Picking Favorites

IMGP6489By S. J. Brown

We all have favorite things, that special gift from long ago, or a place with fond memories. Sometimes our favorite is a sentence that just glides off the tongue and completes a thought. After every photo trip Jay asks me what my favorite part of the trip was. Generally it is a brief moment when I am close to a critter and clicking the shutter button. After we arrive home when I am going through stacks of photographs he asks which image is my favorite.

My favorite moment doesn’t always yield a favorite photograph. On a recent trip to Michigan my favorite moment did yield my favorite image from the trip. I hung out with a raccoon while he enjoyed his lunch. Jay spotted him going into a trash can to retrieve the meal. He didn’t care how close I approached, he had a snack and I wasn’t a threat.

20 SJ Brown Raccoon

My favorite critter moment from a trip to Colorado was when we sat and watched a Coyote. We spotted him in the road pouncing on the hard surface. It took us a few minutes to figure out what he was doing. The road was covered with crickets; he would pounce on one, eat it and then move on to the next one.

32 Coyote

My favorite moment on a trip to Minnesota was when Jay and I helped out with a duck banning project. It was cold and very early in the morning, but it was an experience I will never forget. I was a bit busy so I didn’t get very many photos, so my favorite moment and my favorite image didn’t match on that trip.

Me Duck

Some photo trips have more than one favorite moment or image which makes it hard to choose. Hanging around in South Dakota we had several great experiences and came home with loads of great photos.

SJ Brown Deer

When we visited Maine my favorite moment was when we spotted a mother moose and her calf. It took days to find the pair and when we did it was cold and rainy, but I didn’t care. Mama was letting me get pictures of them both.

SJ Brown Moose

Sometimes it is hard to choose a favorite. I have two sisters, but I don’t have a favorite. They are very different people and each comes with their own special qualities. I have only one granddaughter, so of course she is my favorite. We share a love of critters and photography so we have many favorite moments together.
Do you have a favorite food? I have several. How about a favorite place, mine is generally wherever I happen to be. So what are some of your favorites?

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S. J. Browns coloring books feature sketches based on her photographs.

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Close up and Close Encounters is available on Amazon at

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=close+ups+%26+close+Encounters

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Or get your autographed copy at S. J. Brown website http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com

S. J. Brown’s children’s pictures books are only available through S. J. Brown.

1078You can order your copies from her website http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com874

 

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IMGP6484By S. J. Brown

Now that spring has finally arrived everyone is heading outdoors.  There are so many places to explore and discover.  Before you venture out there are a few things to remember. 

Don’t forget your bug spray.  There are hundreds of little critters out there that would like to take a ride on your clothes or boots. 

sjbrown1

Stay on paths and trails so you don’t trample on delicate plants and flowers or encounter a venomous snake. Watch where you step, many birds like puffins and killdeers make their nest on the ground.

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That little fawn you find laying in the weeds most likely wasn’t abandoned.  Mother deer will leave their young hidden in overgrown weeds when they go off to feed.  When predators are near the mother will try to lead the threat away from her baby, to a mama deer you are a threat.   

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One of the most important things to remember when you go for a hike or into any natural area is that Mothers will fiercely protect their babies.  A seemingly docile duck or goose can become very aggressive when you get just a little too close to their baby.

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You may be able to defend yourself against a single goose, but they tend to stick together. You are no match for an entire flock.   A single flap of a goose’s wing will leave a welt and will sting for quite a while.  They can cause some serious damage with their beaks as well.

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Many wild animals are deceptively quick.  That lethargic looking bear can charge suddenly and most likely will outrun you.

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Most of the dangers you may encounter in the wild can be avoided.  Simply be aware of your surroundings.  Observe wild creatures from a distance and respect their space.  Remember you are a visitor in their world.

I hope I have given you a few hints that will make your next wild excursion a pleasant one.  Thanks for stopping by.

 

Connect with S. J. Brown on Facebook and be one of the first to see what she has been up and view her Sunday Shares.

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S. J. Browns coloring books feature sketches based on her photographs.

