Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

July 10, 2013

A Peek at Peaks

This past weekend, my sister invited me to spend a couple days with her on Peaks Island in Maine. Peaks is a small island in Casco Bay, about 15 minutes from mainland Portland by ferry. Her husband’s family has been vacationing on Peaks for many years. I’ve been to visit a few times in the past, but my most recent trip prior to this past weekend was about 5 years ago, so I decided to take Jennifer up on her offer.

During the ferry ride, I had a view of the iconic Portland Headlight:
Portland Headlight from Casco Bay

Approach to Peaks Island:
Approach to Peak's Island

Each morning I was there, Jennifer and I and her cute little cavachon, Ozzie
happy Ozzie
took an around-the-island walk of about 4.5 miles.

I saw many beautiful flowers in bloom:
black-eyed susan

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This cottage had gorgeous climbing flowers (roses? not sure!)
climbing roses on cottage

Probably of no surprise to anyone who reads this blog, sea birds also caught my camera’s attention.
Cormorants:
cormorants

A blue heron:
blue heron

and I’m not sure what kind of duck this is:
Black and white duck? Any id ideas?
I’ve spent some time on my bird identification site and I’ve been unable to come up with an exact match. Any thoughts?

I also got to photograph a new-to-me bird, a cedar waxwing:
cedar waxwing(1)
Isn’t it pretty? It turned around and appeared to be looking right at me:
cedar waxwing(2)

Here’s a sight you don’t see everyday when you are out for a walk:
mailbox sculpture
Don’t ask me, I really don’t know! 😉

Peaks almost always has a lovely sunset to round out your day:
Peak's Island sunset(1)

Peak's Island sunset(2)

I hope you enjoyed your little tour around Peaks Island!

P.S. Scott has a new photo assignment! Pop on over and check it out!

October 1, 2011

Creations, Crustaceans & Confections

Filed under: Travel — Karma @ 5:27 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Last weekend was a visit to my mom’s place on Cape Cod for a belated birthday celebration for my sister.  Not a big bash, but a get-together for shopping, good food, beach exploring and laughing.  For me, photo opportunities too.  The weekend was overcast, but better than the forecasted rain showers we had expected, and the temperatures were surprisingly warm.  Here is my rather random collection of favorite photos from the weekend:

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Flower found outside our favorite candy store

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My cupcake from Jennifer’s birthday dinner

cormorantsCormorants at Bass River Beach .. at least I was pretty sure they were cormorants; I was surprised when I zoomed in on this shot and noticed some of the birds had lighter colored feathers and longer necks than I am used to seeing on cormorants.

During a visit to another little cove along Bass River, Meghan was very interested in some tiny scurrying creatures.
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At first, we almost didn’t see them, but as I walked toward some odd looking holes in the sand, a blur of movement caught my eye.  I saw them disappearing into the little holes.  What were they?

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They were the funniest looking little crabs I’d ever seen!  They all had one over-sized claw and one miniscule one, and eye stalks that moved independently of each other.  That is Meghan’s finger in the background of the shot to give you some scale.

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Meghan shared her find with my sister, while Sarah looked on dubiously.

I’m sure that was the last time this year we will visit the Cape while feeling comfortable in our short-sleeved shirts and shorts.  The cooler temperatures are slowly creeping in as autumn settles upon us.  Although I am still sad for summer’s departure, I do hope to bring you some beautiful color this fall.  If you’d like some tips on shooting that autumn color, be sure to have a look over at Scott’s place!  That’s all from me for now.  Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

September 12, 2010

A Day Trip for the Family and a Lesson for Me!

Filed under: Travel,Walking the Dogs — Karma @ 5:49 pm
Tags: , , ,

Hubby had the thought a few weeks ago to pack up the kids and the dogs on Saturday the 11th for a family day trip.  With his schedule, weekend days off only turn up about every 6 weeks, so little family days need to be planned ahead of time.  He also thought it would be nice for me to get my mind off of some thoughts that have been occupying my mind this week (I’ve shared these thoughts with a few of you; I should get my answer tomorrow.)  It is a rare day indeed that all four of us can spend the day together, so we grabbed a few supplies, leashed the dogs and headed back down to the Cape Cod Canal Visitor’s Center, which I told you about in this post.

The beach at the visitor’s center is one of the few on the Cape that seems to be dog friendly.  Daphne and Teddy had never experienced an ocean beach before so we were curious to see how they would react.
Daphne and Teddy beach 1

Daphne & Teddy beach 2

teddy beach

We kept them on 16-ft. retractable leashes for a couple reasons: Teddy is not known for listening all that well when called, and we wanted to be certain they were not bothering anyone else who decided to enjoy this windy, but sunny and bright day.  Unfortunately, these are the only shots I have of the dogs near the water.  Due to my failure to 1) zero out my camera from shooting in early evening light the day before and 2) realize the camera was not in P mode, I took about the first dozen shots of the day in bright sunshine on shutter priority mode with the shutter set for 1/20 of a second!  Most of my shots of the dogs are whited out blurs of gold, black and tan fur.  In the bright sunshine and my excitement to see the dogs first experience at the beach, I failed to notice the display screen in front of my face.  So frustrating!   I realized what I had done when I went to take a picture of a crashing wave and wanted a quick shutter speed for stop action.  It didn’t occur to me to check the shots I’d already taken when I realized my mistake.  Daphne and Teddy were not overly enchanted with the beach this day, so I probably wouldn’t have gotten many more shots of them playing anyway.  It was high tide, quite windy, and their first time, so I think they may have been more nervous than excited about their surroundings.  After the beach, we took a nice long walk along the canal to help use up the energy of dogs that had been traveling in a car for 2 hours.

leaving mom behind

Canal walk/bike path

During our walk, I saw some interesting sights along the way, so I was constantly stopping to take pictures and then catch up with the rest of the family.

flower boat

Boat of flowers at the Sandwich Marina

whirlpool

Strange swirling vortex of water

found on 9/11

I don’t know if this little flag was placed yesterday or not, but I thought it appropriate on 9/11.

a meeting?

A crowd of cormorants

Cormorant

Cormorant close-up

After a good long walk and a stop for ice cream while visiting with my mother, it was time to get back in the car and head home.  The car is hubby’s Chevy Suburban, which provided leg room for the kids and a place for tired pooches to sleep their way home:

On the ride home

There are a few more pictures from our day on my Flickr page, if you want to have a look.  Go ahead, give it a click! 🙂

August 28, 2010

On the Beach with Sea Birds

I was very tempted to name this blog post “It’s bleedin’ sea bird flavored” after the famous Monty Python sketch, but I thought that might give the wrong impression of what you will see in this post!  (By the way, I chose not to imbed the video due to a wee bit of bad language spoken by John Cleese.  It is quite funny, so go ahead and click on it; I just didn’t want to get any type of “rating” on this blog.  I don’t know just how that stuff works.)  Now, for our regularly scheduled program.

In addition to the great blue heron, Hills Beach is populated with many other photogenic sea birds, and not just the gulls that we all see everywhere from the shore to the parking lot of McDonald’s.  Sandpipers and plovers were all over the place at low tide, quickly scurrying around to eat up little bits of food in the tide pools and shallow waves.
pipin' and ploven'

I would always get confused as to which were the pipers and which were the plovers.  Luckily, the cottage that we stayed in had a nice birding guide with great pictures for identifying birds.  I remember now that the sandpipers are the ones with the long, pipe-like beaks:
sandpiper

And plovers have the short beaks, and are related to killdeer, (what a terrible name!) :
plover

I also had the pleasure of seeing a snowy plover, which I thought was one of the sweetest looking little birds I’d ever seen:
snowy plover

That breakwater that I took you for a walk along was also a roosting spot for some terns and a duck:
duck and terns

sea duck

I wonder what that duck is about to scoop up?  I also wonder if this is also a tern:
tern?

It was much smaller than a gull and didn’t appear to be juvenile.  Any ideas?  Tracy?

In addition to the sea birds, the yards around the cottage were very friendly to the more common birds we see everywhere in the northeast such as the sparrows, chicadees and even the hummingbirds (which of course I didn’t get a picture of).  There were many birdfeeders and birdhouses along the small lawn area of the cottage and surrounding houses.
busy birdfeeders

Many of the birdhouses were occupied with baby birds.  Busy parents spent a lot of time flying back and forth feeding the little ones:
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(Sorry that one isn’t a little clearer – I took it through a screen so that I didn’t disturb the scene.)  Looks like a nice, tasty grub the babies are so eager to eat! Yummy!  Speaking of hungry birds:
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The girls have a tradition at the end of vacation of feeding the gulls any leftover bread items that we won’t be taking home with us.  It never fails to attract a crowd.

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I guess the birds weren’t the only ones who were hungry! Gee, you might think I never feed the kid.  All part of being 13, I suppose!

ETA: I just realized that I tagged this post with “cormorant” and never included my cormorant shot.  Sorry for skipping you, cormorant!

cormorant

August 3, 2010

A Few More Favorites from the Canal

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 11:22 pm
Tags: , ,

Here are a few more favorite pictures that I took while visiting the Cape Cod Canal.
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Looks like a barge coming through!  (Play on family joke included here – tell me in the comments if you know what I am talking about, or ask me if you are curious!)

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I like interesting boat names.  These were two I happened to catch.  I’d like to have a boat someday.

If I remember correctly, I think I tried the panning technique for the “Tunanut” picture.  Not perfect, but not too bad I think.

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Cormorant swimming…

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Cormorant diving! Kinda  neat shot, isn’t it? I learned an interesting fact about these birds this weekend.  The cormorant is a bird you will often see at the edge of the water sitting with its wings extended.  Apparently, they need to let themselves dry out before they can swim again.  If they let themselves get too saturated, they will sink!  Seems like an odd design flaw for a sea bird.