"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower." ~Hans Christian Anderson
It was a fun morning spotting this little guy. Unlike city squirrels, these mountain squirrels are very private. They don't like my pressence and are hard to photograph because they're usually running away.
Here he is before he sees me.....
Now he sees me....!
drops his pinecone
Because of his own nervousness, he dropped his pinecone and is chattering madly away at me!
He's really upset!
You can see him yelling here....
I realize I've seen this squirrel before and photographed him! See his right ear? It has a split in it. Very distinctive. But that's off topic. This guy is peeved at me. I'm able to get more photos than you'll ever want to see. He was up one tree and then another and would look at me like he wanted to jump on me. He came toward me and then would move back. I just clicked away!
He finally chattered himself silly and then left! So.. yeah! I get the whole "acting squirrely" thing!
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” Thomas Merton
It's one of those Colorado days that lives up to the saying "...if you don't like the weather, just wait a few minutes." The sun comes out; the sun disappears. Cloudless blue skies turn gray and thunderstorms roll in and then it all clears up. It's been crazy!
Soooo... since it's raining at the moment and I can't get out with my camera to go birding or cut wood just yet, I decided to browse through some photos from my travels through Asia and came acrosss this picture of a pair of ducks from the 17th C. I was antique shopping in Bangkok looking for chess pieces to assemble for an artistic chess set. I couldn't afford these ($300 or so), but I took a picture of them. If memory serves, they were children's toys...
While I wait for the weather to clear, I just stoked up the wood stove and read one of my favorite quotes that hangs on my log wall:
"The profoundest of all sensualities is the sense of truth and the next deepest sensual experience is the sense of justice."
Between the rain .. Another female Pine Grosbeak ( I think ).
Hmm... haven't figured out what this little one is...
What I love about the camera is that it captures what my own eyes can fail to see when I'm taking the picture. Birds in particular move so fast, sometimes it's hard to see the details. Look at these little orange feet!
Gray Headed Junco
I was out on my first birding expedition this morning. I followed about a half dozen of these birds throughout the forest. They were mostly walking or hopping and kept a good distance away from me.
Gray Headed Junco
I'm new to birding -- brand new. I'm not even sure what I'm doing is actually birding. I walk with a camera and try to capture every type of bird I see. I also look for any signs of animals and hope to capture whatever lives in my neck of the woods.
I don't know what breed these birds are. I googled them, but still didn't come up with a name. Then my friend, Jake, emailed me after seeing this post to let me know these are called Gray Headed Junco. I used my telephoto lens for some shots and then went back to my regular lens. It was hard to get close enough to get a really clear shot.
Another Gray Headed Junco
Check out how camouflaged this Junco is!! From Chippers Wood Bird Observatory they write, "The Gray-headed race of the Dark-eyed Junco is one of the least known birds of the coniferous forests of the southern Rocky Mountains and the Great Basin Ranges (Terres, 1995)."
Please tell me what breed this is...
These birds traveled together in twos or small packs grazing quickly off the forest floor. They were always in motion. They flew only when they felt I was getting too close. Other than that they hopped along and sometimes seem to float along.
I know this is just a blurry picture with a yellow blob, but it was an all yellow bird, smaller than a robin -- maybe about the same size as the birds above. It flew fast from willows to trees and I couldn't get a good shot of it before I lost sight of it. Any ideas what kind it was? I've never noticed a bird like that around here before. It was totally eye catching. Again, my friend is guessing Wilson's Warbler...
Click on image for cool facts
I have a lot to learn about birds. My friend Jake (thank you!) let me know this is a Loggerhead Shrike. It's a predatory bird.... Click on image for cool facts.
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I visited the Tiger Temple in Thailand & later found out it is under investigation for tiger trafficking and animal abuse. Read full story. In 2015 it was raided. More than 100 tigers and protected bird species in Wat Pa Luang Ta Bua, popularly known as the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi province were impounded by authorities following complaints that the temple was alleged to engage in illegal wildlife trading.
"The moment one gives close attention to anything,
even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious,
awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself."
~ Henry Miller
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Read about life in the woods with Chippy & the crew...