CBCover Acover

Cover 3-26-23Back Cover 4-24-2013Close up and Close Encounters is available on Amazon  at

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=close+ups+%26+close+Encounters

Or get your autographed copy at S. J. Brown website http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com

S. J. Brown’s children’s pictures books are only available through S. J. Brown.

You can order your copies from her website S.J. Brown

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Life’s Little Distractions

IMGP6507By S. J. Brown

All of our lives are filled with distractions. However my world seems to have more than its share.  As I sat down to write this blog in my newly completed office I was distracted as a butterfly fluttered past my window.  Yes, I grabbed my camera and followed it.

1 Butterfly

My office has eight windows and a sliding glass door. These let in lots of light, provide cross ventilation and I enjoy an array of views.  I can watch the birds at the bird feeders, and get distracted.  I can see the bunny rabbits that hop around the yard.  When one of them heads for the vegetable garden I feel compelled to go out and give them a stern lecture about eating my veggies.

2 Rabbit

When Jay and I worked on the office on more than one occasion I stopped painting, grabbed my camera, and headed into the yard to photograph the latest distraction.3 Squirrel

It’s not just critters that distract me; it could be a phone call, a visit from a friend, the dryer buzzing, really just about anything distracts me. It is a wonder I get any work done at all.   Photographing critters is just the fun part of what I do.  I spend a good bit of time in my office.  Photos need to be scrutinized, sorted, and submitted on a regular basis.  Then there are book promotions, scheduling, and Facebook.

4 Baby Bird

When I began this blog it was about the consequences of the decisions we make, obviously I got distracted and came back to my desk with a new subject to write about.

Distractions when I am in the field tend to be a good thing. I can be focusing in on a bird and get distracted by a deer.5 Deer

 

 

Jay and I can be heading to dinner out and get distracted by a fox or a bear.

6 Fox

When we are in a boat and Jay gets distracted by a Bald eagle or two, I get very nervous. I can’t swim well and I am not comfortable in water.

7 Eagles

So distractions can be a good thing or a bad thing. When I am stressed I welcome a good distraction like a new book, or a dog with a ball in its mouth. So do you tend to welcome distractions or stress over them?

Thanks for stopping by.

Connect with S. J. Brown on Facebook and be one of the first to see what she has been up and view her Sunday Shares.

 Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sj.brown.3367

S. J. Browns coloring books feature sketches based on her photographs.

CBCover Acover

Cover 3-26-23Back Cover 4-24-2013Close up and Close Encounters is available on Amazon  at

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=close+ups+%26+close+Encounters

Or get your autographed copy at S. J. Brown website http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com

S. J. Brown’s children’s pictures books are only available through S. J. Brown.

You can order your copies from her website S.J. Brown

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The Middle of the Road

IMGP6507by S. J. Brown

This past month, while catching up on blog posts it became obvious that I am really a middle of the road type of person. I became a middle child when I was 16. Maybe that plays a role in the type of person I am, maybe not.

I have seen lights in the sky I could not explain. UFO, well I don’t know. At the time I lived near an Air Force base. Perhaps it was an experimental plane.  But then again is it feasible that our planet is the only planet with intelligent life on it?  So like this Black Bear I am in the middle of the road on this one.

Bear

On the subject of ghosts, I waver back and forth. Having lived in an old Victorian house there were things that I couldn’t explain.  We had a persistent banging noise that could not be traced.   Also our dog at the time would sit next to the rocking chair, wagging his tail as if an old friend was sitting in the chair petting him. Things would disappear throughout the house, but eventually turn up.  So like this family of otters I have covered the left, right, and middle of the road on this subject as well.

Otters

It’s possible that I don’t have all the facts so I can’t make an informed decision on issues like these. It’s also possible I have other things on my mind. Some things people are adamant about simply don’t matter to me.  It doesn’t matter to me if the toilet paper roll is loaded so the paper rolls out or over, as long as it’s there when I need it.

When dining with friends some people want to split the check evenly, others want to pay for exactly what they ate. Since I am not a money oriented person either way works for me, again I’m in the middle of the road like this coyote.

