3 November, 2019 My editor is out of town!
So if there are any errors on this blog post, I won’t be able to blame her. I’ll keep the writing to a minimum!
I try to get at least one image I really like every week; I’m not always successful. Fortunately this week I heard this Red-shouldered hawk screeching in a loblolly pine at 8:30 Monday morning. The air was so clear and the sky was so blue and the light was so spectacular I started the week off with a pretty one:
I got a nice Red-tail less than thirty minutes later but it was on a cell phone tower. It’s a much less appealing background than a tall pine tree so I’ll skip it. But this week – on Halloween – I looked up from my desk and saw this handsome guy perched on top of the bird feeder pole outside my office window. Fifteen plus years at this house, feeding birds effectively since Day 1, and I had never seen a Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) . Until 3:30 in the afternoon on Halloween, 2019. Amazing and beautiful:
Nationwide they’re quite common, and even in central Virginia. But there’s no significant water near here – I’m not sure how he ended up there. But I was happy to see him! Maybe next time he’ll be in nicer light (and I’ll be less flustered!) and I’ll get a better image. I was just happy to see him.
I saw the white squirrel at Deep Run later on Monday. And again later this week. I’m wondering if there is more than one at Deep Run. If not, this one covers a lot of ground. I’ve seen it across a wide area of the park. Squirrels are gathering nuts everywhere right now. The days are getting shorter and shorter and the average temperature is slowly drifting down. Here’s the white squirrel (or a white squirrel) gathering nuts this week at Deep Run Park and Recreation Center:
Remember, white squirrels are the same animal as gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis carolinensis), just a different color. This more conventionally hued gray squirrel was gathering nuts this week at Bryan Park:
I took those two pictures twenty-four hours and twelve miles apart, just random images. But look at the similarity between their poses. This stuff never gets boring.
The gray squirrel link above (should you choose to click on it) is to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries page about gray squirrels. That page says that “The daily movement is mostly within about 200 yards.” I only read that this moment (Sunday afternoon). So next time I’m at Deep Run, I’m going to be peering around to see if I can spot two white squirrels at the same time. We’ll see.
I also glimpsed a Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) on a tall pine this week. On my next picture (this coming week if I’m lucky) I’ll post a clearer image. But they’re nice looking birds and I always smile when I spot one:
I just learned (possibly for the second time, or more) that this is a male Northern Flicker. See that black mark below his eye, just at the base of his bill? Females are otherwise identical but don’t have that black mark.
Monday was October 28; it is real, real late in the year (IMO) for a hibiscus to continue flowering. It’s getting much colder now; this may be the end for 2019. But maybe not! This is from Monday. Every one is like a miracle:
Evelyn tells me roses will keep growing much later. You just can’t get tired (maybe you can; I just can’t get tired) of looking at these. This one is from Tuesday:
The river was a little high (just over seven feet deep) this morning, so we couldn’t get out on the rocks. Plus it was super, super muddy – the color of coffee with way too much cream. The four of us stopped for a quick break near the golf course:
One hazard (self-imposed hazard) of waiting until Sunday afternoon to put this together is I leave out some images. Here’s a Red-bellied woodpecker chowing down on the feeder yesterday afternoon at 1:00:
And here is the moon yesterday evening at 8:30 PM (EDT):
Have an excellent week! Come back next week! Evelyn will be home; the editing will be better. All best,