Finally, I am getting around to getting out to the Wetlands a bit more regularly. I always look forward to cold mornings when there are just a few humans on the paths. We nod at each other and sometimes share our stories of who we have been seeing. It is a kind of quiet community, and I would venture to say, one that brings some peace to many of us worrying about the current state of things. While we may not know what is coming, one thing I am sure about is my commitment to keep sharing and hoping more humans pay attention. Click on pictures to enlarge.
Not a great a picture, but I wanted to share this because I think this bald eagle couple might be contemplating a nest here. This would be a wonderful addition to the wetlands, and it looks like good real estate!
The Northern Harriers are back in all of their amazingness. I love watching them skim along the top of the grass. Yesterday, it was especially fun to watch how they were using the wind to their advantage by facing into it, and hovering almost motionless just inches from the ground. This morning, I was taking pictures of the sunrise from behind the tall grass and one was hovering right in front of me. Unfortunately, since the sun was behind him, I did not get much detail of his amazing face, but it certainly was fun to watch him so closely. Click on pictures to enlarge.
It was a morning of coyotes and Cooper’s hawks. I took a walk through the Wakarusa Wetlands and it was relatively quiet until I ran into this beautiful coyote on my way back to the car. When I got home, I noticed the quiet immediately as I got out of the car, and the fact that no robins there to greet me looking for raisins. Sure enough, there was our neighborhood Cooper’s hawk sitting on the ground directly behind the brush pile (designed to give the birds some cover). Click on pictures to enlarge.
I was walking in the woods at the lake this morning and found a dead red-tailed hawk along the edge of the trees. From what I could tell, it looked like she had been shot. She was still clutching a small branch that I imagine broke off as she fell. I said a few words and covered her with some leaves and sticks so she will be out of sight of humans, but can peacefully become food for others and part of the earth. I think about all of the red-tails I have come into contact over the years, the joy of watching them fly, and the thoughtfulness of their eyes. Rest in peace.
Yesterday, I saw a beautiful Northern Harrier flying in the snow at the Wakarusa Wetlands. This morning, she was there again, this time sitting about twenty feet away as I came down a path. I have never been so privileged to get that close of a look before. It was magical. Click on pictures to enlarge.