Please visit my new, improved website!

>> Wildermuth Creative Portraits <<

  • A weed is no more than a flower in disguise.
  • Appreciation

    June
    26
    2009

    tiny swirled paper people photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    My daughter had a friend over, and she brought a small container full of these tiny little swirled paper people. They’re not more than 1-1/2″ tall, and don’t even fit onto my pinki finger. I looked at each one in amazement – little tiny details on so many – a hundred maybe? Some dressed as clowns, some with curly hair (tiny paper, curled and glued) – I don’t know who made them, but I just adore them!

    orange house finch photo by Leanne Wildermuth

    Orange house finches are an oddity around here, I see maybe one a year. According to Cornell, the color variation is due to diet – so he must be eating more beta-carotine. I promised Taba a pic, so here it is!

    killdeer bird photo by Leanne Wildermuth

    The elusive Killdeer – they are everywhere, but I can’t manage to get a nice, crisp closeup shot of him! They are so fast.

    canadian geese clan photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    Surely, you know better than to try passing them on the left.
    gosling photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    A well protected gosling.

    goslings photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    Gosling siblings.

    red winged blackbird bird photo by Leanne Wildermuth

    Male Red Winged Blackbird, on top of a sign located next to the river. How, pray tell, do you park in the rear on a river?

    red winged blackbird bird photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    My ideal Red Winged Blackbird shot.
    mallard ducklings photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    Mama mallard and her babies. Awww.

    mallard ducklings photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    Another mama and her babies.

    I hope you, too, stop to look around. There’s so much to appreciate and enjoy all around us! Yesterday afternoon, I watched a hummingbird flit around my delphinium, saw a shrew hustle into his little hole alongside my garage, and watched a young bunny sit underneath my bird feeders and munch on dinner. A storm blew in and the fresh, clean air swept across my face as a few light raindrops trickled down from the sky. I trimmed my roses while warm rain fell on my back.

    If you stop to appreciate these things, you’ll find all of your worries just slip from your mind. It’s hard to be troubled when you’re taking in all that is good around you.

    Don’t forget to enter to win a custom portrait in my weekly giveaway!

     

    Pelican Love

    June
    25
    2009

    white pelican 1 photo by Leanne Wildermuth

    We took a little walk along the Mississippi River early Monday morning, and I caught several shots of the pelicans (and other birds, which I’ll share tomorrow!). One of them had his wing tucked a little funky and I was a bit obsessed with him because as we walked, he went alongside us and seemed to want to pose for me.

    I can’t recall seeing pelicans in our area until a couple of years ago – so I’m not sure if they’ve always been regulars around here and I’ve never noticed, or if they are indeed new to this area of the Mississippi River.

    Either way, they’re quite majestic – enjoy!

    white pelican 2 photo by Leanne Wildermuth

    white pelican 3 photo by Leanne Wildermuth

    white pelican 4 photo by Leanne Wildermuth

    white pelican 5 photo by Leanne Wildermuth

    white pelican 6 photo by Leanne Wildermuth

    white pelican 7 photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    Coming in for a landing!

    Don’t forget to enter to win a custom portrait in my weekly giveaway!

    Bird Photography

    June
    5
    2009

    Hermit Thrush bird photography by Leanne Wildermuth
    I decided to join in on this weeks Bird Photography Weekly (#40) since I have a few bird shots that I’ve been wanting to share with you!

    The beauty above is a Hermit Thrush – new to my yard and it took me a little while to identify her. I used my Bird Songs: 250 North American Birds in Song book
    (and confirmed with Taba), and was just giddy to have a new visitor to my yard!

    Red Winged Blackbird male bird photography by Leanne Wildermuth
    This male Red Winged Blackbird joined us over dinner by the river last weekend, he and his spouse were enjoying the tortilla chips I broke up and tossed their way.

    Red Winged Blackbird female bird photography by Leanne Wildermuth
    The female Red Winged Blackbird came much closer than the male, such a pretty little girl. I’m glad I tucked my (big honkin’) camera in my purse before we left the house! There are always neat creatures hanging out down by the Mississippi River.

    I hope you enjoyed my birds this week – we’ll see what photo ops present themselves for next week!

    Don’t forget to enter to win a custom portrait in my weekly giveaway!

    Bird Love, Pine Siskin Style.

    May
    19
    2009

    Pine Siskin male female bird couple photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    Sunday morning, I wandered out to my studio to have a peek out at my bird feeders, and I got the privilege of witnessing the most beautiful relationship between a pair of Pine Siskins (who are, as many of you know, new guests on my feeders).

    I rushed for my camera (5 steps away) and was able to capture their loving interaction and I am really excited to be able to share this with you! It warms my heart, and kinda makes me wish I were a bird.

    First, the initial photo above. When I first saw them, they were eating together on my thistle sock. I snapped a couple dozen photos of them here until I got one that had them both looking up at the same time (without a blur, even). The rest of my photos are less about quality and more about the story.

    Pine Siskin male female bird couple photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    After they left they left the thistle sock, they flew over to my patio table and hopped around together.

    Pine Siskin male female bird couple photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    They moved from the table to the chair, and I started to wonder what they were talking about out there that they both looked up at (whatever it was) at the same time. I love this shot, it gives them that “old married couple” look!

    Pine Siskin male female bird couple photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    Everywhere that one would go, the other quickly followed. They hopped around this planter for about 20 seconds before moving on.

    Pine Siskin male female bird couple photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    The male was first to go to the next destination (there’s a bit of yellow in him, he’s on the left). The female quickly followed, and they gained balance and interacted for a few seconds.

    Pine Siskin male female bird couple photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    Next stop, the next planter in the row. Again, with the “you go, I’ll follow” relationship. They stayed close to each other, that’s for sure!

    Pine Siskin male female bird couple photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    Back to the table, I caught several shots of them hopping around the table and just loved their reflection on the pebbled glass. They picked at the bud that fell from our maple tree.

    Pine Siskin male female bird couple photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    They went over to our little fire pit, where they hopped around on the domed lid and picked at more buds and things that were stuck in the screen.

    I was in “awwwwe” the whole time, of course – this all took place within just a minute, maybe two. I’m not sure if they were just looking for bits and morsels to eat, or maybe looking for nesting material – whatever the case, this couple is really amazing and it was so interesting to watch them interact with each other!

    This last set of photos is what brought a tear to my eye. They hopped down from the lid of my fire pit, and met on the rim.

    Pine Siskin male female bird couple photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    And then they kissed.
    Pine Siskin male female bird couple photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    They both tilted their little heads to the right, opened their beaks ever so slightly, and kissed. They didn’t exchange anything, there were no supplies in their beaks that I could see, it was just this cute, intimate little moment between boy and girl bird, and OMG! Do you have a tissue?! *blows*

    Pine Siskin male female bird couple photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    These last three photos were taken in burst mode, and though I missed their beaks actually connecting, you can still feel the love. Bird love. Pine Siskin style.

    Welcome to my yard.

    Don’t forget to enter to win a custom portrait in my weekly giveaway!

    New Bird in My Yard : Pine Siskin

    May
    15
    2009

    Pine Siskin bird photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    It’s not a Goldfinch – not a Song Sparrow, it’s a Pine Siskin! Thanks to Taba for helping me identify this bird that landed on my feeder yesterday and was NOT afraid of me one little bit. He enjoyed my thistle feeder for quite a while, and allowed me to fill up my other feeders in very close proximity while he ate.

    He had me confused for sure – I knew it couldn’t be a female Goldfinch because of the speckled breast. Couldn’t be a Song Sparrow because of the yellow feathering. Then… what??? This sweet little Pine Siskin is a new bird to my feeders and I’m delighted to have him.

