Thursday, May 6, 2010

Just A Walk

Below are just a few simple everyday photos from around my place and Frank's. Nature has kindly provided the subjects. Come on and walk with me, please.

Frank lives near this lovely creek full of twists and turns and sharp, swirling bends like this one. Here, the creek is about to work its way around a small peninsula.

Further along the creek is this horizontal apple tree. Erosion has worn the shoreline down considerably over the last few years. I don't think I've ever actually seen this tree growing vertically, but it was only a couple of seasons ago that it wasn't any worse than diagonal.

It won't be long until it's entirely underwater but for now (a few weeks after the previous photo), it's still blossoming.

Speaking of underwater, Frank pointed this trout out to me one day last week, just as the spawning season subsided. It was one of those fish that some people seem to have a hard time spotting. You can read about that over here at Frank's blog.

This piece of weathered wood reminded me of a crocodile or alligator. Please tell me that I'm not the only one who sees that.

Frank's yard has this piece of driftwood sharing space with his spring Snowdrops.

Back at my place, the feeder birds are always a treat to watch. Frank identified this one as a female Cowbird.

The Grackle's iridescent colours always look so beautiful in the sunlight.

Grackles are always a bit ungainly and awkward when trying to fit themselves onto the feeder. I think this wide-eyed expression makes him look a bit crazed - a grack on crack.

This pretty Robin decided to pose nicely for me by the pond.

I'm not fond of spiders and for those of you who feel the same way, be forewarned that this final photo is of one of these eight-legged wonders.

Despite how I feel about sharing my space with them, there's no denying that spiders are interesting creatures. There were about two dozen of these web masters hanging out in their newly-built webs on the railing of the dock one night. I didn't mind taking this ones picture but I think I'd still be ushering it out of the house if it were to show up unexpectedly.

I hope you enjoyed the stroll and that you'll join me again soon.


Brian Miller said...

yeah, you can take me on that stroll to walk byt the creek and talk with my animal friends...

Cricket said...

I could use a little time out for a walk myself. Not going to happen today. I'll have to make do with this virtual one. Looks like a great spot, though.

Unlike many, I heartily approve of spiders, on the theory that they eat bugs I like much less.

Since I have the Stones on the brain lately, perhaps 100 Years Ago from Goat's Head Soup would be fitting?

Sueann said...

I so enjoyed the walk! Love the creek and that almost flowering tree. Beautiful. And it did look like an alligator to me too!! Your birds shots are amazing!! Thanks for the journey.

Gill - That British Woman said...

I love how that tree is growing "into" the water. Please take a photo of it when its in full bloom, as I would think it will be stunning.

Gill up the road!

Steve Gravano said...

Beautiful walk, our spiders seem to be more active later in the season. I love the Robin's photos.

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

I enjoyed the stroll with you Hilary. Grac on crac had me giggling and I loved that piece of driftwood. The horizontal apple tree - what a lesson in 'blooming where you're planted'!

Jinksy said...

Crocodile it was indeed,since you asked, and the driftwood with the snowdrops had echos of elephant for me...

Kerri Farley said...

LOVED taking this walk with you! Great captures!! I'm not fond of spiders either ~ but they do have a certain beauty!

Leah J. Utas said...

I spotted the croc before reading your words. You are not alone. I loved the walk. Bends in creeks always make me want to sit and stare, and you did a wonderful job on the spider and web.

Joanne said...

I'm a walker, and love to walk for just the reasons you show here. There's so much beauty and life out there, and walking offers such a relaxed perspective of if all.

Tabor said...

Loved the walk and I always see things in the shapes of plants that are not really there.

Anonymous said...

Wow.. I like the trout pic... have a great day... :) The Bach

ellen abbott said...

Great photos as usual Hilary. that log reminded more of one of the big lizards, a monitor perhaps. Grackles are such crazy birds. In the city, they get pieces of the dog food my g'kids put out for the dog and then fly over to my bird bath with them to dunk them in the water a few times to soften them up before they eat. they do this all day. I keep trying to get a picture but haven't yet.

Cheryl Kohan said...

I did see the alligator and in the next photo I see a Wizard. Yep, that's what I see.

I actually don't mind spiders. Don't love 'em, of course, but they eat a lot of bad bugs and I like spiders better than bugs!

