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:
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:
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:
I was on the same hike with my friend Clark when we saw this handsome Blue Jay:
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:
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:
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:
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:
When you come home from a hike with wet shoes and socks, you dry them by the 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,
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: