Olivetti Tropic – modded
I have plenty of bird pictures, however, and recently many of hawks. While not strictly endangered, I do think raptors are not having an easy time of it. Not far from here a landowner cut down 10 acres of old forest so he could grow hay. There was a hue and cry about it, but the saddest part for me was knowing that the birds and other wildlife just lost another chunk of habitat. A naturalist said that those woods were home to a number of owls, just for instance.
As much as I enjoy photography, and while I don’t want to get into a debate about whether or not it is or isn’t art, I love drawing and painting in another way. When you take a picture of something it is easy to forget what you really saw there. When you draw something, it really sinks into the mind. Yesterday I painted this picture of a hawk that I photographed just a few days before. I feel like I really got to know this bird better by painting it.
Red Tailed Hawk at Swan Lake
During the last weeks we’ve had a lot of sunshine here, which makes for good lighting when it comes to photographing birds. I’m trying to be diligent and not venture out into nature sans camera with telephoto lens affixed. My reward has been a few good bird sightings. We made a special trip last week to seek birds in the farmland nearby, but had no luck. So we went down to the beach that faces east to the mainland and were treated to an excellent view of Mt. Baker in Washington.
Mt. Baker, Washington
Back at the lake we watched some ducks slip sliding around on a frozen section. Parts of the ice were so thing the ducks kept falling through, which was hilarious.
Ducks on ice
We’ve seen plenty of raptors lately, including one Red Tailed Hawk that had just captured its lunch – a rat. I only noticed the rat when I downloaded the pictures.
Red Tailed Hawk
I was too busy snapping to notice the tail of the rat!
a closer view of the rat
We were treated to a perfect view of a Bald Eagle one day last week, sitting in a tree right beside the path. It’s very rare to get so close to one of these; they usually sit at the top of much taller trees, generally evergreens, too.
A Cooper’s Hawk showed up, too. Sometimes I have a hard time discerning the Cooper’s from the Red Tailed.
More birds here, somewhat easier to identify:
Red Wing Blackbird
Glaucous Winged Gull
Weather = rain all week. Yesterday, however, we had a brief interlude (remember when TV did those?) of sunshine. Off for a walk around the pond – we encountered first a Red Tailed Hawk, and then a Cooper’s Hawk. The Red Tail was sitting in a huge oak, and while we watched it took off and flew down towards us. Several hundred metres on we found it again, in a smaller tree.
if only my camera could focus fast enough..
I was able to get closer the second time. The hawk stretched its claws for us.
This Cooper’s was way up in a tree, and seemed tiny compared to the Red Tail.
Typewriter Graffiti Dept
Rediscovered Poem Dept
From too much love of living
From hope and fear set free
We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods may be
That no life lives for ever
That dead men rise up never
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea
I saw this verse in the weekend paper, attached to an obituary. Something about it was familiar, and I remembered my father would occasionally recite these words. The line “dead men rise up never” must have burrowed into my brain. Perhaps my father told this to me at bedtime, thinking it was appropriate for a child to hear before sleeping. He was odd that way.
It’s part of a poem by AC Swinburne, The Garden of Proserpine. In university we never read Swinburne, who must have been long out of fashion for being lyrical. We read Waiting for Godot, and The Hollow Men, however, which seemed to cover similar ideas in more avant-garde terms. My bet’s on Swinburne.