This blog is TEN YEARS OLD!

7 March, 2021 This blog is TEN YEARS OLD! 

Mackey and Roux – Pony Pasture – March 3, 2011

That’s the first picture ever on this blog – on March 3, 2011. Ten years ago this week! Roux belonged to a person who lived with me back then, but she’s been gone for a long time. Mackey, on the other hand, was at the river this morning (though not early) with me and Turner and Yuki. Yuki wasn’t even born when that picture was taken, and Turner was probably not a year old. Mackey was already almost four! 

The river was low when I took that picture – probably below four feet. This morning it was around nine feet, or I would have recreated that picture. I’ll do it in another week or two when the water goes down some. Here’s the picture I took of Turner, Mackey, and Yuki at the river’s edge just before noon today: 

Only Mackey (center) was here a decade ago:

We met a photographer named Diego on our hike this morning, and I asked if he’d mind photographing the four of us. Thank you Diego!:

Me, Yuki, Turner and Mackey at Pony Pasture this morning. Thank you for taking the picture Diego!

Ten years ago I knew much less than I do today. Now I know where to find owls! Or at least I do for the time being – they could vanish. I photographed an owl down there Monday (March 1) marking the seventeenth consecutive month of seeing owls perched on the same exact branch. I photographed it again today at 11:51. This is from this morning: 

Barred owl soaking up the sun at Pony Pasture this morning

I was trying to decide if I would use Monday’s picture or today’s picture so I compared to see which one worked better. The sun was out today and Monday was gloomy and overcast, so I chose today’s picture. As I looked more closely at Monday’s picture, I realized the camera angle and the place where the owl was perched were nearly identical on the two days. Here is Monday’s picture. The sky is the color of watered down milk, but the pattern of the branches behind the owl is nearly identical: 

Owl on the same branch with the same branches behind it!

I took the owl picture Monday around 11:30. I hiked around awhile in an unsuccessful search for salamanders and deer, but I did come across this Red-shouldered hawk perched above the creek. Notice the watered down milk color of the sky: 

Red-shouldered hawk at Pony Pasture, same day

They mowed the big back field – the “pasture” – at Pony Pasture this week. I’ll bet it was muddy! But it needed to be cut down. This is such a different look. Rapunzel-gets-a-crewcut: 

Pony Pasture got a buzz cut. By June this will be up to my shoulders. I’ll post a picture.

I’ll post a companion picture to that image in June. What is ankle high in March will be shoulder high in June. The only things added will be water and sunlight. It’s science but it sure works like magic.  

I’m going to wrap up the photography and jot down a few notes. But come back next week! I’ve never seen a picture of a mockingbird looking like this. I rarely see mockingbirds on my feeders at all: 

Mockingbird with a seed partway in its open mouth. Never saw that before.

Have a great week! Come back next week! All best, 


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My mom and dad were both alive and healthy and engaging when I began this blog. Ten years ago. My brother Shane was single. My dog Ivory was still a great hiker. Now my mom and dad are both dead and my brother Shane has a beautiful wife and a handsome son and a lovely daughter. Ivory died of really old age a few months after this blog started. The river, at least as far as I can discern, has accepted it all. I’d never gone flying before I began this blog; now I’ve flown over a hundred hours. I’ll fly again after the pandemic calms down a little more. The river just flows, flows, flows. Pandemics, presidential elections, parents, dogs, days, owls, flowers, snow, flying lessons, Fourth of July, it’s a good place to be calm. It’s a good place to return to when I’m not calm. It’s good to remember. I’m glad it’s there! I’m enjoying blogging. Maybe another ten years! Meanwhile, I’ll try to make it next week

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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.
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6 Responses to This blog is TEN YEARS OLD!

  1. Nate says:

    Congrats on the milestone Jay!

  2. Tony Gentry says:

    Ten years! And always a favorite – keep it up, Jay!

  3. kathleenmaybee says:

    Well said, Jay! In fact, beautiful way to look at life.

    A river runs through it.

    • Hi Kathy! Great to hear from you! I hope life in Florida is treating you well. I don’t see many of what we might call our “old crowd” any more. Richmond is steady. I took the dogs to the river this morning to make sure it was still flowing downstream. Thank goodness! Thank you for the note, I am REALLY happy to hear from you! Have a great day,


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