critters, old and new

I had several new sightings of wildlife I hadn’t seen before. Even managed some shots of them.
click on any image for a better look and/or slideshow

Barely a mile from home at what has been nicknamed the high school swimming pool (actually a flooded field in winter) was my very first sighting of a Green Heron. Not sure what made him raise the top knot, but then he settled back down again. What an interesting little critter. He’s tiny compared to a Great Blue Heron.

Next at the campground where we stayed was a pair of Osprey buzzing around overhead. I very nearly caught a dive into the lake (which was very impressive), but it came out a blur. Eric went kayaking and had one dive into the lake just a few feet in front of him. Of course the camera wasn’t ready for that moment either.

Next up, this Raven wasn’t a new sighting by any means, but he posed so nicely that I just had to shoot him. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Last, but definitely not least, my very first whale sighting. We had pulled off at the Heceta Head Lighthouse turnout and there below us was this marvelous creature. The images aren’t all that thrilling because most of the whale under water, but the moment certainly gave me thrills.

Can’t forget this one that Sissy found. Luckily she happened to be on a leash because she sure was anxious to get up close and personal:

Chip-2865

A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.ย 
โ€• Albert Einstein

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39 thoughts on “critters, old and new

    • On the other hand, it’s wonderful to have someone along who can point out all the birds I’ve missed seeing these many years. It’s the landscape photography that tends to suffer because that somehow needs me to be in the “zone” (difficult to manage with another presence.)

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    • Those little green herons are truly hard to spot. I never would have seen it without help. Sissy does pretty well with recall and the “leave it” command, but I’m not totally sure it would have worked in this instance.

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    • I had seen occasional pictures of the green heron on other blogs, but I never imagined this lovely tiny bird was to be found around here. It’s not really green. I don’t know how they come up with these names. After all these years, to finally get a good look at a whale.

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      • The only green I could possibly make out is his topknot. Even then I can’t really tell if its green. Great blue heron has been the only one I’ve known about. And odd that I never saw one till I moved to Colorado. Obviously our feathered friends make their own decisions about where to live.

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  1. Gunta you keep us all grounded in what’s really important…thank you for these lovely excursions into sanity ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • What a very sweet thing to say. I’m afraid that I have to withdraw from politics and ‘civilization’ every so often because there’s only so much crap I can stand. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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  2. We saw many green heron when we wintered in FL but have not seen one looking a bit flustered. Great shots Gunta. We are looking forward to seeing whales when we get up to WA later this summer.

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    • We’ve been talking about a camping trip up in Vancouver Island, but we may wait until after Labor Day. Much still depends on when/whether the house sells. Hope to see more of them if we do get up that way.

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      • We are volunteering on Lopez Island until Labor Day then planned to go to Vancouver Island if time permits. It would be lovely if our paths finally crossed. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. I saw my first green heron in Costa Rica, and I’ve been perplexed ever since about why they call them green. I kept revisiting the bird book, trying to figure out what kind of big bird that really was.

    Wonderful photos, Gunta, and I especially like your whale shots! How exciting. I also really like the Albert Einstein quote. Isn’t it wonderful how the same message (our notion that we’re separate selves is a delusion) keeps resurfacing in the must unlikely places?

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    • I’ve often thought that whoever names these birds is color blind. There’s also the purple finch (actually a nice red) and I’m sure there must be others, but can’t think of them at the moment. I figure if the same message keeps coming at you from different sources, it’s likely to be true! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  4. I love your shots of the Green Heron. Awesome! We have a pair of them here living around our pond, and I cannot get a decent shot of either of them. I like your osprey and raven shots too. We don’t have ravens here. Just plain old crows. Congratulations on your first whale sighting. That must have been amazing.

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    • Thank you, Robin. I’d never even SEEN a green heron and to get those fairly decent shots was a real thrill. Are you sure about the Ravens not being in your area? I thought they were everywhere, but they are hard to differentiate from crows. The whale sighting was utterly amazing… and incredible and all those other superlatives!

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      • I thought Ravens were everywhere, too, Gunta, and especially here since the nearby football team is the Baltimore Ravens, named for the Poe poem, as it turns out:

        “In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
        Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
        …Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

        — Edgar Allan Poe, 1845

        I thought we had ravens here because I saw some birds that look like crows but make an odd “quork” sound that doesn’t sound like our normal, everyday crows. Turns out they are Fish Crows. Ravens live across western and northern North America. We’re too far south for them.

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  5. Congratulations on your first whale sighting. I can imagine how thrilling that must have been. The green night heron pictures are fantastic, Gunta! We have night herons here and I know they can be difficult birds to see, let alone photograph. All the pics are wonderful! I also love the Einstein quote. I hadn’t actually read that one before. Thanks!

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    • It was super thrilling indeed to finally catch sight of my first whale, and close enough to catch those shots –mind blowing. Catching that little heron was pure luck… with some help from a dear friend!

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  6. Really enjoyed the critters here, Gunta. The green heron photos capture the elegant colors of this beauty, Ospreys and Ravens lovely, adorable chipmunk. I am thrilled for your first whale sighting, as this is an unforgettable delight. And the Einstein quote is wonderful.

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  7. Congratulations on the new critters, and for reminding me of one of my favorite Einstein quotes.

    The green herons seem to only raise their crest while running, it’s always down while they’re hunting.

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    • Thanks, Jerry! The situation with the little green heron was that I had just been photo-bombed by another green heron I hadn’t seen in the brush. He flew right by as I clicked the shutter and was nothing more than a blur and then disappeared back in the brush again. It was right after this incident that the fellow (?) I’d been shooting all along raised his crest. Actually, the preceding shots before the raised crest were really funny because the little heron did this “stomp” along that branch through a series of very blurred clicks before settling into the first of the raised crest shots. He sort of resembled something of a very upset Phyllis Diller imitation. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Hard to believe it took me so long to spot this first whale after living so close to the coast all these years. Thanks! I thought that cute little Green Heron was a marvelous catch.

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