September 13, 2019 A Search for Foliage Yields Turkeys and Butterflies

I took off very early this morning and headed up to Florida, MA and Rowe, MA., driving the back roads looking for any sign of early fall foliage color. Usually the swamp maples and other trees near water turn way before the overall colors arrive in October, …

… but in over 100 miles of driving today, I found just a couple of trees that had started to turn. Well, it is still very early and they have had a very dry summer up here, so I will just have to wait and see what happens a little later.

One thing I did find were wild turkeys … everywhere!

Every time I have gone out I have spotted flocks of wild turkeys, really don’t ever recall seeing many, or any, around here when I was growing up.

I passed many fields of ready to pick corn …

… and some very suspicious looking new farm crops, that I have to assume might be hemp?? since there were signs around these fields saying ” This is not WEED”.

Not finding much on the back roads I headed south to Deerfield, MA.  and bought some delicious fresh sweet corn at a roadside farm stand. I know it was fresh since the farmer was just unloading the corn from the back of his pickup as I pulled in.

Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory

So, since I was in the area, I decided to visit the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory , a place I happened to discover by accident many years ago when I lived in NH.

I am not going to attempt to identify all these butterflies since I didn’t take notes while I was there.

There are feeding platforms with over ripe bananas as well as these colorful glass feeder bowls, scattered throughout the exhibit.

In addition to the butterflies, there is quite an assortment of exotic flowers …

… in the enclosed butterfly exhibit …

… as well as a few colorful birds ( ones that don’t eat butterflies, I presume).

If you are ever in the area of Route 5 in Deerfield, MA, I highly recommend stopping by to visit this place, located just a short distance from I-91.

 

November 20, 2014 Overton Mesa, Nevada

View through the windshield for morning coffee
View through the windshield for morning coffee

More Sunrises, Colorful Valley of Fire Sandstone, and Desert Bighorns

Image above from this morning, sitting in my recliner having my morning cup of coffee. What a way to start your day! And this happens pretty much every morning. What a life, why I didn’t start sooner …. what an idiot!

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Overton Mesa Sunrise
Overton Mesa Sunrise

Varying colors and cloud cover daily, but pretty spectacular most mornings.

Overton Mesa Sunrise
Overton Mesa Sunrise

While the east/west motorhome orientation for the solar panels doesn’t work so great with the strong north winds, it sure is nice as far as viewing sunrises goes.

Turkeys
Boys’ Club

I found these Toms gathered in the shade on the north side of the Overton Wildlife Refuge. I haven’t been able to figure out if this is a place to possibly get some bird shots or not. I can never find anyone there to ask about how exactly the place runs. Their website says the refuge is open to hunters on even numbered days, and closed to all others, yet a sign posted on their bulletin board state the exact opposite. There almost never are any cars parked in the small lot at the entrance and all the roads into the refuge are posted prohibiting vehicles. Guess I’ll try a few more times before I give up. Incidentally, there are 8 very nice primitive campsites located on the entry road to the refuge, just a few feet from Route 95. Level, partially sheltered by a screen of trees and suitable for just about any length RV. I’m guessing they are free since I don’t see any pay station. No water or dump station though and road noise could be a factor.

Valley of Fire

Desert Bighorn Sheep
Desert Bighorn Sheep

Look what I found yesterday morning! Yesterday morning I did a few miles of hiking in the Valley of Fire State Park and had one of my most productive days of photography in quite a while. Shot sandstone formations for about three hours around the Wave of Fire and then spent an hour or so tracking down a small band of desert bighorn sheep.

Valley of Fire
Valley of Fire
Valley of Fire
Valley of Fire

Took over 400 shots in all, and where I usually will quickly cull that number down to 50 or 60 to process for the 10 or 20 really good ones, I was only able to cull these down to about 200, and so am going to have to take a few days to get these images into a post.

Valley of Fire
Valley of Fire
Valley of Fire
Valley of Fire
Valley of Fire
Valley of Fire

 

 

 

 

 

Valley of Fire
Valley of Fire
Valley of Fire
Valley of Fire

Please stay tuned!

Thank you for shopping Amazon from my site!

When you click through to shop Amazon from here, I get a tiny commission, one that does not in any way impact what you pay, and all those tiny commissions eventually add up and that helps me keep this blog going !


April 1, 2014 Traveling Day

Junction, Texas to Roswell, New Mexico

Two Toms displaying
Two Toms displaying

Moving day, but I still went out for an hour or so looking for my one last shot at turkeys in the park. These guys look like the same ones I saw in this area yesterday, at least today they appear to be displaying for others, not themselves.

