The swimming hole

A walk along the river through our property is a pretty regular event. Mac, our silver lab, is usually ahead of us and often spooks up any fowl are in the river. This particular morning something startled him! There were three river otters swimming in one of the open sections of ice where the water is deeper. He wasn’t sure what to make of these buy little swimmers and wasn’t sure who was more curious of the other.

Be sure to zoom in or go full screen to watch the movement of the otters through the water. With volume max you’ll hear the sounds they made.

What are you doing in my swimming hole?!
River otter in icy water
Where are you going?

These guys just crack me up!

Trio of river otters

They are actually standing on a very thin piece of ice.

Trio of river otters in icy river

The longer they are out of the water, the fluffier they get. They dry very quickly! Who do you think has been out of the water the longest? Who was out last?

I sure hope I’ll get to watch them play again.

On silken pond

While chasing this sweet family of mallards for a crisp shot, I snapped as they glided through a silky surface of reflected foliage. Their wake created a mesmerizing abstract of greens and yellows.

 

Double take

On a recent walk down our driveway, a bit of white on the dark ground of grass and dead leaves caught my eye.  At first I thought it might be a feather but under closer examination I found it was a 4 inch/10 cm seed pod that had split open revealing the seeds still neatly packed. The slightest breeze would lift them up, up and away! I was mesmerized by the beauty of the intricate layers unfolding.

Note the gentle curves on the left end (dark drown exterior/white interior of seed pod) and the light brown spiral on the right that would have been a long edge of the pod.

Beauty in the details.

Flashy Feathers

Having observed a male ruffed grouse drum off and on for the past week or so (see previous post), I was surprised when, this particular day, he changed his resting posture from the usual. He stood taller and extended his tail feathers straight back then began to fan them out.

Apparently he had spotted a hen who answered his invite to rendezvous.
I could hardly believe this was literally unfolding right in front of me and into my camera! Admittedly, seeing this face looking straight at me freaked me out a little! My heart was already pounding at an increased rate.


Look at this gentlemanly bow!

While I focused my attention for a moment on setting the camera to video, he disappeared off the far side of the roof. When I found him again, he was on his merry way to meet his mate.

I was able to watch, but not capture the pair as they waddled away into the safety and privacy of the underbrush.

What a treat to witness the courtship!

The beat goes on

In the past week or so, we’ve been entertained by a male grouse perched on an out building in our backyard. (We recently acquired additional property across the street and apparently, he came with it). He continually performs a love song which he drums on his breast. We can faintly hear this all day long inside the acreage home!

I had only been able to catch him from behind – until this morning!

Having captured images of practically every position of his wings from behind during previous days of drumming, I was thrilled to get the show face on. Here are a few corresponding front and back shots from my image collection.

All that made for an exciting morning but there’s more! You’ll have to wait for the rest of the show….

January 2020

Happy New Decade!

May your emotional, psychological and spiritual vision be 20/20 this year.