Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Trees Pop Out Their Leaves and Flowers

After about 4 straight days of 80+ degree temperatures – a little unseasonable for Northeast Ohio but welcome nonetheless – the trees began popping out their leaves and flowers. But the warm weather disappeared today and the rain moved in. After driving for most of the day in wet weather, I tried to make the best of it and ran outside with my camera to snap a few pictures of the tree leaves and flowers in their early stages. Here are a few photos from our pink and white dogwoods, one of our oaks, and the japanese maple.














All Content © Chris A. Zimmer and chriszimmer.blogspot.com


Check out my blog home page for the latest information,
chriszimmer.blogspot.com, here.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Lightning In The Early Morning

A thunderstorm rolled in very early this morning. Although the sky was beginning to show faint light in the east, it was still very dark out west from where the storm approached, making it a perfect time to get a few lightning photos. Remember, if you are going to attempt lightning photos, make sure you stay protected as lightning can strike nearby, even when it looks like it is far away. Of course, you also need longer shutter speeds on your camera, plus lots of patience and luck that the lightning will flash while your camera is taking the picture. Out of 58 pictures taken, here’s the two that looked the best.





Check out my blog home page for the latest information, chriszimmer.blogspot.com, here.



All Content © Chris A. Zimmer and chriszimmer.blogspot.com

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spring Explodes With Yellow

The temperatures are warming up, which means that the flowering shrubs are starting to bloom. Our forsythia have blossomed into a wall of yellow. At the same time, the feathers of the neighborhood male goldfinches are becoming a more vibrant yellow. Here are a few photos of our yellow explosion!









Check out my blog home page for the latest information, chriszimmer.blogspot.com, here.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Waning Gibbous Moon

The sky was very clear this morning, so it provided the perfect opportunity to get this photo of the waning gibbous moon as it set.






Check out my blog home page for the latest information, chriszimmer.blogspot.com, here.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Birdwatching at Veterans Park, Mentor Ohio

I decided to take a walk in Veterans Park (Mentor, Ohio) to see if any new birds have arrived in the area. It was a cool and somewhat gray early spring morning; as a result there weren’t too many people around. I saw a few Loons, Red-breasted Mergansers, Mallards, Canada Geese, Redheads (ducks, not woodpeckers), a Rusty Blackbird, and Red-winged Blackbirds. Some of the birds got close enough for some nice photos. There were also plenty of woodpeckers, cardinals, robins, plus a few birds that I could hear but could not see. Unfortunately the loons were being very anti-social, and remained at a far end of one of the ponds where the trail – and my camera lens – could not reach.

Here’s a short video of my birdwatching tour. I hope you enjoy the sights and sounds.




Check out my blog home page for the latest information, chriszimmer.blogspot.com, here.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Deer Snacks At The Birdfeeder

We have a small pack of deer that make the rounds of the neighborhood, stopping by the yard during the dawn or dusk hours once a week or so. They may come around more often during the night, as sometimes we see their telltale tracks in the yard in the winter after a snow.

This morning, when I went outside to photograph an unusually flaming pink sunrise sky, I was surprised to find a few deer already in the yard, one of them brazenly snacking on bird feed from the birdfeeder. And that deer didn’t seem to care that I was there, continuing to try to extract as much seed as it could. It didn’t walk off until another deer walked from around the side of the house and let out a barking sound. Despite the fact the deer at the feeder looked at me several times and saw me come close, it didn’t flinch until that other deer seemed to scold or warn it. That was fine with me, because I was getting ready to shoo them away anyway.




Check out my blog home page for the latest information, chriszimmer.blogspot.com, here.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Brown-Headed Cowbird Returns

The spring and summer birds are starting to return to the area. Today, we had a male brown-headed cowbird visit the feeder. As he was a little too heavy for the perch and the feeder ports shut down most of the way, he had to be content to pick up what had dropped onto the ground. He remained long enough for me to snap this picture:

Brown Headed Cowbird, Male



Check out my blog home page for the latest information, chriszimmer.blogspot.com, here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Hawk and Pine Siskin Visit

I was treated to a visit by a juvenile red-tailed hawk and a pine siskin today, both in the yard at just about the same time. The hawk had nabbed some tasty treat – probably a bird – and was busy tearing it apart, gulping it down in fairly large chunks. I snapped a picture through the window, figuring the minute I stepped outside the hawk would be gone. Sure enough, by the time I got outside, the hawk appeared to be cleaning his beak on the wooden fence, and took off the minute I was in view. I walked over to the spot where the hawk was dining and there was only a faint hint of feathers left.

The pine siskin was waiting in our oak tree near the bird feeder, sitting very still. It began to chatter quite loudly the minute the hawk left the area; I assume it was giving the “all clear”. Unlike the skittish hawk, the pine siskin posed for a few picture for me. Pine siskins are beginning to visit our yard much more frequently these days - we used to only see them rarely in previous years.
Here are pictures of both of my guests.

Red-tailed Hawk

Pine Siskin



Check out my blog home page for the latest information, chriszimmer.blogspot.com, here.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Cutting Down the Pine Tree (Time Lapse)

We had a big pine tree in the front yard that was becoming far too big for its space, encroaching on the driveway and growing too close to power lines. It also shed needles and pinecones like crazy and it was just getting too be too much work to maintain. So it was time for it to go.

We had our friends at Quality Tree Service do the removal, and a fine job they did. Since I never miss a chance to film something for posterity, I decided that I would film the entire process. But, to save some time, I time-compressed the video to bring a few hours worth of work to a few minutes. The video is below – along with the “before and after” pictures!


Before


After




TIme Lapse Video




Check out my blog home page for the latest information, chriszimmer.blogspot.com, here.