Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Making Babies and Other Excitement! (may not be appropriate for children under 13!)

Today in my nature spot, the most amazing things happened!  I'm just so overwhelmed that our tiny strip of woodland can contain so very much life!!!  But be warned, some of this "abundance of life" gets a little risque!

The Alluring Madame Woodpecker!
The first thing I did this morning was work on building a little garden in my backyard.  I was moving railroad ties with the wheelbarrow.  I wasn't in my nature spot at all!  But there was a commotion going on in my little wooded world and I needed to see what was happening!

I didn't have my camera with me---but what I saw was a pair of falcons!  They were high up in the trees and causing all manner of alarm to the rest of "my" little birds!  As interesting as they were and as much as they need to eat and feed their babies, too---I couldn't help myself!  I charged right into the woods and shook my fist up at them!  "Get away from here!" I called!  And off they flew!  Quite beautiful to behold.  But as they left, they called out a similar cackle to the Black Crow!  It sounds like evil laughter.  I have yet to identify what kind of falcons they were from my visual memory....maybe Peregrine Falcons or Prairie Falcons...I wish I had been able to take a photo!

Peregrine Falcon

Prairie Falcon
I didn't see a mottled underbelly on the birds I saw, but they definitely were gray and white and had feathery legs.

Later in the morning, I did spend some time in my nature spot!  The first thing I noticed were the Canadian Geese down by the lake!

Why did they not just take flight upon seeing me?!  They are usually so skittish here in Minnesota!

I looked a little closer and found out!!!  Goslings!!!!  At least 6 of them!

Of course they wouldn't take flight and leave them!

But they did hurry them away!

So I sat all quiet and contemplative for a while.  I could hear the birds chirping around me.  I recognize many of their calls now.

I know what Mr. and Mrs. Robin have to say.  Two distinct calls.

The yellow-rumped warblers will come quite close to me now.  They often feed on the forest floor and don't seem to mind me.

I could hear these delicate creatures, Mourning Doves, cooing off in the distance.  No wonder they are a symbol of The Holy Ghost or of peace!  Their gentle sounds would calm the most tortured soul!

While I sat there all quiet and reverent---something much larger came into my world!

A FOX!!!  The old red fox came within 20 feet of me!!!

Sadly, as I lifted my camera to take his photograph, the FLASH WENT OFF!!!  I had forgotten to turn it to permanent off.  Of course, this completely frightened the poor fellow and I was left with quick, out-of-focus snaps of a reddish blur running away!  Please take my word for it that this orange-ish blurriness in the middle of this photo is really the fox!

And here, I caught his ear!  Sigh.  Nature photographer FAIL!

But I must admit, I was a little frightened, too!  I've only ever heard the fox late at night and only ever seen him from an upstairs window---at a considerable distance.  To have him within 20 feet of me was a little alarming!

After I calmed down a bit and was sure Mr. Fox wasn't coming back, I heard a kind of kerfuffle coming from the direction of my good friend, Monsieur Woodpecker's, house.  I turned my camera in that direction....and just couldn't help myself!

He and Madame Woodpecker were making the best of a lovely spring day!

Call me voyeuristic, but I just couldn't stop clicking away with my camera!

At some point Monsieur must have decided they needed more privacy....

And he put up his wing in modesty!

Ah.  What a day!  So much life going on!

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