"A Sand County Almanac"

"THERE ARE SOME WHO CAN LIVE WITHOUT WILD THINGS AND SOME WHO CANNOT."
"FOR US IN THE MINORITY THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE GEESE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TELEVISION.".....Aldo Leopold




"LOOK DEEP INTO NATURE, AND THEN YOU WILL UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING BETTER".....Albert Einstein


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Re-shouldered Hawk With Lunch

I happened upon this red-shouldered hawk just as it spotted prey...




A vole about forty yards away was the main course...



Luckily, the hawk flew to a log a little closer to me to eat...



















Every day, something must die so that another might live.


Thanks for visiting, be well, and come back soon.





Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Great Blue Heron Strikes And Misses!

This great blue heron is poised to catch a meal from a small stream...



It suddenly plunged into the water after spotting prey...




I was anxious to see what it would come up with after such an energetic attempt...



Apparently, his intended victim eluded him this time...



The heron returned to his original vantage point with ruffled feathers...



The wait continued. Patience is often the most important factor when hunting for food or for photographs...



Snowy Owl from 2014

It seems as though the snowy owls have avoided our area so far this winter. I had to find these images in the moldy, oldie photo files.
Taken in nearby Pennsylvania in 2014...







With a little luck a snowy might visit us yet this year.

Thanks for visiting, be well and come back soon.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

"Oldie, Moldy Photo File"

Sometimes, especially at this time of year, finding critters to photograph can be difficult.  That is when I am thankful for my archived image portfolio, also called the oldie, moldy photo file.
In 2015 we encountered our first swainsons hawk in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. A light rain was falling and the hawk allowed us to approach fairly closely...










Another bird that has been difficult for me to photograph is the "red-shafted" species of northern flicker...






Maybe the next blog update will contain more recent images...
Thanks for visiting, be well and come back soon.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Eagles,Owls, and Ravens. A Week For The Birds

Despite being out everyday wildlife has been hard to find.  The late muzzle loader season has been in for the last two weeks so deer are making themselves scarce.
I have been able to take some bird photos, including these bald eagles from yesterday...








A pair of ravens found on Summantown Road...



This red-tailed hawk was taken this morning...


Our neighborhood coopers hawk in the light of the setting sun...


A kestrel perched on a wire...


Portrait of a great blue heron...


A white-throated sparrow scratching in leaves...



A great horned owl from this morning...




Thanks for visiting. Here's wishing everyone a "Happy New Year". Be well and come back soon.

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Dark Years Ahead

Many of my countrymen are celebrating the change in our government that is looming.  I am not. I am concerned for the environment and the health of the world and all of it's inhabitants. I find comfort in this passage...

THE PEACE OF WILD THINGS
Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
or grief.  I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light.  For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.


Sunday, December 25, 2016

LAST BATTLEFIELD BUCKS

The photos in this blog post were taken about 4-5 weeks ago, during the rut at the Monocacy Battlefield...





This young buck is rubbing a sapling with his antlers...






Bucks travel during the rut seeking a doe to mate with...











A young buck investigates a licking branch...





This buck is taking a break and resting in a fence row...



I have zoomed in to make him easier to spot...




The sound of the camera makes him nervous so he decides to move out...





This buck is in pursuit of a doe...



One can easily see the size disparity between a mature buck and a doe...



These does are feeding in an alfalfa field near the Worthington farm house...







This buck is patrolling the same field...



The huge appeal of the battlefield, where no hunting is allowed, is that bucks can reach their full potential...





Automatic feeders, loaded with corn and set to disperse it when the park is closed, have been set out recently. This one is on the edge of the alfalfa field mentioned earlier...



When the deer become accustomed to eating corn under the feeders they will unexpectedly be greeted by federal sharpshooters.  The goal is to kill 278 deer from December 12 to March 31. The program is scheduled to continue for five years, by which time the herd will be reduced by 90% or more.
Thirteen days after the extermination began I visited the battlefield.  This buck was the only one that I saw...



It will take all the cunning and survival instincts this buck has to make it to March 31, and to survive the four remaining years of the federal extermination program.

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