Saturday, April 10, 2010



Seven Golden Finches, a Downy Woodpecker, 6 Red Wing Blackbirds, 2 Mourning Doves, 1 Cardinal, about a dozen Black Capped Chickadees, a smattering of Nuthatches, a Blue Jay & about a dozen Juncos are what I am looking at right now in our front yard while sitting at the computer in our sunroom.  Rearranged & replenished the bird feeders this afternoon & we pretty much have a full house for supper tonight.  


I have a feeling I missed the highlight of the afternoon though when a black squirrel must have ended up in the frog pond.  I had hung up some bird suet in a small metal cage over top the pond because black the squirrels were totally devastating the suet pacs where I had previously had them hanging.  I used last years binder twine to hang the suet which in hindsight turned out to be a good thing.  About half an hour later hanging the suet pac I noticed the suet cage was no longer hanging on the end of the twine.  Upon further investigation I saw the suet cage was at the bottom of the frog pond.  Ahaaaa, only one conclusion here.  The pesky black squirrel whom I had noticed an hour before at the suet cage had obviously climbed up my old dead pond tree structure & made a flying leap out onto the suet cage.......... & plummeted, cage & all, right down into the frog pond when the old rotted twine had broke.   Have not seen any of the black squirrels since.  Guess word got around pretty quick about the cold Saturday night bath!!


In last night's blog I probably didn't make it clear enough about the difference between the blogs theme & the photos.  The pictures were taken here in Bayfield where we live.  Earlier in the day I had taken a drive east of Bayfield to my old home town of Tavistock about 50 miles inland.  The photos & blog theme were two different places.


Have had several comments & inquiries about the black & white photo with the yellow daffodils in Friday's blog.  Let me first say that there is no rocket science to do that & anyone can have the same results with just a few clicks of the mouse in their PICASA 3.6 PHOTO PROGRAM.   Picasa 3.6 is a free download from Google & one of the easiest photo program's you will ever use.  I think most of my fellow bloggers are using Picasa.  When you have the program open just look for the word 'Effects.'  Click that & look for the picture square that says, 'Focal B&W.  That's all there is to it.  Just click that & you will see how easy it is to do that color highlighting stuff.  Try clicking on the other squares as well & you will be well on your way to improving your already great photos.  And don't worry, you can't wreck anything because everything is redo able as you go along.  I did a post about some Picasa features last August which you can read here at,  TWO THUMBS UP FOR PICASA

And, while on the topic of photos I would just like to add again that I see a lot of good photos on other blogs that with just a little bit of TLC in Picasa's photo program, could become great photos.  Photography is a two stage process & In the old film days you only had control over half that process which was the taking of the photo.  Your film went away & magically came back as prints because somebody else did all that.  Sometimes it was done right & sometimes it was not.  Thankfully, nowadays we don't have to trust our photos to an unknown source.  We have total control over our efforts.  Sometimes pictures taken with cameras are just so-so depending on many variables.  Now, with just a few clicks here & a few clicks there you can have that so-so photo looking just as good as you actually saw it.  And, you do not have to be a rocket scientist to do that.  Just take a little time & get to know your photo program.........  All my photos are done using Picasa:))

DSC_0001                           DSC_3103DSC_3075-1          DSC_3083 DSC_3137                         DSC_3189 DSC_3198           DSC_3320

GROANER'S CORNER:((  A Mother pigeon & her baby were flying a long distance back to the barn when the baby pigeon said, "I can't make it; I'll get too tired." His mother said, "Don't worry; I'll tie a piece of string to one of your legs and the other end to mine."
The baby started to cry.
"What's wrong?" said the mother.
"I don't want to be pigeon towed!"

Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.



The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL


  1. Thanks again, Al, for the great info on Picassa. I will have to see if that is the one we've downloaded (but haven't used) or if it is a newer one. I enjoy your photos so much and appreciate how you've tried to help all of us do a better job with our own. I certainly am NOT a rocket scientist, but am a techo-dummy who just hasn't taken much time to learn about the photo programs.

    Have a great week ahead!

  2. Al I must say you are the one who pointed me to Picasso, I have used Paint Shop Pro, and other programs and none are as easy and user friendly as Picasso, now if only you could save them as a .Tiff which is used for the train pictures I try to have published.I use Picasso for all my family and blog work now.Maybe that will be in the next improvement. Thanks again. Sam & Donna.

  3. Terrific pictures of those birds, Al - just outstanding. It's almost like being right there! You fooled me with your double-up theme on Bayfield and Tavistock last night. I don't think I've ever seen a black squirrel either. I'm with you, as you know, on Picasa - it's the best as far as I'm concerned.

  4. As always your photos are inspiring...and they continue to grace my desktop! Ever since you mentioned Picasa in your blog last August I have been using it....and LOVING it! Thanks Al!

  5. All I can say is WOW!!! Your the man... Have a super day!

  6. Ok I am going to give it a try. Like I told you in the email asking for camera recommendations. I want one that does it all for me , I dont want to have to fiddle with setting this and setting that. This picture thing might work for me. still waiting for the recommendation on cameras.


  7. Thanks for answering the B&W question Al. Its because of you we've been using picasa for about 6months now. We just haven't played with the effects. I love it.

    Your bird shots belong in a bird book they are so beautiful.


  8. Picasa is great, that's for sure. There are only a few things it can't do, but Adobe Photoshop Elements is cumbersome and expensive, so I don't use it much. You are right about some of the photos we see each day that could be better with a touch of cropping, a smidgen of "I Feel Lucky," a bit of Shadow or Sharpen, and maybe a little (but ONLY a little) saturation.

  9. Good job on ya for soaking the squirrel. It is an ongoing battle when you have bird feeders. Chalk up one for the humans!!

  10. You never disappoint with your shots, will have to download picasa now!
    I love the birds, they are beautiful.
    We don't get that many birds around here (alberta), just the magpies, crows, blue jays and the occassional robin.

  11. Love the pictures. I had Picasa but never used it. I rather fight with a piece of crap, makes me frustrated as hell program.... Why make things easy? Seriously I switched to Picasa and my blood pressure has resume to normal. It is a great program.

  12. WOW... and I thought I was doing good with 2 house Finches at my feeder.

    Our birds wont eat suet so I used the holder to put yarn, hair, little pieces of cloth and the like for nest building material.


  13. I see so many dark blog pictures where just a little 'lightening' would made it so that one could see them so much better.
    Then I know that they don't use Picasa!
    Happy Trails, Penny, TX