Monday, January 21, 2008

Red Foxes

Went out to Branched Oak Lake on Saturday. The reader board at one strip mall on my way said 7 degrees. Brrrr. Isn't it spring yet?

No bird photos, didn't really see very many of them. However, when I pulled into one parking lot I saw something way out on the lake. Actually, it was two somethings.

Two red foxes!

I cropped the photo, otherwise all you would have seen is two specks on a frozen lake.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Monday's Photos

Monday night I said I would post the bird photos tomorrow. Bet you didn't know Sunday was tomorrow for Monday, did you? Only in my world I guess.

Black-capped chickadee

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Dark-eyed junco

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Female Downy woodpecker

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All photos taken at Platte River State Park.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Isn't He/She Cute?

Did the Schramm, Louisville, Platte River State Park tour again today.

At Louisville, I saw this little guy/gal on the ground under a tree, and at first I thought it was a cat. Was totally surprised when the "cat" raised it's head and I realized it was an Opossum. By the time I could grab the camera it was up the tree.

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According to one book I have, Opossums have litters of up to 14 kits. Each kit is about the size of a honey bee. After birth the kits climb into the mother's pouch, where they nurse for several months. After they emerge from the pouch they ride on the mother's back. When they are mature, they have 50 teeth. That is more than any other mammal in the U.S.

Took some bird photos too. Will post them tomorrow.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Going A Different Direction

Wednesday I decided to go in an entire different direction. Since I live on the west end of Lincoln, it is the path of least resistance to head a little further west and north to Branched Oak Lake, or Pawnee Lake.

Part of the reason I don't like heading east is it entails a trip on I-80. I have lived in this area 17+ years and there has always been contruction somewhere between Lincoln and Omaha. On this particular day I counted 9 speed limit changes in the mere 35 miles I traveled on I-80, which means you just get the cruise control set, and settled back in your seat, and the speed limit changes.

My destination of choice was Schramm Park State Rec. Area, Louisville State Rec. Area, and Platte River State Park. Schramm Park is about five miles south of I-80, then you head south for a bit, cross the Platte River and are at Louiville SRA, then head north a bit and you are at Platte River State Park. A loop made in state park heaven!

It was a gray, overcast day and I didn't expect to take many photos. At Schramm there was a pool next to the old fishery building that wasn't frozen. There was a good number of Mallards and Canada Geese. It was obvious they were accustomed to being fed, as I slowed the car to look they all started to swim towards me. The geese were so tame that they came up out of the pool and up onto the road. One walked right up to the car and looked in the window as if to say, "where's the bread lady?" He was so close I could have touched him. When I produced no food he moved on just far enough to start pecking on the rear tire. I leaned out and softly told him to stop it. He looked at me sassily and then waddled on. There were some domestic ducks. Thought the guy with the gray head was kind of pretty.

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Across the road, I sat and watched the Platte River flow by for awhile

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I didn't take any pictures at Louisville, but it looked like good birding territory for another day.

At Platte River State Park I took a picture of this domestic goose. He too was obviously accustomed to being fed since he wandered right toward the car.

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A nice little excursion and I'll do it again.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

First Bird Photo of 2008

It was a beautiful sunny day. was bitterly cold. The projected high was in the upper teens, and the wind had a real bite.

Regardless, I spent a good part of the day out and about with the camera. The vast majority of the day was spent in the warmth of my car.

The first bird photographed this year was one of the most common birds in North America.

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I took a number of photos of the flock of robins. I was struck by the difference in the color of the breast of this robin and the color of the bill.

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I often don't pay much attention to the "common" birds. They are, after all, common. But when I take a photo of one, I am usually struck by the fact they too are "pretty". A number of years ago a friend had robins nesting in the covered patio area. We spent hours watching that pair of robins. When the first batch of photos were developed I remember being surprised at the white ring around the eyes. I had seen robins all of my life, we had spent hours watching them coming and going, but had never noticed that white ring before. To this day, when I see a robin, I always look at the white ring and smile to myself.