Aerial snow

We recently had a couple days of light snow… a bit unusual for March, but not unheard of.

I always enjoy taking pictures of snow, but now that I have a nice drone, I was able to take some aerial photos of it, too.  The only downside was I needed to wait for the snow to stop falling, since the drone isn’t waterproof.

I’m looking forward to next winter if we get several inches of snow, for even better pics, but this is a nice start.

Let’s begin with an angled view of the snow on the flowerbeds, pond, back lawn, and chicken runs:

Back lawn etc

A top-down view of the field, flowerbeds, and pond:

Field and flowerbeds

A bunch of snowy trees in the mist:

Snowy trees

Just below the cloud layer:

Cloud layer

More snow-tipped trees:

Snowy trees

Snowy trees

Our tallest tree with the double trunk (as featured in a recent post):

Snowy trees

From lower down:

Snowy trees

Not from the drone, the gazebo and grove (I love that you can’t tell a difference in quality between the drone and iPhone cameras):

Gazebo

The next day, it snowed a bit more, about an inch, so I flew again to capture that:

Snowy aerial

Snowy aerial

Snowy trees:

Snowy trees

Snowy trees

Snowy trees

Snowy trees

Back on the ground, walking to the duck house:

Snowy bridge

Snowy trees

Snow

Ducks in the pond

The daffodils weren’t enjoying the snow:

Snowy daffodils

Snowy daffodils

I hope you enjoyed those snowy pics as much as I did.

Flock Friday for March 6

A couple of times this week, the ducks walked across the back lawn to visit me by the chicken coop.

Firstly, you probably saw a couple of posts with aerial shots from my new drone; here’s one more of the pond and ducks:

Aerial shot of pond and ducks

On Monday morning, while I was doing my usual rounds to give the chickens and ducks treats, and refill the bird feeders, the ducks crossed the back lawn to come see me by the chicken coop:

Ducks on back lawn

The ducks by the chicken run:

Ducks by chicken run

Ducks by chicken run

Ducks by chicken run

After I left, they followed me onto the driveway, which is the furthest I’ve seen them from the pond:

Ducks on driveway

Ducks on driveway

Ducks on driveway

I encouraged them to go back to the pond:

Ducks heading back to pond

Ducks heading back to pond

A couple of days later, they joined me on the back lawn again:

Ducks on back lawn again

Ducks on back lawn

Ducks on back lawn

Did you see the YouTube video of them? Make sure you turn on the sound; fun to hear them quacking at me.

Once again, I encouraged them back to the pond, for their safety:

Ducks in pond

A view from the hidden path:

Ducks in pond

Flying high and low

As was foretold, some more photos of and from my new drone, as I practice flying it. Gotta put in that flight time to become proficient!

Firstly, a shot of the drone on the (rather mossy) driveway, with a bee on the nose (I didn’t take off until she left):

Drone with bee

(I probably shouldn’t attempt beekeeper humor by saying it’s not that kind of drone.)

A shot from higher up of the pond and landscaping; beehives in the upper-left, greenhouse, hoop house, veggie garden, chicken runs, etc:

Pond and landscaping

From another angle:

Pond and landscaping

Looking straight down:

Pond and landscaping

The pond, from lower down (with a duck in the middle):

Pond

The main deck, with Rory sprawled out:

Deck with Rory

The chicken runs, veggie garden, and greenhouse:

Veggie garden and chicken runs

Miles of trees:

Trees

Trees and a glimpse of Mount Hood in the distance:

Trees and Mount Hood

I then flew around at a lower level, practicing my flying precision. Here’s the drone flying through the breezeway, as seen by the cat cam there (I did check that there weren’t any cats present before flying though):

Breezeway

And inside the brown gazebo:

Brown gazebo

Those pictures were from yesterday. I did a little practice today, but it was too windy to go very high, so I just did more low-level flying. Here’s a shot of the flag from flagpole height, showing the breeze:

Flag

No doubt the first of many posts of aerial photos

As mentioned on my personal blog, I recently bought a new drone: a DJI Mavic Mini. It’s a huge improvement over the old Parrot one I’ve had for years, and a couple of smaller toy ones I’ve tried. I haven’t really wanted to use those, as they lack a GPS to help navigation, so tend to drift away without actively managing the positioning, and the cameras are low resolution and fixed in place, so photos and video are poor quality.

While this new drone is very lightweight and lacks more pro features like course plotting, following, object avoidance, etc, the Mavic Mini does have a GPS to anchor it in the sky and let it return to the takeoff location, a gimbal for the camera to keep it straight and steady, and a camera resolution (4000×2250) comparable to modern iPhones (4032×3024).

See that Dejus post for pictures of the drone while setting it up. Here are a couple of pictures of it in the sky:

Drone

Drone

I probably won’t keep the blade guards on long-term, but thought that they’d be helpful “training wheels” while I practice flying it.

Anyway, the drone will be fun when we go on trips, where drone flight is allowed (which is quite restricted). But I expect I’ll mostly use it to take aerial photos of our homestead.

So you can expect more posts like this one over time. Let’s take off, starting with a top-down view of our fenced veggie garden and berry cage:

Veggie garden

From a lower angle:

Veggie garden

The old chicken run (you can see some chickens by the hole in the fence between the veggie garden and their run; I don’t think they were fans of the strange noisy bird hovering above; it sounds like an angry swarm of bees):

Chicken runs

Turning a little to the right, the new chicken run and coop:

Veggie garden, chicken run, coop

Top-down to both chicken runs:

Chicken runs

The pond:

Pond

Another shot of the pond, with the pond deck in the foreground, and duck house on the right:

Pond

Another angle of the pond:

Pond

Flowerbeds on the left, back lawn on the right, pond in the background:

Flowerbeds and pond

Flowerbeds, with the white and brown gazebos visible:

Flowerbeds

Flowerbeds and white gazebo:

Flowerbeds and white gazebo

Closer to the gazebo:

White gazebo

A top-down view of the flowerbeds (could be useful for planning planting):

Flowerbeds

I hope you enjoyed seeing this unusual perspective on some of the homestead. I’m sure I’ll show other angles and changing seasons in future posts. Let me know if you liked this!

Flock Friday for February 28

On this Flock Friday, closeups of ducks, aerial pictures of the pond, and more.

Firstly, the ducks in the grasses next to the pond. I’m not sure if they’re rooting for bugs, or looking for places to nest. Probably both:

Ducks in grasses

A couple token pictures of some chickens:

Chickens

Chickens

The chicken feeder jug in the new coop, freshly filled:

Chicken feeder

There are still about seven chickens roosting above the nesting boxes, but recently a couple more have joined Lola on the main roosts:

Chickens roosting

Colorful boiled eggs in the fridge:

Eggs

A bunch of pictures of the ducks:

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks with treats

Closeups of Bert:

Bert

Bert

Bert

Bert

And Gert:

Gert

Gert

Gert

The ducks roosting on the pot supporting the fountain (which is currently off) at midnight:

Midnight ducks

A couple aerial pictures of our pond and surrounds:

Aerial picture of pond

Aerial picture of pond