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This vicious sea gull stands its ground by relentless squawking and wings lifted high. It’s ready for a show down as other gulls dive-bomb in pursuit of abandoned turkey scraps.

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A Bird’s Fear of Bullies

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Bullies are everywhere. I’m attacked from all sides. Those birds have the gull to try to take my food. This isn’t the first time I was bullied to give them my food. What is it with me, am I an easy prey?

Photo by: Richard Smith

Uncommon Bird in my Area

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Uncommon to my area of Southeast Virginia is the Red Throated Loon.  I photographed this aquatic bird in late November at Messick Point on the Back River an estuary to the Chesapeake Bay.  At my first sighting, the head was barley above water with its winter plumage of speckled blackish and white spotted feathers, it swiftly swam near the water surface like an otter.  Once it surfaced the loon posed long enough for me to get a few nice pictures.  

In doing my research for this Loon, it is said in The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds, “Loons have difficulty walking on land because their legs are located at the extreme rear of their bodies, so they are seldom seen away from the water.  They are extremely vulnerable to oil pollution; many have been killed along both coasts as a result of recent spills.”

Hope you all enjoy!!

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Unselfish love

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What is important about today?  This is a day life will begin and for others will end.  The moment of new life what will the news announce?  Is it another terrorist attack, Government corruption, worldly plagues, or catastrophic storms?  At this point of life, there is no return to the security and comfort before birth.  You now begin the journey through the Alpha and Omega.  For others, their journey has ended.  Did they accomplish their purpose here on earth or did they roam about aimlessly?  Life has a purpose; it is in fulfilling those purposes that we find meaning and satisfaction in our lives.

Unselfish love is the key to fulfill life’s purpose. It is deliberate and purposeful rather than emotional, impulsive or self-serving love.

Gratitude

How would you describe your coffee or tea taste?

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The town I live in is Newport News, Virginia in the United States.   The East end is the industrial area made famous for its military ship building.  Mid-city once farm land has developed into a commercial hub of office and medical centers, shopping areas, and many chain restaurants and the North end is residential and houses a large military base. 

Located in center city are a few coffee shops like Starbucks, Aroma’s and Panera Bread company. They are not like the quaint cafes that are found in small towns were everyone knows each other and will take time to sit and chat.

Here in my area of the world, coffee is the most popular drink.  I wonder is it the coffee the people enjoy or the many sweet additive ingredients that go into a coffee?  It is very rare I see someone drink their coffee black.  I like my coffee from fresh roasted beans brewed at the right temperature with nothing to cover that steamy aroma and taste.

As you guess I am of the older generation with some on-coming of arthritis, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  As an alternative means to control these issues.  I enjoy a good hot tea such as ginger and lemon which helps with the aches in my knees and ankles.  Then roasted dandelion root that gently stimulates the liver.  Also, a good Earl Grey black tea to sip as I read a book.  My favorite tea is a green tea with hibiscus made with whole tea leaves steeped in a small teapot and poured into a china cup.

How would you describe your coffee taste?  Why is a certain tea better for you?

Pullman Bread

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When I entered the house, the smell of fresh baked bread definitely helps turn a house into a home.  My wife just took a loaf of pullman bread from the oven.  All four sides and ends are a light golden brown crust. Waves of warm heat danced gracefully above the bread.  Like cotton candy each bite of the yellow dense textured bread melted in my mouth.  My first slice was plain, but my second was spread with a creamy butter.  Wow!!! What a delight to the taste buds.

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The Great Blue Heron’s Catch

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Like most takers of fish, the Great Blue Heron waits for long periods of time for a fish to get close.  When the fish is within striking distance and with lighting speed the Great Blue Herons’ beak jabs into the water in an attempt to clamp onto the fish.  Here you see the Great Blue Heron attempting to swallow the fish whole.  In the other picture the same Heron turned, now you see blood from the stab wound of the Herons’ beak.


Camera used is a Sony A77II, Sony lens 70-400mm, ISO 800, 230MM, f7.1, AT 1/800 Sec. Location Lions Bridge, Newport News, VA 4/21/17.

A Walk in the Woods

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I see a Barred Owl from the corner of my eye.
Is it stretching its wing or getting ready to fly?
With intense eyes, the owl stares.
I am concerned and a little scared.
I raise my camera and push the button.
Now I know this event will not be forgotten.

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Photo and poem by Richard Smith
Camera used is a Sony A77II, Sony lens 70-400mm, ISO 3200, 400MM, F7.1, AT 1/1000 Sec.

Barred Owl

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I am a barred owl whose skill is to hunt.
Like night-light vision and soulful brown eyes,
I can search from high in a darken sky.
In a dash and swoop, my prey I confront.

By day, I rest and snooze within a tree.
If I’m awakened by an unknown sound
With eyes wide open, I look all around.
my head turns to all sides so I can see.

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Photo and poem by me (Richard Smith)

Photo was taken with a Sony A77II, Sony lens 70-400mm, ISO 3200, 400mm, f/7.1, 1/1000 of a sec. Location: Nolan Trail, Newport News, VA 4/21/17

 

Spring is with Romance

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Spring is the birth for a new beginning.
Life starts from a passion of affection.
Pollination begins with life’s connection.
Plants bud, flowers bloom, and birds start singing.

Mating rituals start with a dance of love.
He sings his song to the one of his choice.
She beckons his calling with sounding voice.
A new generation they are thinking of.

Hurry! Hurry! We need to make this nest.
For I am with family can’t you see.
I will build this nest from the very best.
This is for you, me and the other three.
Babies nestled under their mother’s breast.
The fledglings were loved, nourished and had no need.
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Photo and poem by me (R. Smith)
Photo was taken with a Sony A77II, Sony lens 70-400mm, ISO 800,
400mm, f/7.1, 1/1000 of a sec.  Location: Lions bridge, Newport News, VA
4/17/17