Switched horses in midstream

19 February, 2017            Switched horses in midstream

Twenty-four hours ago this blog post had a much different look. The title was Daffodils you can hear. But as events unfolded – primarily unremarkable events – I moved in a different direction. I switched horses in midstream, in a manner of speaking.

The main horse I switched in mid-stream was I drove up to Rockingham County this morning to meet some of my family to work on projects at mom’s house. This is what you see when you enter Rockingham from the south on Route 11:



It was hard to leave this morning; Evelyn always has fresh flowers on the dining room table and they were glowing while we ate breakfast:

Doesn't it look like they're lit from within? Spectacular flowers to begin a lovely day.

Doesn’t it look like they’re lit from within? Spectacular flowers to greet a lovely day.

We’re continuing to organize mom’s stuff. This message was in her front porch:



Anyway, too long of a day, and I have to be up real, real early tomorrow morning. So a few miscellaneous pictures from this week and I’ll (with any luck) be more focused next week. Did I say that last week? I hope not, but maybe. The world will keep turning. Just read the third picture again.

I of course can’t go a week without a Red-tail picture. This redtail flew over our heads as Mackey and Turner and I were driving up Forest Avenue yesterday shortly after noon. It landed in a tree across Forest Avenue from St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. Directly behind Henrico County Firehouse 8. Red-tails are not people tolerant (they’re not tolerant of me, anyway) and it immediately flew across Patterson Avenue and landed in a tree above Bank of America. They don’t like it when I get out of the car, which I did yesterday. It’s still glaring at me in this picture:

They have a distinctly disapproving look they save for when I get out of the car

They have a distinctly disapproving glare they save for when I get out of the car


Spooked seagull returns to a mid-river rock:

Moments before, and eagle flew over and they scattered. They were just returning:

Moments before, an eagle flew over and they scattered. They were just returning:

Still plenty of buffleheads – probably for another month or more. I’m looking forward to seeing how soon the first osprey of 2017 arrives on our section of the James. I want to see how much overlap there is between the spring arrival of the first osprey from the south and the spring departure of the last bufflehead for the north. A few from yesterday:

They're ever-present at Pony Pasture, but not ever-present on the surface:

They’re ever-present at Pony Pasture, but not ever-present on the surface:

I’ll close with my “daffodils you can hear” video. Daffodils are one of many visible signs of spring. Spring peepers are one of many audible signs of spring: 

[[This correction just in as of late last night. I misidentified the frogs in the video below as Spring Peepers. My knowledgeable friend Kim informs me they are in fact chorus frogs. We have five varieties of chorus frogs in VA, some rare and some, like this one, common. I believe the sound in this video is being made by the Upland Chorus Frog (Pseudacris feriarum). Thanks Kim! Correct me if I’m wrong again!]] 

Daffodils you can hear 

The other audible sign – that I haven’t yet concentrated on – is the “dawn chorus” of songbirds. It hasn’t begun in earnest yet. But in a month, when the weather breaks and we get a warm night, sleep with your windows open. The birds you hear will boggle your mind. Here’s an informative description of it: The Cornell Lab of OrnithologyWho Sings First During The Dawn Chorus—And Why?

More next week! Have a lovely week! All best,


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, buffleheads, daffodils, Dogs, Flowers, Fun, James River, ospreys, People, Pony Pasture, raptors, Red-tailed hawks, Rivers, Shenandoah Valey, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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