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Archive for the ‘Nature photos’ Category

A walking path is never even. That was the thought in my head this afternoon when I headed out through the garage. The winds were coming at me from the northwest, cold and strong. First thing I wanted to do was collect one large bag of trash from the pole barn, there seems to be a never ending supply of junk in that barn.
As I opened up the barn I kept talking out loud to myself, I was hoping that the skunk who lives around the barn would scurry away when it heard me coming.

I consider it a good outing when nothing furry tries to chase me down:-)

After I had one bag stuffed and tied off I looked off towards the back path, or what use to be the back path. My tractor had stopped working this summer, as well as the gas mower. So parts of my lawn /field grass were ankle to waist high, making my walk an arduous excursion. I still had the narrow path that Uriah had carved. I decided to take a walk, before deep snow erased that path.

I stopped my non-stop, keep-away-animal chatter as I hit the lowest part of the path. I followed a line though the grass then turned to the left and walked on the incline, sidestepping a section riddle with burrows.

I made a mental note to bring with a small saw or heavy clippers next time, and cut the invading Bog Willows away from the old path.

I continued on towards the east invisible fence line. I turned towards the north and a wave of sadness hit. I kept walking.

I was in an area where, years before, I had been charged by a forty pound raccoon. At that time I had three dogs with me, they all saved my life.

I stopped and listened. Winds blasted over the oldest Bog Willows and rustled the tops of the four to five foot dried grass , then blew past me.

“ I think I need to walk a different path …” I said that out loud.

Instantaneously, a buck stood up, not more than forty feet from where I was standing.

I can’t speak for the buck,..for me, that moment moved in slow motion.

I stopped breathing and froze! I was hoping that he wouldn’t notice me standing in front of him wearing a bright orange jacket, I closed my eyes ..I really wished that would make me disappear!

A male deer’s mating, or rutting season is around November. Bucks are attitude with pointy antlers. And I found myself standing too close to one. If he charged at me he could use those antlers or stomp on me, yes they do that! Ouch!

When the buck rose up from where he had been resting, he slowly turned in my direction. I could see the wind slightly ruffling his fur as it blew towards me, lucky for me I was down wind. He snorted as he stood up and again as he faced me. He stomped the ground, and raised his head up and smelled the air.

At this point I was trying to become a turtle and shrink into my coat.

I didn’t breath! I didn’t move, that is supposed to work right? Or it that only for bears?

After a minute he turned and took a couple of steps away, snorting indignantly. Then with three effortless jumps, he disapeared in the trees. I got an impression he had springs for legs.

It took me a couple of minutes to relax and head back to the house.

Note to self… Tomorrows walk will be taken in the open, empty farm field next door.

oct pic. leaves have fallen off

Tall grass hidding deer

Male deer are called bucks, bulls, stags or harts. Female deer are called does, cows or hinds. Young deer are called fawns or calfs.~ http://www.veganpeace.com/animal_facts/Deer.htm

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I couldn’t believe the way the snow came down today, and just last week it was hot, and I mean uncomfortably hot, somewhere near ninety..

I posted this poem for today’s prompt “write a snapshot poem” this afternoon I also took this video with the new camera, – it’s a Nikon.  

Link to poem a day challenge: http://blog.writersdigest.com/poeticasides/2011/04/16/2011AprilPADChallengeDay16.aspx

 I used up the Cannon after eight months and the Sony barely made it a month.  I had bought the extended warranty at Best Buy so I was able to try different cameras. So far the Nikon is the best.

Michael is beginning to think cameras don’t’ like me. I keep explaining that some electronics have gremlins in them

I thought I would have trouble with setting up a video, then I found using, Microsoft Live I could fix it and upload it to YouTube

Here’s April 16th, 2011’s poem..

“Freeze Frame”

by Gerardine Baugh

It is snowing

Uriah runs up to me

His thick coat is covered in water droplets

Looking up, he gives me a doggy grin

Knowing what’s coming I cringe and step back

He begins to shake

That, slow movement

Only his pudgy, furry body can accomplish. 

Where he turns his head one way, and

His body fat slips in the other direction

Water is launched from the ends of his fur

Encompassing him in a shower of reflected light 

I turned my back on him and the wind  

Time stops…

My hair covers my eyes

Snow blasts past me

An invisible serpent writhing as an updraft

Bellowing out my coat it slides up the naked trees.

Gathering up dry leaves from the ground, and

Playing with them around the tree tops

In a millisecond, sound stops

Then, the winds skate back down the trees

Letting go

Raining brown leaves within the white snow

Slipping across the grass, then

Like a playful child, pulls at my legs

Snowflakes hit my face stinging cold

Uriah doesn’t seem to notice the wind, or the cold snow

Staring expectantly

He whines and nudges at my hand for a treat

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 Yesterday, started out as a beautiful day, blue skies, white puffy clouds, and a slightly cool breeze. Within a few hours the day changed drastically.

