Cherish is my favorite word, and I cherish the ability of turning the routine into a beautiful moment.
Nature creates in me, a spiritual and meditative time to bring peace, harmony and balance, into an otherwise ordinary day~
Mary Howell Cromer

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Great Surprises Near a Quiet Stream~

How it all happens and how does it happen...that is the question/questions ;)

Many have asked me about how do I manage to select the images that I do, and place them together in mosaic form. 
I began doing this, even before I knew about a lovely meme called Mosaic Monday.
It was a way to use more images, than I would have maybe chosen to do otherwise.
Picasa makes it very easy to make, once the selection of images has been finalized. 
 Now that for me is the worst part. 
It takes me hours, for just one post entry.
I am very colour sensitive and stay away from many favored colours of others...
That is the easy part...if the colours do not work, they are not used, no matter how nice the image may have been. 
For some reason, I do not photograph the colour yellow very well. 
It always looks distorted to me and so you will see very little of that going on. 
Unlike most people, I am not a fan of the colours red, or blue, but variations on them can work.
For every entry then, I try to add in a pop of colour.
What comes of great interest to me and this week was a great surprise is the traffic received on this blog. 
While there were only 18 published comments, there were 313 viewers this past week.
I try to visit blogs, but may be lagging behind by a day, or two, due to the very busy life that caring for my father-in-law, sister and other chores that time requires, and, yet I so enjoy making a visit to each of you, that view this blog, and beyond that.
Thus said, I wonder whom all of these viewers were this past week. 
Would they have said they liked what they saw, would they have liked the hawk better than the cows?
Very few of my entries ever get that kind of traffic.
Thus said, what fun, thinking that someone out there liked what they saw, maybe they even visited more than once.
Blogging... what a great adventure!
Would you believe that if Blogger shut down tomorrow, I have none of my 993 entries, this makes number 994 ;) backed up... 
I have no clue as how to back up my blog, so if anyone wants to chance sharing with me how to do that, I would really appreciate it.

Remember to double click on the image, to view a larger slide show of the images shared ~

I am linking up with Mary for:

"Mosaic Monday"


I am linking up with Stewart at:

This was a Gray Rat Snake that was hunting Frogs week before last...
Glad it slithered into the water, as I approached... 
They are non-poisonous~ 

Near where my father-in-law lives is a small park, where people go to walk, jog, and bicycle a bit. 
In between caring for Dad and my sister, I like to take a break here. 
This is where I have been taking recent images of the Green Herons. 
Last Monday, I was on my way back to my car, and I promise, I stood to take one last look and whoosh, in flew this juvie Great Blue Heron, and it landed right in front of me. 
It was just meant to be. 
I realized pretty quickly, that I was on the wrong side of the water way, and the lighting was way off. 
So I quickly, yet quietly made my way to the far side and spent another half hour photographing this beauty. 
While there, I also got some nice takes once again of the Green Heron family members and a few flowers to adorn my post with;)

The images of the Green Frog and the Eastern Pondhawk Dragonflies were taken just down the lane from Tingsgrove.
I loved the way the frogs would skip across the water, like a pebble being thrown and skipped, as they would hear my footsteps, or see my shadow ahead of me seeing them first~

Wild flowers that grow along the streams and ponds and where Damselflys and Dragonflys hide~

From Mona's garden across the lane~

In the image below, the young GBH was bringing up some kind of soft pellet~

Blue-eyed Grass~

Water reflections and Hibiscus~

Beneath is a female Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly~

I think that the image below is one of the juvie Green Herons~

It was really nice, wow I was standing very quietly, out of the tall water reeds came swimming this young male Wood Duck...SWEET! 
It finally turned and swan the other way, when it was so close, it could hear my shutter clicking off~

To my blogging friend Phil Slade...this is all of the respect that I get from Belted Kingfishers...
They will not even give me a chance to catch the big one...

When you have sour lemons, simply make sweet lemonade. 
I was about to delete the Great Blue Heron images below, and then I give them some creativity and use them too. 
Well, I really liked them after I added some affects to cheer them up~

The images that make up the mosaic below is some of the threading that weave the ponds and streams together...really beautifully~

The top image below is a female Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly laying her eggs.
Beneath that is a male Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly~

I hope that everyone enjoyed this entry and that you will have a very blessed, happy and safe week~


  1. love the young, dancing heron! sweet green heron, too. the young wood duck is a very cool sighting! great rat snake! the one that brought the biggest smile for me was the frog. :)

  2. As always, a very beautiful and interesting set of collages! You are a master at this! Love the Herons!!

  3. Mary, I love your images and mosaics! The Gb heron and Green Herons are my favorites. And the frog is cute! Great post!

  4. You always delight with the wildlife poses you capture Mary. I could sit and watch herons, they fascinate me.

  5. Just amazing photos, Mary. You take wonderful pictures of nature and wildlife. And I like all your mosaics. I can see that it would take a long time for you to do a post up. Blessings, Pam

  6. Your mosaics are works of art. Maybe the new viewers were so overwhelmed with the beauty that they couldn't say anything! I could sort of understand that.

    Love the green heron and the dragonflies are amazing ...I can never even "catch"one with my camera. Fantastic.

