I have a slight remnant of the cold that has been beating me up for nearly two weeks. I also have the urge to go out and take some photographs. Mind you, it’s not like I’m running short on photographs. Quite the opposite, in fact; I have a huge backlog.
However, even as I go through past photos, process them for new blog posts, I get the urge to pick up the camera, to flex my index finger, to freeze time.
Plus, I’ve been feeding my readers stuff from last year . . . they deserve an occasional timely offering.
. . . so today I went for a drive on some of the back roads near me . . .
It’s winter, but the temperatures have been in the high 50s and even low 60s. Hence, no photogenic snow adorns the landscape. Maybe next week.
Literally, there was nothing out there. I did not see birds flying, antelope cavorting, moose lumbering along, coyotes loping . . . nothing.
I came to a favorite small pond of mine (favorite because I can get to it; most are on private property and not accessible), and snapped away at some cattails.
I bet you’re feeling sorry for me, right? I mean, cattails are fine, but there is a limit to how much they can enthrall someone.
I could say they are fuzzy caterpillar-kabobs, as they do in fact resemble such.
Actually, I just like them as cattails.
The pond normally has lots of bird activity, but alas, it was frozen over.
I know . . . looks like water, but it’s ice. Given the warm weather, the ice is a testament to how cold the prior two weeks were (in the minus teens in the daytime).
So, by now you feel depressed . . . unless you read the title.
The American Kestrel has eluded me for a loooong time. This is the first clear photo I ever taken of the bird, and it’s a close crop of a much larger photo.
These are very cagey birds. They just don’t let you get close. These photos were shot with me leaning slightly out of the car window, and the car rolling slowly onward, trying to get close (I was on a semi-deserted dirt road, and pulled to the side).
Even so, the bird repeatedly flew off before I got close, but it just went farther on along the road. By the way, this is also the first good in-flight shot I ever captured of this bird.
And it wasn’t the only one . . .
I’m very pleased with these, despite the small size (these are 1:1 crops – he was a long way off when I shot these).
Well, not a wasted drive. By the time I snapped these my wife had returned home, so I headed back.
Would have made good time too, if it weren’t for this fellow. A juvenile Red-tailed Hawk. He too did not like me snapping photos, and did not let me get close, so these too are close crops of larger photos.
Here he’s looking for another perch . . .
. . . he turns into the wind, and he takes off . . .
Then he gives me a “look” before heading to a few poles down the line.
Rather than move the car, I walked along the road to his new location, keeping from looking at the bird as I got closer. When I was close enough to ensure some semblance of a decent shot, I raised the camera, and continued advancing slowly.
HEY!! . . . he crapped on my name!
Actually, that is a sign they are about to take flight. Very convenient for a photographer wanting to capture the actual launch from the pole.
Nice. I kept shooting as it took off, this time heading away from the road.
All in all, not a bad haul for a short drive.
For them who want to see a few more photos, the SmugMug gallery is HERE.
I will do my best to clear my backlog as I have many ideas for other posts. Meanwhile, I hope this was a fun diversion.
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Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.