    Enjoy!!

    Veggies, Flowers and Birds

    May
    7
    2009

    four male goldfinches on a line by Leanne Wildermuth
    Q: What do you call four male goldfinches on a line?
    (continue reading for the answer)

    The vegetable garden is in! I planted Eggplant, cucumber, green peppers, beefsteak tomatoes, bush beans and broccoli. I can’t wait to watch as it grows and starts producing veggies!! I just loved cutting fresh broccoli last summer and steaming it – there is nothing better, no store bought broccoli compares!

    We were lucky, I guess, in that I really didn’t have to deal with many bugs at all in my garden. This may have been because I use Cutter backyard spray on our grass to keep the bugs at a minimum – the spray lasts about 4 weeks, so we can enjoy our yard without being bitten or pestered (much)!

    vegetable garden by Leanne Wildermuth

    Keep reading »

    Yellow and Yellow-er

    April
    17
    2009

    male goldfinch spring molting photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    The Goldfinches are back! The Goldfinches are back!

    This male Goldfinch looks a little messy – he’s in the middle of his spring molt. He and his mate have been visiting us for about a week now. We have 2 finch feeders for our finches, one is a sock (pictured) and the other is a plastic feeder. I prefer the socks, because they’re easier to clean and cheaper to replace, but the squirrels just rip them open so they have their faults, too. Last year I bought a domed sock, so it’s helped keep the squirrels off of them.

    That’s some pleasant eye bling though, when you look out at your feeders and see the Goldfinches. When they’re not eating, they’re sitting on the wire above the feeders talking to each other, the male reminds me a bit of a dorky teenager saying “pleeease? pleeeease?” (have a listen here – it’s about 32 seconds in.)

    This morning I awoke around 3-4 am to the sound of a Great Horned Owl outside my bedroom window. Amazing. I must have thought it was a Mourning Dove, because it startled me awake thinking I had overslept! Then, as I was taking the trash out – I caught a glimpse of a large bird taking off from my backyard with something in his talons. I quickly ran out to see what he had, and found a pile of feathers and the (gross alert) head of a male sparrow. It was an American Kestrel, who frequents our yard for small edibles. What a day!!

    narcissi miniature daffodil photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    A little more yellow bling – This is a Narcissi, a teenie tiny version of a daffodil. They’re so dainty and lovely, and SPRINGY! Yayyyy!! I am thrilled to tell you that I bought my first flat of wave petunias yesterday (in fuchsia) and will be putting them in the ground this weekend. Aaah gardening – here I come!!

    Don’t forget to enter to win a custom portrait in my weekly giveaway!

     

    Peeping Human : A Bird Bath

    April
    15
    2009

    red breasted robin bath photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    You put your right wing in…
    red breasted robin bath photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    You take your right wing out…
    red breasted robin bath photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    You put your left wing in…
    red breasted robin bath photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    and you shake it all around!
    red breasted robin bath photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    That’s what it’s all about!

    Don’t forget to enter to win a custom portrait in my weekly giveaway!

    Junco (junk-oh.) and … snow?

    March
    28
    2009

    junco photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    It was an unusual sight, one that made me gasp and grab my camera. Usually, Junco‘s are on the ground. They stay low, so I’d never seen a “full-frontal” like this before. It took me a minute before I realized what kind of bird he is! Here’s another photo from more of a top-down angle. Pretty little birds!

    Yesterday morning, I spotted a Red-Tailed Hawk flying low through my back yard. That was cool. Mid-day, I listened as a Northern Flicker chirped at the top of the trees around our home. He stopped by our suet and had a bite of breakfast before resuming his song. Goldfinches have returned, a little dull in color but I’m happy all the same.

    And today? We’re supposed to get 4-6 inches of snow. The last time this happened, I was a wee toddler.

    Yes, that’s right, it was this day back in 1972, we received 10 inches of snow.

    My poor birds.

    {Latest Projects}