Saturday, January 31, 2009

Chili anyone??




It's that time of year again...the 21st annual chili cookoff was held today at a local bar in town. There were 43 entries this year. WOW! They and 30 something last year. The place was packed today. I couldn't believe how many people there were.
They had some really nice trophies this year and the 1st and 2nd place also won some prize money, and everyone got to eat chili.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Basketball with the 85

Too bad that the hoops are way out of reach for this age. I don't think they will be playing at this facility anymore. The "Y" has adjustable hoops for the younger ones.

These two were funny to watch. They didn't have to much get up and go.
Here are a few shots trying out the 85 mm shooting gradeschool basketball. I really like how fast this lens is. I had fewer blurry shots.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Up close with the 85mm

I think I am really going to like this lens for when I learn how to do portraits. It gets a really nice soft background.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What a Day!!!

It was their lucky day today too...the eagle was checking out which one was going to be it's dinner. Good thing for them we pulled up when we did.

Old eagle eye Larry--my spotter. To be honest, if he hadn't gone with me I probably wouldn't have seen any of them. I make a lousy bird spotter. Thanks for tagging along dear.

Checking out what's for dinner.
Almost went for it then I think it heard us drive up. It sat back up on the branch and flew off shortly afterwards.

What an exciting day today!!!! Larry and I went Eagle hunting this weekend. We saw them Sat. but did not get very good shots. Today (Sun.) we spotted them again. The sky was over cast so I had terrible light to work with but was able to get some okay bird in flight shots.

The ones without the distinct white head and tail are the juveniles. We had just gotten on the walking path and the sprang from the trees. There were two juveniles. I only managed to get one as it flew off.

We walked a ways on down the path thinking we might spot the adults but no luck. Back to the truck and off we went in the direction that the juvies took of in. We spotted them again on down the river but they were too far out and no road leading up closer.

We decided to try the other side of town where the river also passes through. We were just about to give up and go home when Larry spotted an adult sitting in the trees watching a bunch of geese. Must have been goose on the menu ;0). I thought Larry was going to jump out of his skin with excitement! He was on the side of the bird and practically ripped my camera from my hands. Lucky he has any hands left as I very seldom let anyone else touch my camera! Anyway, he did a pretty good job for not knowing how to run the camera. The ones of the adults were all taken by Larry. Good job dear.

We also spotted some Cedar Waxwings in the crab apple trees at the Veterans Memorial in town. That was just as exciting. I've read that they winter here but have not ever seen one. They are really a neat looking bird. I will be going back to see if I can spot them again.

All in all despite the freezing cold and snow we had a great day for spotting birds. I think even Larry might have enjoyed himself. He got quite a rush when he spotted those eagles. We were out there for 3 hrs. tracking them down. I couldn't get him to go home. ;0)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Testing Testing

Testing out my new 85mm 1.8 lens. Just got it yesterday so I took it along tonight to pool league. It is really nice for shooting in low light. A nice fast lens. Unfortunatley, the operator is not as quick. I am going to try it out at the grandkids' basketball games this weekend.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tator's new toy

Tator's got a new toy. Nice looking bike and sounds awesome too. Just be careful on that thing!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

old bus

Stopped on the way home from work the other night to take a couple shots of this broken down bus. Was trying to do an HDR but couldn't get the setting on the camera. Back to the book. The weeds were there so I took a couple of them too. BORING!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Are you tired of the bird pictures yet??? There really isn't much else to shoot these days. Chris, why don't you come down here some weekend and we'll do a walk around Beatrice shoot. What do you think?

Here is the Nuthatch again. I went out to move the feeder because the squirrels are trying their darndest to get into it and the nuthatch was feeding so I snuck up on it and hid behind another tree. I was able to get to within about 12ft. I think. Now if I could just do that when the cardinals were out that would be awesome.

Woodpeckers and Nuthatch

Here are a few more of the Red Breasted Woodpecker, the Downy Woodpecker and the White Breasted Nuthatch.

Female Cardinals

You'll have to excuse the dirty glass. I shot these through the patio doors.

The birds are getting a little braver. They are starting to come up on the back deck now. Here are some of the female cardinal's.

I hadn't seen them for a few days and was concerned that they had been scared away because of the hawk that had been hanging around.

We had a small hawk of some kind in the yard going after the Junco's. One day when we came home it was in the grass chomping on something. When we pulled up it took the small bird and finished it off up in the trees. Poor little birdie. I found a pile of feathers where it had been in the grass.

Now they are back and I haven't seen the hawk since that day so maybe it is hunting somewhere else. Although, it would be really cool to get a picture of that bird.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Photo Challange #1-Things in Pairs

Chris and I are doing a monthly theme photo challange. Here is my first entry.

Larry should be more careful with his "pair" of glasses when he takes a snooze.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Winter backyard visitors

Downy Woodpecker

White Breasted Nuthatch

Black Eyed Junco (a little wind blown)

I'm amazed at the number of different birds I have in the yard this winter. Lots of Blacked Eyed Junco's, at least one pair of Downy Woodpeckers and a couple White Breasted Nuthatch. I also have several pair of Cardinals but haven't been able to get goods shots of them yet.

I also have some pesky squirrels this year. Last year they didn't bother the feeders, this year they have destoryed several of my tube feeders. I have invested in a "twirl-a-squirrel", it should arrive any day now. I hope that will teach the little buggers a lesson. I'll try to get video of it in action.

Sunset at Rockford Lake

Larry and I took a drive yesterday evening to Rockford Lake. It is east of Beatrice. There was a beautiful sunset.

I did some more messing around with photoshop on these. I'm posting the before and after shots. Let me know which you like better.