Always on the move

30 November, 2014 Always on the move


The seasons are, that is. But the river is too, everything. I gave a book to my nieces recently, it’s called How to Sit by Thich Nhat Hanh, 2014. Here is the first sentence: “The first thing to do is to stop whatever else you are doing.” I like to sit; I’m sitting now. I like to stop whatever else I am doing. But it’s interesting when you’re at the river, as the dogs and I were this morning. Because you can be as still as a stone, but that river is still moving. It’s not going anywhere, but it’s always moving.


The movement I was thinking of when I began this post was the movement of the seasons, demonstrated by birds. Always, for me, the starkest bird-demonstration of the season change is Buffleheads. My friend Gilpin gets much better Bufflehead pictures than I do, but I always manage a shot or two. I saw this female with two males this morning. The thing about Buffleheads, the reason their picture (even a poor one) is so appropriate for an “Always on the move” blog post is they are a definite sign that the seasons move. Because you will never – not ever – see a Bufflehead in summer. Nice looking winter bird:

My bufflehead pictures are never great. But that is a winter-only picture. Buffleheads in VA are cold-weather birds.

My bufflehead pictures are not often lovely. But that is a winter-only picture. Buffleheads in VA are cold season birds.

I’ve begun seeing another winter-only bird, a Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis). This is another less-than-spectacular image, although this one is my own fault. I can’t blame it on my camera. I do get better pictures of Juncos when I take my time but I rushed this one. I have old junco pictures I’ve taken that are better than this. But when I put up a blog post I like to use pictures I’ve taken recently if possible, and I took this one yesterday. Pat and I did about a 45 mile bike ride and we start and finish at a little church in eastern Goochland. There was a little flock of Juncos flitting around in front of the church when we got back to the car. I was cold and tired so I didn’t take the time to sneak in for a good shot. Just sat there really far away and zoomed in. That always makes lower quality pictures. They’re sweet little birds though:

Juncos are sweet little winter birds. Cute and sweet and cheerful.

Juncos are sweet little winter birds. Cute and sweet and cheerful.

Well, this is a thinly populated blog post. I got sick last week and missed work for the first time since I had my accident twenty-six years ago. I had “maxillary sinusitus” which thank goodness some antibiotics knocked it out quick. But I hardly got outdoors the whole week! So hardly any pictures! So here’s a picture of my buddies from this AM at Pony Pasture.  Hopefully next week I’ll have good pictures! Have a great week,



PS I should mention – there are some nice old blog posts on here if you’re interested. There are links to previous months on the upper right of this blog. There are over 150 blog posts covering nearly four years. They’re not all great – only maybe twenty of them are great – but there’s some good stuff to browse through if you have a minute. Pick a month of the year you like and click on that. There’s neat stuff. Have a great week.

My handsome buddies. They get me out no matter how I feel. And when I feel BETTER (like now) it's even MORE fun!

My handsome buddies. They get me out no matter how I feel. And when I feel BETTER (like now) it’s even MORE fun!

About Jay McLaughlin

I am a rehabilitation counselor. I have many friends with autism and traumatic brain injuries. They help me learn new things constantly. I hike with dogs at the James River in Richmond - a lot. I've completed an Iron distance triathlon a year for 11 years. My most recent was in Wilmington, NC in November, 2013. I currently compete in mid-distance triathlons. And work and hike and take pictures and write and eat.
This entry was posted in Birds, Dogs, James River, Rivers, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!). Bookmark the permalink.

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