The worst form of government

6 November, 2016            The worst form of government

“…democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms…” – Winston S Churchill, 11 November 1947

So anyway, vote on Tuesday.

I opened my shower door yesterday and the sun was shining through the bevel in the glass onto my linen closet door:

That's not magic, but it certainly is magical.

That’s not magic, but it certainly is magical.

That’s not a miracle but it sure is cool. Not to geek out on you too much, but that’s just the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The shorter waves/higher frequency are on the purple (violet) side and extend to the left. Longer waves/lower frequency are on the red side and extend to the right. But that’s the visible spectrum. Appeared like magic on my linen closet door. 

Halloween morning I was out and saw this Red-tail on the tower across the street. It wasn’t  large so my guess is it’s a male. And I’ve gotten closer views of this guy’s talons; they’re very yellow and shiny. He hasn’t had many fights with angry rodents – yet. Also I’ve seen young ones in the past and they all seem to have what appears to me as a slightly bewildered look on their faces. I may be interpreting that incorrectly. But I believe this is a young male:

Halloween Red-tail sunning himself

Halloween Red-tail sunning himself

A Dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis) landed below my bird feeder Tuesday (November 1); it’s the first one I’ve seen this season. They’re often referred to as “snow birds” because they arrive during the winter. This one’s a bit early: 

Juncos can fly just fine, but they spend a lot of time on the ground

Juncos can fly just fine, but they spend a lot of time on the ground

My birdfeeders are partially or completely supporting a non-avian ecosystem. This  Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus) has its burrow entrance strategically placed almost directly beneath a busy feeder. I sometimes see it carrying seeds to its burrow. But I believe sometimes seeds and nuts fall directly from the bird feeder into the burrow. Breakfast or practically any other meal in bed. Brilliant:

I understand some people don't like them, and I understand why. But I'm a fan.

I understand some people don’t like them, and I understand why. But I’m a fan.

The day I photographed that chipmunk (Thursday, 3 November) was the day I saw the first ever Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis, my dad’s all-time favorite bird) in my yard. I took a picture of it that day but it was sub optimal. Today the pair were on the feeder; I took another sub optimal picture, but slightly improved. Look for a better picture soon (hopefully). Maybe even of a male and female together; I’m seeing both of them regularly now:

These bird feeders have been productive far beyond anything I would have imagined

These bird feeders have been productive far beyond anything I would have imagined

The photograph I took of the Red-tailed hawk near the top of this post was almost directly across the street from my house. That’s the top of a powerline tower and it’s the highest spot around here. It’s inelegant but it’s probably in the background of at least one photo in half of my blog posts. Red-tails love it there. Yesterday I was pulling out of my driveway and saw this Turkey vulture (Cathartes aura):

Squawking Turkey vulture

Squawking Turkey vulture (look at that face) 

It will be some time before I get the “perfect” picture of a Carolina chickadee (or, really, any other bird) but I’m closing in. Also, it’s not really fair to get pictures on a bird feeder, they’re wild birds. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel, only it’s shooting birds on a bird-feeder. But they provide me with a great deal of enjoyment when I’m at my desk. I took this picture Thursday afternoon:

Carolina chickadee, my favorite non-raptor

Carolina chickadee, my favorite non-raptor

Nothing amazing this week, but it’s been sunny and lovely and a nice first week of November. See you next week! I hope!

All best,



The worst form of government

I understand that we’re seeing the worst of “the worst form of government,” at least in my lifetime. But it’s better than any other form. America will do great. Just vote. May the best candidate win.


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, Carolina wren, Fun, raptors, Red-tailed hawks, Rivers, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The worst form of government

  1. Pingback: Placeholder, yet again | NEWFAZE

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