"Resourceful, powerful and tougher than me,
Tiny birds foraging is an incredible sight to see."
It was the dishevelled state of the ground and needles on the walkway during a recent snowfall alerted me to this being an excellent area to monitor for ground feeding birds.
The birds who visited this site to forage were the varied thrush, black eyed juncos, sparrows and spotted towhees. You will see that these ground foragers are very aggressive with each other, preferring not to share even with their own kind. We are pretty pleased to be able to share this for those who love birds and nature to be able to enjoy. Moments like this are medicine, they help strengthen our spirits and our souls which we all need a steady supply of.
Modern Architecture it is lighter and brighter than it once was. It makes everything seem bigger by reflecting the beauty of nature but I cannot help wonder what the modern birds think about all of these new artificial skies.
No one I know is aware of Minnie’s background but I met this particular Tabby not that long ago when the kitty was homeless. Homelessness is not only a human affair, pets share these realities with their owners and perhaps it is easier to discuss this problem using a kitty as the subject rather than a person.
When I first became acquainted with Minnie, she was officially Skinny Minnie having been out on her own for who know’s how long but she hadn’t eaten properly for some time by the looks of her. A little girl who lived in the community let me know of the kitties plight. Little girls are often kitty sensitive but this kitty would not eat the food she left out. Minnie was not a Moocher, she was definitely a Hep Cat so it was not until I made friend with her that she would come and dine on the kibble I brought her. She was also very fond of Cab Calloway tunes which we found we both had in common and we became fast friends.
After that it whenever I went out Minnie tagged along, she was outdoorsy and rather proud, the question was would she adapt to being inside or would she freak out and run away. I carefully brought her inside, prepared to be ripped to shreds. Fortunately for all parties she did agree to indoor life and a lovely widow adopted her and the two of them are very cosy and happy today.
Homelessness, inflation and despair is now the norm in western cultures. For many years now housing insecurity and ever growing numbers of people being left homeless for no fault of their own and with no end in sight is adding to the ever increasing stress in our communities. The homelessness crisis is largely ignored by governments and the media but we all know it is very real and it affects all of us daily. It is important not to add to the despair by being unnecessarily cruel to those who are truly vulnerable and instead put energies into working together with others to fix the systematic and legislative ills that are creating these hardships for all of us.
'Wandering on a snowy day,
Wondering which way,
To go and play!'
Snow is incredibly delightful but fairly rare so when it falls it is like magic. The only trouble is deciding which way to go exploring before it melts.
Down at the sea shore it began to snow heavily and was very cold but the seagulls and geese didn’t mind. It is at this time that rational people go indoors and wait for the weather to break, I however opted to pull out my sweet little wildlife camera and tripod and record a bit of the storm for everyone to enjoy.
It is always amazing to me how incredible and different the snow makes everything look, it is like taking a holiday without going anywhere. The hush and silence that the snow brings with it is just as brilliant and also a welcome change. It was a wonderful day tromping around in the snow and photographing lovely sites and getting soaked and cold. On my way back I took another short video of the same location, albeit shot from different vantage point of the same region that the snow had been falling on shortly before, what an incredibly difference and a perfect ending to a wonderful day.
Sitting on a snowy branch,
Waiting for the spring,
Dreaming of the bright flowers,
And the happiness they bring.
While I was out taking these snowy shots a man approached me to inquire about what I was taking pictures of. I responded that I was shooting a hummingbird and he looked at me like I was insane and informed me that hummingbirds do not arrive until the spring. He was not right and he was not wrong, the Rufus hummingbirds arrive in the spring, however the lovely Anna’s live here year round. They are very tiny, and people don’t expect to see them in the snow but they are incredibly tough little birds, and I am very fond of them.
“We don’t have to go to wild places to find wildlife. A surprisingly wide range of species can be found in our cities and towns, from familiar animals like the raccoon to more exotic ones like the mountain lion.“
Roger Tory Peterson
It was the crows that drew my attention to a little Raccoon in a tree that sits between a drug store and a parking lot. The crows were squawking loudly so it couldn’t get to sleep and I stood beneath the tree and just as rudely started taking pictures. I had only taken a couple shots when another Raccoon unexpectedly arrived upon the scene. This intrusion was too much for the now cranky original Raccoon to tolerate and the fur began to fly. Unfortunately I was not present at the end of this event as they ran off in a flash with the violated in pursuit of the offender. Friends of mine witnessed the pair on the next block running fast but they also are not aware of the conclusion. Who knows perhaps they are running still but it I do know it is highly unlikely that I will stumble across a raccoon fight again especially with my camera ready to shoot.
Down by the bay,
the Seagull's play,
dressed in their fine feathers,
of black, white and grey.
Seagulls are not always the most admired birds at the beach, one tends to overlook them for Eagles or Heron. The reason for this is unlike the others they are far more numerous and so common that they fail to turn many heads.
“As I watched the seagulls, I thought, that’s the road to take; find the absolute rhythm and follow it with absolute trust.”
The Seagull is not only considered common by some it is also often scorned by others but that is only because they tend to let loose unpleasant showers of their faeces that no one wants to wear. The trouble with being disgruntled with this is that it is usually human beings that instigate this behaviour in the first place by feeding them.
“Do you remember you shot a seagull? A man came by chance, saw it and destroyed it, just to pass the time.”
Seagulls can also be delightful, clever and amusing and bring many people comfort and joy. Their voices wake us every morning, they clean up our beaches and are our faithful companions on and off of the sea. They are familiar, comforting and have served as the muse and inspiration for artists and poets throughout history and with the many cultures that co-exist with the incredible seagulls.
“You do not ask a tame seagull why it needs to disappear from time to time toward the open sea. It goes, that’s all.”
Audio Recording Guru Paul Clifford has released another recording adventure. This time he sticks closer to home utilising his studio piano in 4 different ways to create a bassline for a loop that is being recorded in The Jawshop Studio.
Nature photography is not strictly a rural affair. It is important to pay attention to what is actually going on around you and not to overlook the details. These strong and determined little plants make up one of the most delightful places I have ever spied.