Tag Archives: woodinville

Hummingbird Guarding The Icicle

We try to keep the feeders stocked up for the hummingbirds.  However, while there is never a shortage, they still get very competitive about access with dominant birds trying to keep the others away.  If only they understood!  As the temperature dropped and I imagine their food sources got sparser, one of the hummers decided to take up residence on the arm that the feeder hangs from.  If I went outside, it would fly away but would immediately return as soon as I was gone.  It meant it was easier photographing it through the window.  The icicle hanging beneath it is a measure of the chilly conditions.

Balloon Low Over Woodinville

Balloon flights in the area around Woodinville are very common in the summer months.  It is not unusual to see balloons early in the morning as I head to work or later in the day after I have got home.  They are usually not too far away but, as I was coming out of a place in the town after seeing some friends, I was rather surprised to look up and see a balloon right above my head.  The phone was all I had to hand so I grabbed a couple of shots of it as it drifted south and down towards, what I presume was its landing site.  A nice surprise for me!

You Weren’t Expecting Me Were You?

We did some work on our backyard this year including replacing the grass.  Previously, the rabbits had been giving free reign in the yard since the grass was in poor condition.  Once we replaced it, it was time to stop them coming in and “spreading weeds”.  We have successfully blocked most of the access points that they had but there are still some areas where they have been tenacious enough to find a way in.  I stepped out on to the deck recently with camera in hand.  There, right in front of me, was a rabbit.  I was quite surprised and it looked pretty surprised by me for a moment too.  I grabbed a couple of shots of its slightly startled look and then, as soon as I moved, it bolted.  I encouraged it back out the way it had come and then replaced whatever it had pushed out of the way.  The battle continues…

How Close Can I Get To The Hummingbirds?

We had a quiet time with the hummingbirds in our back yard for a while.  I am not sure where they went but they were not on the feeders very often.  However, that has changed as summer has rolled on and we now have a ton of them in the yard, often fighting with each other over who gets to feed.  I decided to go and stand out near one of the feeders and stay still to see whether I could get closer to them or not.  Little did I realize how uninterested in me that they were.

After I had been there a few minutes, they came in to feed and also to check me out.  They would fly up to me and then move around me, stopping as they went.  I seemed to be a curiosity for a moment and then they lost interest.  Instead they would start sparring with each other.  Some dramatic aerial jousting would take place, often around me.  It must have been something to see from our deck because it felt amazing being there.  No pictures of that because it all happened at high speed but I was able to get some shots of them as they hovered near the feeder at the times when they weren’t in battles.

Butterflies Or Moths?

A bit of a Google search on the distinguishing characteristics of butterflies versus moths helped me out a bit but I don’t think it was quite as clear cut as I was hoping.  We have a fluttering insect that seems to like our lavender plants a lot.  I spent a little time one evening trying to get some shots of them at work.  They don’t stay on any one section for long so a little patience and luck is in order.  I didn’t know whether they were moths or butterflies.  I think that they might be butterflies but, if they aren’t please don’t be too harsh in the comments.

Bees On The Lavender

Nancy has been busy planting in our back yard at home and one of the plants she has gone with is a lavender plant.  Some of the plants take a while to get established and even longer to attract the wildlife but the lavender seems to be an instant hit.  It has had a steady stream of bees visiting it as well as other creatures.  Bees are the focus today.

I spent a little time lying on the ground by the plant with the macro lens fitted.  This is not necessarily an ideal choice as my macro is not a high end lens and it has pretty slow focusing motors.  The camera tries to drive it but often it can’t keep up.  However, stick with it and you can get some shots that work out.  One of the things I had not anticipated was the proboscis that the bees have.  Maybe they tuck it away when not on plants but, as they move between parts of the plant, it stays out and it is rather an intimidating looking item!

Hummingbirds On Real Plants

I have taken a ton of photos of the hummingbirds that come to our feeders in the back yard.  However, a cooler shot is one that involves real plants rather than a metal feeder.  We have hanging baskets which have sometimes provided food for the little critters but the majority of the flowers in our baskets this year do not seem to have interested them.  Only one of the flowers seems to get some of them to feed and it is a narrow trumpet shaped flower that seems to thrive on the far side of the basket away from me and the light.

Of course, the sun does move so, with a little patience and forethought, it is possible to get in position and try to stay very still so as not to scare away the blighters.  I have had some backlit results but they aren’t very appealing photos.  They are better than nothing but getting on the right side of things is the goal and one I have finally managed to achieve.  If I could get better angles, that would improve things but there are a good start.  Now to spend more time waiting for them and try to avoid freaking out the neighbors in the meantime.

Finally Closer Shots Of A Flicker

We get a ton of flickers in our area.  This species of woodpecker is very common and the spring is the time when they love to thrum on the gutters of the houses to mark out their territory.  However, I have had a really hard time getting pictures of them.  They are very easily spooked.  We sometimes get them in the back yard poking around in the grass for food but if they even detect your movement, they are gone.

I recently had one back there and managed to get some shots through the windows of it.  Double glazing is not ideal to shoot through but you get what you can.  I also saw some in Juanita Bay Park where I was able to shoot through some branches to get a few more distant shots.  I have yet to get one flying which is a shame since there is a flash of red from the underside of the wings that I think would look great to capture.  I’ll keep trying!

Misty Trees Out of the Office Window

On the colder mornings in Woodinville, it is not unusual for us to get mist and fog around our neighborhood.  It is usually dark when I start work in my office but, as the sun comes up, it can illuminate the trees around me quite nicely.  The mist must have been burning off to let the sun in but it was still shrouding the local trees and looked rather nice.  I grabbed a camera near my desk and shot a couple of images of the trees behind the houses across from us and then returned to the day job.

The S4 Was A Beast

A while back I posted some shots of a Lancia Delta Integrale.  The Integrale was the road homologous on version of the rally car that came about when the Group B rally cars were closed out.  However, the Group B cars were the really crazy ones.  The S4 was the Lancia that competed in Group B.  It replaced the Lancia 037 and, at Chateau Ste. Michelle, the two were on show together.  Both were road versions for homologous on but they were both beasts.

The S4 was the pinnacle of crazy rally cars.  A huge engine and four wheel drive in what was really not a road car.  They built some to meet the rules and this was one of them.  It was surprisingly nicely finished on the interior given what type of car it was.  However, the way in which the body looked like it was different pieces bolted together made you know this was not a car designed for consumers.  I was designed with a single purpose in mind.  However, it looked like it could eat anything else on the road.  What as absolute monster.