March 8, 2014
Today was Special Olympics, and it was a beautiful sunny day with a perfect temperature for outdoor sports, comfortably cool. I saw many of my former students in addition to the current kids and everyone seemed to be having a great time.
I brought my camera of course and took photos of the kids. When I was leaving I decided to stop by the retention pond next to our school for a few shots of the Canada geese that live there. Here’s a goose swimming in the pond.
This goose had just dipped its beak into the water, but it looks as if the goose is watching its own reflection.
This goose was swimming in an area near the edge of the pond and lots of greenery is reflected in the rippling water, in addition to the nearly perfect reflection of the goose. The whole photo looks surreal to me.
After taking goose photos I headed home. Along the way I noticed a big mostly white bird in a marshy area by the side of the road. I turned back and stopped my car a short distance from the bird, which turned out to be a Wood Stork. Wood Storks are large birds about 4 feet tall with a wingspan of about 5 feet. Adult Wood Storks have a bare black head without feathers, so this one, which had a lighter colored head with a light coat of feathers, was probably a juvenile.
I glanced around after taking that photo and I was very surprised to see a second Wood Stork standing much closer to me. This one also seemed to be a juvenile with its light brown head with feathers.
The Wood Stork just stood there and watched me. After a few minutes it turned its head the other way.
And then it started to walk in the marshy area.
From this point of view I was able to get a photo of its head with the little feathers sticking up on top, like a spiked hairstyle.
A few minutes later the Wood Storks flew away.
March 7, 2014
The weather continues to be wet and chilly, though it didn’t actually rain today. I saw just two birds in the backyard this afternoon. The first one was this little Yellow-rumped warbler.
And the second was a Mockingbird.
March 6, 2014
Rainiest day yet this week, but after this the weather is supposed to start improving. Special Olympics is this Saturday and several of my students will be competing. I’m hoping the weather will be decent for the event.
Flowers on a tree out back, with a few tiny raindrops on the blossoms.
Buds on another tree, with more raindrops.
The last leaf remaining on what’s left of last summer’s vines on the fence. It’s a silvery gray now, still hanging from the vine.
March 5, 2014
More wet chilly weather today. Once again the only bird I saw outside was a Mourning Dove, puffed up against the cold.
Inside I switched from my 70-300mm lens to my 90mm and took a few photos of the flowers currently on our table.
March 4, 2014
birds, dogs, sophie, trees
Our weather changes by the day from sunny and warm to damp and cold, and today was one of the damp and cold days. I saw one bird in the backyard–a Mourning Dove up in the tree the doves seem to like.
Here’s a branch of the big pine tree against the overcast sky. It almost looks like it could snow, but the temperatures didn’t go that low!
Sophie followed me around as usual. Here’s Sophie looking startled–I don’t know why.
And Sophie looking as if she’s getting tired of having her picture taken.
March 3, 2014
birds, dogs, flowers, lulu, trees
A couple of the trees at the back of the yard are covered in small white and yellow blossoms–always a sure sign of spring on the way.
This tree is preparing to grow some new leaves for this year–new buds just forming.
A Mourning Dove on the wire out front. It’s not really an orange dove, just the normal tan/gray color, but the setting sun gave the dove an orange tone.
Last for today is Lulu, lying in the yard. Spring can be hard on Lulu because all the pollen and growing plants trigger her allergies, and then we have to use medication to keep her comfortable. Winter is an easier time for her. Fortunately she’s not showing any signs of an allergy flare yet.
March 2, 2014
birds, sunset, trees
It was a busy day with shopping and errands and some yard work. It’s time to start cutting the grass regularly here, so today I got out the riding lawn mower and cut the grass for the first time this year. In between other activities I took the camera outside and got some photos of one of my favorite backyard birds, the Eastern Phoebe.
And here is tonight’s sunset behind a neighbor’s palm tree.