Thursday, November 5, 2015

Crops & Clips: November 2012 Meme Mashup

This month's potpourri gathered from the archives features the themes of critters, fences, skies, macros and reflections. This presented a particular challenge. It is a retrospective view of photos taken three years ago, in November, 2012.  As you will learn in a moment, events took an unexpected  turn.

At that time I did not seek to portray each of these memes, so it is to some extent a game of chance. Let's see how far I needed to go into the month to find at least one of each. If I can get them all I will have won the game eleven months in a row since starting in January, 2015. This month's flashback once again produced the required set of images, but not until November 26th

Unusually, we started out the month in NE Illinois, partly to celebrate a large Halloween party honoring our son-in-law. Nearly 200 guests attended and enjoyed a Cuban-style pig roast. In lieu of gifts the event benefited a volunteer agency that assists foster children and their court-appointed attorneys.   

Agramonte, one of two Tibetan Mastiffs in our daughter's household, welcomed the cold weather:

 Agramonte x2-20121109

We discovered that the landscape surrounding our second home had been drastically changed in our absence. The cornfields that had been fallow for over 10 years and which produced a surprisingly rich habitat for prairie species were being "reclaimed." Within months we would be surrounded by new town-homes and lose our view of the horizon. These are not "good fences" except in the sense that they prevent construction debris from blowing about:

 Kilbery construction HDR 20121101

Migrating Sandhill Cranes, which usually stopped here, instead flew overhead against a gray sky:

Sandhill Cranes 20121103

We encountered birds that would not venture into south Florida, such as this Long-eared Owl...

Long-eared Owl 20121103

...Dark-eyed (Slate-colored) Juncos...

Dark-eyed Junco 20121103

...Red Crossbills...

Red Crossbill 2-20121108

...American Tree Sparrows...

American Tree Sparrow 20121120

...and Lapland Longspurs:

Lapland Longspur (Calcarius lapponicus) COREL 6-20121111
One of the more impressive "critters" was this Red-tailed Hawk, displayed as a MACRO:

Red-tailed Hawk detail 2-20121120

Bundled up against the cold, we birded with our local Kane County Audubon Society group, at nearby Nelson Lake/Dick Young Forest Preserve:

ScopeDay 20121103

Winter weather on the Great Plains can be extreme, producing dramatic sunsets..

Batavia Sunset HDR 20121118 

...and rainbows over the cornfields:

Rainbow over cornfield HDR 20121110

We had extended our stay to be with our daughter and two granddaughters while her husband was away on a hunting trip in North Carolina. Unfortunately, a deer stand collapsed under him and he broke both of his legs. Roly had to be transported back home for specialized treatment. We therefore remained through much of the month to help them out. Here he is after successful surgery, "walking" in his neighborhood with his daughters and other family members who flew in from Florida and Connecticut:

roly wheeling 2-20121122

During our stay in Illinois I failed to capture a single reflection, and my only "fence' was a poor substitute for the real thing. Luckily, our return to Florida, on November 24, produced immediate results. Here is our home, not only including its reflection and that of a backyard egret, but also showing our neighbor's fence!

Our back yard 20121126
Finally I had a spate of more credible MACRO photos on November 25, unknowingly saving me from "future failure," including a Honeybee...

Honeybee 20121125

...and a Zebra heliconian:

 Zebra heliconian 2-20121125

For the first time over the eight years that we lived there, flocks of White Pelicans and Roseate Spoonbills appeared on the local wetlands! A spoonbill cast a lovely reflection on November 26:

Roseate Spoonbill 3-20121126

They mixed with the pelicans:

Pelicans with spoonbill 2-20121125

The pelicans fed cooperatively, lining up to herd a school of fish to the lake's margin:

Pelicans feeding cooperatively 20121125

I captured this video of their feeding behavior,  American White Pelicans Feeding Cooperatively (turn the sound down to avoid hearing my New Jersey accent!) If the video fails to load in the space below, try THIS LINK:

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to GOOD FENCES by Tex (Theresa). 

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy


Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to I Heart Macro by Laura


Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display



  1. Gorgeous nature shots! And some different fences ~

    Happy Weekend coming to you,
    artmusedog and carol

  2. Agramonte is a gorgeous dog, as is the one I saw in the photo with your family. Never heard of a Tibetan Mastiff before. Very impressed with this amazing series of photos. Love the birds, the skies, butterflies, your home and those reflections, everything. . I hope Roly heals quickly. That must have been a very scary and extremely painful accident.

  3. Hello, oh wow! I love those beautiful dogs. Great collection of birds and beautiful skies. Happy Thursday, enjoy your weekend ahead!

  4. those mastiffs are so impressive! i remember seeing your post about having to stay on longer than initially anticipated. the 'walking' photo is priceless. :) great birds, skies, reflections, and even fences. :)

  5. Oh, I loved the video...believe it or not, we saw this action at Goose Pond near Linton, Indiana! Love the sorry that happened to your SIL...I hope he fully recovered.

  6. Sorry to hear about the encroaching development, but you have some amazing bird and sky shots! Enjoy your weekend.

  7. beautiful images, love the reflections, especially the spoonbill.

  8. fabulous photos...I love the junco...and the spoonbill with its reflection...and the gorgeous dogs!

  9. Those are lovely dogs but they must eat a lot. Love all the bird shots adn gorgeous reflection images. orry you are losing your view. Have a lovely weekend.

  10. Hi Ken, I am just stopping back to say thank you so much for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

  11. What a fascinating post. I don't know where to start. First I hope your son-in-law is back on his feet again. Love the butterfly and bee macros. Sky shots fabulous and I love the mastiff. He is one beautiful boy.

  12. I did not know where to stop. So just sat back in my chair and kept going to end.

    I so enjoyed all but oh my someone had a bad mishap on leg. Sorry to see that.

  13. Wow, these photos are all amazing! I love them all. I hope your son-in-law will feel better soon.
    Have a wonderful rest of the weekend.

  14. Always some great stuff to see here. Of course the Owl is one of my favorites. Sorry about your son-in-laws accident. - Your neighbors have a nice looking fence.

  15. I love them all..looks liek you had a great time with nature! Lucky you..

  16. The bird array you've shared is exceptional!!

    Too bad about the deer stand collapsing. My goodness, that must've been painful.

    Altho the rainbow sky is grainy on my computer it's still very pretty...dramatic!!

    PS...I always appreciate your ID help...with little 'tidbits' about markings to differentiate one from another. Thanks.

  17. Great variety of birds ... love the owl and hawk.

  18. Stunning photography!!! Always love to see what you're seeing.

  19. So many amazing photos! The! The red-tailed hawk too! And I loved the long eared owl, butterflies, birds and the sunset. The Tibetan Mastiff dogs are just wonderful as well!

  20. lots of great images and birds. I really love the image of the Roseate Spoonbill, Gorgeous with the light and reflection.

  21. What brilliant pictures. I really like the look of the Mastiff dogs as well, same colour but much bigger than my Hungarian Vizsla.

  22. Kenneth, your photos are absolutely gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing, you have an amazing talent in photography!

  23. Hello Kenneth!:) I am always impressed and delighted with all the different birds you share. Wonderful series of photos from the gorgeous dogs to the beautiful Pelican images. Your house is lovely, and I was pleased for you that there is a pond nearby. I hope that Roly recovers quickly!:)

  24. It's great the way those months cooperate without knowing what they're doing even! I remember when you wrote about your SILs accident, yikes. And also about how sad it was about the development near your home. Thanks for the mashup of absolutely beautiful bird photos .

  25. Never mind that Sandhill Cranes didn't stop, you got a beautiful in flight pic


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