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Old 04-20-2019, 06:45 PM   #9561
WileECoyote
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Great pic LS.
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Old 04-21-2019, 05:22 PM   #9562
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Old 04-28-2019, 07:36 AM   #9563
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We went to Oklahoma for my cousin's wedding last Thursday. Took some photos along the way....


They grow canola as an alternative to wheat in some places. The fields look really amazing, but it's hard to capture, especially on a day that isn't perfectly clear.




We spent a lot of time at the Salt Plains. I was born in Alva and grew up in Enid, so spent a fair amount of time there or going through it from one place to the other growing up. It's fun to go back as a bird watcher and see everything I missed. Luckily it was great weather the whole time too, April in OK can be muggy, buggy, and hot.

Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge - this one is from the Selenite crystal digging area. The version found is OK is a unique hourglass shape. The refuge ropes off one area, let's people get out there and dig. I've never actually gone out to the area, and I've never dug and didn't this time. There were maybe 40 people including a school bus full from Ponca City. It's sort of like digging in beach sand, but with a purpose. People find some fabulous examples. I like the landscape more. It has healing properties these days, but early settlers used it for things like window glass.



Wheat is coming up nicely on the farm.




Mike on the grassy northeast corner of the farm. The family story is my great-grandpa came from Germany, worked in Kansas to save money to buy a farm, went back to Germany to propose to his sweetheart, got turned down, proposed to her sister instead, who said yes, and back they came. The wheat crop of the existing Syrian family was already in the ground, so Henry (Heinrich) and Bertha lived on this corner of the farm in a covered wagon of sorts until the spring harvest.



My uncle on his tractor.




After the farm, we went back to town for a bit. The hospital I was born in, Alva General, is a museum now. I was one of the last babies born there. I didn't take a lot of shots, but it's funny to see things like photos of the doctor who was supposed to deliver you (he was water skiiing) and family items hanging about. Willis was my dad's dad.



One of the first computers used by the City of Alva.



Light on the water on the nature trail at Salt Plains NWR.

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Old 04-28-2019, 07:47 AM   #9564
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I enjoy visiting the small town I grew up in too. Lots of rain this year is making for a beautiful wildflower season. That wheat looks nice and healthy. As the first crop to be harvested down here, mud always made things interesting. That photo of Mike is making me consider getting a hat. Great photos Tina. Thanks!
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Old 04-28-2019, 08:04 AM   #9565
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Some of the birds...

Black-necked Stilt - Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area, KS



American Avocet - Sandpiper Trail at Salt Plains NWR




Blue-gray Gnatcatcher - Eagle's Roost Nature Trail Salt Plains NWR



Eastern Phoebe on the nature trail



Northern Mockingbird at my aunt's house.



Red-shouldered Hawk at the NWR - I'm always a little amazed that I see what feels like so few hawks compared to how many we have up in Colorado and Wyoming.



Snowy Egret - Salt Plains State Park



White-faced Ibis at the NWR



We also went to Little Sahara State Park in Waynoka. I lived in Waynoka for a year, went to a one room old school house in the country, where they moved the kindergarten class due to crowding. They have a many years old rattlesnake in a display case at the visitor's center. His name is Saddam (that tells you how old he is). Willis once took me there and talked some total stranger into giving us a ride in their dune buggy. He was like that. Anyway...it's a nice park, but aimed mostly at the power sports crowd, and it could use a good trash pick up day. It's also hard to get to and see the dunes without a buggy, but we did find a nice Bell's Vireo!



Going back to the Salt Plains, on the road from there to Jet, OK



And huge flocks of Franklin's Gulls were migrating through.



Scissor-tailed Flycatcher!



So, we did go down there with sort of a quest, to see Northern Bobwhites, which we didn't. However objectives change a bit, and I found out there were Barred Owls at the NWR. One reason we kept going back was to try to spot them. Finally on Wednesday night we heard them around 8 pm while walking the nature trail. I didn't think we would see them, because they sounded like they were closer to the edge of the wetlands than the trail ran. As luck would have it, they were right by the parking area though! Two of them, though in the low light I only got a half ok shot of one. The other flew in and out very quick.



The refuge is an important area for Snowy Plover breeding. Aren't they too stinkin' cute?



