Friday, June 22, 2007

Birds in the Hood

This post is a response to the very thought provoking poem that Tom of "Patterns of Ink" wrote over at his blog. I left a comment about some of the birds I come in contact with on a daily basis in the hood.

The first set of pictures is of a Great Blue Heron at the pond right across the road. This bird makes his rounds about three to four times a week in mid morning. I was able to sneak up on him today and get a few pictures. Herons are very skittish and don’t take too well to having their picture taken. This one stops in for a small fish snack looks around for a bit and then it’s off to the next stop.

Stalking the Prey

*Alarm* I'm being Watched!

Up and Away

I’m going to warn you right now. Despite what you may think, I am not crazy. So I talk to the birds a little and that they answer back does not make someone crazy. The comment I left over at Tom’s said that I have Mourning Doves that make their sorrowful calls throughout my neighborhood and sometimes from the peak of the roof of my house.

Tri Colored Beech

I was feeling very good about getting the pictures of the Heron and I was out in my backyard having coffee. Then I heard it; a Mourning Dove, its coming from my neighbor’s yard and its a little faint so I call back and it starts getting louder. After about 10 minutes of this Tomfoolery I got distracted by a couple of Hawks flying very high and out of range of my camera. I started taking some pictures of the Tri Colored Beech tree to try out some settings on the camera and wouldn’t you know it, that crazy bird came over to see why I had stopped the conversation. There it was just over my shoulder on the peak of the roof and I had my camera all ready to go. I stood up and started taking pictures before he literally flew the coup. Mourning doves are especially agile flyers and by the time I had snapped the last picture he was through the pines before the camera could reset for the next picture of it flying away.

Cat Got Your Tongue?

As I Was Saying...

Must be going, Ta-Ta for Now

Once more, my now bewildered Dove

Once more, my now bewildered Dove
Bestirs her puzzled wings
Once more her mistress, on the deep
Her troubled question flings --

Thrice to the floating casement
The Patriarch's bird returned,
Courage! My brave Columbia!
There may yet be land

Emily Dickinson


...Kat said...

very nice posting on the birds

and Emily too

(though my favorite poet is Edna St Vincent Millay)

J_G said...

Thanks for stopping by kat. I have been studying birds for many years and I have quite the collection coming around. I wish I had been able to get a picture of the pair of Broadwing Hawks that have been successful in avoiding me for quite some time now.

I like Edna St Vincent Millay too and I post many of her poems along with, Emma Wheeler Wilcox, Elinor Wiley, Dorothy Parker and many more when I get things rolling. I wish I were better at writing my own poetry but that's just life I suppose.

SusieQ said...

Jenni, you and my husband would get along just fine. He is a bird enthusiast himself. We can be out on the deck and I can be doing some serious talking to him when all of a sudden he points to the sky and says, "Look...a hawk." Or whatever kind of bird is might be.

I watched an absolutely thrilling documentary recently about migratory birds. The cameramen caught them in flight to their destination....closeups and all. The musical accompaniment was outstanding. Maybe you saw this film yourself. I wish I knew where I could buy it for my hubby. Maybe I will check out PBS, because I think I saw it there.

Nice, nice pictures of the heron and the dove. I hope your readers enlarged these shots to get a bigger view of these birds.

Oh, and if talking to birds or any other animal means you are whacky, well I am in deep trouble. :-)

J_G said...

Thanks for your compliments on the pictures Susie. I thought you would like them. Part of me taking those pictures was because you said in a previous comment you would like to see some more photos from around my property and such. Well the pond belongs to my neighbor and that property has changed hands about three times since I've lived here but I make sure whoever owns the property that they understand what is going on with the pond. The people that owned it when I first moved here lived there the longest and I helped them fix up the pond when the overflow pipe collapsed. I helped to catch and move some of the snapping turtles that were preventing the wild ducks from successful breeding (I'll tell you that story some time). I brought the soft shell and painted box turtles there to populate it with beneficial turtles. It's too bad they got divorced and sold the house. The current owner is one of those neighbors that you dread. My good neighbor Gerry has taken control and has lead the young man that owns the property in a better direction.

I haven't seen the program you're talking about. I watch Animal Planet and TLC but I haven't watched PBS since the Ken Burns Civil War Special.

Just north of here near Reading, PA is Hawk Mountain. It is a crosssroads for migratory raptors and when the peak of the season hits you can see thousands of Hawks and other raptors making their journey.

I also talk Bob white quail, Great Horned Owl and with the help of some man made implements I can talk Mallard, Teal, Pintail and Canada Goose. Now, let's talk some turkey:-)

patterns of ink said...

Great post. We have birds like this near here. I'm not sure if they are herons of cranes.
I am always amazed at the "connections" that happen in cyberspace. It was sometime in the late 60s that we saw those starlings getting hit in the spring snow on your turnpike, and now an even more amazing common experience. You are the only person I've ever heard of that knows what a tri-colored beech is. The little blue house that was our girl's favorite home had a tri-colored beach at the corner between the front porch and the side breezeway. It was about twenty larger than the one in your picture. The girls played in that tree all the time. My daughter wrote about it in this poem: A Place to Play. That tree was beautiful. Each leaf a work of art. We each pressed leaves from our beech in books and Bibles when we moved. It was the only tree I’ve seen that got more modest in the fall. Just as the other trees were turning colors, it turned from beautiful variegated reds and pinks to muted tans and browns. Tri-colored beeches were not supposed to thrive in Iowa but that one did. I've never seen another one until your picture today.

J_G said...

Tom, aren't they beautiful trees? This one was planted a couple of years before I moved here so that makes my Tri-colored beech somewhere around 16 or so years old. It seems to get more vibrant every spring. I took that photo you see here at the end of May. I was just looking at photos from when I first moved here with my big old black dog. Gosh, that tree really has grown. Time seems to be going by faster now.

Your daughter writes very good poems like her Father. I thought her Place to Play poem was absolutely charming. Bravo!!!

TrekMedic251 said...

Nice! Do you see many red-tails around your house?

I know we see them perched on the light standards along 202 and 30.

J_G said...

Yep Trek, I see Redtails pretty often but I have a pair of nesting Broadwings that live around here that I just can't seem to get my camera lens on quick enough to get a good picture.

Just south of here there is a nesting pair of Ospreys that are really cool to watch and every once in while one of them will make an appearance at the pond. If you want to see resident Ospreys just take a ride up to Marsh creek State Park. There are at least two pair of nesters up there.

I have a Great Horned Owl that makes regular rounds at night. It likes to hunt from my Douglas Fir on the the north side of my property. It has startled me a few times when I'm leaving for work. This Owl is no little guy either, he stands about 3 1/2 feet tall with a wingspan of about five feet. He makes a big mess when he catches a rabbit in my yard.

TrekMedic251 said...

I will, time I'm working at Uwchlan Ambulance.

J_G said...

Take Binoculars and a camera with you Trek. You'll want pictures of Ospreys diving on some fish.