Tuesday, November 5, 2013

OBSERVING

The red tail hawk left his lofty perch in the tree and circled around the hill that he patrolled every morning.  He went round and round and I saw what he was watching.

A fox squirrel was foolishly crossing a vast expanse of bare hillside as he was making his way to the forest beyond.  Silly little guy had no idea what lurked above him.

The hawk descended lower and lower but refrained from pouncing on the little rascal below him.  I was ready with the camera, the engine of the boat shut down.  I waited for the dive and the resultant squeals of surprise from the squirrel.
The squirrel continued across the bare hillside and the hawk did not attack.  Maybe the hawk found the squirrel too large a target.  I doubt it though.  Those hawks are mighty hunters and strong too.  Who can figure it?  That squirrel is one lucky little scamp.
The morning was brisk.  I had not reckoned on it being as cold as it was.  I was chilled to the bone in an hour.  The air next to the water was colder than that on shore.  There was nothing to be done about it.  After all - it was just uncomfortable and not life threatening.
My keen eyes, now that I have real glasses, spied a color in a tree that sort of stood out.  The foliage and limbs camouflaged whatever it was.  I took a couple photographs of the vision so I could dwell upon it later when I downloaded the pictures.

I soon identified the splotch of mottled feathers as an immature black crowned night heron.  They had disappeared from the river three months ago and only recently returned.  He is well blended into his environment and he knows to perch behind the sticks and limbs of the defoliated tree.

I pretended not to see him and drifted on past him, allowing him to think he fooled me.  That's impossible though as I'm known as Woody Woodsman by friends in the know and nothing gets by my eyes..
I swung over past the mountain that the bald eagles call home to see if I could spot them.  One bald eagle was perched very, very high up on the mountain and very far away.  I took a token photograph just for grins and kept moving on.
There wasn't much happening critter wise today so, when a couple mallards passed overhead I took a quick photograph just to do it.
The beavers cruise this shoreline constantly and they often leave the evidence of their passing.  They like to chew on and taste the bark of the many different species of trees that grow on the river bank.  In doing so, they leave proof of their existence in the area and that is dangerous for them as the trappers can easily see where they roam.
The mid morning sun felt good and I was warming up.  With the chills gone from my legs I began to forget all about the cold.  I'll be better prepared for the cold on the next outing.  
And my old friend Blippy gray squirrel was out and about as he is every morning at this time.  I know these critters on an individual basis and can "almost" find any of them at any time I desire, except for the otters.  They travel to the beat of a different drum and can not be depended upon to be anywhere at any given time.

Blippy is on this section of shoreline every morning at 10 AM.  You can set your watch by him.  He seems to just stand around and turn to face all directions without accomplishing anything.  Cute little fellow.




Blippy gray squirrel is half the size of the fox squirrel that crossed the bare hill earlier and I doubt the red tail hawk would hesitate to swoop down upon him.  Blippy is a cautious little squirrel as he stay near the undercut banks and has easy access to escape, even from above.

They are coots and have appeared upon the river only a week ago.  I'm not sure where they came from but their numbers increase daily.

The little guy above is actually running over the water and not attempting to fly.  He's trying to catch up to his little flock of friends.  Cute little guy.  I guess we could say that he is a "cute coot."
Odd looking bird for sure.
I'll be back up here tomorrow afternoon and maybe I'll run into the otters.  Until then I appreciate your attention to the blog.  If there's anything anyone would like to see just name it and I'll make an effort to photograph it.  Thanks again.