5 February, 2017 I’ll have mine on the rocks
Mackey and Turner and I were headed toward Pony Pasture on Tuesday (January 31) and were greeted by this sight:
I sent a picture to my friend Pat; he responded with this article: Henrico fire crews investigating pontoon boat caught in James River
It was gone when we returned yesterday morning. As it turned out, that boat was one of the less interesting things we saw Tuesday. I hadn’t seen as many deer this winter as I’m used to. A pair (at least; that’s all I saw) reappeared near Charlie’s Bridge Tuesday morning. I got this one first. It has an unusual looking face for a deer. Normally whitetail deer have slender, elongated snouts. The one on this deer is short, and so are its ears. It makes it look young (to me) but now I’m not as certain that’s the case:
Take a look at that face, then at this one I took in almost precisely the same place in December of 2014 (bottom of the picture):
I believe that is the same deer.
On Tuesday this deer was just a couple of feet away from the deer in the first picture. Just like the two deer in the second pictures. This is not a clear picture, but it’s easy to see her longer snout and longer ears. “Elegance” is an entirely human construct, but in my opinion she looks more elegant:
We’d barely gotten back across Charlie’s Bridge when I saw the shape of a hawk perched high in the winter-stripped branches of a creekside sycamore. It allowed us to come close, as Red-shouldered hawks often do, but this was the best picture I could get:
Red-shouldered hawks must have been enjoying the weather Tuesday, because as soon as we pulled back into our driveway, one flew low across our front yard. It landed in a magnolia tree at our neighbor’s house two doors down. I drove down and pulled up under the magnolia to take a picture through my open passenger side window. Cars make a perfect “blind” for urban wildlife photography. Magnolias are evergreens; it’s unusual to take an outdoor photograph with this green “glow” in Virginia in January:
This isn’t my favorite squirrel picture ever but it’s a cute silhouette:
The mallards are pairing off and flocking up in a big way at Pony Pasture – they’re all over the park. I’m not sure how best to show the numbers; they were everywhere. I took similar pictures to this, only with ten or twelve ducks in them, in at least five different areas of the park Tuesday:
I don’t normally make it to Pony Pasture on Saturdays but we had a relaxing hike yesterday morning. This was another attractive pair:
This morning I ran into some old friends and their dogs and the tone of the hike grew more social, which makes it hard for me to pay attention to the flora and fauna. But before we met, Mackey and Turner and I had a long encounter with an amiable and cooperative female Pileated Woodpecker. This is my favorite “still” shot of her; she’s so lovely:
The best part was she tolerated us long enough that I could get this above average (for me) quality video. It’s about twelve seconds long and it’s worth watching:
Have an excellent week, all best,
I love the video and I agree with you, that Redtail shot is exquisite!
Thanks Gilpin! That video did come out much better than I’d expected. I couldn’t believe how close she let us get, and she just stayed at work. And yes, that shot of the hawk came out extremely well. You know how those lucky shots go, sometimes you just click the shutter when everything’s just right. If you press that button enough times you’re bound to get a FEW decent images! Thanks again and have a great day,
I think of Dad every time I see/hear someone mention a Pileated Woodpecker.
I think of Dad every time I see/hear someone mention LOTS of different birds, #1 of course being Bluebirds. But also “GHO’s” (Great Horned Owls) and how much pleasure Mom got from telling the story of Dad “talking” to one at their house.