Winning combination

10 May, 2015                   Winning combination 

My first  ever Solitary sandpiper - Bryan Park

My first ever Solitary sandpiper – Bryan Park

That’s a Solitary sandpiper (Tringa solitaria) – the first I’ve ever seen. A friend complimented me on the picture and I said “right place, right time, lens cap off – a winning combination.” Because there’s more luck than skill involved. 

I took that picture at Bryan Park on Monday, May 4. Thursday I was at Pony Pasture – and I saw another! Since it’s my newest entry in “Every living thing / Pony Pasture Fauna” I’ll include it here:

My second Solitary sandpiper - this time at Pony Pasture

My second ever Solitary sandpiper – this time at Pony Pasture

There’s been a White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis ) visiting my feeder regularly. The feeder is attached to my office window about three feet from my right shoulder. I see that nuthatch a lot when I’m working on my blog. One day last week I came home from work and it was clinging to the vertical wall! I was a long way away and snapped a picture; I cropped a lot out so it’s a little blurry. But look at this little guy hanging here:

Technically a crummy picture. But the oddness makes up for the poor quality.

Technically a weak image. But the oddness makes up for the poor quality.

In addition to the new bird (Solitary sandpiper) I found a “new” (to me) plant at Pony Pasture this week. Still pinning down the identification; stay tuned. But look at this beauty. Speaking of oddness: 

Non-typical - at this point I have no idea. Perhaps next week. It almost looks fake.

Non-typical – at this point I have no idea. Perhaps next week. It almost looks fake.

I haven’t done any dog pictures in a while – try out this video. The actual video is seventeen seconds long. But this is in slow motion so it lasts two minutes. Turner starts in the upper right. You can fast forward to around 0:40 and his handsome friend Yuki enters the frame on the lower left. Thirty seconds later (around 1:10) Yuki decides Turner is having way too much fun on his own. (Turner often has way too much fun on his own). So Yuki jumps in to share the excitement. It’s not an award-winning video but they’re cute:

Turner & Yuki having fun, 5.2.2015

Saturday Yuki joined Evie and Mackey and Turner and me for a hike at Pony Pasture. Ev took this picture while the four of us took a break:

Hanging with my posse

Hanging with my posse

There is a baby of everything around right now – plants and animals. This squirrel is not a baby – it was missing more than half its tail plus has lost a chunk from its ear. It was climbing a tree with a nut in its mouth but it took a break to glare at Turner. Mackey they couldn’t care less – but they never take their eyes off Turner:

Checking out Turner for a while - the nut can wait.

Checking out Turner for a while – the nut can wait.

Saw a baby turtle the same day – this guy was swimming around and popped his head out for a look. He was bigger than a quarter, but just barely:

Baby turtle coming up for a breath of fresh air and a quick look around

Baby turtle coming up for a breath of fresh air and a quick look around

This (next picture) was a baby squirrel – and he was giving Turner a piece of his mind. If you watch Turner it’s easy to see two things happening simultaneously:

  1. It drives him crazy
  2. He can’t get enough of it

That’s  just the way he is. Check this little guy out:

Look at those wide eyes. The things this turtle was saying to Turner are entirely inappropriate  for a family-oriented blog.

Look at those wide eyes. The things this squirrel was saying to Turner are entirely inappropriate for a family oriented blog.

You may have read in previous blog posts of my continuing fascination with Black locust trees (Robinia pseudoacacia). They’re flowering now and they are as fragrant as they are beautiful and delicate: 

Isn't that stunning? If you've never smelled locust, look around for some this week. Or wait until 2016.

Isn’t that stunning? If you’ve never smelled locust, look around for some this week. Or wait until 2016. Great wood and great flowers – what a treasure. 

This time of year I am overrun with pictures. I have a terrific shot of a snake with a mud-covered face sticking its tongue out to figure out what’s going on. Maybe I’ll save that for another post. Meanwhile – more babies. Here’s a mother mallard with four babies. One is quietly paddling on her right. She’s “talking” to the three on her left. See how well they are camouflaged? 

She appears to be giving them a talking to. But who am I to say.

She appears to be giving them a talking to. But who am I to say.

almost left one of my favorite pictures off this post. It slipped my  mind because I took this picture about six feet from my front door. This is a  “common five-lined skink“(Plestiodon fasciatus). Some of you may be squeamish. But this guy eats lots of spiders and  other insects you are perhaps also un-fond of. I prefer to think of it as organic pest control: 

Is it just me? Does he have an expression on his face?

Is it just me? Does he have an expression on his face?

Enough for this week! I hope you’ll visit again next week! All best, 

Jay 

 

 

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, Flowers, Fun, James River, Pony Pasture, Rivers, squirrels, Turtles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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