Who goes there?

Bird turkey vulture

Do you wonder what birds are thinking? This turkey vulture was not going to move just because I was walking under her tree. Maybe she wanted to remind me that I had never posted a photo of a turkey vulture on my website. I wonder if this one is a juvenile since the head is still covered with feathers instead of being bright red.


Our first osprey of the season arrived!

One of the most exciting events in our lives is the annual return of the osprey pair who nest on our point. Not a clear photo (through scope through window), but we think this is the male, Dart, short for D’Artagnan. If an osprey could break the sound barrier, it would be Dart! Normally the female returns first. We are waiting for a better frontal view to confirm whether it is Dart or Pepper Dotty, daughter of Polka Dotty.

5 second sketches…

bird common merganser fem

If one is into recording observations from nature mostly as drawings vs. words, is there a difference between art and journaling? The sketches that fill my countless nature journals tend to take between 5 and 45 seconds, most closer to 5 like this one. I heard a song lyric yesterday that said something like, “You always build it better the second time…” So I wonder if the value of a sketch increases if you take the time to draw it again. For example, I realize now that maybe the water line around this common merganser female should not curl around behind her but go straight out behind her to better indicate her forward movement. And should she have an eyeball? And should I get out my color pencils or watercolors to share her dark red head and foggy gray body with you? And will I ever get over thinking that sketches that take a half hour or more are much better than my usual quickies? Does it matter?… aka. who cares?

Tundra swan requires a runway.

Bird tundra swan takeoff

Juvenile tundra swan required a runway to take off from the pond!¬† I am so used to ducks popping up from the pond like corks that I was holding my camera in wrong position to capture the takeoff.¬† You can tell it’s a juvenile because the head is gray.

bird tundra swan 2

Swan was paddling around on the pond, totally unaware that I was sneaking up on it with all the stealth a senior citizen can muster.

These shots show the bird continuing to climb. To me the most interesting thing to observe here is the black edge at the end of the tail feathers. Those are the swan’s enormous black feet!