My editor is out of town! 

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: 

Red shouldered hawk Monday morning. That sky could not possibly be any more blue.

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: 

First male Red-winged blackbird I’ve ever photographer here. In 15 years!

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

Crumbs show up a lot more on white

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

Compare to previous image

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: 

Male Northern Flicker this week.

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: 

These hibiscuses (is that the correct plural?) are beyond compare

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: 

Possibly words don’t fail you; they failed me! OMG:

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: 

Mackey on the left, Yuki in the middle, Turner on the right next to the muddy James River this morning at Pony Pasture

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:

Red-bellied woodpeckers are big birds with big appetites

And here is the moon yesterday evening at 8:30 PM (EDT):

5.8 day old moon, waxing crescent, 36% full:

Have an excellent week! Come back next week! Evelyn will be home; the editing will be better. 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, Bryan Park, Dogs, Flowers, Fun, James River, love, moon, Northern flicker, Pony Pasture, raptors, Red-bellied woodpeckers, red-shouldered hawks, Rivers, roses, simplify, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!), squirrels and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to My editor is out of town! 

  1. Jackie says:

    Great Job,Great Pictures!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s