Coyote

Long ago I learned to pick my battles. Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things, if not, I let it go. When my mother in law helped me set up the kitchen at our house she insisted glasses needed to go in this cabinet, cups over here and pots had to be near the stove.  I know it was my house I should really have had an opinion on this.  But wherever the glasses ended up that is the cabinet I would go to when I needed a glass.  If the pots didn’t work out well where she wanted them I could always move them later and tell her they just didn’t work well for me since I’m left handed.  So even on things like my kitchen I am in the middle of the road like this white tailed deer.

Deer

I am not a middle of the road type of person about everything. I do have opinions on a lot of things and I am not shy about sharing them. I recycle, buy recycled products and reduce the amount of trash that goes to the curb whenever I can.  I think it is our duty to protect this planet we call home for future generations.  When I am in someone else’s home I will ask them if they recycle before placing an item in the trash.  This is a subtle hint that maybe they should.

I plant trees with a local group; I think everyone should plant trees.   Why? When you plant a tree it will live and grow for years, even generations after you are gone.  They provide shade, oxygen and are esthetically pleasing.

Being cruel to children and animals is wrong; there is no wiggle room on this. So as I travel down the dirt roads of life you will find me mostly in the middle of the road. However when something gets my attention I will firmly plant my feet on the shoulder.

Fox

So where do you stand? What issues do you take a stand on?  Do you waver on other issues?

Thanks for stopping by.

Connect with S. J. Brown on Facebook and be one of the first to see what she has been up and view her Sunday Shares.

 Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sj.brown.3367

S. J. Browns coloring books feature sketches based on her photographs.

CBCover Acover

Cover 3-26-23Back Cover 4-24-2013Close up and Close Encounters is available on Amazon  at

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=close+ups+%26+close+Encounters

Or get your autographed copy at S. J. Brown website http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com

S. J. Brown’s children’s pictures books are only available through S. J. Brown.

You can order your copies from her website S.J. Brown

Cover All the Birds I See Cover

Learning

 

IMGP6507By S. J  Brown

Nobody can possibly know everything. All of us should be learning new things every day. Learning new things enhances our lives.  Each new thing we learn has the potential to make our lives richer, fuller, and safer. 

There are some things that everyone should know, but unfortunately not everyone does. When and how to use a blinker when you are driving, or looking both ways before you cross the street are important.  

 Did you know the higher the number on your freezer dial the colder the freezer temperature will be?  Facts like what the heck is BPH and why did anyone think it was safe to use in things like baby bottles and water bottles are a bit harder to learn.  Sometimes it comes down to doing research, other times life shows us what we need to know. 

 I tend to learn things that most people aren’t concerned with. But these things come in handy for me.  I know all kinds of things about wild critters and nature. Did you know that Black Bears like the sound that a film camera makes when it advances the film?

Bear

Yes, he was close enough to hear it. 

Deer tend to stay away from plants with an aroma like marigolds and lavender. This is something many gardeners have learned over the years. 

Deer

I recently learned that our local home improvement store is on the migrating path for Monarch Butterflies.

Monarch

Did you know Hummingbirds can fly upside down.  While it is an interesting fact, it’s not something everyone would need to know.  Capturing them doing this is not easy. 

Hummingbird

Do you know what a lemur looks like?

Lemurs

These guys welcomed me into their world for a brief visit and taught me a little more about animal curiosity. 

The world around us is filled with interesting things and opportunities to learn There are critters all around us like this tree frog that likes our backyard pool.

Frog

I friend of mine recently learned that the fox that was spotted in her yard wasn’t concerned with her or her dog.  It was probably on its way to check out how accessible the neighbors chickens were.

Fox

As a member of this group I have learned about history, trains, traditions, and much more.  Hopefully I have returned the favor and taught all of you a thing or two about wild critters.  All of us have a little bit of wisdom to share and lots to learn.  So lets all make today  a productive learning experience.

 

Thanks for stopping by. 

Connect with S. J. Brown on Facebook and be one of the first to see what she has been up and view her Sunday Shares.

 Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sj.brown.3367

S. J. Browns coloring books feature sketches based on her photographs.

CBCover Acover

Cover 3-26-23Back Cover 4-24-2013Close up and Close Encounters is available on Amazon  at

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=close+ups+%26+close+Encounters

Or get your autographed copy at S. J. Brown website http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com

S. J. Brown’s children’s pictures books are only available through S. J. Brown.

You can order your copies from her website S.J. Brown

Cover All the Birds I See Cover

Summers Over

By S. J. Brown

Many people mourn the passing of summer, not me. During the hot days of summer I photograph very little. The critters hide deep in the woods to find shelter from the heat. Those that are accessible are not in the mood to pose for me.

Of course there are some exceptions like the hummingbirds that buzz around my back deck and the butterflies that frequent the butterfly bush in the front yard. Also I can’t forget the bunny rabbits and ground hogs that steadily raided my veggie garden all summer long. We have an arrangement, I feed them they let me take their pictures.

September 2015 ground hog

This time of year I am putting away my shorts, pulling out long sleeve shirts and picking lots of goodies from the garden. It’s time to wrap up my summer projects and put lots of bulbs in the ground, so I will be greeted with spring flowers when the warm weather returns.

Most summer travelers are safely back at home. So there are fewer cars on the roads, less traffic means more traveling for me. The cooler nights that signal fall is on the way also signals migrating birds its time to go. I need to get as many images of migrating birds as I can before they are gone. Raptors will be gathering in groups and kettling (flying in circular groups), Monarch butterflies will begin their trip to Mexico and Starlings will be invading buildings and trees in large groups.

September 2015 vulture

Black Bears will be bulking up for winter. In areas where they find an abundance of food I can get a little closer for some great images. However areas where food is scarce Bears tend to be a bit grumpy and aren’t thrilled with the idea of having their picture taken.

September 2015 Bear

Soon the colors of fall will be providing me with great backgrounds for my critter shots. I will be doing more hiking, and a bit more exploring in new areas. What will you be doing to celebrate the arrival of fall?

September 2015 Fall Deer

It has been a year since I joined the writers, wranglers, and warriors group. For those that have followed along I have introduced myself, shared my images and my opinions. I try to keep my posts upbeat and visually stimulating. I hope everyone has enjoyed getting to know me as much as I have enjoyed getting to know all of you.

Thanks for stopping by.

Connect with S. J. Brown on Facebook and be one of the first to see what she has been up to. Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sj.brown.3367

S. J. Browns coloring books feature sketches based on her photographs.

CBCover Acover

Cover 3-26-23Back Cover 4-24-2013Close up and Close Encounters is available on Amazon  at

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=close+ups+%26+close+Encounters

Or get your autographed copy at S. J. Brown website http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com

S. J. Brown’s children’s pictures books are only available through S. J. Brown.

You can order your copies from her website S.J. Brown

Cover All the Birds I See Cover

By S. J. Brown

Have you ever had someone come into your home that just made you feel uncomfortable? Maybe it was a repair man, a delivery person, or a friend of a friend. That is how wild animals feel every time they encounter a person. They don’t speak your language and have no idea why you are there.

One thing that nearly everyone that has had a negative experience with a wild animal forgets is that you are in their home. Their house rules apply. Unfortunately many animals that have a negative experience with people don’t survive.

Elephant

The Bison that have been attacking people in Yellowstone National Park aren’t mean, they are wild animals. People just get to close and apparently Bison don’t like posing for selfies with anyone. A man in Texas recently learned Rattlesnakes don’t like selfies either.

Rattlesnake

The sharks that have been attacking people along the east coast aren’t demon fish, they are sharks. Sharks swim in the ocean and eat. If you are in the ocean and you look like a meal, they bite. I think it really is that simple.

When you encounter a bear in the woods they react to your presence in their home. A bear will do one of 3 things, 1) run 2)attack 3) think about it for a minute before running or attacking That applies to almost every wild critter. There are rare exceptions, but they are rare.

Bear

Yes it is possible to visit their home and enjoy natures creatures, I do it all the time. I shoot wildlife with a camera, not a bow & arrow, or a gun. As I see it they are wild beings, not trophy’s.

