We 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.An 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.A closer look at the adult apparently having dinner.
I’m guessing this is the dominant one. I can tell by that ‘stink eye’ as seen during the earlier feeding sequence.
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
This sort of change along the ocean’s edge never ceases to amaze and thrill me.
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.
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
Another new beach to explore on the South Coast.
Over the undisturbed dunes, except for the ripples left by the wind. This spot especially in summer is incredibly windy.
A closer look at the ripples left by the wind.
Sissy running free, enjoying her chance to stretch her legs.
It’s a pretty interesting beach. We’re hoping to walk out to the big rocks some day when the wind isn’t so wild.
We found a spot that was a bit protected and stretched out enjoying the sound of the surf.
The surf was pretty wild.
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,
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!
I’ve driven through this town any number of times and hadn’t discovered the gem it hides in plain sight.
Port Orford Heads State Park offers some nice (easy) hiking trails that explore the point which provides views to the north and south.
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.
It takes the zoom lens to be able to see the Lighthouse at Cape Blanco.
Flowers, ferns and a ripe Salmonberry along the way.
They’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.
Lovely little coves.
Then, looking south along the coast. You’re also looking at the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve. To quote from their website:
Potential benefits include:
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,
The clouds were perfect as I headed down to Gold Beach.
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.
Heading back north again the next day, I had to catch these wonderful clouds.
A 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,
I’ve followed this Bald Eagles’ nest since I first discovered it in 2013.
So far, I’ve only seen them produce a single eaglet.
I’ve never quite figured out what this pose means. Almost as though he’s singing.
But then he heads for the nest.
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.
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.
Almost there. It looks like they already have beaks open in anticipation.
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,
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 —
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.
She looks quite different from the back. But…
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.
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.
The Green Heron skulking in the marsh grass.
Night Heron likewise.
A courting Cinnamon Teal couple cruising by.
A pudgy little black-chinned(?) hummingbird. I didn’t catch him in the light to see the fluorescent flashes.
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.
But a stilt showed off as well. Then it looked like the yoga class was starting. Note the one in front to the right.
Blackbird singing in the dead of night… not.
Roadrunner, still no Wiley Coyote in sight. The best shots yet of a favorite bird.
We found this Snowy Egret wading in the marshy water.
Those 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…
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.
tha tha tha tha that’s all Folks!
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!
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,
I still can’t help but laugh when I remember the story going around about someone selling tickets for the Salt Lake Olympics who didn’t recognize New Mexico as one of our 50 states. Texas is far more of a foreign country in my mind than NM, but that’s just my opinion.😀
Driving around some of Eric’s old territory, I still can’t help but admire the scenery and the clouds were terrific.
Even when it looked like approaching storms, we never did get any rain.
Another lady bluebird…
and finally the colorful and cheerful Mr Bluebird.
First sighting of this unusual Abert’s squirrel.
That fluffy tail and those pointy ears are very distinctive.
Most of their diet is made up of parts of the Ponderosa pine. One tree that’s easy to distinguish by the bark.
An afternoon snack on one of the pinecones.
Later in the day we headed out to Elephant Butte to check on the Pelicans.
Lots of them there, but much too far for my lens to reach.
Had to make do with this California Quail standing lookout on top of a thorny bush.
You know the pickings are pretty slim when I’m shooting buzzards.
But the scenery with the sun going down made up for it.
Not to mention just hanging out and relaxing…
Throughout its history, the conservation movement had been little more than a minor nuisance to the water-development interests in the American West. They had, after all, twice managed to invade National Parks with dams; they had decimated the greatest salmon fishery in the world, in the Columbia River; they had taken the Serengeti of North America—the virgin Central Valley of California, with its thousands of grizzly bears and immense clouds of migratory waterfowl and its million and a half antelope and tule elk—and transformed it into a banal palatinate of industrial agriculture.
― Marc Reisner,