Archive for December, 2012

New Hobby

I have a new and exciting hobby … taking orb pictures.

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My first experience with orbs was in this picture that I used in my “Lazy Hike” blog. I saw the orbs while taking several pictures. These were the first I’d ever seen. Both orbs moved around slightly while I photographed them. If you look close, you can see that the left orb is behind strands of the spider web. The sun was behind me too, so there couldn’t be any glare involved from it.

A blog site “Orbs Delight” found my blog site, and then I found her blog site. Information in her site said to go outside at night and take pictures using a flash. I did and it worked. I’ve taken pictures most nights since November 18, and each night has been different.

Orbs are now thought to be “emanations of spiritual beings,” according to Dr.  Klaus Heinemann in the book he co-authered titled, The Orb Project.

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The first nights of my taking pictures found varying numbers of orbs. They varied in size, location and intensity. On the overall average, most were too dark. Then I had a break-through last week when looking up orb colors and just happened to see a sentence that said, “Be sure to use your nighttime setting.” I didn’t even know my camera had such a thing.  Now my pictures turn out much better since they gave more light.

Now I take pictures during the in the morning when it’s just beginning to get light, during the last light of the day and after it’s dark. These first pictures were taken on the moist hazy morning of December 8.

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The long orb resulted from its moving when I took the picture.

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It was a humid morning, and I think the teeny tiny “sparks” are from the flash hitting water particles close to the camera. I could see them when the flash went off. According to Dr. Heinemann,  particles must be within 4 inches of the lens to make an orb.

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This picture baffled me when I took it, and it still does.  This picture was taken from the backyard looking toward the house. I pressed the button to focus. Suddenly the image on the display went way out of focus and the camera went off.  This resulted in the picture above. If you look close, you can see a thin red ring around the orb.

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I immediately took another picture of the same view, and this is what I got.

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This picture was taken a few mornings before when I aimed the camera overhead at the sky. The orange orb is the only orb in the picture, and there was nothing in my surroundings that would’ve caused it. I didn’t see it on the display until after taking the picture.

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When I’m taking pictures, I just walk around our 2-acre yard. Some are taken closer to the barn or certain trees. Others are longer views. If I’m too close to an object like the barn, the flash overpowers too much of the picture. Buffy (large female chocolate lab) is the dark brown shape below the lowest orb. A picture of her in the same area a few nights ago ended up with an orb right above her and another one to the left.

IMG_4626 redThis was the last picture before going in the house.

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It was dark when I went out in the evening. There’s also an orb near the ground beside the little table and other small faint ones.

IMG_4668 redI try different angles and different distances from the subjects. It’s exciting because there’s no way to predict the outcome. I’m getting more colored orbs like the one above for some reason. I’ve also gotten pictures of faint green ones, turquoise, orange, pale pink, and violet ones.

Orbs can position themselves with a background that creates a face in the orb. Orbs also occur in shapes beside round. I even have captures squarrish ones. They can be variations of out-of-round. So every single picture produces a unique arangement of orbs, according to the orb’s purpose for being in the picture. They offer messages by their strategic placement. Nothing is random.

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My biggest frustration right now is my night blindnessthat keeps me confined to the yard. There’s so many places, like cemetaries, that I’d like to check for orbs.

Seems like the more I’m out taking orb pictures, the more questions I have. Do things like the moon phase affect their numbers and their characteristics? Is the color of the orb associated with a certain angel? If I talk to them, invite them to join me in the yard, offer them gratitude for coming, will that  affect the numbers that are present?

There’s a lot to learn with my new and exciting hobby.

The Eagle Nest Tree

My best friend, Therese, went by the eagle nest recently and reported in to me that she’d seen an eagle in the nest. Seems the tree with the nest lost more limbs with a strong storm we recieved from hurricane Sandy. Buffy and I took a drive this morning to check it out.

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It did look a tad bare.

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No eagle sat in it or in any of the surrounding trees.

Last year I started a series of blogs with weekly trips to the nest.

IMG_9576 red 5 This is an old old picture, with obvious lack of quality. It does show how the tree looked before it lost one whole trunk.

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Both adults were in the nest January 26.

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I took this picture on March 27th this year while the tree was still leafing out.

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This picture was taken the same day.

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The eagle appeared to be feeding young. The date was April 10. I made 4 trips between April 24 and May 5 without seeing any eagles. I assumed a predator got the young while the adults were away.

