Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 275: Nature scavenger hunt

Oooh!  We had such fun tonight!  Yeah, it was a late night for the kids, but it's summer, they got soaked in the water, they crashed out as soon as they got home.  All was good.

Shawnee State Park had a nature photography scavenger hunt today.  It's a bit of a hike for us to get out there, but it sounded like a blast, and something different to do on a summer's evening, so I booked it.  It was a bit drizzly today, so fingers were crossed, but it ended up being perfect photo weather (maybe even a bit too clear) and not too hot.  The class had been booked solid, as far as reserving the park cameras was concerned.  We had our own so didn't have to book a slot.  In any event, we ended up being the only ones there, which was too bad.  It would have been great having more people racing around.  But since we were the only ones there, the park ranger gave Adam one of the park cameras to use.  I think there ended up being loads of photos of fuzzy leaves and my shoes and heiner.  Julia needs a different camera.  The one she has was sort of an "until we know how well she handles it" camera.  It's not a kid camera, so she had to treat it with respect,  but the quality isn't great and it has limitations that are starting to drive her a bit nuts.  She has had it for almost a year, and she has been extremely careful with it.  It's her prized possession.  She is starting to really experiment with composing her shots, so hopefully in the next year or so we'll be able to get her something with a bit more zip and zoom.

We found everything except a reptile/amphibian.  I don't think the remains of a dead fish counts.  Pity.

Here are a few of my photos from the hunt:


Man made object:


Clouds (bleh):

Rocks or rock formation (bleh):

Scenic view (bleh--scenic photography is not my cup of tea, although I love looking at photos of others who actually know how to do it well.  But here you have it):



Trail head sign:

Bird.  This one was HARD.  I was just about ready to give up.  Birds twittering everywhere, all hidden in leaves.  Finally, somebody got brave, and his reward was a portrait.  The park ranger had a photo of a blue heron that he took out there.  Beautiful.  My mission now is to see one, since I guess they're fairly common.  Anyway, here's my little sparrow photo:

Reptile/amphibian.  We couldn't find anything, tho not for want of trying.  Lifting rocks, tromping through the water grasses, getting soaking wet.  We did find this, though (ew):

You're welcome. 



This chipmunk was taken from way too far away--but he was posing so nicely, I had to at least give it a shot.

And now I, like the kids, have simply got to go to bed.  The kids pleaded that we PLEASE go back to the park again soon, so we're making plans for a return visit, swimsuits in tow and picnic in basket, sooner rather than later.

Sigh---how I love summer!


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