still here

Oh my! Can it really be August already? The summer has flown by with work on the new/old house picking up and then there was that evil gremlin who took over my computer for awhile. I’m quite happy to be rid of him

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Heceta Lighthouse a bit north of my usual travels.

Then they gave me a camera, a mechanical eye to replace the mind’s eye, and after than, much of what I remember is what the camera managed to snatch out of time. No longer a memorist but a voyeur. I remember photographs.

Salmon Rushdie- The Ground Beneath Her Feet.

the eaglets have fledged

aerie-8757We stopped by the aerie, as has been our habit lately, to check on the eaglets. I wish the nest had been built in a better location. Without their eventual white heads, it’s hard to spot the youngsters up in the nest- even with the 300 mm lens. They tend to blend into the messy nest and branches around them. A good thing perhaps to keep them safe, not so great for photo ops. This first shot was taken around 6 pm as we headed into town.aerie-8759An hour later, we stopped again and found the adult in the nest and the two young ones on adjacent branches. Proof positive that they have fledged (taken flight) and that our pair successfully raised two.aerie-8765A closer look at the adult apparently having dinner.aerie-8770

I’m guessing this is the dominant one. I can tell by that ‘stink eye’ as seen during the earlier feeding sequence.aerie-8771

The other one also working on some stink eye. It took awhile to figure out what that white patch was. It looks like the wind was blowing the feathers around on the side of his/her head, revealing the white fluff underneath.

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this. 
Henry David Thoreau

changing coastline

This sort of change along the ocean’s edge never ceases to amaze and thrill me.

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I seem to be driving along this road quite often these days, but it’s never dull or boring. It’s never the same from day to day.

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I have no idea why, but there are times when the water takes on such different colors. It’s breathtaking.

There’s something amazing about this life. The very same worldly attribute that causes us pain is also what gives us relief: Nothing here lasts. What does that mean? It means that the breathtakingly beautiful rose in my vase will wither tomorrow. It means that my youth will neglect me. But it also means that the sadness I feel today will change tomorrow. My pain will die. My laughter won’t last forever but neither will my tears. We say this life isn’t perfect. And it isn’t. It isn’t perfectly good. But, it also isn’t perfectly bad, either. 
Yasmin Mogahed

Pistol River

Another new beach to explore on the South Coast.

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Over the undisturbed dunes, except for the ripples left by the wind. This spot especially in summer is incredibly windy.

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A closer look at the ripples left by the wind.

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Sissy running free, enjoying her chance to stretch her legs.

PistolRiver-8678It’s a pretty interesting beach. We’re hoping to walk out to the big rocks some day when the wind isn’t so wild.

PistolRiver-8677We found a spot that was a bit protected and stretched out enjoying the sound of the surf.

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The surf was pretty wild.

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And then… my footsteps as I tumbled back down the dunes. Seemingly never walking or stumbling in a straight line.😉

The waves broke and spread their waters swiftly over the shore. One after another they massed themselves and fell; the spray tossed itself back with the energy of their fall. The waves were steeped deep-blue save for a pattern of diamond-pointed light on their backs which rippled as the backs of great horses ripple with muscles as they move. The waves fell; withdrew and fell again, like the thud of a great beast stamping. 
Virginia Woolf, The Waves

aerie update

I truly lucked out and happened to check on the eagles’ nest during a feeding moment. There’s a sequence that I captured that I’ve decided to put in a gallery (or slideshow? click on the first image to get the sequence). What it highlights is that the dominant eaglet -to the right of the adult, the first one to start flapping its wings, gets fed first with no obvious interference from the less pushy one. Then… it’s interesting that the dominant one looks on intently, even looking like he’s giving the adult and the sibling the ‘stink eye’ while the other is fed.

This is one time when I’m posting way more shots than I normally do because it was impossible to trim the number down any more than I have:

What an exciting event to catch! I was beyond thrilled. It’s a wonder I kept the camera steady enough for these shots!

 

exploring Port Orford

I’ve driven through this town any number of times and hadn’t discovered the gem it hides in plain sight.Port_Orford-8492

Port Orford Heads State Park offers some nice (easy) hiking trails that explore the point which provides views to the north and south.

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Looking to the north at Cape Blanco jutting out to sea. It claims to be the westernmost point along the Oregon coast. You can see how Blanco (white in Spanish) got it’s name.

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It takes the zoom lens to be able to see the Lighthouse at Cape Blanco.

Flowers, ferns and a ripe Salmonberry along the way.

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Kelp beds

Port_Orford-8503They’re not easy to spot, but there’s at least one seal lazing on the rocks. They blend in so well that there could be at least one other.

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Lovely little coves.