Now here't the funny thing about birding. It seems like when I set out to see something, while I put a lot of research and time into it, and while it's part luck, it never fails after all that and then finally getting a glimpse, next thing I know they are everywhere. So we go this driving from KS to NE on our way home, fully daylight, noon o'clock. Going 70 mph on a two lane highway. Another Barred Owl!



Anyway, we saw 89 species in Oklahoma, and 61 in Kansas over six days. I'll leave off the birds with a nice Orange-crowned Warbler in Kingman, KS

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Old 04-28-2019, 08:19 AM   #9566
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Mike's got two hats now, both named Hat, and they both have personalities. Like if we see a great bird, it's because Hat is along. Or Hat makes the weather good.

Last round...this wedding thing was a bit of a hot mess. My beautiful cousin went out of order, having a baby first then getting married. Rocking the town of Alva, even though she's a 37-year-old optometrist living in Houston. The reception on Friday ended up being the big deal, but we didn't want to drive to Edmond for it and back. Originally it was just family doing a wedding at the church, then not the church, then just parents and grandparents, then suddenly last week they settled on having it at the farm, then a few other family could come, and then 24 hours before decided to have some nibbles after out there in the farm shed. It was perfect, and beautiful. But in the middle of all that I asked if they had someone to take photos of the actual wedding, and if not, I'd be happy to. So I did. My first wedding I got one polaroid of the actual event, and looking back that was a strategic error. I would say the one thing people should put more funds and effort into are great wedding photos. Even with Mike and I's wedding, we hired professional, but I'm not all that stoked about the photos after. I have an employee whose wedding photos I'm going to retake six months later because whoever did them got all of two decent shots of the bride and groom. But IMHO you can never, ever recapture that moment, you have to do it right.

All that said, I was up before 5 am and hardly slept well all week worried I'd goof them up.







The groom and his daughter





It was sunny, and one thing I know zero about is working light conditions. It was also windy. I just went with it. And so did the bride and groom, she wore her aviators the whole way through.





The knot



I should say too that none of these were staged. Not until after the ceremony when we got a few of the family under the arch.



My favorite shot.







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Old 04-28-2019, 09:53 AM   #9567
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Very nicely done. Some really beautiful pictures. (or is it properly termed PHOTO'S)
You set the bar high friend.
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Old 04-28-2019, 12:11 PM   #9568
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Yes, you do indeed set the bar high, Tina. Both in your photos, and the descriptions of what's behind them.
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Old 04-28-2019, 12:13 PM   #9569
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Brilliant..
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Old 04-28-2019, 12:35 PM   #9570
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Quote:
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Yes, you do indeed set the bar high, Tina. Both in your photos, and the descriptions of what's behind them.
Well, heck, all of you. But it all starts somewhere. I think the rule is something like "take lots of pictures!"

Then post 'em!
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Old 04-28-2019, 04:11 PM   #9571
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Nice shots of both the birds and the wedding!
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Old 04-28-2019, 06:16 PM   #9572
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Fantastic Tina!!
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Old 04-28-2019, 06:34 PM   #9573
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Thanks all!
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Old 05-01-2019, 06:43 AM   #9574
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Great Images, Tina! Really dig the photo with the grooms reflection off of the Ray Bans!
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Old 05-01-2019, 07:01 AM   #9575
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Just got back from visiting our daughter & son-in-law who reside in Europe.
Still going through the pics, and I took a few quick shots of ravens with interesting two-tone coloring.




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Old 05-01-2019, 07:53 AM   #9576
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Old 05-01-2019, 03:25 PM   #9577
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fz1azul View Post
Still going through the pics, and I took a few quick shots of ravens with interesting two-tone coloring.



[/url]
Isn't that just a common Eurasian Magpie? They are a variety of crow just like ravens and the American magpie.
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Old 05-01-2019, 05:01 PM   #9578
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It's funny how we get used to seeing something, like a robin or magpie or crow, and it's routine. Then we go somewhere else and see their robins, magpies and crows are all !
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Old 05-01-2019, 05:05 PM   #9579
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The ravens around here are the smartest birds in the forest.
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:03 PM   #9580
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The crows/ravens in Norway are like that as well.
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