Redbud Panorama

spring in the Alabama woods

Redbuds are one of the more common trees in southern wooded areas and scrub. Their one of the first trees to flower – a harbinger of spring. The heart-shaped leaves will soon follow. Later, near the end of summer, they’ll have seed pods.

Two Deer.

A buck (behind) and doe near Weiss lake

I’ve been practicing with the local wildlife. Finally figured out how to implement “back button” focusing on the Sony A7III, which helps enormously with a telephoto. No more shifting focus to the wrong piece of grass.

The other big trick it to be non-threatening. I take a small chair and sit. The deer watch for a while and then go back to deer stuff (eating mostly).

The sony 600mm lens is pretty good as this detail shows.

Campfire

sparks fly into the night

A 0.5second exposure, steadied by a tree, of our campfire from last night. I like how the sparks fly and how the chaotic drafts from the fire move them. Mostly upwards, but sometimes in circles.

Not Quite Extinct

A slightly rain worn turkey track is so much like a T-rex track. It shows that there are survivors. Baby T-rex’s were about the same size as today’s Turkeys. Glad that the Turkey’s don’t grow any bigger.

Turkeys

The wild turkeys have been visiting of late. They’re a bit hard to photograph because as a “tasty bird” they are also extremely shy. Getting these images, at dusk, took pushing my camera’s limits.

This group is all toms (male). You can see that by their beards and brightly coloured heads. Later in the year they will break up and recruit individual harems. But for now, being in a flock with many eyes to look out for danger outweighs any romantic rivalry.

New Year’s Resolution

I need to be more like my lab.

A happy dog. An enthusiastic dog. A dog with two speeds – full tilt and asleep.

And asleep.

Every action he takes is full of life.

The empty chair

Something of a reminder, about grief. About 1/1000 Americans have died from Covid-19. To put this in context, most people have a “nodding acquaintance” list of about 100 people. If individuals overlap by about 90% then almost certainly someone in your circle or in the next layer out is gone.

I hope they are not forgotten.

Childhood Memories

From the abyss of my youth, slightly modified to reflect modern and somewhat more mature mores.

 Jingle bells
 Santa Smells
 Rudolph's lost the way 
 Oh what fun it is to drive a beat up Chevrolet
Over the fields we go
Laughing all the way 
Grandma's drunk
We hit a skunk 
Grandpa's in the trunk
Jingle bells 
Santa Smells 
Rudolph's lost the way 
Oh what fun it is to drive a beat up Chevrolet
Lights on police cars glow 
Sirens pierce the night
Bumping through the fields 
Running in the light
Bail money's tight
Jingle bells 
Santa Smells 
Rudolph's lost the way 
Oh what fun  it is to drive a beat up Chevrolet

Merry Christmas, a happy holiday, and best wishes for the new year!

The woods

Summer
Fall

I’ve been learning to do panoramas. The woods in Alabama. Same view but different seasons.

Bon Secour NWR

A follow up to my post on RVs. 

One of the highlights of our trip was exploring the nearby National Wildlife Refuge. We were about a mile down the road from it, and while route 180 is fast, there are wide margins so that it is eminantly walkable.

X marks the approximate location of Fort Morgan RV park.

I have a birding life list into the hundreds and was still able to identify five new species without serious birding. (Just walking with binocculars in hand.)  We walked there three times: first, late in the afternoon to the junction of the Gator Lake trail and the Pine Branch trail (4 miles round trip),  second, to the shore on the Pine Branch trail (6 miles round trip), and lastly to the Gator Lake trail returning via Mobile street, the shore, and the Pine Branch trail (8 miles round trip).


A Sandriling

Since pets (dogs) are not allowed in the refuge and there are not that many people who visit, the birds are quite tame. The Sandriling walked within two feet of me.

Fifteen inches (1/3 meter) of rain will flood the trails.

There were mosquitos, even at the winter solstice, so a summer visit should include insect repellent and quite possibly a face net.

Without trying, we saw:

  • Osprey
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Brown Pelican
  • Sandriling
  • Snowy Plover
  • Willet
  • Common Loon
  • Horned Grebe
  • Double Crested Cormorant
  • Lesser Scaup
  • Common Goldeneye
  • Bufflehead
  • White-eyed Vireo

There were gulls (of course) and crows, as well as several varieties of sparrow, that we didn’t identify.  Not to mention these guys, who scared off the plover.

The Blue Angels.