F(l)ight of the Hummingbird

8 01 2013

To get a photo of one hummingbird in flight is one thing….



To get a photo of two hummingbirds fighting over sweet nectar is a feat!



The Biltmore Estate

25 04 2010

It wasn’t until we visited the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC (famous for being America’s largest home, the ancestral Vanderbilt family home and childhood home of Anderson Cooper) and I witnessed my very first lamb stampede did I realize that I am in love with lambs.  They’re just so cute.

As we drove through the windy farm roads that meandered through the first scientifically managed forest, we came across a field full of lambs and sheep.  I immediately jumped out of the car and only the electric fence could keep me away from running right up to them.  The sheep actually ‘baaaa’ and the lambs answer back ‘yeaaa’ as they run from one direction to another, up and down the hills.  The next day we were touring the estate again and I mentioned that we should just pass by the lambs, but I promised that I wouldn’t get out of the car.  As soon as we came up upon the field and I saw how close they were to the road…..ALL BETS WERE OFF…and I was out of that car while it was still rolling to a stop.  I mean seriously, how can you resist them?

Well, we did see other things besides the lambs while we were there.  We took one afternoon to tour the gardens.  Coincidentally, we arrived the day of the “Festival of the Flowers” and the walled garden was filled with thousands of tulips of all different colours.

After taking photos of every tulip at every different angle we followed the paths to the azalea garden.

After a little detour setting a bad example by running around in the grass, we headed down to the bass pond.

Not only did we find the perfect photo opportunity, but we came across an Asheville, NC local, that after finding out that I was Canadian (and from Vancouver to boot), thanked me for being Canadian because he enjoyed the Olympics, specifically the Opening Ceremonies, so much.  How cool is that?

Just slightly cooler than when we went to the children’s petting zoo and I found a ram with curly shaggy hair.  I put my head up next to his head and yelled out to Nathan to check out the similarity in our lustrous curly locks.  Note: there was a fence between our curly-headed locks.  The petting zoo also had a couple of goats, some odd-looking fancy chickens, one of which started scratching the ground like it was getting ready to charge at me, and these cute fuzzy baby chicks.  If I had had a camera I would have sent photos to a friend who has always mentioned that she wants to frolic with baby chicks.

And, just in case you thought we spent the entire time chasing the farmyard animals, here are some photos of the actual 200+ room, 5 story Biltmore House.