"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


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Back At The Creek...

A pair of beavers were out before sunrise.  First, the smaller one climbed onto a log and began grooming.  Soon the larger one came over to join in...





Many animals engage in mutual grooming...





Beavers are interesting and entertaining to watch...








From the same location, on a different day, I saw muskrats gathering dried weeds...













A beaver was returning to the den with a sapling...



This mink was taking a large catfish to it's den; probably to feed young ones...



Not far away, a woodcock was probing the muddy bank for a meal...





I interrupted a young bald eagle feeding in a hay field.  It flew to a tree and began wiping it's beak...





A male eastern towhee was perched near the road greeting the morning...



The number of turkey gobblers has been increasing as the males compete for hens that have not been bred yet...







Before leaving I checked on the great horned owl chicks.  They are getting bigger everyday...



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

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Screech Owl...

I have gone by this tree hundreds of times over the years.  Each time I glance at this hole and think "what a great spot to see an owl"...



Each time it has been empty...



Last week I caught a glimpse of an owl's head...



I returned each day hoping to see more of the owl.  It remained elusive for a few days until finally...



I have no idea why it lost it's bashfulness, but I am glad that it did...



I was able to park about fifteen feet from the owl and zoom my lens to the maximum focal length...









I observed it for two hours before moving on.  For the last two days the owl has been absent, but a Carolina wren is interested in using the space...



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

Monday, April 10, 2017

Catching Breakfast...

This great blue heron had just speared a sunfish when I arrived...



It deftly moved the fish down it's beak with jerky shakes of it's head...







Down the hatch...





Great Horned Owl and Owlets

It is always a pleasant surprise to locate an owl.  Great horned owls are the largest species in our area...



It is especially exciting when there are young ones present...



The adult delicately feeds the young one...



Here it holds a morsel of food waiting to feed another bite to the chick...



If you look to the right side of the photo you will see a second chick peeking out.  This must be the shy one...



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

Wild Turkeys, The Beauty and The Ugliness

We are blessed with an abundance of wild turkeys in central Maryland.  This is the mating season when males are seeking females.  I found a flock of nearly a dozen birds while patrolling my usual routes...



The gobbler in the next photo has a long beard and would be considered a trophy by most hunters...



The gobbler shown below is a young bird with a short beard.  Young birds are often called "jakes" and most hunters would avoid shooting them...



Now for the ugly side of the natural world. Yesterday I came across a large gobbler that a red fox had seized by the neck.  As soon as I stopped the fox ran off, but the turkey remained motionless.  He stood with his head drooping and it became apparent that his neck was broken. A few faltering steps were all that he could manage..







This life and death drama plays out countless times every day.  Most of the time humans are not present to observe or photograph the circle of life.

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