The eyes have it

5 July, 2015                           The eyes have it         

The hawks have been wildly active this week. To the detriment of the local squirrel population. Last week’s post was Warning: graphic images – hawk catches a rabbit. This week’s post could be identical – except it’s “hawk catches a squirrel.” I don’t believe it will cause much population reduction, but those hawks are spending a lot of time on top of the power line eating squirrels. You’ve heard the expression “eyes like a hawk”? Check this out: 

Hawkeye

Hawkeye

Here’s the same hawk; the squirrel is underneath. See its foot sticking out?:

Fortunate hawk / unfortunate squirrel

Fortunate hawk (upper right) / unfortunate squirrel (lower left) 

The young hawks have fledged. One was sitting in a low pine tree next to the parking lot at Freeman last week. Right next to the tennis courts. I took another of my unprofessional videos of it. It was, I suspect, calling its parents. Take a look; it lasts eleven seconds and I called it (brilliantly, in my opinion):  “Hawk talk”

There are also plenty of beautiful flowers left. This somewhat garish orange lily is growing next to a driveway near the end of my street:  

THAT is an orange flower. My Dad would have loved it.

THAT is an orange flower. My Dad would have loved it.

[[This just in (see comment at the bottom of this blog post, from Monday, July 6.) My older sister Katie informs me that riot of orange is a “daylily” (genus Hemerocallis) rather than a true lily (genus Lilium). In addition to being my older sister, Katie is a member of my elite cadre of flora and fauna identification verifiers. Thanks Katie!]]

Rose of Sharon begins to show off in July. I have two in my backyard, a purple one and a white one. They’re sort of unruly and crazy but they’re big and bright and beautiful. And I like to see big, bright, beautiful flowers this late in the season:

A big, bright, beautiful purple Rose-of-Sharon (in my backyard)

A big, bright, beautiful purple Rose-of-Sharon (in my backyard)

A big, bright, beautiful white Rose of Sharon (also in my backyard)

A big, bright, beautiful white Rose of Sharon (also in my backyard)

I’m also delighted (always) to see some remaining honeysuckle. This is climbing up a big Loblolly Pine growing above those orange flowers a few pictures ago: 

My all time favorite flower.

My all time favorite flower.

There are also (back at Pony Pasture) lots of pawpaws on the ground and in the trees. They’re still quite small. When they fully mature late next month, they’ll be the length of one leash handle. Some even bigger. And so delicious: 

Paw paw with leashes (for scale) (what can I say)

Paw paw with leashes (for scale) (what can I say)

I did take one decent dragonfly picture today, but only barely decent. It’s an Eastern Pondhawk; they’re excellent looking dragonflies. When they’re perched in direct sunlight they look like emeralds with wings. But the clouds were solid this morning and the sky was the color of cottage cheese – not the best light for photography. And perched on a dead manila-colored leaf makes an unspectacular image: 

Eastern Pondhawk with matching chlorophyll colored leaves

Eastern Pondhawk with matching chlorophyll colored leaves

Many dog breeds are named after what the dogs do – retrieve, shepherd, point, etc. Blue “dashers,” white-tail “skimmers” and pond “hawks” are all named after what they do as well. In the case of the pondhawk, “hawking” is the term for the way they hunt insects.

This will be a brief post – Fourth of July weekend has been hectic! Looking forward to next 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, Flowers, Fun, Insects, James River, Pony Pasture, Red-tailed hawks, Rivers and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The eyes have it

  1. Katie Phalen says:

    The orange flower appears to be a daylily, genus Hemerocallis, rather than a true lily, genus Lilium. Daylily flowers grow on flower stalks which come up from a base of grasslike leaves. True lilies grow out from the tops of central stems from which the leaves also grow all the way up along the same stem. Kind of a geek thing, but it’s nice to have both kinds in the garden.

  2. Thank you! We don’t have any lilies in our garden – or daylilies. Our gardens were 100% wild when Evie got here. She’s taming them, square foot by painstaking square foot. Lilies or daylilies would be pretty – we’ll have to see what fits. Those daylilies belong to our two-doors-down neighbors.

    As for “geek things,” they abound in my blog posts – I am rather fond of them. Currently I’m trying to learn if hawks are molting right now, because our neighborhood raptors are looking uncharacteristically disheveled.

    Thanks for the daylily/Hemerocallis v. lily/Lilium ID. Have a great day and I’ll talk with you soon,

    Jay

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