Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Those Crazy Cardinals

They're back at it again. Last year we only saw the male. This year his mate has joined him. Suddenly they've decided that the windows of our home are the enemy. Daily we hear his song and their chirps, accompanied by a gentle tapping at the window.

Our youngest child wonders aloud if we should let them in...

Because there is beauty in the everyday...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spring is Exploding!

I am always amazed at how a mere week can make such a difference when you wander in the outdoors in March. Come the end of February, many of us in the more northern climes itch to see signs of spring. Often the first sign is the arrival of the migratory birds such as the red wings and the robins.

Then usually within a week of their arrival, the things of the earth begin to pop!

The silver maples go from tiny buds...

To the flowers that make the keys...

that make me sneeze :o).

Awake, thou wintry earth -
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
~Thomas Blackburn, "An Easter Hymn"

Because there is beauty in the everyday...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tundra Swans

A sure sign that spring is on its way in Lambton County, is the return of the tundra swans. They are usually only here for a few short weeks at the most and virtually always arrive sometime in March.

The tundra swans are a majestic site flying in their large V formations and landing in flooded fields and bogs. One hopes that upon their arrival that they will set down close enough that you won't need binoculars the entire time. At about 1.3m from beak tip to tail, one would think they would be very visible while resting in the fields, but it's not until they're up in the air that you fully realize how large and beautiful these birds really are.

This year we had the opportunity to see the swans up close and personal. Although it looked like it could rain at any moment, we loaded up the kids in the van and headed out to see what we could see. We were surprised to discover a field covered in swans before we reached the bogs where they normally love to rest. We drove to  the bogs, but they were empty. We did find some resting in the flood plains, but they were too far away to even see well with the binoculars, let alone get a photo of them, so we drove back to where we first saw them.

At first they were only sitting in the field, but then some Canada geese who were hanging out with them decided to take flight with a big ruckus, which in turn caused the swans to become a little restless and take flight in small to large groups. The other great part? The clouds had broken and there were large patches of blue sky and even some sunshine!

What a fun and beautiful morning enjoying more of God's majestic creation.

Because there is beauty in the everyday...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Brown Pelicans

We spent our week living among the locals in a funky little house about a thirty second walk from the beach. By locals, I mean not only the people, but the wildlife. We saw the pelicans fishing off shore everyday, but one day was especially busy. I think the way the waves were rolling that day, the fish had moved with them and were feasting (and being feasted upon in return) about two hundred feet out from shore.

We were continually amazed by the pelicans' abilities. For such a large bird, their skills are impeccable! It was rare that we didn't see them pop back up from their super quick, super shallow dive, without a fish in their pouch, and then promptly gobble it up.

They weren't afraid to fly in quite close.

Going in for dinner!

Coming up...

with dinner.

And taking off again, to find some more!

Finally after feeling full, there's always some time to rest in the sun ;o).

It was fun to watch another one of the unique and specially designed animals that God has made!

Because there is beauty in the everyday...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Surfin' in Rincón PR | Sarnia Lambton County Special Event Photographers

Despite our numerous beaches, this certainly isn't an event you would see in the Lambton County area. We were blessed to get away for about ten days of sunshine, warmth, and relaxation in Rincón, Puerto Rico! Being the addicted avid photographers we are, the cameras went with everywhere and we were able to take in a surf competition. Talk about fun! We just had our 100-300mm and 18-200mm lenses, so I have to admit I was coveting the lenses of some of the photographers nearby. I think we'd need to take out a mortgage though to own one of those babies!

Excuse me sir, would you care to share your lens?

Anyways, back to the surfing. We were pleasantly surprised with some of the photos we got:

This is one of my fav's -- even if it isn't of him actually surfing, I just love the action in it. You can tell he is totally going to head right back out again.

This young lad was incredible! He must have been born on a surfboard. He rode the waves like it was a calm day in a canoe. Incredible!

Sweet stuff!

Because there is beauty in the everyday...