Winds picked up, as the clouds literally touched the ground. The view was magnificent!

 

 As I faced east, the blue sky had disappeared and the sunlight came out of that dense and dark low cloud. I could see its top. A yellowish-gray, making everything look oddly, dirty yellow, like I was wearing yellow tinted sunglasses. 

I took Uriah for a walk, in that defused yellow light

 

When I turned and faced west, the sky was filled with higher, puffy white clouds slipping underneath a beautiful deep blue sky. I turned back and forth so many times I though I would get whiplash.

 

I stood off on the very back of the path, and watched the clouds touch the ground east of me. The rain in that area must have been heavy. Streaks of blue-black clouds raced across the sky, some of them losing the battle to stay air borne, and dropped to the ground in an equally dark curtain of rain.

 

Uriah decided to take a break from sniffing and running between the trees. He stared at my pockets, where I remembered to put his biscuit.   

“Uriah! Look the rain is coming towards us!”

He gave me a goofy grin, and then stared out over the empty corn field.

I watched the dark line of rain marking its path across the plowed field, edging slowly towards us. I heard the pattering sound, before I felt the sharp pieces of ice rain.

Uriah stood up, shook the ice off his coat and started back towards the house. He looked once back at me, as if he were telling me to get moving.

I laughed, and held my hands open to catch the frozen water. “Hey, Uriah! It’s snowing!”

 

 Uriah shook his head at me and looked miffed, as he disappeared into the tree line.

Once again, I am participating in the 2010 National Novel Writing month. I have posted four articles on the Examiner, dealing with writing.  And I will add short videos that will be posted with the articles.

 

I went into this without a plan. I had a character that I created a few years ago. Every so often I try and pull her out, she refused to be involved in any story line, until this year. 

 

If anyone has an idea for a topic or if there is something you want to see. Maybe you’re busy with your own NaNoWriMo writing, that’s great!  Drop me a note, when you’re done.

If you want to, add comments you can do it here, or go at the examiner, or on Youtube. Email is even great. gerardinebaugh@gmail.com

Youtube – http://bit.ly/91BE8d

Examiner- http://exm.nr/cdqOQ3

I shortened the links at this site:  http://bit.ly/?u=&searchButton=Shorten

This was taken with a webcam, my camera is still getting fixed, at least I hope!

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Careful they cut deep!

I was in the local grocery store yesterday, I was reading the bulletin board, and someone was giving away a rooster free of charge.

I pointed it out to Michael and mentioned we could get some hens and have fresh eggs. He started laughing, and told me to re-read the flyer and if I really want it, it’s fine by him. He just wants my camera to take the video of me and the new rooster..

This is what the flyer said:

Free Rooster- it hates kids and women- if you want him he’s yours..

Later that evening;

I was typing with one hand while Michael was muttering and snickering.
Earlier, at sundown, I was pulling weeds in the garden. Uriah was wandering, sniffing around trees and piles of cut grass for rabbits, ground squirrels, and moles.

I saw a large clump of grass, about a foot high, next to the strawberries. With my tunnel vision turned on, I knew that area had to be cleaned out. I had only a few more minutes and then I would be pulling weeds in the dark.

Working quickly, and using both hands, I grabbed a handful of the thick, woody, very dry grass and pulled.

The grass stayed in the ground.

I tugged harder.

I had a very tight hold on that grass, as it slipped through my hands. It gave me an Indian burn and sliced along my palm and fingers.

Uriah had wandered back, and was sitting in front of me, when I made an odd sounding squeak. He jumped up, with a look that said. “Whatever bit you isn’t going to get me!” And he ran and hid under the deck.

One of those heavy blades of grass, had sliced my little finger open wide and very deep. I saw that with the first glance. Clutching my hand, I headed into the house.

Michael was on the Xbox, playing; Red Dead Redemption, when I walked in trying to not drip blood on the carpet. He kept looking at me like I was speaking a different language.

Calmly, while holding my left hand out in front of me in a tight fist, I said for the third time. “I think I cut my finger off with a blade of grass..!”

Then he started laughing. I was not amused!

Then he began describing how he had to have stitches on his finger years before.

If you don’t know, you will now. I am very phobic of needles and sharp objects! Really! Michael is use to me not freaking, just warning doctors who take blood, then I get up and run.

So here he is telling me how they stitched his hand. Deadened the area, laid it open, scrapped it clean, and used a sharp needle to sew him up, five stitches…Wow! I’m getting very dizzy writing this.

