Mendon Ponds Park

The park is feeling the weight of the Japanese beetles this year. I remember these critters from when I was a kid. They’re everywhere, I saw them all along the South meadow trail. Amber and I took the 2 mile loop through the upper plateau meadow.

I think that this area may be another Oak Opening. It’s a grass/milkweed meadow surrounded by an oak forest. It seems very similar to the Rush Oak Openings park I visited last month. Can you see the deer trail in the left picture? The deer in the middle picture? That’s about as close as she let me get. I guess she didn’t take too kindly to my dog. Amber didn’t even know she was there. Amber alerted on something at the southern end of the meadow, but I never saw or heard what it was. I did hear the deer in the middle picture moving in the thick brush as I walked by that spot in the trail.

When I hike in Mendon Ponds, I usually have my 90mm macro lens on the camera. I really enjoy hunting for the small little details along the trail. I never got any of the butterflies I saw, they just wouldn’t let me get close enough. These two insects couldn’t leave their homes, so they made easy photo targets. It looks like a whole colony of black ants live in an old hole in this tree. In the other picture, a spider has made a nice little home in a stalk of last year’s grass.

http://www.monroecounty.gov/parks-index.php

Lehigh Valley Trail

Denelle and I walked a couple miles of the Lehigh Valley Trail yesterday. I aggravated a pulled muscle in my calf, so I’m sidelined today. Lehigh Valley Trail is a Linear Park. An abandoned railroad right of way was converted into a hiking and biking trail. It runs for miles through Monroe County, New York. Scattered along the trail are parking areas. One of them is just a couple miles from my house. I’d already walked a couple miles West on the trail, so we decided to walk East this time.

First, the trail passes through a hardwood swamp. Trees grow out of moss covered patches of ground. Everything is surrounded by water a few inches deep. After a mile, the path leaves the swamp behind and passes through farm fields. that’s as far as we went before we turned around.

Flower and Power Towers

Harbec Plastics constructed a 250 KW wind turbine in 2002 to power their air conditioning needs. They also installed 20 30KW micro turbines to power their heating needs. They save almost $165,000 per year in heating and air conditioning costs.  It’s a very impressive tower, too.  40 meters high, with a 29.5 meter rotor.  I neglected to clean the back lens on my camera, sorry for the spots. Just means I have to go back up there to get more pictures.

Case Study, Manufacturer’s site, My Lake Ontario Set

Nikon CoolPix 885

Some more pictures with my Nikon Coolpix 885. I wanted to see if the spot meter on my new 885 worked. That’s why the back of the house is so overexposed. I like the features of this camera, it has a lot in common with my DSLR. It’s missing Aperture Priority, which is my favorite shooting mode on the D70. Still, I can move the focus point and choose between three light meters (Multi, Center Weighted, spot)

Here’s Smokey winking. I wanted to see if the screen created moire in the picture. Besides my screen being dirty, the camera did pretty well.

Rockin Robin

I saw my first Robin of the year today. Spring is coming… slowly. I hope you get a chance to play in the dirt soon 😉

A Little Purple

Mantis

I found this fellow over at Lollypop farm one Sunday. I took it home for a couple photos, then released it in my strawberry patch. I like Preying Manti (?). This fearsome little predator is completely harmless to humans. It’s amazing to me that a voracious killer will sit so peacefully on my hand and never mistake me for an enemy or food. that makes it smarter than my cat in at least one way. that little snit bit me tonight. I was scratching her behind the ears… just the way she likes… when she turns around in one of those bipolar cat things and chomps on my finger. If Preying Manitses (?) were just a little cuter…