Friday, April 11, 2008

Pennsylvania . ... A Beautiful State

Pennsylvania is a beautiful state and from above Allegheny Front Hawk Watch you can see the mountains, forests, and the farmlands that dot the landscape below. Click to enlarge.

As you are driving our highways it would not be unusual to come upon a farm rising up from the crest of the hill . The mountains and rolling hills seen in the background. No doubt about it - Pennsylvania is a beautiful state and I love everything about it.

From my many day trips I have so many pictures and I will share just a few.
A church captured in the fall as the trees are just beginning to change color.

An old farm that has finally fallen into disrepair, but still a
beautiful picture with the purple flowers blooming as if to say
the beauty still remains.

Our forests are dense and cool in the summer and beautiful
with tall stately trees.

A man made 'blue hole' created from quarry dynamiting.
Beautiful nonetheless.

Following will be farms mostly taken in Bedford County.
I must say I love the Farmlands the best, being a country
girl and growing up near to this part of the state.

This farm is picture perfect to me. The house, the barn,
the fields, a stream, mountain in the background and if you click
you will even see the family dog heading home.

We also have our share of lakes, rivers and streams.
This is Shawnee Lake.

Duman's Lake

Yellow Creek State Park

Old Crow Bog near Raystown in Huntingdon County

Raystown Lake

Raystown farmland.
I took this barn early one morning. I just couldn't resist stopping to click the shutter.

And what better way to end this series but with a picture I took last week
It had rained and then the sun came peeking out and I ran outside with
camera in hand knowing that a rainbow was somewhere....And right
there it was in my backyard !! Beautiful.

Oh! I just had to add this picture. On the last 'jane and barbie' adventure
we came across this scene. We took the picture and wondered what
we would do with it. I will say.......You just never know what you
will find in the Pennsylvania woods, so keep an eye out, and if you have
an emergency.... there it is for you!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Surprise Sighting

One of the exciting things that happened on our way to see
the Short-eared Owl was a hawk we spotted along the road
It was on 422W between Ebensburg and Indiana. Luckily
there was a place to pull off the road and get some shots.
Look above the peak of the old building on the wire
That is our hawk!

He sat there and basically ignored us in the car.

We were speculating what he was. Not a Red-tail....
My friend thought Red Shouldered.

He stayed so long I got out of the car and got some better
shots that weren't through the car windows.
In this shot his tail reminds me of one of those dresses
that flares out at the ankles on a pretty girl.

He sat and sat and sat
There was a pond below him and now he is getting ready to dive.

His 'diving' routine was quick and funny to watch. It
seemed he just fell off the wire and plummeted downward

I have several shots as he did this 3 or 4 times while
we were there.

When he got into it he would turn and flare out his wings
like a gymnast doing a back flip.

Then his landing gear came down and he would land.

It seemed he was trying to catch something but we didn't
see evidence that he got it.

Then just as quick back up he would go to the line.
I got to practice my 'BIF' skills with these shots. I'm not
too good with them. But I do love the wing formations
and the way you can see the barring of the tail feathers
and wings .

Up, up, and away he would go ....

Back to the line and watching again.

We decided then and there if we did not see the Owl that we
would be happy with our surprise sighting of this
very cooperative hawk. (Well maybe!)

As I was editing these photos and getting ready to post
I kept hearing a song in my mind.. Maybe you will remember..
It's an oldie.
"up like a rocket ship...Down like a roller coaster....Fast like a loopty loop
and around like a merry-go round.... "

Before we left there, we were able to pull even closer and I
got this really nice shot of Mr. Red Shouldered Hawk before
he flew away from us. And good thing he did, or we would
still be along the road shooting pictures.

Another 'jane & barbie" adventure.
To God be the Glory -- Great Things He Hath done.

Monday, April 7, 2008

My Best backyard Shot

When I looked out and saw the Sharp-shinned Hawk right
next to my porch perched in a tree I was ecstatic.

The camera is never far away so I grab it and
start snapping pictures.

He was hunting so he didn't pay me any mind.

I was able to zoom right in and even get his eye clear and bright.

Thank God the light was good and he was intent on his lunch.

If you double click you will see his the details of
the beak and the colors of the eye.

Thank You sharpie for stopping by. You Are a Beauty!

To God be the Glory - Great things he hath done.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Short-eared Adventure

Another week end of birding and how fortunate we are
to have seen and captured it.
Flying towards me I think...could it be? could it be?
My heart is doing more than 50 mph I will tell you.

A little closer and still I'm thinking nah! it can't be.

But as it goes overhead I am convinced that it indeed is!

When it sits atop a snag I KNOW that the Short-eared Owl
is mine to capture!

It was there and I was pinching myself while taking
way too many pictures. One after!!!

The eyes are so beautiful!
Oh My Gosh! what a cute little face! He looks soft as down
and beautiful in my lens. click- click- click!

His head swivels as if it's on a weather vane.

A little closer now one sits on a wire above my head.

The detail in his feathers is amazing to me...and I want to hold
him in my hand.

The field below is full of Red-winged Blackbirds and they
are telling him what for!

Get out - Get out- They scream as only Red-winged
Blackbirds can do.
Can't you see this is MY territory!

Dive bombing definitely isn't working.

How about I bite you in the butt!
The Owl is unaffected by their incessant behaviour and
his focus on the hunt.
As the light fades I am sad and do not want to leave this place
where I have seen my first Short-eared Owl.
As he perches atop a pine I say my goodbyes.
This is part of a series I will call
"jane and barbie' adventures.
Two best friends birding together.
Look for it in the future, and by all means check out her
She has some exemplary photos of the owl flying
and detail that will make your heart flutter.
Her post will be coming soon!

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