Lucky near that pretty creek. How amazing that the apple tree is still blossoming...wonder if it'll bear fruit?

As always, I enjoy your bird photography. You do it so well.

What a refreshing walk! A nice way to start the day. Thanks.

Paul C said...

A grack on crack is LOL. We have many grackles around our home and, yes, they are ungainly and somewhat bossy. You have characterized them well.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Another enjoyable walk, Hilary, spiders and all. Love the photo of Frank's driftwood and flowers!

I hope you have something fun planned for the weekend, now that Spring has arrived.

Friko said...

The alligator is perfect. I saw it instantly.
Again, wonderful pictures.

järnebrand said...

That was a lovely walk indeed. Beautiful photos. :)
Hugs/ Jo.

Daryl said...

Love all those birds and no, you are not alone, I can see how you can see it looking a little prehistorical even threatening .. and that drift wood has a troll-ish shape .. surely you aaw that?

Spiders .. UGH ... but with a long lens between us ...

R. said...

Never did consider myself a walker (why walk when you can drive!) but this was nice, reminds me of a walk I took with my wife three years ago.

Awesome pictures dj!

CiCi said...

Really like the meandering creek photo. And the horizontal apple tree. That is a first for me, never saw a live tree with blossoms growing that direction. The trout looks huge. The weathered wood looks like a boot heel. See how we all see things with different eyes. I can't say anything about the s----- photo, I couldn't look at it just glance and get the heck out of there.

photowannabe said...

Love your Grack on crack Hilary. You are so fortunate to have such lovely nature right outside your door.
I've been listening to a Scrub Jay making a racquet in the backyard all morning . He just won't sit still long enough to get a picture.
The Alligator log and the picturesque driftwood of Franks are keepers too.

messymimi said...

My son would have so much fun at that creek. The apple tree bravely trying to keep growing and blooming no matter what is an inspiration.

I am a fan of arachnids, and that is a fabulous shot.

"Grack on crack"! I'm going to be giggling for the rest of the day over that one.

Land of shimp said...

I have a good enough relationship with spiders, as long as they don't violate the threshold policy, we're fine. Cross the threshold and there will be murder most foul perpetrated on the eight leggers.

But my goodness, that spider is a work of art! It looks like he's emblazoned with a Fleur de Lis. If you were to make a stained glass window featuring a spider, and spider's web, that's the spider you'd feature :-)

This morning, while walking the dog I saw two swans having quite the domestic disturbance on the golf course pond, by the way, and though of you. (I'm pretty sure She kicked His feather covered tail, by the way...and there was much swearing in Swanese).

Lovely pictures, may we all find and inviting bend in the river today!

Redbush said...

Loved the walk, Hilary! The wood pictures with the flowing creek make me feel like I'm right there. I wish I had that in my back yard. I see the alligator, and am seeing a triceratops in Frank's driftwood!

Linda said...

Gorgeous pictures, as always. You live in a beautiful area. But then, all parts of the world have their own special beauty.

I got the alligator right off, too. I've seen quite a few in Florida & Louisiana.

I can't get the birds to pose for me. I guess my camera doesn't have quite the zoom yours does. As for the spiders, they're just fine outside, but I don't like to find them in the house. That goes for most any other bugs, too.

Thanks for the walk. I'll go along on your strolls anytime.

Frank Baron said...

Catching a grackle's iridescence is like capturing magic in a bottle. And I like the gentle slopes and shapes and colours in the driftwood shot. The trout shot hints strongly at their power of invisibility while offering a teasing glimpse of their beauty.

Unfortunately though Hil, there were too few references to me. Far too few. Kinda spoiled the whole post for me....

Smarten up. ;)

Karen said...

That's amazing that the apple tree is sprouting. So cool! Love the pic with the Grackle on the tree. The spider, I can do without. I love looking at their webs, though.

Mental P Mama said...

What a lovely I think I'll have a little sip.

Hilary said...

