The end of October around home
I’m starting this post on the morning before I begin my new job, which today will be going in for orientation. Tomorrow, they will have some one from the company ride with me to be sure that I understand their procedures, then on Wednesday, I’m on my own.
I must be getting old, I used to change jobs all the time and it never bothered me. This time, I’m nervous, and I don’t even know why. Maybe it’s because I’m hoping that this will be my last job before I retire in a few years.
Well, I’m home from orientation at my new employer, and it went well. I do get the feeling that this will be the last job that I start. I may not get rich there, or even earn as much as I could make at some other trucking companies, but it will be a huge leap up from what I was making. However, there’s more to life, or even a job, than money. I’ll be working a lot of hours over the winter, just to get ahead and to save for a new Canon 7D Mark II, but come next spring, I’ll slack off a little.
Judging from what the management said during my first day, they know how to run a short-haul regional trucking operation. It seems that they have figured out that it costs them a ton of money to hire a new driver, so being flexible and reasonable in the way that they schedule and treat their drivers pays off in the long run.
It will be good to work for a growing company that has a great reputation, rather than a dying one with a horrible reputation as my last employer was.
Anyway, I’m going to start the photos in this post with two of the better fall foliage shots that I got from around home, that I didn’t accidentally delete as I did the other half-dozen images that I had saved.
Keith, the grasshopper hunting heron hung around here until the end of October, and will appear several times in this post.
I haven’t seen him for quite some time now, I think that he’s flown south for the winter. That was a very wise decision on his part, as we’re going to have a long, cold winter this year.
The bird migration this fall was sporadic, and I saw very few migrating birds around home.
Seeing the red-winged blackbird surprised me, as all the locals here left two months ago, and there were only one or two other blackbirds with it. They normally migrate in large flocks.
Here’s a shot that I liked, even though this image isn’t quite what I wanted. I thought that the scene had potential.
So, I tried again.
And a third time.
After that, I gave up and had to admit that what I tried to make that scene look like just wasn’t going to work.
Now, the leaves have almost all fallen from the trees, and about the only colors left are grey and brown. So, I guess that you’ll be seeing a lot of these from me this winter.
Sorry so many of the finch, but I love getting series of photos of birds feeding to see how they go about it. That may sound a bit strange, but I often wonder how they get on so well without hands to hold what they eat, along with the foods that they consume.
Squirrels are both cute and interesting, along with loads of personality.
In case you hadn’t noticed, there weren’t many sunny days the last month or so, it’s that time of year here. The lake effect clouds formed by cold air crossing the warmer waters of the Great Lakes has kept us socked in under those clouds most days, and it will only get worse this winter. So, when there was some sun, I tried to take advantage of it.
Two that I like, even though the subjects aren’t spectacular.
Gee, more images of Keith the great blue heron, first, a wide shot…
…then, zoomed in.
I found a pair of downy woodpeckers within range of good photos.
And a female mallard in a pretty setting.
On one of the sunny days, I did some lens testing, using British soldier lichens as the test subject. I started at 15 mm…
….then switched to the Tokina macro lens for a close-up….
….then, a depth of field shot with the same lens.
I tried shooting this wasp’s nest at several different focal lengths, here’s the one I like best.
One day, there were several young people in the park, and they asked me what I was taking pictures of. So, I pointed out to them that there was Keith the great blue heron….
…Bertha, the female red-tailed hawk…
…and I tried pointing out Bruiser, Bertha’s mate, but being as stubborn as he is, he took off…
…but he did pull up for one better photo.
While I was pointing out the hawks, Keith came running up with something in his mouth…
…it was a small snake! The snake fought back valiantly!
But it lost, and must have wiggled a bit on the way down.
It didn’t take Keith long to regain his composure though.
It’s true, great blue herons will eat anything that doesn’t eat them first.
And my last photo for this post, one that I am quite proud of.
If only I could have gotten the mallards to cooperate a bit more to help me out with the composition. However, I walked all around the pond, checking the reflections at different places, and wound up with a very good image, but the colors were a bit dull due to the light. So, I did a cloned HDR version, where I adjusted the exposure of one image both up and down from my original image, then did the HDR merge from those three images.
That was shot with the Tokina 100 mm macro lens, I really need to use that lens for more than macro photos more of the time. Here’s the original non-HDR version.
Not bad, but I was already losing the deep blue of the reflected sky at that exposure setting, and if I had gone up any more with the exposure, the sky would have been washed out.
Well, that’s about all for this one. I’m getting ready for my second day at my new job as I type this, which consists of drinking copious amounts of coffee, and I’m only on my first cup.
I know that for at least this first winter there, I won’t be able to do my daily walks most days, since the daylight hours are so short. Once spring arrives, with longer days, I should have a set schedule, and be able to work a walk in at some point in the day, we’ll see. However, I will have weekends off for the most part, so I’ll be able to get out and about then. In the meantime, I still have several posts worth of photos left to post, and I’ll revive posting to the My Photo Life List this winter.
I have enough photos saved for that to put me over 200 species of birds, not bad for less than two years of trying since I began that project. But, the first 200 were the easy ones, the remaining 150 species will be harder.
That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!