Tag: photography challenge

Migrating Northern Shovelers: Photography Challenge Day 35

Four male Northern Shovelers and a single female.

Today’s science Sunday post is brought to you by the migrating northern shoveler (Anas clypeata).

I saw several of these ducks over the weekend while I was walking at Boomer Lake, and was able to get decent pictures of them today. These birds winter in the southern states (especially along the coasts), migrate through the Midwest and summer in the northern states and up into Canada and Alaska. Theses ducks can also be found throughout Europe and Asia (as they breed in the northern areas), and they winter south of the border (where it’s warm—southern Europe, Africa, India, southeast Asia, Central & northern South America).

Though it is hard to tell from the picture, but those dark heads on the ducks with the white bodies are actually a green color. I didn’t have my large zoom lense on me to really get a close up picture of them. But you can see the red patch on the sides of the four males—all of which are trying to court the same female duck for the year.

Some cool facts about the northern shoveler:

Their bills are big (~2.5 inches long) and shaped like a shovel (hence the name). The bill also contains fine hair projections all along the edges that act as a sieve, allowing them to filter out tiny crustaceans, aquatic invertebrates, and seeds from the water.

They are yearly monogamous birds. They form bonds on the wintering grounds and then stay together until it’s time to return to the wintering grounds.

There is usually a clutch of 9-12 eggs that are overseen by the female only for about three to four weeks. The mother will lead them to the water and keep them close to cover of the marsh vegetation, and the young are capable of flight somewhere between fifty-two and sixty days after hatching.




No Comments bird watchingnaturePhotography

Day 14 of Photography Challenge

Decided that today’s photo would be a peek into my first attempt in keeping a bullet-like journal. The reason why I’m calling mine “bullet-like” is that I’m still writing in it daily; I’m just incorporating some of aspects of a bullet journal. I really do like the weekly habit tracker, as part of the bullet journal.

Peak into my habit tracker

This week I’m trying coloring in each block. Last week I used star stickers, and the week before I just checked the box (and I’ll admit the first week of the month was rough and there weren’t that many boxes checked).

The habits that I’m keeping track of for awhile also fit in with a couple of other personal development goals from 52 small changes: One Year to a Happier and Healthier You by Brett Blumethal (and I realize that I never formally reviewed book–I gave a brief blurb when I started the blog–note to self–add the book to the list that needs a review written over them).

So back to the habits–I’ve always been slightly bad about making sure that I take my multi-vitamin and supplements (such as an extra calcium pill, and I’ve added one or two that help with digestion and joint relief). So I’m tracking that I take those daily. Meditation is new to my list, as a way of self care, I try to sit and clear my mind for hopefully at least five minutes every night before I read (I’m go between 3-5 minutes). My goal is to get to 10 to 15 minutes of mediation a night. I know there are numerous sites that can lead meditations, but right now I prefer just sitting in a dark bedroom and listening to the fan, aquarium, and noise maker going.

I’m also trying to make sure I get enough water in. I vary with this one depending on what I’m doing daily. If I’m sitting at a desk at work for some reason I drink less than if I’m on my feet and away from my water mug. The weekends are at times difficult as well. Right now I’m aiming for at least 70 oz of water a day (halfway between the 8-10 glasses that are suggested). I know some people say take your weight & divide it in half and that is the amount of water you should be drinking in a day–but that won’t work–at times I have to remind myself to get the water I’m focused on–going up is good–but at times it doesn’t happen.

Stretching is something else I’m adding to the list, before bed to help make sure that I’m not going to be a totally achy mess in the morning. My workouts are also going to be tracked, and while it isn’t shown in the picture, below is a list of different workouts I can chose from this week (since I’ve allowed walking to be the main one for the past week and a half–I’m trying to get back into a fitness routine).

I love reading–though at times I love reading fiction more than non-fiction. So I’m trying to make it a habit to read at least thirty minutes a day from one of the many non-fiction books that I have on my kindle (then I will go and read a fiction book). I’m seeing a lot more book reviews being put on the blog this year–both fiction and non-fiction alike.

Listening to podcasts is something new as well. I’ve figure this is a good way of spending the time waiting for the bus and heading into work. Also I will listen to one while I’m marching in place/circles to get my steps in for the day (if I’m not there after work and the evening workout).

So in conclusion,

I’m slowly falling in love with the bullet journal, though I think I will keep to the format that I’m currently using a mixture of a bullet journal and a normal journal. It’s nice to have a couple pages for each week where things are planned out. Then I will use the next ten pages (or more) as the normal journal to keep track of my food, my mood, and anything else that I feel I need to.