• Brian, thanks for joining me on this walk. :)

• Cricket, sorry you've been too busy to get out and enjoy a real walk but glad that you've been able to join me virtually. I don't disapprove of spiders at all. I just disapprove of sharing my home space with them. Most specifically - my skin. 100 Years Ago sounds like the perfect soundtrack to me. Thanks. :)

• SueAnn, thank you for taking this walk with me. And for your always-kind words. :)

• Gill, I imagine that tree is in full bloom by now but it's near Frank's place and I'm not planning another visit back there until it has probably passed its peak. I will nudge Frank to do so though. :) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, Steve. I'm happy to share my robins and spiders with you. :)

• Bonnie, you're so right about that tree offering a good lesson and I'm glad you got a laugh out of my crazed grackle. :)

• Jinsky, I'm glad you saw it too.. and more. :)

• Kerri, thanks for joining me - on the walk and on my stance about spiders. :)

• Leah, I'm glad I'm not alone, and even better, I'm in good company. Thanks for joining me and for your kind words. :)

• Joanne, you're so right about that. Walking with my camera has put so much into perspective for me. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Tabor. I'm not at all surprised. :)

• Thanks, Bach. Much appreciated. :)

• Ellen, yes, it might well be a monitor in that piece of wood. I'd love to see a photo or several of your dog food-softening grackles. They're really cool birds to watch. Thanks so much for your kind words. :)

• Cheryl, thanks for being on Wizard watch. I didn't see that. :) I guess I feel the same way about spiders.. except I REALLY don't like them on my person or in the house. That tree will probably bear fruit (it did last autumn) as long as nothing washes it right into the creek once and for all. It looks like it might be a goner before too long as there have been a lot of floods over the last few years.. the worst being in winter with huge, damaging ice floes. One way or the other, I'll take photos - either of a fruit-bearing horizontal tree or of the empty space where once stood/lay. Preferably the former. Thanks for joining me. :)

• Thanks, Paul. I'm glad you got a laugh out of our crazy grackle. :)

• Thank you, Pat. Always a joy to have you join me. The weekend looks good! I'm hoping to hit the garage sales Saturday morning for the first time this year and then on Saturday night there's a dinner party on my street - women only, as most of the spouses will be on a fishing trip. I hope your own weekend is wonderful. Thanks for the visit. :)

Hilary said...

• Thank you, Friko. I'm glad you were able to see the alligator. :)

• Jo, thanks kindly. Very much appreciated. :)

• Thanks, Daryl. I didn't really see the troll.. until you mentioned it. But I'll bet that's what Frank saw in it when he picked it up. Mine wasn't a long lens at the time of the spider shooting, but my shudders (not shutter) took a long time to subside. ;)

• R, I'd say you're long overdue for another walk. A bit of reconnecting with nature is good for you. Thanks very much, for your kind words. :)

• TechnoBabe, the tree is a wonder, isn't it? And you're so right about everyone seeing different things with their own eyes. Including that S word. I can't say I blame you for your quick departure. I'm happy though that you stopped by for a look. :)

• Thank you, Sue. You're right - I'm very fortunate to have this space around me, and my extended walking space around Frank's place. I don't know what Scrub Jays sound like but if they're anything like the Blue Jays, that would be one loud, demanding screechy sound. I hope you get a photo of one eventually. I'd love to see it. Thanks for all of your kind words. :)

• Messymimi, I suspect that creek hosted many childhood games over the years. It's a great place. I sure hope the tree makes it for at least one more season but I fear it's nearing its end. Come on, tree - prove me wrong! I'm glad you got a good giggle going. :)

• Shimp, I'm with you. Spiders must stay out of my house, but I will try not to resort to murder, but relocation instead. Heaven help them though if they take me by surprise by landing on me. That having been said, it is a beauty.. as spiders go. You're welcome to design your next/first stained glass window around him. ;) I'll bet you wished you were fluent in Swanhili and you can be sure that I wish you'd had a video camera with you at the time. That must have been some sight. Thanks so much for your always kind words, my friend. :)

• Redbush, thank you. I'm glad you could join me. You're quite right about the triceratops in that piece of garden driftwood. Right over at the top right. Great find. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Linda, thank you kindly. I'm lucky to have a decent zoom lens for this camera and so it allows me to get some shots that I wouldn't ordinarily. I agree with your feelings about bugs and I'm glad you joined me for this walk. :)

• Frank, Frank, Frank. I'm so sorry that you felt neglected in this post. It's so good that you share how you feel, Frank. I like it when you're frank, Frank. I like the way you described the grackle, trout and driftwood, Frank. Wanna write my copy from now on, Frank? :)

• Thanks, Karen. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. And that you joined me for this stroll. :)

• MPM, thanks kindly for accompanying me. A sip of something sounds superb! Why didn't I think of it? :)

Nancy said...

