Absorb the Peace

Around sunrise, camera in hand, I sit quietly at the pond and absorb the peace.

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Nikon D5100 f/6.7 ISO 1600 1/25 s 55-300@300mm – Summer 2012

For me it is peaceful and absorbing to watch the little creatures ending their nights (like the raccoon doing some last minute fishing last month) and others beginning their days (like the turtles and snakes and dragonflies).

I can feel the peace, as I am not being hunted. It may perhaps not feel so peaceful to the small frogs and fish, hunted by the larger fish, raccoons, snakes, and birds. But if they hold perfectly still, escaping the notice of those predators, then perhaps they do experience a measure of peace.

On a processing note, although I usually try to keep my Photoshop editing to a minimum, preferring to use photos that please me as shot, in this case I chose to lighten the image somewhat. I feared that the turtle just would not be at all visible without some lightening. In actuality, my experience was not quite so dark as the image I shot, so I must have needed to tinker with my settings somewhat – at 1600 ISO, I anticipated the shot being quite noisy and did not want to try an even higher ISO setting, resulting in the dark image.

Visual Relief

After three days of unrelenting drought posts, I don’t know about you, but I feel parched!

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Nikon D5100 f/10 ISO 800 1/250 s 55-300@55mm – Summer 2012

Although the temperatures have abated some, and there are areas nearby which have received considerable amounts of rain, our little Back Forty is still dry. The vegetation is brown and crispy. Insect noises have abated to near silence.

For some relief from the unrelenting dryness of everything, I can walk up to one of our ponds. We have dubbed this, our largest, Blue Heron Pond.

Here is some visual relief for my followers; enjoy a peaceful break from the drought, contemplating these soft ripples and reflections of sunrise in the blessedly wet pond.

Drought in Pastel Colors

Any way you dress it up, it is still a drought.

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Nikon D5100 f/5.6 ISO 800 1/250 s 55-300@155mm – Summer 2012

Here it is mid-August, and we have been feeding hay to the horses for over a month. We will be feeding hay through at least March of 2013. The pastures will need to be seeded before there will be any grass available for the horses to graze.

Precarious Perch

This view gives a pretty good feel for how small these teensy amphibians are.

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Nikon D5100 f/5.6 ISO 800 1/125 s Nikkor 55-300@300mm – Summer 2012

I wonder what it would feel like to just leap wildly in any direction and cling to whatever I hit? That is precisely what these tiny frogs do. They hold still until they are in imminent danger of being stepped upon, then they just leap madly, freezing where they land. Happily, I have not seen any diseased or malformed amphibians in or around our ponds 🙂

Treats?

All the hens know we come bearing gifts 🙂 They gather ’round and check us out; is she carrying an apple? Does he have a slice of watermelon?

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Nikon D5100 f/10 ISO 400 1/250 s Nikkor 55-300@220mm – Summer 2012

This one was especially pleased because she was the first to notice me and I was close enough that she didn’t need to run. Running is bad because it alerts the others that treats are at hand. These hens do not want to share with their sisters!