Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is reflections and shadows.
CBWC: Creatures Great and Small
Cee’s topic for her Black & White photos this week is animals, farm or wild.
What better subject than zebras?
Some birds, such as this ibis and egrets, are also natural subjects.
SYW: Games, Scary Movies, Nature, etc.
Melanie’s back with a new set of Share Your World questions today!
(Two ‘seasonal’ and two plain today)
What is the scariest game (board or on-line) you ever may have played?
I have never played a “scary” board/on-line game. I have never heard of a scary game, but I’m not a big “gamer” in terms of online/video games. Perhaps when I was a child, I may have gotten scared by some game like Hide and Seek if I felt left alone and couldn’t find anyone. I don’t remember, so it probably didn’t happen. I have played games that are thrilling and exciting, but not scary.
What’s just ‘over the rainbow” for you?
Traveling – we finally got our new passports!
mDo you have to watch something upbeat after watching a suspense or horror movie so you can go to sleep?
I don’t normally watch those kinds of movies. I have a few that I like in that genre, but no, I wouldn’t watch them late at night! I went alone to Silence of the Lambs at a local theatre many years ago. It was dark out when I left the theater, and I started to walk home, only about 2 blocks away. Once I left the downtown area and started down a street that was not well lit, I saw a man coming toward me, on the other side of the street! He didn’t make any threatening gesture and I couldn’t even see what he looked like, but I started running and didn’t stop until I got inside my apartment building! Never again!
Is there intent behind every action?
EVERY action? No, I don’t think so. I often do things without thinking, although I don’t think that is a good thing to do in general. I usually don’t even remember most of the “actions” I have taken during any particular day.
GRATITUDE SECTION (as always, optional)
Feel free to share some gratitude with folks today! Thanks!
Although it’s probably got some connection to climate change, I am grateful for the warm, summerlike weather we have had the last week.
I am also grateful for nature. Yesterday, I was sitting on our screened porch and noticed a bird at the foot of a tree. It looked bigger than most birds I see around here, but maybe it was a pigeon. But then it flew up on a low branch on a tree and I saw that it was a hawk! And it was trying to catch a squirrel! I watched the drama of predator and prey play out for at least five minutes. The hawk was unsuccessful, though – the squirrel escaped every time the hawk tried to grab him. Lots of flapping of wings and scurrying up the tree and onto higher branches. I think the hawk was young, probably born this year and now out fending for himself, but apparently he has much to learn about swooping down and grabbing his prey before it can get away. Each and every time, the squirrel outwitted the hawk. I sat there, watching the scene and in the back of my mind, I was wishing I’d had my camera right then – I could have gotten some great shots! But I was content just to witness the scene. There are dramas unfolding every day in the natural world!
I have a new phone, and it takes sharper photos than my previous one. Here are a couple of photos taken at one of the ponds of the heron who comes here every day.
Tree Squares: More Trees in Tanzania
For Becky’s July #TreeSquares challenge, I continue featuring trees in Tanzania, with things hanging from their branches.
I don’t know, or don’t remember (if I was told at the time) the name of this tree, but was fascinated by the strange pods or fruits hanging from it.
On the other hand, we saw many acacia trees with these tightly woven birds’ nests hanging from them.
These nests are made by the male weaver. He attracts a mate by having woven the best nest in the neighborhood!
When the weavers’ nests are abandoned, they hang bedraggled from the tree.
Tree Squares: Residents
Trees harbor homes for many animals. Treetops are also a place just to hang out.
Today I feature animals in (or on or next to) trees in Tanzania for Becky’s July Squares: Trees.
Bird Weekly: Moorings Birds
Lisa Coleman’s Bird Weekly challenge this week is common birds in your area at this time of year.
We have both “residents” and “visitors” at the Moorings. The herons drop by on an almost daily basis – one never knows when or if they will be visiting while walking around the grounds. The other day, we saw this white heron wading in East Pond.
Today on our walk, we saw this gray heron in almost the same spot. The gray heron we have seen before is bigger than this one, so I think it must be younger and perhaps new in town!
Ducks and swans are permanent residents (the swans leave in the winter and are brought back in early spring). Alas, no cygnets this year – second year in a row! But there are lots of duck families and recently a large group of Canada geese with their half-grown broods came for a swim on East Pond.
There is a red-wing blackbird always scolding us with his tsks and sharp calls. He flies from tree to tree, following us as we circle the pond.
There is always th
There is always the ubiquitous robin!
CFFC: Bird Life on the Ponds
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week has the topic of animals in nature.
Residents in the Moorings community have been concerned for some time about our female swan on West Pond. She has been sitting on her eggs for eight weeks at least and seems to be getting skinnier! In spite of her perseverance in incubating her eight eggs, she has shown some frustration of late, even pecking at the eggs to try to get them to hatch!
We took a walk just after noon today. It was a beautiful day with high temps in the 70s, so taking a walk at this time of day was delightful. We saw both of the swans leisurely swimming in the pond – the female’s eggs never hatched and were taken away last weekend in a bucket by personnel from the swan farm. So sad! Feeling carefree, the cob kicked his legs for momentum and then just let them drag behind him in the water – I’d never seen this behavior before! I didn’t get a photo of that, but I did get a close-up of him standing on the bank with his wide webbed feet! (I was able to get surprisingly close to him and the ducks, so these photos taken with my cellphone camera came out great!)
Surrounding him was a group of mallard ducks, mostly drakes, just chillin’ in the sunshine or taking naps. We saw one mama duck followed by eight ducklings, a family that I had not seen before. The ducklings were several weeks old, I guessed. They were too far away to get a good photo, since I had only my cellphone with me today.
These ducks and swans were on West Pond. As we passed East Pond, we were surprised to see a large number of Canada geese coming down the bank and into the water. Once they were in the water, they separated into family groups and we could see that several of them were goslings, who followed their respective parents. There were nine goslings altogether! I had not seen these families before; these goslings have already passed the “cute” stage! It was interesting that they were all together, instead of the adults threatening each other to stay away. Perhaps they’re all related!
The adults were wary of us, though!
Here are some mallard duck families that I photographed earlier this month, one with two half-grown offspring, the other with seven little ones. Ducklings don’t ever pass the “cute” stage!
The red-winged blackbird made all his noises at us, thinking he was threatening us as he flitted from tree to tree, following our movements.
Meanwhile, a mallard drake showed off for us – thank you, drake! You let me get a great photo of you!
Bird Weekly: Swans, Geese, Ducks and …?
Lisa Coleman’s Bird Weekly challenge this week is more than one species of bird in a photo.
Canada goose, mute swan, and mallard pair (Arlington Heights, IL – USA)
These are the most common species to see in our ponds. The swans and ducks are welcome, but the Canada geese are always “crashing” and they make a mess of our walkways!!
Heron, swan and ducks (Arlington Heights)
This gray heron is a daily visitor to our ponds. He wades in the tall grasses and looks for fish – a few days ago we saw him catching and eating a fish, but alas! We didn’t have our cameras with us!
Vultures and marabou stork (Tanzania)
These scavengers clean the bones from a kill that the hunter has already abandoned. We often saw a sort of scavenger hierarchy, waiting in line for their turn: hyena, jackal, vulture, stork – all eyeing the carcass as a lion made a meal of its kill.
Snowy Egret and Gray Heron (Aswan, Egypt)
We had few opportunities to photograph wildlife in Egypt – most of our days were spent at ancient Egyptian temples and ruins. But our last day in Aswan, we spent part of a morning on a leisurely boat ride to look for wildlife. Mostly we saw birds – this egret and heron, cormorants, and a few unidentified small birds.
Bird Weekly: Starting with G
The topic for Bird Weekly is: Birds whose name starts with “G”.
Bird Weekly: Perched
Lisa Coleman’s Bird Weekly photo challenge this week has the topic of birds perched up.