The grackle is a very pretty, if not excited-looking, bird. I don't think we have them here. At least I've never seen one. As for the spider - it looks fierce. I wonder if it's poisonous.

I love how the tree blossoms as it lies down in the water. Hope springs eternal.

Kelly H-Y said...

I immediately thought it looked like a crocodile or alligator before even reading your comment! Beautiful pictures ... what a gorgeous place to be able to walk.

Lynda G. said...

Hello fellow Canadian! Beautiful photos! Found your blog via Grayquill!

abb said...

Nice! Love the snow dropped drift wood.

christopher said...

All awesome photos, very relaxing walk...and loved the Grackle.

the Bag Lady said...

Love the grack on crack!
And yes, I see the crocodile, too.
Great shots, Hilary!

VM Sehy Photography said...

I love spiders and as a result they end up being a frequent subject of my photography. When I lived in Southern Calfornia, my husband and I would walk to the grocery store and go along a bridge that was covered in spiders similar to the one you photographed. Sadly my point and click never quite got it right and digital photography hadn't been perfected yet.

Kathleen said...

My breathing has slowed, having taken a walk through Hilary's world. You must have been a bird in another life; such intimacy in your shots! Mesmerizing.

Anonymous said...

That spider just gave me the heebie jeebies!!!

Zuzana said...

Your images are always very interesting. I agree with you on the spiders, they are masters in building webs with incredible precision and determination.
Have a lovely Friday,

Dave said...

Thanks for the enjoyable walk with you Hilary. Yes, I saw the crocodile/alligator, and really admired the birds and spider. - Dave

Maggie May said...

The driftwood looks like a wicked elf!!!!!
Good birdie shots. Where's Benny?

Nuts in May

Suldog said...

Love creeks with twists and turns. Always something interesting around the next bend!

Does the apple tree ever actually bear fruit?

LadyFi said...

Wonderful walk. And yes, that is definitely a crocodile!

Shrinky said...

A grack on crack - too funny (giggle)! Amazing that apple tree is still in bloom. Yes, I see that Aligator, how could you not? Hilary, I love viewing the world through your eyes, this post exemplifies the best of what blogging is about!

Dianne said...

bless the heart of that tree that just keeps going and going

I adore spiders
they're so industrious and useful
I have a few behind the shed that I check on
one of them is very stubborn and I have to keep moving her giant web so that it doesn't get destroyed by opening the shed vent
and then it's back again

I love how you refer to these as simple photos when they're anything but

and finally - I see the alligator clearly - the knot hole is his eye and the bleached out wood is one of his arms

I also see a dragon or a demented gnome in that piece of wood in Frank's yard

Tammie Lee said...

that spider has an amazing design on it! I enjoyed my nature walk with you. It is so amazing to see that tree growing so beautifully as it lays on its side. Wishing you a lovely weekend!

Andrea said...

The vividness of your photos never fails to move me, Hilary! Beautiful! :)

Dawning Inspiration said...

Such a nice stroll...
Stopping by to say hi - trying to catch up on all the blogging I've missed!

Unseen Rajasthan said...

What a fantastic post with beautiful shots !! I really enjoyed the walk !!Simply amazing and great !!Thanks for sharing !!

Pauline said...

Always a pleasure to walk with you. I'm trying to figure out my camera's zoom feature so I can do bird closeups. Whenever I see birds now I think of you and your marvelous photos.

Hilary said...

• Nancy, I don't think the spider is poisonous - we don't have too many of those around here, that I know of. You're so right about that tree - its tenacity is nothing short of inspiring. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, Kelly. I'm glad you stopped by to join me. Thanks for confirming the wood reptile. ;)

• Welcome, Lynda and thanks very much for your kind words. Any friend of Grayquill's is still welcome around here anyway. ;)

• Thanks, TSannie. Much appreciated. :)

• Christopher, thank you kindly. I'm glad you could join me.

