There’s some luck involved

31 May, 2015                                    There’s some luck involved

 I took this picture Wednesday just after 6:00 PM: 

There is a lot of luck involved in a picture like this one.

There is a lot of luck involved in a picture like this one.

You can’t make the moon be there. You can’t make the clouds not be there. You can’t make the hawk land there. And doesn’t he look a bit pensive? Like he’s got something on his mind? Is that just me? His posture is unusual. Sometimes good photography involves good luck. I had a lot of good luck when I took that picture. 

Mackey and Turner and I have had the great good fortune of having a canine friend enjoy us for a few hikes recently. Our handsome friend Yuki loves joining us for our Pony Pasture jaunts. Here he is standing between Mackey and Turner at the river this morning. Mackey is 1. the least impulsive, 2. the wisest, 3. the oldest and 4. (and perhaps most important) the only one who gets to walk off leash a lot. He conserves energy!:

That is one great bunch of dogs right there.

That is one fine bunch of dogs right there.

This is the three of them in about the same spot earlier this week. It was cooler that day!:

Yuki played in the mud some before we got to this walkway.

Yuki played in the mud some before we got to this walkway.

I took my first hawk picture this year back on May 1. I took my first multiple hawk picture – two hawks in the same shot – on May 20. I have taken a lot of hawk pictures. Earlier this week the pair was on top of the power line, surveying their domain, as they do. I got one picture of the pair but it was mediocre. The female flew off and I pointed at the male to get one of him alone. Just as I clicked the shutter he dove; this is a change of pace:

They are just such cool looking birds.

They are just such cool looking birds.

The pair are not tame – far from it. If I get too close, they go away – that much is predictable. The don’t go far. But they don’t like me real close. Maybe they don’t like the glare off my lens or something. Anyway, although they haven’t become tame, they are relatively predictable in their habits. They have a few favorite main roosts and it’s easy to find one or both during most daylight hours. I’ve gotten a few more fun pictures. Here’s one of a bluejay harassing the pair while they sit on the lights above the baseball field:

Obnoxious (it appears) Bluejay approaching from the left

Obnoxious (it appears) Bluejay approaching from the left

It’s amazing how often they’re harassed by small birds, primarily mockingbirds and bluejays. Crows bother them too but they seem to have some sort of détente in our area. I am unclear on the details of the ornithological politics. 

Here’s one flapping its wings:

Hawk flapping its wings

Hawk flapping its wings

I’m uncertain what’s happening in this picture. Maybe one just landed or they’re changing positions – I don’t recall and can’t quite figure it out. I have been reading a lot about Red-tailed hawks and there is still a lot I don’t understand:

Maybe they just landed at the same time. All I know is it's fun to watch. It feels like a privilege. Which is a nice sensation in its own right.

Maybe they just landed at the same time. All I know is it’s fun to watch. It feels like a privilege. That’s a nice sensation in its own right.

I just have fun every time I go out there.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts (sometimes at tedious length) how delicious everything smells. May in central Virginia is the peak smell month. The smells  begin in late April and will trail off next month. But these gardenias are like a special brand of perfume that is only available for a few weeks each year. And once it’s gone it won’t be back for a year. That’s why they call it “The Present”! But you can feast your eyes any time:

Speaking of a privilege. There is not one not-nice thing about gardenias.

Speaking of a privilege. There is not a single not-nice thing about gardenias.

The magnolia next to our driveway is another fleeting olfactory-visual treat. It’s a bit more in-your-face than gardenias. But, like gardenias, if you enjoy it (I enjoy it), now is the time! That’s part of what makes it so great: 

Driveway magnolia. So much fun.

Driveway magnolia. So much fun.

Have a great week,

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, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!) and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to There’s some luck involved

  1. Jackie Zaklasnik says:

    Wow Great Pictures!

  2. Gilpin Brown says:

    More great photos. I love the “moon shot” and the Blue Jay attack!

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