Spring arrives as I leave Texas
Spring arrives as I leave Texas

Packed up and left the park on 377 back through Junction and hopped on I-10 west to Fort Stockton. Note the trees spring green colors and hints of green grass on the road out of S. Llano River State Park.

West Texas
West Texas
Wind power along I-10 in west Texas
Wind power along I-10 in west Texas

From Fort Stockton, I picked up Route 285 north to Pecos, through Carlsbad, and on to Roswell, New Mexico. From Fort Stockton to Pecos, this is a very good 2 lane road with minimal traffic ( being west Texas there is nothing very scenic here ), but about when you hit Pecos you encounter the oil field traffic and from there all the way to Loving, where the road goes to four lanes, the road gets pretty beaten up and the truck traffic is heavy.

Sun behind, dark skies ahead
Sun behind, dark skies ahead

In Roswell, and no, I haven’t seen any aliens yet, I headed east on 380 to get to the Bottomless Lakes State Park where I had made reservations for four nights to visit Bitter Lakes NWR and to hopefully complete my taxes and get caught up on blog posts from my internetless stay at S. Llano State Park. This shot was taken just before the exit to the park road.

Lea Lake CG at Bottomless Lakes State Park
Lea Lake CG at Bottomless Lakes State Park
My site at Lea Lake CG at Bottomless Lakes State Park
My site at Lea Lake CG at Bottomless Lakes State Park

Though it is a rough 7 mile narrow, winding ( did I say ROUGH ) road into the park once you leave route 380, the park itself is kind of nice though a little bare and a little run down. The gravel pull through site I had at the Lea Lake Campground was level and spacious with 30 amp electric and really high water pressure and had a very nice shaded picnic table. The other sites were a little tight and bare, but this one had enough small trees between it and the neighbors to provide adequate privacy. The campground is only a quarter full right now so it is quiet. All in all, not a bad place to spend a few nights this time of year, but I don’t think I would want to be here when it warms up and the place is full, it probably gets a little zooey. Verizon internet signal is strong here.

March 31, 2014 S. Llano River State Park, Texas

3 Tom Turkeys
The morning commute to work

Early morning turkey hunt yielded a couple of shots down by the old barn in the park.

The day started out solidly cloudy but by 1 PM the skies were blue and the temps were again in the upper 80’s but without the nice breeze of the last couple of days.

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Rio Grande turkey
Rio Grande turkey
Two Tom Turkeys
Two Toms

 

 

 

 

 

A pair of Toms
A pair of Toms
A pair of Toms
A pair of Toms
A pair of Toms
A pair of Toms

 

 

 

 

 

When I see these two guys strutting and dancing around with each other, I guess trying to impress the ladies, even when there are none in sight, I can’t help but think of the old Saturday Night Life routine of Steve Martin and Dan Akroyd, the ” two wild and craaaazy guys! ”

Nashville warbler
Nashville warbler
Orange crowned warbler
Orange crowned warbler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walked into the Acorn Blind around 8 AM and did get a couple of new birds for me, the Nashville Warbler and the orange-crowned warbler. Not great images, but they are newbies.

Lincoln sparrow
Lincoln sparrow

This Lincoln Sparrow also was a new one to me.

Audubon Warbler
Audubon Warbler
Cedar waxwing
Cedar waxwing

Kind of an interesting pose for this cedar waxwing.

Cedar waxwing
Cedar waxwing
Cedar waxwing
Cedar waxwing

 

 

 

 

 

Carolina wren bath
Carolina wren bath

 

Carolina wren bath
Carolina wren bath

 

Carolina wren drying after bath
Carolina wren drying after bath

 

Carolina wren drying after bath
Carolina wren drying after bath

I know the Carolina Wren is a pretty common bird, but for some reason this tiny, hyperactive guy always gets me unable to resist snapping away.

Fox squirrel
Fox squirrel

And lastly, always an unwelcome visitor around a feeding station, this fox squirrel’s coloring warranted at least one shot. A pest, but an attractive one.

The campground has really emptied out this AM, but I went online while at the library to check on this coming weekend in case I wanted to stay and it is completely booked solid Friday and Saturday, a harbinger of what I am apt to run into everywhere this coming summer.

Went to the Junction Library to do some posts and check on end of month financial stuff, but really don’t enjoy attempting to get a PC to work properly. I’ll be glad to get somewhere with Verizon coverage soon.