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Then, looking south along the coast. You’re also looking at the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve. To quote from their website:

Potential benefits include:

  • Enhanced scientific understanding through research and monitoring
  • Greater abundance of marine organisms
  • Protecting old growth age structure of rockfish
  • Larger average size of marine organisms
  • More variety of animals (biodiversity)
  • Enhanced larval production for local fisheries
  • Spillover of fish and other organisms
  • Enhanced stability for local fisheries
  • Economic development through science and tourism
  • Increased educational opportunities for students, residents and visitor

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Last, but not least, a look at Humbug mountain looking south. All the other shots I’ve taken of this wonderfully named mountain have been from the other side. I’m hoping to catch it from this angle some day when there are some clouds clinging to it.

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity. 
John Muir, Our National Parks

 

another lovely drive along the coast

The clouds were perfect as I headed down to Gold Beach.

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Looking at Gold Beach from across the Rogue River. We’ll be moving somewhere near the base of the hill seen a bit left of center.

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Heading back north again the next day, I had to catch these wonderful clouds.

curry-8404A closer look at the clouds drifting out to Humbug Mountain.

In a Wonderland they lie, Dreaming as the days go by, Dreaming as the summers die:
Ever drifting down the stream- Lingering in the golden gleam- Life, what is it but a dream? 
Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

…and then there were two

I’ve followed this Bald Eagles’ nest since I first discovered it in 2013. bald_eagle-8324

So far, I’ve only seen them produce a single eaglet.

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I’ve never quite figured out what this pose means. Almost as though he’s singing.

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But then he heads for the nest.

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and here’s a closeup (very heavily cropped) of the nest… with two little ones anxiously waiting for the parent to arrive. They’re pretty hard to see with all the brush interfering, but there are two little heads (brown, not white) just left of center, watching mom (or dad?) arrive.

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This series was fun with several shots in succession as the adult headed for the nest, the tail backlit by the sun. Pity I don’t have a better lens, or better lighting, a better background, not to mention better talent to catch these marvelous moments.

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Almost there. It looks like they already have beaks open in anticipation.

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My favorite shot of the series with the parent feeding the eaglet on the right while the one to the left looks on.

Like a young eaglet that gets pushed out of the nest at the appropriate time, a young man must learn to fly on his own. If the nest is too cushy, if all of his creature comforts are there for his enjoyment, then he may set up his high-definition television and perch for a while.
Dennis Rainey, Stepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood

finally

Ending the trip, or the last remaining shots from the New Mexico journey… It’s all about the birds for this post. Too many shots to put into one post, but I’ve dragged this topic out long enough already. So here goes —

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One of the better shots of Mrs Vermillion Flycatcher. Those are not dust specs on my lens or sensor. They’re lunch for Mrs VF.

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She looks quite different from the back. But…

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Mr Vermillion Flycatcher stole the show with his flaming scarlet feathers.

They flit around, catching bugs in the air to earn their descriptive name. This was definitely a new catch for me.

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This is not a noteworthy shot except that it provides a size comparison. The little flycatcher (female) is above the common sparrow. These flycatchers are quite tiny.

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The Green Heron skulking in the marsh grass.

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Night Heron likewise.

Bosque_del_Apache-7727A courting Cinnamon Teal couple cruising by.

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A pudgy little black-chinned(?)  hummingbird. I didn’t catch him in the light to see the fluorescent flashes.

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I wonder if there’s a collective noun for a bunch of stilts? The duck in back is trying to steal the show, flashing his wings.

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But a stilt showed off as well. Then it looked like the yoga class was starting. Note the one in front to the right.

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Blackbird singing in the dead of night… not.

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A grebe.

Roadrunner, still no Wiley Coyote in sight. The best shots yet of a favorite bird.

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We found this Snowy Egret wading in the marshy water.

BDA-7837Those lovely yellow ‘feet’ help to identify the Snowy Egret. But then there was this rather strange sequence:

It looks as though he’s choking on something. Or perhaps…

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Judging by the looks of this catch made by the Great Egret, he might have caught something that looks like a crawdad, or someone who might bite or get caught in the Snowy’s throat.

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tha tha tha tha that’s all Folks!

 

a sparrow bath

I was finally getting ready to post the last of the NM trip, but then this opportunity presented itself and I couldn’t resist giving it priority. It’s just way too much fun!

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Eric built this bird bath using a piece of driftwood for the post, attaching a clay dish (normally used to put under a clay planter) and then he added his whale sculpture recently created in a bronze casting class. I need to shift the whale around a bit to show it off better, but it seems we’ve created a spa especially for a white-crowned sparrow couple. It’s too hard to tell the gender apart, but here’s one of them enjoying the facilities.

This slide show (click on any picture) explains why the water seems to disappear so fast from the dish. But we are rewarded with some lovely songs!

Every word was a singing sparrow, a magic trick, a truffle for me. The words made me laugh in delight. 
Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

 

 

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