"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


Friday, February 5, 2016

FIRST AND FAVORITES - PINE SISKIN

Today's post is to share my first ever photos of a Pine Siskin.  I was able to watch this one dismantle a dandelion bud...





Instead of eating each seed as it was removed, the siskin lined them up. Perhaps as an offering to a potential mate?


The next photo is of my first, and only, Magnolia Warbler...

Ooops!  Several people have informed me that this is a Townsend's Warbler.  Still a first for me....



If you are in the area this Sunday, February 7, and need to kill some time before the big game starts, consider dropping by the dairy parlor at Foxhaven
Farm to hear the presentation on wildlife photography that Dick Bittner and I will be giving.  Details are on the following flyer ...





Preregistration is not required and attendance is free.


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

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sightings Have Been Slow With All This Snow

Today is the last day of January, and I must say it has been difficult to find wildlife to photograph.  Horned larks can be found along our rural roads...



This morning an eagle soared across the road ahead of me.  I thought it had spotted prey when it landed within sight...



When it took flight it was clutching what appeared to be nest lining material...

  
I have long suspected a pair were nesting in the area but I have been unable to locate the nest site.

One encouraging sighting was of otter tracks on the ice of a local stream.  Now, if I could only time my visit to coincide with the otter's...


Yesterday I found this downy woodpecker feeding while suspended upside down...


Before the storm a bald eagle was being scolded by a crow on a very foggy morning...


And a red-shouldered hawk was clinging to it's perch  as the wind blew in 60 mph gusts...



I will end this post with a more tranquil image.  One of a reflection from the stream that is now ice covered...


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

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Dusky Grouse

Dusky Grouse are common on Signal Mountain in  Grand Teton National Park.  The male puts on a show to attract a potential mate...



Their strutting display reminds one of a turkey gobbler during the spring mating season...



When a male is seen acting in the manner shown above there is a good chance that a female will not be far away...


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

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Duck Attacks Osprey For Catching Trout

One of the most unusual animal interactions  I have ever observed happened last summer in Wyoming.  I was photographing an osprey as it repeatedly caught trout from a pond and carried them to it's nest where at least one hungry chick waited...


The osprey made a diving catch, as it had many times before, when a mallard duck flew over and attacked it fiercely...



The osprey seemed surprised by the attack and tried to leave with it's catch...





Finally the duck relented and the osprey was able to leave with the trout...


I can only imagine that the mallard hen thought the osprey was after one of her ducklings when she attacked. 

Due to the storm, our presentation scheduled for today will be on February 7.  Same location and hours...


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



Sunday, January 17, 2016

Red Hills And Bighorns

Not far from the small town of Kelly, Wyoming is the Gros Ventre  (pronounced Grow Vaunt) River Valley.  In an earlier post I described this area.  In this post I wanted to share more photos of the big horn sheep that we found in the Red Hills section...






During our visit the sheep did not venture close to the road.  If one is lucky they sometimes can be found much closer.  The following images are from Yellowstone National Park where we found a ewe and two rams not far from the Yellowstone picnic area...





In the Yellowstone region there once lived a band of Shoshone Indians called "sheep eaters" because of their diet of big horn sheep.
 
As always, thanks for visiting, be well, and come back soon.






Friday, January 15, 2016

Woodpeckers

Woodpeckers have been active lately, which is a good thing since other wildlife has been scarce.  This yellow-bellied sapsucker is the most cooperative one I have yet encountered...



Red-bellied woodpeckers are extremely common in these parts...




Not so common are red-headed woodpeckers.  I had to visit Gettysburg to find these...




This pileated woodpecker is exploring a dead tree trunk for insects...


The last image is of a northern flicker...


The next time you hear drumming from a tree top it might be one of these.


Friday, January 8, 2016

Hawks and Eagles

When the leaves are off the trees raptors are easier to spot in most cases.  A deer carcass kept one red-tailed hawk hanging around until most of the meat was gone...







Not far from this sighting another red-tailed frequently perched on a power line pole to watch a mowed grassy area for prey...




Not far from the Catoctin Creek Park and Nature Center an adult and an immature bald eagle sit side by side in a dead tree...



This large sycamore tree has contained an active eagle nest overlooking the Monocacy River for many years...



If you are in the area I hope you can stop by the Fox Haven Organic Farm and Learning Center on Jan 23, I will be sharing a presentation on "Why Wildlife Photography" and "Photography and Conservation" with Dick Bittner.  See the flyer below for details...




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

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