Red, white and blue

24 January, 2016            Red, white and blue

I started this post before the snow. The first title was “I’m seeing red” because I saw this Red-headed woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) while hiking with Ethan at Bryan Park Tuesday:

My first-ever Red-headed woodpecker at Bryan Park Tuesday:

My first-ever Red-headed woodpecker at Bryan Park Tuesday:

First one I’ve ever photographed – amazing. First one I’ve ever seen, I think. They’re not uncommon, I’ve just never seen any. Great day! That was how I got on the “red” part of the theme. 

I saw a Red-tailed hawk (of course) only this time directly across the street from my house in my neighbor’s sweet gum tree:

Our neighborhood Red-tail hunting from our neighbor's sweet-gum tree

Our neighborhood Red-tail hunting from our neighbor’s sweet-gum tree:

On the same day I photographed this male Cardinal glowing beside the CSX tracks near Brown’s Island. If you’re writing about and photographing red birds in Virginia, you can’t neglect our state bird

Our state bird, the Northern Cardinal, looking like he's lit from within

Our state bird, the Northern Cardinal, looking like he’s lit from within

I was on the same hike with my friend Clark when we saw this handsome Blue Jay:

Handsome but bossy. Sometimes. They're smart birds though.

Handsome but bossy. Sometimes. They’re smart birds though.

So by Wednesday I’d already gotten plenty of red and a little blue. Since Friday morning, it’s been white in all directions. 

We were just about to leave the CSX tracks at Brown’s Island when Clark’s sharp ears picked up the rumble of a westbound train; we stopped in the parking lot and got this picture of a GE ES40DC locomotive pulling a load of HERZOG hoppers up the hill:

GE locomotive pulls a rare westbound train past the Federal Reserve and Brown's Island

GE locomotive pulls a rare westbound train past the Federal Reserve and Brown’s Island

That hike at Brown’s Island with the birds and train was Wednesday and it didn’t snow that day or the next. Thursday evening the snow was imminent and I knew the moon would disappear for a few days. I took this picture Thursday evening just after 9:00:

Last glimpse of the clear moon, Thursday evening

Last glimpse of the clear moon, Thursday evening

We took one last hike at Pony Pasture Thursday morning before the snow. It had been cold for some time and the ice made fascinating patterns in the wetlands: 

Ice topography

Ice topography

Additional ice topography

Additional ice topography

It began snowing here in western Henrico County around 10:00 Friday morning. Friday evening Mackey and Turner and I hiked to the pet cemetery then went for a run in the parking lot across the street. Here’s the two of them, with Turner as always a bit more energetic: 

The snow doesn’t affect Turner even a little bit, but Mackey gets big clumps between his toes. He limps like crazy. Ten years ago next month, when Ivory and Nicky and I drove to the Yukon, my mom made booties for them. This is Mackey modeling his booties pre-hike:

Mackey modeling mom-made booties pre-hike

Mackey modeling mom-made booties pre-hike

When you come home from a hike with wet shoes and socks, you dry them by the fire: 

Cold, wet booties, warm, toasty fire

Cold, wet booties, warm, toasty fire

I did a blog post about those booties back in 2006 when Ivory and Nicky and I went to the Yukon. It was on a different blog but you can see it here if you’re so inclined: Dogbooties.mom

We dug the car out today and drove down to Pony Pasture for our ritual Sunday hike. It was around 2.5 miles long and took more than an hour and a half. It was a serious slog. But I took this quick video at the river as we set out. It was so pretty. As I type this paragraph, Mackey and Turner are snoring on their beds behind me. And I want to get in mine and go to sleep! Have a great week,

Jay

PS My wonderful cat Dash doesn’t get seen enough – it’s dogs, dogs, dogs all the time. Evelyn took this picture of Dash lounging on my lap yesterday:

Happy kitty and a happy person

Happy kitty and a happy person

 

 

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, Blue Jays, Bryan Park, cardinals, cats, dog booties, Dogs, firewood, Fun, ice, James River, moon, People, Pony Pasture, raptors, Red-headed woodpeckers, Red-tailed hawks, Rivers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Red, white and blue

  1. Jackie says:

    Great photos! Love the booties

  2. Cappy says:

    Love the photos, the booties, and the life!!!

    • Loved taking the photos, loved the experience of the booties, love the life and hearing from you! Enjoy! And email me the name of your village so I can educate myself about it!

  3. Megan Dalzell says:

    Great photos and videos! I can’t believe your trip to the Yukon was 10 years ago!!!

    • Glad you enjoyed the photos and videos! That was a fun week. It is definitely hard to believe it’s been 10 years since we went to the Yukon. So were Daniel and Calli still in HS then? Hard to believe.

      Thanks for the note! Have a great day,

      Jay

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