Feathery seed has staying power

The Chattahoochee Nature Center is a nice balance of natural and man-made beauty.  In the winter season, the color of the decorative plants is gone but the spent blooms and withered branches remain.  It is one of those cases where you have to look for the beauty rather than having it burst out in front of you.

This is an interesting seed head that I spotted along one of the walks.  It is not a dandelion but has a similar white, feathery look.  I love how the seeds come together at the top of the branch and the fine tendrils drop down from them with their downy covering.  It seems quite amazing to me that these have not dropped off and spread in the wind at this point but I must say, I am glad that it was here for me to see.

Chattahoochee Nature Center
Roswell, Georgia
Nikon D7100
Sirui P-204S Monopod
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
300mm @ f13 –  1/25 sec – ISO 200

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Right in my own backyard

So, this bird is majestic and absolutely amazing.  I have to say though, I am a bit disappointed.  This is one of the pair of eagles in captivity at the Chattahoochee Nature Center.  It does not make her any less beautiful but, I was hoping to see her wild cousins that frequent the area.

We had heard that the wild eagles were in the area and seen other photographers images so, Joyce and I made the trip over yesterday.  Well, it was a very short trip as the Nature Center is only 15 minutes or so from my house.  Anyway, it was a beautiful day with the temperature around 72° so how could it be bad?

We met up with a fellow photographer who comes to the center all the time.  He had seen one of the wild eagles just a short time before we met up with him.  That one had gone off to hunt along the river and unfortunately, didn’t return while we were there.  At least now I know where to look for them so, maybe we’ll get lucky next time!

Nikon D7100
Sirui P-204S Monopod
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
300mm @ f13 –  1/20 sec – ISO 200

Seems like a long time ago

Last weekend, this is what my backyard looked like.  A dusting of snow and ice covering most of the plants.  This morning at 9:30, it is over 50° already and likely to get up near 70° before the day is over.  Typical winter/spring (not sure what season it is) in Atlanta.

In any case, I thought this was a neat view of the Nandina plant covered with ice showing both the leaves and the berries.

Nikon D7100
Sirui P-204S Monopod
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
35mm @ f/7.1 –  1/250 sec – ISO 200

Little Old Lady who?

Well, I thought I was done with the antique toys we have but Joyce reminded me of one more.  The story behind this is that her grandmother went for a visit to the family homeland in Sweden sometime in the early 1900’s and brought back this wind-up tin toy.  It has been around in her family since then but nobody really knew much about it.

The little old lady with a broom has lost much of her original paint but is a great display piece.  When I took her down off the shelf to do some macro shots, I decided to have a closer look and see if there were any identifying marks to help me research the origins.  The only thing I could find was a number D.R.G.M. 140668 stamped on the side.

It turns out the DRGM is the German abbreviation for a Registered Patent (Deutsches Reiches Gebrauchs Musterschutz – meaning protected patented design under the Reich Government.).  So, the toy is German-made but apparently sold in other countries.  Also, this proves out the vintage of the toy.  The DRGM mark was in use from before World War I up through the World War II era of the 194o’s.

It appears that the broom was probably added sometime later to replace what was originally a walking stick.  I found a post with a more well-preserved example of this which is in the Nordic Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.  The description (translated from Swedish) on the museum site is:

Old Woman with feather works, in the original box with lid, of bent and hand-painted sheet metal, gray dress, red apron with white dots, glasses on nose, basket on the back and stick in hand, paces forward, feather work with the wrench back .

drgm140668

Gumma – Old Lady from Nordic Museum

Vintage German wind-up toy
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 –  1.6 sec – ISO 100

Like Water off a Duck’s back

Well, actually it’s a Canada Goose but you get the idea.  This is a shot from one of our walks on the Roswell River Walk near the Chattahoochee Nature Center.  The boardwalk cuts through a wetland area between the street and the river which attracts lots of water birds.

Geese and ducks wade about here most of the time and we were watching as this one was preening.  With its neck turned backwards, the goose kept pushing beak through feathers and splashing in the water.  The day was overcast, foggy and cold but it was fun to watch and a nice place for a walk.

Nikon D7100
Sirui P-204S Monopod
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
300mm @ f6.3 –  1/100 sec – ISO 400

Winter gum balls

Even though there was not much snow in our big winter storm this past weekend, there was a nice white background to set bits of nature that are still visible.  This is one of those things that I find interesting but also kind of hate.  The Sweet-gum trees in my yard always have these spiky little seed pods in the fall.  sweetgum-warning1

Neat to look at but when they fall all over the
yard, they are a pain!  (That can be literally, if
you step on them.)  I wouldn’t mind so much except that they seem to collect and never go away.  I often try to rake them up but that is no easy task.  They tend to get embedded in the grass or ground and do their best to hang on to wherever they fall.  I suppose they will get hacked up by the lawnmower eventually but of course, they will probably break something in the process as the little projectiles are pretty dangerous.

Oh well, I guess we just have to take nature for what it is and be careful when walking barefoot.

Nikon D7100
Sirui P-204S Monopod
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
35mm @ f/7.1 –  1/20 sec – ISO 200

Hubley #22 Boat Tail

One last image of vintage toys from my small collection.  This is a cast-iron race car marked with the number 22.  The car body is silver with the hood, exhaust pipes and driver painted red.  I have not been able to find details on this model but it is marked 2330 – Made in USA on the bottom.  Most likely, this is from the 1940’s.

This car was made by the Hubley Manufacturing Company of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The company, originally incorporated in 1894 began making highly detailed, cast-iron toys in 1909 and continued in business through 1969 when it was acquired.  A few toys continued to be made under the Hubley name by a series of owners up through the 1990’s but they are no longer in production.

Vintage Toy Race Car
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/18 –  1 sec – ISO 200