19 January, 2020 We’ll floss that bridge when we come to it
For the eighth consecutive week I was able to photograph these owls. I wish I’d gotten a better image but this is what’s there. I will never not photograph an owl. It is never not a treat. It is always a deeply peaceful moment:
But – we got a bit further down the trail and met a volunteer crew busy cleaning debris and leaf litter out of the spaces between the boards on the big footbridge across the creek. I was showing them the owl picture because 100% of people are interested (or fake like they’re interested) in a picture of a pair of owls. And after they looked at the pictures – they loved them – they said “we’re flossing the bridge!”:
All that crud that gets caught between the boards stops the water from draining and causes the boards to rot. So these awesome folks volunteered to come out to the park on a cold and windy Sunday morning and floss bridges. Of all the things these folks could have done on a beautiful Sunday morning, they chose to get down on their hands and knees and do genuine dirty work to keep our park in good shape. See why the James River Park System is so awesome? My hat is totally off to those hard working people.
I took a lot, lot, lot of pictures out on the rocks today, even though the river was moderately high at around six feet. But we took a trailside break after hiking for more than ninety minutes and I like the way Mackey looks in the sunlight. Turner too of course, but black dogs are harder to photograph:
This is the most miserable light imaginable (close to it, anyway) but it’s an important (IMO) picture so I’m including it. While I’m not in love with the quality, I’m thrilled with the content, because this is clearly a mated pair of adult Red-tailed hawks. They were sitting on the power line just one block south of Freeman High School in Henrico County. I’m sure I’ll see more of these two, and in better light, as the winter and spring progress, and hopefully their young in a couple of months. Always exciting:
I don’t get a million pictures of Tufted Titmice (Baeolophus bicolor) but this one perched obligingly for long enough to click yesterday afternoon:
There were other birds on the feeder when I took this; I cropped out a ton. But this was the first Brown-headed Nuthatch I’d seen in some time and they always make me smile:
I liked this odd angle of a male (relatively certain I have the gender ID correct) Red-bellied woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus):
I’ve seen a lot of Hooded Mergansers this year, but never gotten a good look in good light. I caught up with this pair earlier in the week. The male came out okay but I never got a solid look (with my camera) at the female. Hopefully next time:
One of my many talented nieces was in the 16th annual Monument City Classic Volleyball Tournament at the Greater Richmond Convention Center downtown near the Coliseum this weekend. Yesterday was the first day and it’s going today and tomorrow as well. 3,600 players! I got to spend a little time down there yesterday:
There are raptors everywhere this week; I see multiple birds every day. Wednesday morning I saw one in Glen Allen, then another a few minutes later in the swamp off Patterson Avenue then a third on the spire of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 5600 Monument Avenue. I never got images I like; I was grateful the owls cooperated this morning. But here’s Red-tail from the swamp Wednesday morning:
Come back next week! Please! And have a great week! Please!