Michael kept saying, “Time for the ER!”

I insisted that it wasn’t bleeding that bad- it finally stopped two hours later.

Michael asked, “You’re not going to bleed to death on the couch are you?”

I was sort of positive I wouldn’t. No blood squirting on the walls and I was still awake, all was good!

“No! I’m fine! I am stronger than a blade of grass! It was really sharp!” I shook my head and held my hand tight.
I washed off my hands and danced around the kitchen. I realized later the stinging was from the Indian burns and slices on the rest of my hand.

“Are you sure, you’re fine?” He asked again.

“No problem!” I smiled a goofy; I’m going to pass out look if you keep mentioning how they stitch up your fingers! “All’s good. The finger is attached!” Even if it wasn’t I would just flap over the skin, and use some old fashion duct tape to hold it in place….

So no surgery for me!

Not even my pinky finger.

Time for leather gloves!

When I took Uriah out this morning I had a hard time looking at the grass. Each blade seemed unusually sharp today.:-(

I found this site on needle phobia.
http://www.needlephobia.info

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This past week I watched as a farmer harvest his soybean crop in the neighboring field. I grabbed my camera and took a video as he roared past me, kicking up the usual intense dust storm, which always comes out of a soybean harvest.

 

The grey heavy dust had me coughing and teary eyed, I made a fruitless attempt to blink away the haze and itch behind my eyelids.

As I watched, twigs and rocks spray back onto the shaved off field.  The harvester moved slowly, roaring past me. 

Holding the camera in my right hand I waved with my left and the farmer waved back. I could barely see him between the dust and the darkness inside the cab.

 

Vibrations from the massive John Deere Harvester rippled under my feet. The tractor’s size and close proximity, passing a few feet/meters in front of me- reminded me of a charging elephant in a Tarzan movie.   

 

Add in a sunset and lengthening shadows.  Then toss in a thick, grey swirling dust cloud that quickly encompassed the world. 

 I could feel the hair rise on my neck. This scene had an eerie feel…  

I kept thinking something bad was about to happen.

 

Guess I’ve been watching too many horror movies…? Too close to Halloween..?

 

Uriah kept rolling his eyes and pacing. Finally, he gave up trying to get me to move away from the fence and walked back to the house.  Smart dog!

 

From across the field, on the end of ‘Bob’s’ property, I saw a flicker of light.

 

I headed up on the deck to get a better view.  I saw flames shooting up illuminating an old Oak tree that sat at the backend of his property. Not quite on ‘Bob’s’  land. It belongs to the farmer. 

 

 I haven’t lit a fire for a couple of months.

This summer’s air may have water soaked, but the ground and foliage has been very, very dry.  Dangerously dry!

 

I watched the flames licking at the lower tree branches and then blazed higher. Orange, red and yellow flames reached up into the branches, so bright I could make out each limb.  I was positive that tree was toast! 

 

About fifty feet, to the north, is a cornfield.  A very dry, not yet harvested- cornfield.

 

The farmer’s tractor’s lights glowed white; I noticed a second tractor in that field. I have never seen a soybean field stripped that fast. I wondered, if they were worried that fire?

 

When I couldn’t stand on the deck and breathe, I headed inside.

 

By midnight the air had cleared.

 

The fire was out, it hadn’t spread. (Add sigh of relief here)

Still today I am wondering, “What was that guy thinking- lighting a fire when a field was being harvested?”

 

Any thoughts on this?

 

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Odd, big mushroom

For the second day in a row I stepped outside to frost on the grass, and plants that looked like I stuck them in the freezer, all wilted and mushy.

I had slipped on my sandals and headed out back. 

My toes felt the cold first. With the sun shining brightly the rest of me really wasn’t cold.

Uriah ran on ahead and pointed out the raccoon scat right in the middle of the back path. I was relived when he looked back and me and walked past it, I was not in the mood to give him a bath.

I walked past the odd sounds coming out of the tall grass to my left, Uriah couldn’t help himself. He stopped cocked his head to the right and whined.

“No way! Uriah, keep walking!” I shouted out the command, then turned and continued walking.

I was hoping he would follow. I wasn’t in the mood to run into any wild animals today.

Uriah sneezed at the grass, then trotted after me. He jogged past like a middle aged over weight male, pretending to be in shape. He stopped after about twenty feet, panting and waited for me to catch up.

I tried to avoid the large stones that had been kicked out of the muskrat’s hole.

I walked around a scraggly mulberry tree.

