21 June, 2015 I had no idea!
This week I had no idea what I was going to write about! Fortunately I caught a couple of decent photographs to make up for my lack of creativity. Here’s my favorite:
I didn’t even take that at Pony Pasture! I took that next door to my house when the dogs and I got home from a walk last week! We came around the corner and the dogs practically knocked me off my feet trying to get to my next door neighbor’s trash can. Which they normally ignore. But that little guy – I think it’s a youngster – jumped out of the trash can and grabbed a low-hanging cedar limb. I put the dogs in my backyard, went inside and got my flashlight and camera and came back out – and it was still there! That was a fun picture.
The dragonflies and damselflies are out in force at Pony Pasture now. Everything is out in force at Pony Pasture now. I was hiking with a buddy earlier this week and there were three Blue-fronted dancers (Argia apicalis) (a common damselfly) lined up on a log. Here’s one that photographed well:
I saw a new flower this week as well. When I began my “Every living thing” project late last year I was fastidious about identifying and posting everything. I’ve fallen behind on both. My primary sources for identifying plants are (presented here in random order) Evelyn, Betsy, Kim, Katie and Marion. I haven’t showed this flower to any of them! So watch this space for an ID soon:
[[This just in – thank you to Anne Wright – an expert fact checker if ever there was one! She identified that graceful and delicate plant as American water-willow (Justicia americana). Thank you again! Also, I presume since it’s “americana” that it’s a native, which we love to see at Pony Pasture.]]
Here’s another non-Pony Pasture picture from this week. Eastern Towhees are not (to my knowledge) feeder birds. But this youngster landed on my window feeder last week then dropped down under the little boxwood in front of my office:
Also – while I’m putting up non-Pony Pasture pictures – I took this on Wednesday near Brown’s Island. These tadpoles are growing legs – and growing larger – in a puddle under a footbridge near the parking lot:
The same day I “got” that damselfly picture I hiked a short distance down the riverbank and saw a five-lined skink (Plestiodon fasciatus) darting along a tree trunk. I’ve seen them at Pony Pasture before but this is the first one I’ve ever photographed. So it will be added to Every Living Thing! Blue river in the background:
I haven’t seen the hawks near my house today (Sunday), but they were very busy yesterday. At one point they were in a Loblolly pine in my backyard! Both of them! But I was rushing (which I avoid whenever possible) and didn’t get a picture. I came home several hours later and they were both at Freeman. Here’s one on the light above right field on the baseball diamond:
I was also fortunate to get a decent but not spectacular photo of one flying. Bear with me (please) while I practice:
I also caught a picture of the pair flying. These are not high quality images, but I’m improving slowly. As a photographer, the challenge in taking pictures of soaring birds is that the sun is normally behind them. And I am not sufficiently good at photography to get good backlit images. But this isn’t bad:
I believe I will close this week’s post. And be a bit more creative next week!
Wait – today (June 21, 2015) is Father’s Day (yay! Congratulations to all the great fathers I know plus fathers to be plus my favorite one ever, rest in peace dad). In addition to being Father’s Day, this is the Summer Solstice. Here in the northern hemisphere, it’s the longest day. For true weenies (I number myself among them), this is the day when the sun is directly above the Tropic of Cancer. That happened at 12:39 EDT today, or 4:39 PM (1639) UTC. Since the first day of winter in the northern hemisphere (late December), the sun has gradually crept higher in the sky every day. It reached its highest point today at 12:39. Now, every day until late December, its highest point will be a little bit lower. So for six months the days have grown longer. Beginning today, they grow shorter. But they’ll all have sunrises and sunsets! And I intend to enjoy as many as possible! I hope you do too!
PS Thanks to Evelyn’s careful pruning, the battered roses in my yard continue to flourish. I took this picture Thursday (same day as the skink and the damselfly):
PPS Late addition. My father holding me some time in 1962. I was born in August, 1961. Dad’s father took this picture. My dad died almost three years ago. And I think of him literally every time I work on a blog post. And a lot of times when I don’t. Having him for a father is the greatest thing that ever happened to me: