Must be present to win

10 December, 2017            Must be present to win

With nature photography, I’m told – and I know – you “must be present to win.” I didn’t show up  much this week – outdoors – so my offerings are thin. So it goes. The deer in Pony Pasture have been breeding – that’s what they do this time of year – and in the coming months, the pregnant females will slow down a bit. But I haven’t seen them recently. A couple of days last week were warm enough to ride my bike at West Creek, and there were large flocks of ducks on the two ponds out there. I saw a handful of Hooded mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus) on the western lake, and one or two on the eastern. Here are two males:

Two male Hooded mergansers at West Creek

There was a huge flock of ducks on the western lake. I should be able to ID these but I’m unable. Or didn’t take the time. Email me or comment on here if you know what they are; I’ll correct it and credit you:

Isn’t that remarkable? That’s ~1/3 of the flock.

A squirrel from Deep Run:

Gray squirrel at Deep Run. Like all of the other birds and animals, they’re packing in the calories right now. Cold weather is upon us. 

And a picture first of Dash in his favorite place:

Dash could not care less about snow. Ice. Cold. That cat is 100% satisfied, 100% of the time.

Dash is followed – or preceded – or both – by Turner:

When it comes to “having a ball,” Turner takes it literally.

Dash is a 24/7/365 indoor cat, and he’s thrilled to have it that way. Turner is up for pretty much anything, but Mackey was outside Friday afternoon for about three minutes during a snow deluge. Mackey doesn’t complain – ever – but he was ready to take his turn in front of the fire:

You wouldn’t even call Mackey “long-suffering” – he just accepts it all. He is very Zen.

Ev was in Texas last weekend. She always buys thoughtful gifts, and she’s especially fond of the type that don’t sit around the house very long:

Evelyn is a master at choosing gifts that won’t be left lying around unused.

This was the river when we arrived this morning:

This is a safe, quiet, peaceful, comforting place. It’s like a secret how great it is in the winter. If you haven’t visited recently, by all means do!

And this was Yuki (left) and Mackey (center) and Turner (right) about an hour later, very focused on something in the woods. That I never was able to see. Or hear or smell:

It is a privilege to spend time with these boys

I’ve seen a lot of great blue herons this week, and red-shouldered hawks, and Juncos nearly everywhere I’ve traveled – they’re a signature winter songbird – but my pictures have been poor quality even by my standards, and that’s saying something. I’ll get some sooner or later. And I’ll get back here again next week! And I hope you do too! Have a great week,


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

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