Saturday, January 22, 2022

This Past Week in Mostly Photos

 Hi everyone. The weekend is here. It's once again going to be on the chilly side  here in New Hampshire. 

This past week we had  a mix of weather again. With snow and rain on Monday and then some more very cold temperatures, we now have lots of ice.  Last year I was lucky and able to walk through most of January, but this year in order to walk I'd need ice skates. Smile.

I've had to find some other ways to get in my outside time, so I took a couple of drives.

The most exciting drive I took was on Wednesday. I was down at the coast for my allergy shots, and since I was in the general neighborhood, I decided to drive to Salisbury State Reservation right over the border into Massachusetts.

I had 2 reasons to drive here. First, this is a big area where snowy owls  are seen, and I've been hoping to see one. Second of all, the tide was in, making the beaches very narrow, but this state park has other trails where I could walk. The coast didn't get any snow in our early in the week storm, so trails would work for walking. 

Of course I got there and even though the thermometer in my car read 42 degrees F (5.5 degrees C) , the wind was right off the North Atlantic, and it was biting cold.  My walk was short, but the trip was not wasted by any means.

This owl kept swiveling their head back and forth, probably wondering why a small crowd  gathered . When I left that morning I grabbed my camera that had my 18-400mm lens on it (I just leave that one on as it is really flexible). I just wished I had brought my big lens with me, but I honestly didn't expect to need it.

There are some owls this year, but it's not a year when we have a lot of them in the area. This next photo is not cropped at all the make the owl larger. It is pretty much the view I saw.

 And besides the snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus), I also had another nice bird sighting.

This hawk was obviously hunting not too high off the ground.

I know there's a lot of photos, but I'm really pleased to have caught these in flight views.  Birds in flight, especially this slow hunting flight style, is really fascinating, don't you think?

I did some online research to try to identify this bird, and I came up with Northern Harrier. If that's what it is, it would be a first one of this species for me. The reservation in Salisbury is a huge area for birders, and I noticed that someone who links up bird sightings mentioned they also saw one on the same day I was there. Here's the link  too that: Recent bird sightings, Salisbury Beach Reservation.

David if you read this, perhaps you could confirm because as I have said before, I am not very good at hawks.

I took a few more scenery photos that I will share another day.

The other drive was up to the big lake near my home. There were no birds of notice, but the ice fishing is getting into full swing. I suspect that by the time of this post there will be a lot more fishing shacks out on the bay.

The ice runway is also laid out, but it wasn't opened yet. I took these early in the week, so I bet with the cold we've had, they might be able to land planes now. By the way, this is an FAA official small airport, not just a random landing strip. I must say I get a kick out of the fact that this area actually has an ice airport. I'm not sure it actually delivers people to the area, but a lot of small planes take off and land, most likely to say they have done it.

A different type of arty thing I did this past week was wind some yarn into balls so I can knit a vest. This device (if you aren't familiar with it) is called a yarn swift. On the left you can just make out the ball winder. 

Some yarn you buy is ready to use in a modified ball, but some comes in hanks. For those you who don't knit or crochet, a hank is a loop of yarn (like you can see in my above photo) that is twisted  in a figure 8 kind of shape. There are also a couple of little pieces of yarn holding the loop together. If you didn't wind a hank into a ball before using it, you would spend more time untangling it than you would knitting or crocheting.

You can see some of the yarn I balled this week here. There is one semi-hand wound ball on the back right, and a yarn I wound using my yarn winder on the left.

I am excited to start knitting my vest. I'll show you more as it gets done.

Thanks for getting through this rather long post. And I hope you enjoy your weekend. 


Valerie-Jael said...

Fabulous photos, How lovely to see that beautiful owl and the hawk, that was a lucky day for you! Have a great weekend, hugs, Valerie

craftytrog said...

Great photos Erika! You are so blessed to see those beautiful birds.
Looking forward to seeing your woolly vest. I've just started crocheting a highland cow, from a kit my son bought me for Christmas. It includes loop stitch, which is new to me.
Have a great weekend,

kathyinozarks said...

Good morning Erika, I sooo enjoyed your post today. I have never seen a snowy owl in person so this was so wonderful to see. I love watching the birds of prey hunt too-you captured wonderful photos. before retirement we lived right on the wisonsin-illinois border close to Lake Geneva-always fun to see all the ice fisherman out there in their mini homes.
a spinner ends up with hanks too and then winds them into balls-kinda fun to do I think.
Happy weekend hugs Kathy

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Wow, just wow!!! Great photos of the Snowy Owl. And what a thrill to get to see it! Your hawk photos are fantastic too. But it looks very cold there. Brrr.... My weather has been similar to yours, although you're tracking about 10 F degrees colder than here. Next possible snow "event" for my area is Tuesday. I'm hoping it stays south of here.

Jeanie said...

What a productive trip. Those flight shots are especially impressive and also hard to capture so clearly. I wonder if they would crop tighter? Stunning.

I've never used a yarn winder. It looks like a good idea!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Congratulations on the Snowy Owl, a magnificent bird, and well worth the effort to see it. Your second bird is definitely a Northern Harrisr, hunting in classic harrier fashion. What a great day you had! I wish I had been with you. Hugs, David

Divers and Sundry said...

Wow! How exciting! You got such great photos, too! I've never seen either, of course, so it's a treat for me that you shared your sightings :)

Let's Art Journal said...

How amazing to see the snowy owl and to capture the hawk in flight - awesome 😁. Loving those fishing hugs too. Happy weekend! Hugs Jo x

Gingi said...

Wow, that snowy owl is GORGEOUS!! What a cool shot!! -

CJ Kennedy said...

Awesome photos of the owl and the hawk in flight. Ice fishing, no thank you. I'd rather sit on a beach some place warm! If I have to wind a ball of yarn, I use chair legs. Stay warm!

Iris Flavia said...

Very beautiful pics! Both, birds and the lake.
I never saw yarn in hanks here, interesting. You need a British guard to use the tool ;-)
(Or what is that to the right?).
I think I don´t know how to knit anymore...

DVArtist said...

Really wonderful photos Erica. Nice looking yarn too.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

What a lovely snow owl. I was also impressed by the hawk photos, too. You have an AMAZING camera. Nothing like a DSLR. I was blown away by those photos of the bird in flight.

I have always been in awe of ice fishing. It is on my list of things to do before I die. I want to sit in one of those little huts and fish through a hole, even though I am NOT a fan of fishing. I would also like to see the ice airport. It sounds amazing.

I never knew about a yarn baller before, but that is some clever setup. You have the right tools for the job at least, and I can tell you are serious about your yarn.

NatureFootstep said...

love the shots of the owl and hawk. Yes. flight shots are wonderful. But mostly tricky as the birds moves quickly. Nice ones.

Mrs.B said...

Hi Erika, just had a little catch up - I never seem to have time for blog visiting, Loved the photos of the ice runway, I remember you showing one last year with a small plane on. The photos of the Northern Harrier are stunning, a great experience to see one so low and close. Loved all the faces in the previous post, such fun - Oh and I hope that the jigsaw is coming along.
Hugs, Avril xx