This is the year that changes will occur, and I think writing in the journal will accomplish many of those changes

No Comments bullet journalsPersonal DevelopmentPhotography

Day nine photography challenge–the cats: Pancake and Pyewicket

Today’s post is brought to you by the posing of Pancakes and Pyewicket. I’m thinking that Pancakes wanted in to eat since we place their food bowls in the inner cubby of the tallest part of the cat condo–and Pyewicket was just being bratty by sitting there after she ate staring down at me. It was almost like she was daring me to take their picture. These two (plus our Russian blue–Waffles) are a bit picky in their eating habits. We have two small dishes that are filled with dry food and placed in two different corners of the condo. They will absolutely start harassing me if one of the dishes gets almost empty–doesn’t matter if the other one is totally filled or not. If that orange tinted dish isn’t topped off, they act like we’re starving them to death. So I’m sure that was what Pye was trying to convince me–that the orange dish is almost empty, and therefore no one would be able to eat tonight.

What are you staring at human???

Their other favorite activity is to run up and down the halls as fast as they can, and as often as they can usually in the evenings or the mornings when I’m just getting up and have to make sure that I don’t trip over my cat in the dark hallway.

Does anyone else have an absolute cuddler in their cat? Pancake will crawl onto my lap usually whenever she wants–one sure way to get her on my lap is to be working on my laptop, and then I’ll have to shift her to my shoulder like she is a infant that needs to get burped, then she’ll curl backwards around me to where I’m almost resting my chin on her as she purrs over my shoulder (also makes it really difficult to try to drink a warm mug of decaf tea at night as well).

No Comments PetsPhotography

Day 8 photo challenge–shortish post

Well nothing says the age we’re living in like having to update our electronics. I’ve been at this for over a day and right now am also on line with tech support to see what I can do about it.  It seems that the installer never wanted to finish installing on my computer to do the update to High Sierra. I’m now totally leery about trying to do the latest update (even though I know it will protect against all types of viruses and other problems). I just don’t want to go through the headache of wondering if I’m going to lose everything on the computer (either through the computer upgrade or me losing my temper with the speed of the update and doing something to the computer 🙂 ). So for now I’ve decided that I’ll step back and maybe try to do a step by step update from the operating system that I have instead of a leap from what I have to the one they suggest.

trying to update


Aren’t computers fun………I think they’re so much fun that this one is grounded from any type of updates until further notice (I didn’t like feeling like I broke my computer with no money to fix or replace it).  Here is hoping that the week will go better than how it started.

2 Comments computersUncategorized

Day Seven of photo challenge

Well today is a little of a two for one—the photos are both for the challenge and also for almost completing an task off my 101+ Goal List.

If you remember with the goal list (and even level 10 life), you can set anything to be a goal as long as you try to complete it within next 1001 days (or for the level 10 life, whenever you’re going to be doing another reassessment of the levels and whether or not that goal is on that particular list).

The extremely cluttered desk is almost back to normal


One of the things that has been on my nerves lately has been my desk (see the above picture left corner). It is a catch all for just about everything in my life right now (due in part to not having a dresser and it taking the place of said dresser). There were a lot of things on the desk that needed to either find a new home (I boxed up the big notebooks that were taking up quite a bit of the space), or just get organized (nothing like using one of the many coffee cups that I seemed to have collected as a pencil/pen holder).

There is some free space now in the middle, to where if I want to place a chair near it I probably could put my computer on the desk and actually feel like somewhat of an adult for using the desk for its main purpose.

One of the books that I’m reading (and ones that I’ve finished) state that the bedroom should be kept to just sleeping and getting dressed, and therefore shouldn’t have everything else from the house found in there–I agree, with the exception that for the most part it is the rest of the house (minus the bathroom and kitchen) for me (especially if I want to get away from everyone else–having the TV is nice that I can watch what I want without worrying about what others might be wanting to watch).

There are still a few other things that probably can be moved off the desk and will over the next few weeks, but at least I’ve started to clean off the catch-all that my desk had become. Not bad for a rainy Sunday afternoon.

No Comments 101 GoalsPersonal Development ChallengesPhotography

Day four of photo challenge

I’m thinking that for awhile most of the pictures for this photo challenge are going to be either of the family pets (we do have seven–four dogs and three cats), birds in the yard (since we have numerous feeders), or throw-back photos that I already have on my computer. Right now its really cold out (though not as cold as the northeast is right now), and if I can find an excuse not to go out in the winter weather–I will find one and I’ll use it no matter how lame of an excuse it is.

The nose that wanted its picture taken

Today’s installment for the photo challenge is an closeup of our collie mix’s nose. I’d been playing with my phone one morning and she came to see what I was doing, and I decided that it was the perfect opportunity to see what type of close-up picture she’d allow. Well you can see her nose, and if you look really close–you can even see an eyeball through the fur.

I like taking pictures of the animals, mainly because each picture is showing a little different aspect of their unique personalities, even if the pictures are taken within minutes of each other.  Boozer is our youngest dog, and one of the most stubborn ones we’ve had as well–she is sweet, though she gets into trouble daily acting like she is the top dog, when in fact she is at the bottom of the dog pecking order.

No Comments PetsPhotography