Ducks, ducks, and more ducks

If you remember there were two black bellied whistling ducks that frequented our bird feeders they were coming every day a few times a day for the last few months.

We decided to build them a nesting box. Their boxes have to be pretty big because they are bigger than the average bird.

I guess they told all their friends where there was a free meal because we have had as many as eleven ducks at a time. They show up around 7 – 7:30 a.m. stay about 1 1/2 hours then they leave.

In the evening, they come back again mainly to rest in the shade but they do some eating too.

I had to grab a picture of them on the arbor above the walk through. As you can see one is in the feeder eating. Most of the time there will be two in each feeder and they take turns with the ones who are waiting.

At this point, we are looking at adding more feeders because when they are eating the little birds do not get to eat.

 

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Cardinal in the shadow

When you shoot towards a bright area such as towards the sun whatever is in front of that will be a silhouette or a shadow as long as it is darker than the background.

There are at least 8 cardinals that hang around our yard and come to eat. In the early morning, I can get silhouettes quite easily because the sun is rising behind them.

You can tell by the shape of the birds and the head that these are cardinals.

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Pretty in pink

Roses have this softness about them they are so delicate and pretty but the petals are very fragile.

I love knockout roses mainly because they are much easier to grow and they require less attention than standard roses.

My favorite time to photograph flowers is in the early morning light when they still have dew on the petals.

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Watermelon time

Do you know how to pick out a good watermelon?

First of all, thump the melon you want to get sort of a hollow sound from the thump.

Secondly look for one that has a creamy beige underside this means it was on the ground long enough to ripen. You do not want it to be white it must be cream colored.

If the watermelons still on the vine look for a curling of where the vine is attached.

We do not plant our watermelons we have a dirt pile we toss them on upside down this keeps the birds from eating the seeds and allows the melon to rot and create mulch for the fallen seeds. I only buy Texas watermelons at the store because they seem to be the best to grow in our area.

This is our first year to have watermelons during the right season most of the time we have them in December.

Our biggest watermelon so far weighed a whopping 32.6 pounds it is the one in the pictures below. This watermelon had just been picked so it was not washed off yet it still had some dirt on it.

As you can see when it was cut the color was a bright red and it was sweet.

This was watermelon number 2 and Sunday we picked number 3. So far number 1 and 3 have been the sweetest and they came off the same side of the dirt pile but we are not sure it if was the same vine or not. Watermelon vines grow like crazy and can spread as much as 10 feet or more from the actual start of the plant.

We cut them up and put them in ziplock bags in the refrigerator they stay good for 5 or 6 days and they get ice cold which is my favorite way to eat watermelon.

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Feathers

Sometimes you just happen to be in the right place at the right time. You have to wonder is this by chance or was it just meant to be.

What are the chances that a feather would land on a flower and stay there?

The wind was blowing but it never blew it away it stayed on top of the canna lily bloom.

I believe this feather is from the underneath back part of one of the black bellied whistling ducks that have been out at the feeders every day.

I photographed it and then I picked it up and brought it in the house.

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