  7. Oh Mary, Your photos are breath taking - you are so accomplished.
    I do appreciate how long it must take you to put these posts together with your interesting story line to accompany the photographs.
    My posts are very simple in comparison and I just don't have the time to do justice to my photos with some good writing.

    I'm not surprised your post had so many hits - and I agree it's a shame they don't stop and leave you some feedback.
    You have a very busy life but we all need to stay in touch with our creative side in whatever way we can and yours is photography!
    Have a happy week.

  8. Hi Mary,

    All of your images are filled with such amazing vitality and movement! I have always adored little ducklings and their mommas and today you have captured their sweetness and my heart!


  9. Your images are stunning, I can see why it takes you so long to create your wonderful posts.
    Happy Mosaic Monday.

  10. Dear Mary, a beautiful post and so expertly photographed. Love the way you have incorporated the flower specimens into your compositions.

  11. The mosaic are always stunning, you have a wonderful sense of what compliments what. Beautiful shots. Have an enjoyable week:)

  12. Your images are always wonderful. I find it interesting that you don't feel you capture yellow very well. I'm that way with intense reds and pinks - they look weird to me in photos.
    If you google how to back up your posts, you'll figure out how to do it. I'm not very good at backing up my blog, either.
    The herons are marvelous.

  13. I'm always a big fan of herons, especially green herons. :))

  14. Like everyone else, I find your pictures truly beautiful. The ones of the frog are somehow very touching - odd! What a lot of work must go into these mosaics, but now I 'get it'!

  15. What an impressive post MAry and I understand it takes you hours to prepare it... These herons mosaic are simply wonderful as well as the many others... Only one I did not like, the snake one ;-) But that's because I'm so afraid of them that I don't like them :-)

  16. Great series Mary!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  17. Your posts are always a joy to see, this post is so revealing of yourself, so credit is due. Only one slight point of note..... and one that I am keen to better myself is the amount of info given in one go, it can be a little much to digest. Most of your other viewers may disagree. Splendid as ever tough girl


  18. A beautiful collages of that makes of natures.

  19. Always interesting and wonderful photos! The collages are great!

  20. Nice snake! But I do like the frog face! (and of course all of the birds!)

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  21. Greetings from Greece Mary. You give too many of your mosaic secrets away for us all to try but i doubt many of us have your eye for colour.
    Brill Green Heron shots. Catch up with you soon.

  22. I am always impressed that you take the time to make so many mosaics to post in one post. I am exhausted at making one. I love that you find so much enjoyment of your surroundings and the wildlife especially. Thats what people keep coming back for. Valerie

  23. Like you, I am often late at viewing other blogs. I, too, have a full plate and it is all I can do to put together a post, let alone go out and read everyone else's posts. But when I do get out here, I am always delighted that I came. This post was beautiful, informative and just enjoyable. It is no wonder you attracted so much attention. I always enjoy your posts. We have a love of raptors in common so I often come to see you though I may not always have time to comment. So glad to have come on this day ... it was well worth it.

    Andrea @ From the Sol

  24. Beautiful! (except maybe the snake, just a personal bias) ... isn't amazing at how many visit and how few comment? If I take the time to visit a blog I definitely want to encourage the writer with a comment!

  25. Your photos are amazing, Mary! I can appreciate the time and effort it takes to edit and compose them into collages. I am now caring for my infant granddaughter during the day, so my computer time has become limited, so I can also understand the stress and joys of being a caregiver. It is so good you live near such wonderful natural beauty! The herons are magnificent!

    I'm not sure how to back up my blog --I would probably jam my computer if I tried. Let's hope our blogs survive forever, as is! ;)

  26. Wow, Impressive shots! indeed, your photos inspire me to do better.

  27. Beautiful post! I enjoyed it very much.

  28. Gorgeous photos of nature! Love that tiny little blue flower!

  29. We enjoyed all of your wonderful images! So much color and life to behold!

    Thank you for sharing it all.

    (I can relate to that "no respect from the Kingfisher" thing!)

  30. What a delight to have found your blog! First of all: great photos! Second: You create lovely mosaic layouts. I hadn't seen this done before, so now I might give it a try.

  31. What a great outlet you have found as a blogger. Caregiving takes a lot of energy, and I'm thankful you have found a way to bless others with your creativity and renew your own spirit!

  32. I can understand how it takes hours to do these collages. I love the Heron and the flowers collages.

  33. Your photography is incredible, and the area you live in is amazing. I always enjoy coming to your blog to see what new wildlife your have photographed.
    I hope you find a way to help your knee. I will be praying for you.
    Take care,
    Teresa (born a Howell)

  34. hello, it is easy to back up your blog, I have a post on that called Blog Tips, there are about 10 easy ways to do it and your blog is so beautiful and a labour of love so...please back it up!


I love and enjoy each visitor to "Red Shouldered Hawks of Tingsgrove and Beyond." I truly appreciate those who have become followers to my blog and really am encouraged by the wonderful comments. I also enjoy leaving comments and would like to ask that you please make your blog word verification free! You still have top security settings and you still have control over the comments published. It would make it so much easier, if you would consider doing this. I switched several months ago and am thrilled with the results.
FYI if you leave ANONYMOUS comments, they will never get published, so please don't waste your time~