• Baggie, thanks very much. I'm glad you think so. :)

• VM, somebody has to be loving spiders and I'm glad it's you. I don't really hate them.. just don't ever make me touch one, please! Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Kathleen, thank you so much for such kind words. I do believe you've made my day. :)

• Me too, ED. :)

• Zuzana, they are indeed. I'm hoping it can teach me a thing or two about web design. I'm trying to learn it. Thanks for the visit, my friend. :)

• Dave, thanks very much for joining me. Always a pleasure to have you along. :)

• Maggie, thank you, and you're right about the driftwood. Benny will be along before too long. He just doesn't get to join me in every post. ;)

• Suldog, the apple tree has had fruit every year so far but I suspect that by the time they grow this year, their weight will help pull that tree into the water. I hope I'm wrong. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Lady Fi, thank you kindly. :)

• Shrinky, thank you so much for such kind words. They're very much appreciated. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

• Dianne, that tree is a trooper, isn't it? I'm not surprised that you love spiders. I certainly don't love them.. but I do try to respect them. Unless they're on my skin. Thank you for looking out for them. Thanks also for sharing what you saw in the wood pieces. The demented gnome made me laugh. Thanks always for stopping by with your kind comments. :)

• Thank you, Tammie Lee. I always enjoy having you along with me on my walks. Your kind words are very much appreciated. :)

• Andrea, good to see you. Thanks so much for the kind words. :)

• Stacey Dawn, glad to see you out and about. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• UR, thank you very kindly. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. :)

• Pauline, thank you so much. I'm sure you'll figure it out in no time at all. Such a kind compliment about the birds. Thanks for that. :)

Mage said...

Yes, walk. I've been spending too much time here at the computer. Perhaps a break by the bay. :)

Cloudia said...

So glorious!

Glad to be back, Missed Ya!

Aloha from Hawaii

Comfort Spiral

Joanna Jenkins said...

I'll walk with you anytime Hilary. It looks so lovely and full of Spring promise! And that SPIDER! Ohhhhh, very cool looking.

I've been on the run and out of town. Now I'm off to catch up on your posts that I missed.

Hope all is well and your Mother's Day is wonderful.

lime said...

oh i definitely see the reptile in the wood! love that piece of driftwood too. thanks so much for inviting us along. :)

Bossy Betty said...

Loved the walk!!! The pictures are great!!! Thank you for sharing!

Indrani said...

Definitely liked the walk you took. Great shots, the driftwood resembled a dwarf to me and yes I think I saw an alligator too. :)

Hilary said...

• Maggie, that sounds like a great idea. Thanks for stopping by first. :)

• Thank you, Cloudia. Good to see you. :)

• Joanna, I'm glad that you joined me - it's great to have good company. It sounds like you've been busy. I appreciate your taking the time to stop by. Happy Mother's Day to you, too. :)

• Lime, thanks for joining me. Always a pleasure to have you along. :)
• Welcome, Bossy Betty, and thanks very much for the kind words. :)

• Indrani, thank you kindly. A few folks have seen that very dwarf. Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

Kappa no He said...

I love taking spider pics. That one is certainly a handsome fellow. Nice big belly.

Thumbelina said...

Oh how I have missed strolling on these walks with you! Love the Grack - beautiful bird. "Grack on crack" - "cracked" me up!

Perfect spider photo. I don't like them in the house either but they are fascinating to watch, and you capture this here.

I'll come back soon for more walks...

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Terrie. I won't be taking TOO many spider pics, so I'll be happy to leave those photo shoots to you. I'm glad you like this one though. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thumbelina, I've missed you too, my friend. I like when you join me on a stroll around here. I'm glad you came along for this one and hope you'll be back again soon. Thanks for your kind words. Hugs to you. :)

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Hilary: Really enjoyed your creek photos. Loved the Rainbow Trout sitting in the current. I saw that eye on the log right away.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I like spiders (barring the brown recluse and black widow varieties). It's the walking into their webs with my face that I am not fond of...

SandyCarlson said...

I love what the water does to the wood, and vice versa. They seem to imprint themselves on each other. The birds doing their birdy thing were great to see, too. I love your walks.

Hilary said...

• Thanks very much, Fishing Guy. I'm glad you liked the photos. I'm not surprised that you were drawn to the trout. :)

• Ewww, KC. I'm not fond of that either.. but better their webs than their bodies... ;)

• Sandy, it's always a pleasure to have you along. You see the world in such a poetic way. Thanks for that. :)

Linda Bob Grifins Brin Korbetis said...

Happy Tuesday,
find some awards you may like there,

Unspoken said...

I swear your photos get more beautiful all the time!

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Jingle. :)

• Thanks so kindly, Amy. :)