Saturday, April 21, 2012

Celebrating Daddy's Birthday

Daddy's birthday was this week, and he proposed spending the morning and afternoon at one of our favorite conservation areas, Eagle Bluffs. We took care of our morning chores, then gathered binoculars, bird books, my camera, loaded up in the truck, and we were off!

The day was beautiful with bright blue skies and warm sunshine. We took our time driving through the area and stopped often to look at birds and sometimes to get out and walk and photograph. I loved doing the latter, and I hope that you enjoy seeing photos of some of the beauty in God's creation that we were able to enjoy this day . . .

It was so beautiful with the rich greens of the grasses and trees and the 
brilliant blue of the water and sky

 Looking out across one of the bodies of water

It was at the above place that we saw a Double-Crested Cormorant out on the water. I got out of the truck and tried to sneak around to photograph it before it flew, but was unsuccessful. It was neat photographing a sequence of shots of when it was taking off, though . . .

Starting to get some propulsion

Trying to get enough lift off of the water . . .

And he does it! And is off to a quieter place.

A little song sparrow (it sure would be nice to have a good 
zoom lens when photographing birds!)

A line of turtles sunning themselves on a log

Another beautiful view

Blue-winged Teal . . . they were the most common waterfowl species that we saw

A Red-Winged Blackbird

A Great Egret - these are one of my favorites that we saw. They are so regal!

Coots - rather comical little birds. :)

A big ole turtle sunning himself

Looking back towards the truck where Dad, Mom, and Leah were watching a pair of geese from inside while I photographed.

The pair of geese that they were watching (please pardon the blurriness! This photo has been significantly cropped since they were so far away.)

Dad holding a turtle that was on the road

Isn't the bottom of its shell interesting?

This little 'meadow' was a delight to visit! Daddy stopped so I could 
traipse down the hill and photograph here.

A close-up of one of the flowers

If it weren't for the mud lurking underneath those waving flower heads, this would be a perfect spot to picnic.

Northern Shovelers and Blue-Winged Teal

Leah walking a ways out to get a better view of the ducks on the water

Dad and Mom looking at various waterfowl species

A view from down where I ended up

When driving back, we spotted this snake in the road. After looking at the photo and also images online, it looks like it is a Northern Water Snake. For a snake, it was quite pretty as far as markings go!

This is a really poor photo, but I had to include it as after all, it is what the conservation area is named for. :)

We stopped at one place and with an express purpose of finding the elusive Sora. We've seen them at this location during other springs, and they didn't fail us this time! We were barely down next to the water when I spotted this one back in the cattails . . .

Can you see it?

Here's another view of it.

An interesting water plant at the place we saw the Soras

After thoroughly enjoying our time at the conservation area, we headed to a farm store to pick up some fencing wire. Once that was stowed in the back of the truck, we enjoyed the rare treat of eating out. By the time we reached home, we were all getting a little tired, but the highlight of the day was still to come. Being joined by Ryan, Ashley and Adelyn for a wonderful evening together. The only photos of significance that were captured were of this adorable little girl who is quite mobile now. :)

Yes, she can crawl! And is quite adept at it, too. She was being a little stinker, though, when I was trying to photograph her accomplishment. Every time I tried to get her attention and take a photo, she would sit up! Eventually, though, I was able to capture these two. Notice her mischievous grin in the next photo, though . . .

All in all, it was a delightful day! Though, a day spent with ones' dear family and in the beauty of God's creation could hardly be anything but wonderful. :)


  1. What fascinating photos, Sarah, especially of the flight of the bird....and of course of that little sweetie crawling!

  2. Beautiful! That looks like a place I would love to visit! And what an adorable baby girl. :)

  3. What lovely pictures, Sarah! :) I really enjoyed the ones of all the birds. Thank you for sharing! God's creations are so marvelous to observe and photograph. And what an adorable little crawler. ;)


  4. Thank you for sharing your photos of such a beautiful landscape, Sarah! What a wonderful place to spend part of your dad's birthday in! I would love to spend a morning there observing the wildlife - only pretending there are no snakes in the vicinity. I marvel at how it seems like you and your family are the only people present and observing. There is a nesting spot for Great Blue Herons close by (Cuyahoga Valley National Park) and there are always loads of onlookers and photographers with their tripods and enormous telescopic lenses at this time of year. It is quite the sight.

  5. The scenery is beautiful Sarah. I just love trying to capture birds with the camera.
    I can't believe how fast Adelyn is growing.She has such a sweet little smile.

  6. Thank you, Elizabeth! I am glad that you enjoyed them.

    It is a lot of fun watching Adelyn crawl! She is quite accomplished at it now. :)

  7. I am sure that you would enjoy it, Miss Sarah! We love going out there as not only is it beautiful, but it is peaceful as well. And there is so much to see!

    She is pretty adorable, isn’t she? :)

  8. Thank you, Mikailah! I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos of the birds . . . those are some of my favorites to try to take. I would agree! It is so enjoyable being able to observe and photograph God’s creation.

    And I would also agree with your last sentence. :) She is indeed!

  9. You’re welcome, Renee! It is a beautiful place, and I am sure you would enjoy visiting there and seeing all of the different wildlife. Except for the snakes perhaps. :) I’m not especially fond of snakes either, but thankfully, they generally stay out of the way!

    I don't know why, but there are generally hardly any people out at this conservation area. It sure makes it peaceful, though!

    How neat that there is a nesting spot for Great Blue Herons close by where you live! That would be amazing to see. And I guess everyone else thinks so too since it is so crowded there!

  10. It was so nice to hear from you again, Ellen! Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. How fun that you enjoy photographing birds as well!

    Adelyn is growing really fast, and we love her sweet smile. And she loves to use it a lot, as well as her laughter vocal cords. :) She brings so much joy to our lives!

  11. Beautiful photos! And of course, Adelyn is just adorable!
    Sounds like a perfect day.:-)

  12. Wow! It's so green! I can't wait!

  13. Thank you, Mrs. Anne! She certainly is. :) It seems she gets cuter and cuter each time we see her!

  14. All of the green is wonderful, K. Family! We always look forward to it each spring. And it is coming your way soon! :)

  15. What a beautiful day! I love all the nature photos. We love to go to our local conservation areas, too. I need to get a better lens for photographing birds, though. I just have a 50mm right now, and I'd really like to have a telephoto lens to get closer. :)

    Adelyn is getting so big! What a cutie-pie. :)

  16. It was, Joy! I can imagine what wonderful times you and your family have when going to conservation areas together. I would agree, a telephoto lens for photographing birds would be really nice!

    Adelyn is getting big! She's such a sweetie, too . . . she brings so much joy to our lives!


Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)