Some days, revisited

16 July, 2017            Some days, revisited

“Some days it all adds up

And what you got isn’t enough” – U2, Some Days, 1993 

A Red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus) in Glen Allen Wednesday morning: 

Red-shouldered hawk in western Henrico, Wednesday morning

I drove east from there to the Tuckahoe Y; a couple of adults and a couple of young Killdeers (Charadrius vociferus) were dashing around close to Patterson Avenue. This was an adult:

Adult Killdeer calling to daring youngsters

If you’re around Killdeers, you’ll understand in an instant why the second half of their binomial name is “vociferus” – the don’t stop talking. I took this brief video; you can hear the adult saying its name (that’s where the name came from) even over the sound of traffic on Patterson Avenue: 

I had so little content for this post, I kept thinking of the lines from that U2 song – “..what you got isn’t enough.” And thought to myself “haven’t I used the title ‘Some Days’ before?” So I checked back and I used Some Days three years ago this week, on July 20, 2014. Here is a link to that post if you’re inclined: Some days. The key element in that blog post is the opening sentence, which is why I came up with the same thing today: “Some days when you’re committed to a post a week, you come up to Sunday afternoon and you don’t have anything to post. ” It must be because it’s summer. I force these blog posts more on summer Sundays. But that hawk and that killdeer were nice. I apologize anyway.

I photographed a Mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) and a female House finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) on my feeder at the same time earlier this week. It’s only unusual (and not very) because I almost never see mourning doves up high like that. My next door neighbor has two cats that have the run of the neighborhood. They’ve already killed two doves by my back feeders and two by my front feeders. I wonder if the doves are modifying their behavior in response to that. I suspect not; doves aren’t especially bright. But the less-bright doves have already been eaten so maybe the smart ones are “rising to the top”:

Mourning dove avoids being made into cat food. Accompanied by a female House finch. Look at that dove’s foot placement.

Of course since it’s Sunday the dogs and I had a nice jaunt at Pony Pasture, and we had our favorite guest hikers Lola and Luna with us. Here’s a picture of all five taking a break just before we get to the creek:

Dogs relaxing at the beach. Turner on left, Mackey between him and the river, Luna center, Lola foreground, the unmistakable Yuki walking toward me. 

Mackey and Turner and I hiked by ourselves late Thursday morning. We saw a lone jittery doe crossing the trail through the pine woods just west of the pasture itself. This isn’t one of my usual spots and I don’t think this deer is used to me. The deer in the woods south of  Charlie’s Bridge are so used to us they barely move when we’re around. This deer was on high alert and the photograph is weak:

A wary whitetail fades into the background at Pony Pasture

This was the river when we arrived that day: 

Have you ever seen anything so beautiful?

We saw one deer this morning, bedded down in that spot by Charlie’s Bridge. They are 100% docile when we’re around and we were quite close, but the brush is so heavy I was unable  to get a quality image. You can see the deer though. Not a leash-length away:

Demure deer from this morning. Summer photography in the brush is demanding.

The trails we hike in Pony Pasture have an unmistakable northern border – it’s the water in the river. There is also a well-defined eastern limit, the fourth hole of the golf course at the Willow Oaks Country Club. So the northeast corner of the park is a little spit of sand where a creek flows into the river. We always take a break there since that’s the last place for the dogs to drink and swim for a while. And it’s hot out! I took this picture from that sandbar at 9:50 this morning:

Standing at the northeast tip of Pony Pasture, facing northeast:

Have an outstanding week! All best,


PS McLaughlin males thus far have all been born in summer. My late father and Wesson and me in August, and my brothers Kevin and Shane in July. Happy Birthday Shane! Happy Birthday Kevin!  

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, cats, Dogs, Fun, James River, People, Pony Pasture, raptors, red-shouldered hawks, Rivers, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!), whitetail deer and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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