(Nothing But) Flowers

17 May, 2020            (Nothing But) Flowers

So nice to be on the actual river again

That’s Turner (front) then Mackey (black) and Yuki bringing up the rear at the river at Pony Pasture at 9:30 this morning. The river’s been so high for so long, that rock’s been under water every time we’ve been down. We were grateful to get on the water today. 

Also – before I get much farther – I’m going to include my first snake picture of 2020 in this post. In case you don’t care for snakes.  

This blog post title is the name of a song by the Talking Heads from 1988. I was looking for owls and butterflies and deer and snakes and dragonflies and turtles and frogs and more this morning at Pony Pasture but it kept going through my head that there was “nothing but flowers.” Here’s one I saw by the path: 

Dianthus at the river today. Notice the handsome furry white foot? Photographer’s assistant

Guess whose foot that is in the background? White goes with everything. 

On a slightly more cultivated note, here’s one of Ev’s roses from our backyard. I photographed that dianthus near the river at 10:17. I dropped off handsome white-footed dog at his house on the way home then walked into our backyard and photographed one of Ev’s roses an hour and twenty minutes later: 

Like the river, they’re always perfect, always different

To prepare anti snake people I’ll start with a less fear inducing reptile from nearby, a few days earlier. This is a five lined skink. I’m sure one exists somewhere, but I’ve never read a list of the most commonly occurring reptiles in Virginia. Five lined skinks have to be at or near the top of the list. Very few people have an irrational fear of skinks, and you can see why: 

Five-lined skink at Deep Run

I’ve been seeing snakes – plenty – for some time at Deep Run. So far only Northern Water Snakes though. Usually when I see them they’re on rocks and the light is not great. But one crawled across the asphalt path at Deep Run this week and I got this reasonable image: 

Water snake out of the water

If you want to see something really, really, really fascinating occurring in real time – this is live, 24/7 – I suggest you log on to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) Falcon Cam. You can click on that link this very minute – or any time you want – and see an active Peregrine Falcon nest “on a ledge of the West Tower of the Riverfront Plaza building in downtown Richmond, Virginia.” That’s on around 9th and Byrd Street in downtown Richmond, overlooking the falls of the James River. Here’s a screenshot I took Thursday: 

Adult peregrine falcon with hungry baby Thursday:6-falcon 

That baby with its mouth open is (it appears to me) in excellent health. I’m going to  post a picture of an adult (I believe the female) feeding it this morning. The adult is holding a bloody piece of meat so some viewers may not care for the image. But although the baby is looking away from it in this picture, it was gobbling pieces of meat like it was the last food on earth. Here’s the baby being fed: 

Earlier today. The baby is not hungry anymore, at least for a little while

I’m going to sign off – definitely check out that falcon cam. Like a lot of stuff in nature, a ton of it is boring. But some is fascinating – like when they’re feeding the baby. I don’t know if any more eggs will hatch. We’ll see. 

Also, before I sign off, I learned an odd fact this week. I’m reading a tremendous book called What’s it’s Like to be a Bird by David Allen Sibley. He talks about farmers who grow the bird seed that I use to fill my feeders. He writes about how the farmers protect the seed – from being eaten by birds. Crazy world. Have a great week. 

All best, 


PS My editor is sound asleep. So if you notice more mistakes than usual this week, that’s why.

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, Flowers, Fun, James River, love, newfaze, People, peregrine falcons, Pony Pasture, raptors, Rivers, roses, simplify, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!), Snakes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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