part of the world...so many birds we don't have here in the Sierra Nevada.

I will be a regular visitor.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom
Handbook of Nature Study

Appalachian Lady said...

Wonderful photos and looks like a great trip. I can't say the Canadian geese are my favorite but your photos are lovely.

Naturegirl said...

Well those Canada Geese got out of town just in time because the snow is finally here! Woke up this morning with a fresh blanket of((( snow!!)))

Alan Pulley said...

Hey Mary,

Great photos, but I really LOVE that last one!

Corey said...

Great photos Mary, you continue to impress.

Mel said...

OMG, the last picture is amazing!!

Heather said...

OK KatDoc, now I've got tunes from West Side Story running through my head - thanks! ;) Great photos, Mary. I can just imagine all the racket those Geese must have made! Even though they are so common around here, I always stop to listen and watch whenever any fly overhead while I'm outside. There's something peaceful to that ho-ONK of theirs.

Heidi said...

Yes, so much for peace and quite! It's a good thing Canada Geese have striking patterns... they are annoying otherwise.

I love love love your oak leafs suspended in the sunset. THANK YOU for posting it large too :) It's awesome!!!

Larry said...

Beautiful sky scenery and interesting geese photos.The sky reminds me of that guy with the big fuzzy hair that used to paint-He would talk in that soft voice saying thngs like "Why don't we put a happy little cloud right over there"-"You can do whatever you want in your own little world"-Bob something or other.