Happy Father’s Day!

19 June, 2016            Happy Father’s Day!

I hope your Sunday’s been a great one and tomorrow’s even better. Happy Father’s Day to the many terrific fathers I know, and to the many, many more I don’t know.

A picture from yesterday in West Point, VA:

Two ospreys landing on a crane in West Point, VA.

Two ospreys landing on a crane in West Point, VA.

Yesterday I went with my buddy Andrew (an outstanding father, schoolteacher, and former US Marine) to West Point, VA where he ran in the Gen. Chesty Puller 10k. General Chesty Puller, briefly, is the most decorated US Marine in history. He was also born in West Point, VA in 1898. The link on his name is a google search of his name; you could read for a month and not know half of what there is to know about him. I came across this t-shirt design with his picture:

Chesty Puller t-shirt

Chesty Puller t-shirt

I’m not a runner – I’m a swimmer and biker who can still walk and/or jog afterward, so I’m a triathlete. But I had so much fun at that race this year, it’s possible I’ll do it next year. Part of the reason I had so much fun was because I didn’t race and got to walk around and sightsee and take pictures. But the “Point” in “West Point” is the confluence of the Pamunkey River and the Mattaponi River. They come together on two sides of West Point and form the York River. Whatever else that area may or may not be, it is an osprey metropolis – I’d never seen so many in one place in my life. Here’s a video I took of an osprey on a rotating crane. They just sit there (the video’s only fourteen seconds long):

The race crosses the Pamunkey twice (out and back) and the Mattaponi twice (same thing), so the views I’m sure are wonderful.

Meanwhile, back here in Richmond on the James River, there was even more owl action than last week. Which is exciting, since there was a lot last week. I now know how to pick the thread of their sound out of the Pony Pasture sound tapestry. Like many things, now that I know it, it’s obvious. It led me to this image, one of my favorites in some time:

Pair of adolescent Barred Owls (Strix varia).

Pair of adolescent Barred Owls (Strix varia).

My friend Ethan and I were down there looking for owls Tuesday, and it’s like they were waiting for us. Here’s another image I enjoyed, same day:

Barred owls are very, very cooperative photography subjects

Barred owls are very, very cooperative photography subjects

There are a lot of things in life, especially when you spend a lot of time outdoors, that are this way. You have no idea they even exist, and you could walk past them a hundred times and still never know. Then when they finally become evident, you see them all the time. That’s the way it’s been with these owls this week. Here’s one in a tree, eating a vole:

Young Barred Owl turning a vole into something new

Young Barred Owl turning a vole into something new

I got a video of a barred owl eating. I think it’s eating a baby snapping turtle, but you can’t really tell here. The video is about nine seconds long and it’s fun to see:

Pawpaws are gradually coming in – they’re not edible yet, but it’s looking like a good crop this year. Here’s an early pair getting started:

Pony Pasture Pawpaws

Pony Pasture Pawpaws

Tuesday when we were at Starbucks, Ethan noticed a blimp! It’s a US Navy blimp, it was flying up the James River west over the Huguenot Bridge:

US Navy MZ-3A blimp flying west over the Huguenot Bridge in Richmond, VA

US Navy MZ-3A blimp flying west over the Huguenot Bridge in Richmond, VA

Today Mackey and Yuki and Turner and I got back to Pony Pasture for a quick hike – it’s so beautiful after all the rough weather we’ve had this week. Mackey is always hard to see when the light’s not bright – he’s on the left in this picture, barely visible:

Mackey (black, on left), Turner (brown, in middle), Yuki (white, on right) in Wetlands at Pony Pasture this morning.

Mackey (black, on left), Turner (brown, in middle), Yuki (white, on right) in Wetlands at Pony Pasture this morning.

Sorry this blog post is a bit disjointed – our power was out for from Thursday night through last night. It threw my already unsteady organizational skills completely off balance! Have a great week! And Happy Father’s Day!

All best,

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, Dogs, Endurance, Fun, James River, People, Pony Pasture, Rivers, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Happy Father’s Day!

  1. Jackie says:

    Awesome!!

  2. I’m glad you liked it! Tell Fred I was at General Chesty Puller’s birthplace yesterday – Chesty Puller is the most decorated Marine in history!

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