I walked looking at the ground as I passed under the cedar’s low branches.  I could see the odd, large,- I think mushroom- I haven’t look this thing up, yet. It is the size and shape of a large watermelon with the look of an old dried out football. Brownish with a yellowish powder, when I touched it the surface broke easily, similar to a cooked meringue. I found a second one, on the other side of the cedar tree.  I never saw anything like it. Have you?

As I hit the back section of the path, I made the turn to head home. At that point, Uriah disappeared into the trees and started to bark. His bark changed to a scared howling sound. I stopped, worried.  

“Uriah, Come!” I stayed on the path and waited.

I heard him bark.

Still I stayed on the path.

This is the area where Uriah and his brothers had killed a forty pound raccoon when it tried to attack me. His brothers are no longer alive and I know Uriah isn’t strong enough to kill anything bigger than a small rat. 

So I stood my ground and yelled again. “Uriah, Come!” 

He came out of the trees doing a fast jog. I knelt to pet him and he raced right past me. I glanced at the trees. I didn’t see anything coming out, but why wait for it.:-)

By the time my dog slowed up, he had put fifty feet behind him. We both walked side by side quickly, which is unusual for Uriah.

I check him over when we walked into the yard.

Nothing bit him. He seemed fine.

Deer like to hide in those trees. Maybe that’s what he ran into, a momma deer will kick at him and Uriah doesn’t like to be kicked.

Uriah didn’t stop at the there. He took off to the house. Glancing back at me, he crawled under the deck.

I don’t know if you saw my video of the three deer that came to visit. Here it is.

Here’s a link on BigFoot

http://bigfootsightings.org/2009/08/31/bigfoot-in-illinois/

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I am tired, sore and jiggle eyed. Last month I spent my spare time working on the examiner articles, then, my completive streak snuck in and I tried to write some articles for their sponsor, HomeDepot.   I wrote some really bad articles… I have to write about cats, but that will be done slowly.

 I know what I enjoy, and this Blog is what I love to write.

 I still have my change jar in the back of my closet, slowly filling with dollars, for that elusive laptop which will help me write anywhere in the house, or on a jaunt outside. I see that happening by spring.  

I plan on finishing a novel, and submitting some of my writing.-I should get competitive about this.-

I am well, happy and back.

 This evening I was sitting on the couch watching, Julia & Julia, and lost track of time. I had left Uriah outside, in his kennel, and forgot to bring him in when it got dark.  

 I had to turn on the outside lights and then the bathroom light downstairs, the one closest to the dog kennel and the office where this computer is located.  

 I turned on the driveway overhead light as I opened the garage door.  

 It was a clear dark night. The air was cold enough that I saw my breath. Lights were shining out in the cornfields behind the house, near the back path. Farmers were out harvesting crops, trying to outrun the rains.

 Uriah started whining when he heard the door open. He hasn’t been very brave the past few months. When he hears a noise in the dark he would rather stand next to me and growl, than run off barking.

 This past Friday, Michael and I made a pretty good attempt at waterproofing the deck for winter. We never got around to cleaning up, that will be done maybe tomorrow- or not.  Everything is lying around and will need to be stored away for the winter anyway, so I’m in no hurry to straighten up the outside when I can barely stand straight today.

 I stumbled over a board and the hose I had left out.  

 When I got to Uriah, his kennel was lit up due to the glow from the bathroom light. I was very glad I remembered to turn that light on.

 Uriah stuck his nose in his large empty water bowl.  I had moved it to work on the deck and now it was empty.  I pulled it back under the deck where it belonged and felt around in the dark, in the cold damp grass for the end of the hose.

 Uriah stood patiently waiting. As I finished filling up the big water bowl, I spotted in the shadows his small water bowl, still filled to the brim. While Uriah was slurping up water, I looked inside the kennel.  His water bowl in the kennel was still filled.  I laughed and shook my head. Silly dog!

 As I waited for Uriah to relax and roll in the grass; I stared up into the dark night sky, a string of clouds drifted near the eastern horizon. The rest of the sky was clear. Pinpoints of white lights glittered overhead. 

 Have you ever stared upward, with out blinking, so you could see stars beyond the ones that caught your attention? I could do that tonight.   I could see clusters of stars out of the corner of my eye, if I looked straight at them they would blend into the blackness.

 Supposedly, tonight has a waning crescent moon tonight, 29% full. I didn’t see the moon.

 Star gazing has been getting harder to do with the naked eye. With all the lights and pollution our children and grandchildren are loosing out on this simple pleasure.

 Rumbling of farm equipment and the occasional rustling in the garden were the only sounds.  Uriah nosed around in the Blue Spruce next to the garage I let him, I didn’t want to go backing into the brightly lit house, not just yet.

I didn’t get a picture tonight, but here is a video I took last week of a sunrise.

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