When I visit their home I use a telephoto lens. I keep a safe distance between me and my subject. I pay attention to the animals behavior, and leave their home the way I found it. In other words I mind my manners.

Osprey

A little over a year ago I moved to my new home. This summer I finally got around to doing some yard work. I quickly discovered the rabbits in the area liked the selection of flowers I selected. My solution is quite simple I will move those plants closer to the wooded area at the edge of the property and select another type of plant for the flowerbed. Then they can enjoy their home and I can enjoy mine.

Bunny

A friend of mine decided to grow her own tomatoes, just a few plants. The deer in her area liked the idea and made a meal out of her plants. Her solution, get a few large flowerpots for next years tomato plants and place them on her porch.

Deer

More and more wild animals and people are encountering one another. We share the earth with the wildlife and we all need to find ways to co exist. Since humans are supposed to be the more evolved species I think it is up to us to find a middle ground, and respect all living creatures.

Squirrel

Thanks for stopping by.

Connect with S. J. Brown on Facebook and be one of the first to see what she has been up to. Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sj.brown.3367

S. J. Browns coloring books feature sketches based on her photographs.

CBCover Acover

Cover 3-26-23Back Cover 4-24-2013Close up and Close Encounters is available on Amazon  at

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=close+ups+%26+close+Encounters

Or get your autographed copy at S. J. Brown website http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com

S. J. Brown’s children’s pictures books are only available through S. J. Brown.

You can order your copies from her website S.J. Brown

Cover All the Birds I See Cover

Warning Signs by SJ

By S. J. Brown

Warning signs are present in all our lives. Mothers warn their children all the time “I’m warning you”. When you see a dark black sky that is a warning sign that a storm is moving in. When I am traveling there are warning signs everywhere. A no left turn sign warns me not to turn left here, or I may get a ticket. Additional signs let me know when there is construction, bumps in the road, things might get icy or fall on me.

Road Sign

Now that warm weather has finally arrived more people will be venturing out to enjoy nature. The lives of wildlife are full of warning signs also. When our two worlds meet we need to be able to read the signs.

Most animals will warn an opponent before attacking. The way to stay safe in their territory is to know the warning signs and watch for them. The number one rule when you are out exploring nature is never, never, never get between a mother and her babies. Mama may not warn you to move on. Her first instinct is to protect her young.

Mama Bear

Even those who know little about wildlife know that when a rattle snake rattles its tail, this is a warning sign and you better back off .

Rattlesnake

Before embarking on a trip south I researched alligator behavior. An alligator will hiss and, or open their mouth as a warning sign. Of course when I was face to face with a large alligator I couldn’t remember their warning signs or how far an alligator can lung forward.

Alligator

Deer will snort and stomp its foot to warn others of danger. They also raise their tail to signal other deer. Male deer known as Bucks will warn an opponent to back off by lowering their antlers in the opponents direction.

Deer

Before heading out to photograph some wild ponies I needed to know what to look for. I now know that it’s not good when their ears are tucked back. Many other animals share this behavioral trait, so watch for it.

Horse

Some animals will puff themselves up to make themselves appear larger to scare off an intruder. This is your first warning sign. Any animal that shows its teeth has little tolerance for you. It doesn’t matter if they are large or small those teeth are sharp and can cause a quite a bit of harm. So go out enjoy the great outdoors, pay attention to warning signs and come back safe. Thanks for stopping by to hear my thoughts on warning signs.

Have you ever been warned to back off, by an animal? What happened?

Two new fun releases by S. J. Brown are due out later this month.  Connect with her on Facebook and be one of the first to see what she has been up to. Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sj.brown.3367

Cover 3-26-23Back Cover 4-24-2013Close up and Close Encounters is available on Amazon  at

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=close+ups+%26+close+Encounters

Or get your autographed copy at S. J. Brown website http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com

S. J. Brown’s children’s pictures books are only available through S. J. Brown.

You can order your copies from her website S.J. Brown

Cover All the Birds I See Cover