Eagles mate for life. They will add to their nest every year, and will continue to use as long as the tree’s standing. The largest eagle nest on record was 9 1/2 feet wide, 20 feet high, and weighed over 2 tons! (I would’ve like to see that tree.)

Eagle facts: average life span up to 28 years in the wild, body size 34 to 43 inches, weight 6 1/2 to 14 pounds and wingspan 6-8 feet. Females are larger than the males. The young are 4-5 years before they have white head and tail.

We made a loop around behind an old abandoned mine. A large bird soared around in an area with a large field by the road and the mine off in the distance. It didn’t have white head or tail. It did hold its wings flat — an immature bald eagle. Vultures hold their wings in a vee (dihedral) when soaring. So that’s a good way to tell the difference between the 2 at a distance.

I do so hope the tree remains standing, and the eagles successfully raise young next year.

Slugs, as in Mollusk

Procrastinate is my middle name. This time it involved piling rocks back up that I didn’t use in a garden project. I finally got around to it this afternoon. I hadn’t moved many when I picked up a larger lumpy one. And there on the bottom were …

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slugs! Nice sliiimy slugs. Ugh.

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There were 15 in all in the depressions on the underside of the rock.

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 This one didn’t like my attention and slowly went the other direction. I couldn’t believe how long it ended up being. I didn’t even want to know what was stuck on its back or what the green slimy “piles” were. The “compressed” slugs were about an inch long.  Did I say, “Ugh.”

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A snail was considerate enough to be in one of the depressions for comparison purposes.  A slug is more or less a snail without a shell. Some slugs have an internal mantle in their back, which these do. Both are a mollusk and both are mainly nocturnal.

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I’ve never been inclined to try escargots, and I’m for sure not about to now.

Foggy Morning

Recent warm temperatures, 3/4 inch of rain yesterday and then freezing temperatures last night, made for a foggy morning. Buffy and I headed out early for a hike on Eagle Mountain.

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Farm fields bordered the road going east.

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Here we were nearing the mountains. They aren’t actually mountains. Eons ago they were faulted up 4,000 to 5,000 feet tall and have eroded down to over 900 feet in some areas..

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Bank along road is higher here and

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and little higher yet as we neared the turn to Eagle Mountain road.

IMG_4138 redI particularly like the colors of the orbs resulting from the positon of the sun. I’ve been taking orb pictures at night lately and found these fascinating.

Unusual Bird Behavior

I apologize for total lack of quality in both of these pictures. The cloudy day, being in the house and the distance to the subjects was the way it was.

The groundhog was out for its midday meal. At least there were no longer any flowers and other plants I wouldn’t want to be a meal for it.

While watching it, I saw movement further back in the yard at the burn pile. We have 2 acres. I burned 5 sacks of paper this morning.

A mockingbird perched on a branch and flew quickly down into the pile of ashes, causing a cloud of ash, and then returned to the brush pile. It repeated this 3-4 times, with time between. A male cardinal did the same 1 time. Obviously, there were no smoldering embers.

All I could figure was that the mockingbird was taking a dust bath in the ashes. Birds take dust baths to clean their feathers and skin, and to get rid of mites. Usually they spend more time in the dust during a dust bath than the mockingbird did in the ashes

I had never seen this behavior before. This just proves that one can continually learn from nature for years and years and years.

A Tree Friend

I have several tree friends. Most I haven’t seen for years because I don’t hike to where they are any more. One tree friend is just down the highway from where I live.

Meet Sir Octopus.

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Sir Octopus swims in the wind, the same as an octopus swims in the water.

In the winter we swim through a sky-blue sea.

When we swim in the summer, its green leaves become seaweed. Birds and butterflies become fish. A lizard becomes a seahorse. A flower garden becomes a coral reef below us. Rocks become clams and oysters. A garter snake becomes an eel, and beetles become shrimp.

We dive to the bottom to look for sunken pirate ships. We swim with the whales, play with the otters and hide from the sharks.

Sometimes I close my eyes and feel the tides of wind move Sir Octopus around.

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Sir Octopus is a catalpa. Its shape resulted from trimming over the years to accomodate power lines above it.

This is …..

Any idea what this is?

It’s in my yard.

It looks like a lunar landing site.

Still no idea?

Tilt your head side ways to the right or left.

Any idea now?

These are the corky warts on the bark of a hackberry tree.