31 December, 2017 Out and in with the old and new
When I sat down at my computer Christmas morning, I looked out the window and this was the first gift of the day:
Who could ask for more? Later that day I walked into the backyard and there were six bluebirds on the two feeders, and four perched on the power line above their heads, waiting for a turn. I’m certain that’s the only time there’s ever been ten bluebirds in my yard at one time.
This is my last blog post of 2017 (since it’s my few hours awake in 2017), and I’m looking forward to more and better blogging in 2018.
Those bluebirds are a lovely reminder that, though the weather is frigid, Spring will appear again. 11:15 AM ET on Tuesday, March 20. But in the meantime, true story – I photographed these lilac buds in our backyard at around 4:30 this afternoon:
I’ve lived in this house fifteen years (!) and those lilacs have budded reliably in the deepest, coldest part of winter – and burst into bloom every April. Another thing that’s happened reliably – it’s already happened this year – is a long-faced neighbor telling me they won’t survive the upcoming cold weather. They’ll bloom in April, right around tax time.
Speaking of flowers (though not of flowers that smell like lilacs), I picked these up at the grocery store a day or two ago just to brighten up the place:
Speaking of Pony Pasture and natives, I was on the way back from the river Thursday afternoon when I saw a football in a tree. I rolled to a stop and snapped four pictures all in the same minute. Two of the bird sitting in the tree, this one, and one of it flying away:
I photographed a few different raptors (in addition to that eagle) this week, but none of the images were pleasing. This Red-tail on the power line tower near DS Freeman HS is adequate:
I apologize (yet again) for the quality of the next image, but it was such a great “catch” (though imperfect) I had to include it anyway. It’s quite difficult (for me) to photograph and often to even see Eastern Towhees (Pipilo erythrophthalmus). Wednesday afternoon I looked out my window and there were two on the ground! I got one click before one disappeared. There’s an obvious bird in the center and another one lower left. Maybe I’ll do better soon:
I took that picture of the two Towhees at around 3:30 Wednesday afternoon. I’ve noticed going through my pictures from that day I photographed a Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum) in nearly the same spot around 11:30 that morning. I guess these secretive birds are more visible with less cover (leaves) to hide in. Plus calories are getting scarce and they’re grateful – in their avian way – for reliable food:
I got another Red-tail the same day, but it was a dull picture. I caught a Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) pausing momentarily in a trailside tree at Deep Run Park Friday. This is also a bird I don’t see every day:
A picture from Pony Pasture around noon today – the start of our final river hike of 2017. Hopefully we’ll have the first river hike of 2018 tomorrow!
I hope 2017 has been superb and 2018 is even better. See you next year! All best,