Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mostly Critters

Here's a few shots that were taken in the early autumn.

I noticed a lot of birds last summer/fall looking quite bedraggled. Molting is rarely pretty I reckon, but some of these poor beasties really looked awful, especially normally-handsome birds like Cardinals.

No wonder this poor fellow was trying to hide when I spotted him.

Even with a crop and beak full of nuts, this Blue Jay maintains his good looks and dignity.

But have you ever seen a Jay battle a strong wind?

Pretty goofy, eh?

While walking around the pond near Hil's place, looking for birds, I found I wasn't alone in that pursuit. There, on a fence, was a competitor.

I believe he was a juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk, or possibly a Cooper's. He noticed me immediately but remained supremely unconcerned until I took one too many steps in his direction.

I love ducks as subjects. (And as food - but let's not talk about that right now.) Female Mallards, in particular, are favourites. They often seem to make eye contact and exude grace and wisdom.

This one was resting but peeked at me shyly.

A couple of moments later, she began to preen. In the following shot, you'll see she has closed the nictitating membrane over her eye. Although opaque-looking in the photo, it has a transparent center, allowing ducks (and many other birds) to see while underwater or diving at high speeds (like falcons).

Here she is one more time, seconds after the previous shot. This time, I have a caption for her.

"I've got a what stuck to my what?"

If any animal deserves the title Rascal of the Woods, it's our next subject. Yeah, he's cute, but he's also trouble. He'll chase away squirrels three times his size and chatter angrily at any human that interferes with his antics. And if a window screen is all that separates him from food - well, bye-bye screen.

Speaking of trouble, here's Ben looking for some.

For the most part, the weather at the cottage during our last visit was cold and dreary, with lots of rain. But even drab days can offer splashes of colour.

And if you're lucky, as we were near the end of our stay, the sun might pop out and favour folks with a rainbow.

Hope you enjoyed. See you next time.


  1. I did indeed. Then, and again just now.

  2. Such wonderful fodder you find, Frank. Love the Hawk and the rainbow...everyone deserves a rainbow at the end of the day.

  3. Very much enjoyed, thank you. Tell Benny "Bottoms up!" from me.

  4. The hawk photo is wonderful. The bird looks so regal. You captured the mallard beautifully, too. Poor thing. She preened and preened for the camera, then posed with a feather on her bill. It's like a model who spends hours preparing for the photo shoot, then presents the camera with her loveliest smile...with lipstick on her teeth.

  5. Jeeez Frank, you've outdone yourself! The beak-filled Blue Jay is SO unique, I've never seen anything like it! What equipment are you using?

  6. Oh wow! Birds are the most beautiful subjects and you've capture them all so well.

    1. And hopefully, will again, Hil. :)

      Thanks, Reb. It was a nice capper to the week.

      Glad you enjoyed, Mimi.

      You made me smile with your analogy, Linda. Glad I helped kick-start your imagination. :)

      Pam, you know by now (via email). But your question prompts me (again!) to list my equipment on my sidebar somewhere. I'll try to get to that soon. :)

      Thank you, Elizabeth.

      Thanks all, for taking the time to peek and share your thoughts.

  7. Love them, Frank. The blue jay in the wind was great.

  8. Always fun to visit the cabin. I've never seen birds in the molting stage (except chicks and they aren't pretty) or bluejays fighting a headwind. My little point and shoot doesn't capture the details so I have to rely on words - I may ask you to illustrate a poem or two :)

  9. doesn't Ben remember when he got stuck under the dock!?
    he's so reckless :)

    I love all your birds, especially the cutie with the wild hair and the dapper fellow with his beak full

    and a rainbow too!!
    what more could I ask for

  10. Leah, glad you liked.

    Pauline, you're welcome to borrow any shot you wish. :)

    Dianne, Ben goes where his nose leads -- usually towards trouble, or something stinky. He's in his glory when he finds both. ;)

  11. Wonderful captures, Frank!

    Hope you don't keep us waiting too long till you'll post again.

    1. Thanks, Daniel. I just might get another post up in a few days.

  12. All are gorgeous, as usual. What was Benny looking at/for?