10 January, 2016 Even a blind hog…
…finds an acorn sometimes. Or so goes the old saying. Wiktionary refers to this as an “English proverb” and attaches this terse explanation: “Being right once doesn’t prove anything.” I came at it from a different angle; this post was originally going to be titled with a U2 song from 1991 called Even Better Than the Real Thing because of this picture (and a few others):
I took that picture, I was standing right there, and the picture looks better than the real thing.
Mackey and Turner and Lola and Luna and I took a brief jaunt at Pony Pasture Thursday. Turner went more haywire than normal (that’s saying something, if you know Turner), to the point where I had to see what was getting his attention. I suspect these two adolescents hadn’t been paying attention and bolted up a tree when Turner appeared:
This was what the pack looked like:
Those were clearly young raccoons and I believe had made a poor choice about where and when to frolic on the ground. No hollow tree nearby, no tall tree nearby, they just scrambled up the nearest one and were not about to come down. Which, can you blame them? I tied all four of the dogs’ leashes around a nearby tree and was able to photograph the raccoons at will; they weren’t about to come out of that tree.
The same day we went all the way to the other side of the park and watched this Carolina Wren nibbling away at something under the bark on a fallen oak tree:
Ethan and I often hike on Thursday afternoons when the weather is fair, and we made it to Bryan Park that afternoon. Several pair of Hooded Mergansers have landed on one of the ponds there. Here’s a male by himself:
This was the object of his affection; maybe on my next post I’ll photograph them in the same frame:
I have pictures of pairs together, but the light was unspectacular and none were “keepers.” Maybe next week.
The sky this week has alternated between crystal blue and milky gray; the season is uncertain. It was warm and over 60º today (Sunday) when we were hiking. Tomorrow it’s not predicted to get out of the low forties. When it’s crystal blue it’s great for birding and for photography. And now it’s January and there are close to zero leaves on the trees and when it’s not cloudy the light is always attractive. Twice I’ve looked up at tall dead snags in Bryan Park this week and gotten unexpected images:
It’s a safe bet in January that if it’s clear, it’s cold. On Tuesday – a dazzlingly blue-skyed day – the temperature maxed out below freezing, and the wind gusts were over 30 mph. When Ethan and I got to the park that day we saw this mourning dove perched in the sun, puffed out against the cold:
If I let a week go by without a hawk picture, it’s because I didn’t see any that week. But Tuesday (same day I took that dove picture) I saw this Red-tail lit up on the tower about ten minutes before the sun dropped below the horizon:
Tuesday evening (see above photograph) the sky was crystal blue. Thursday morning – the day we saw the raccoons and mergansers and wren – the sky was milky gray. I photographed this Red-tail pair together as Mackey and Turner and I were headed for Pony Pasture:
They don’t always sit that way. but that’s often their preferred tandem-seating style. One facing each direction. They cover a lot of territory that way.
Have a terrific week, all best,
PS Early yesterday afternoon Evelyn and I took a quick trip to Charlottesville. I brought my camera along but it was cold and overcast and I never took it out of the car. My friend Clark gave us a nice gift for Christmas and we used it first for a superb late lunch at a place called feast! There was even gift left over for an excellent cup of coffee at Albermarle Baking Company. And we made a delicious visit to The Spice Diva; you should smell the cinnamon. I think we’ll return to Charlottesville soon. Maybe I’ll take my camera out of the car.