Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sunny and Warm today. Sigh.

This starling found a discarded apple in the grass. He stopped eating to regard me as I took his photo but resumed when I walked away. Click to enlarge. 





I'm on my way back outside to enjoy the day. In that spirit, a poem: 


I Meant to do My Work Today

By Richard LaGallienne

I meant to do my work today
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me. 
And the wind went sighing over the land,
Tossing the grasses to and fro, 
And a rainbow held out its shining hand,
So what could I do but laugh and go? 


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Chipping Sparrow

I just spent a week in the pine lands of southern New Jersey. Chipping sparrows there started singing at dawn and kept on until the sun set. I saw dozens of them. This one was gathering material for a nest. 
The chipping sparrow, Spizella passerina, is easily identified by its red cap, gray face, black stripe through the eye, and white eyebrow and throat. Click on the photos to enlarge. 
Spring is slowly waking in the woods. Click here to hear the chipping sparrow sing. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Tent Caterpillars

I am in the New Jersey pine barrens taking photos. Here's an eastern tent caterpillar. Click to enlarge.  
More coming soon!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The First Real Day of Spring

One of Brooklyn's white-throated sparrows, Zonotrichia albicollis.  Click to enlarge. 
One thing signals the start of spring to me -- when the white-throated sparrows start to sing. So, according to me, spring started this past Wednesday when I heard the first one right outside my window. Today they were singing all over Brooklyn.

The song is distinctive and once you know what it is you will easily pick it out above the city noise. Click here to see and listen to some white-throats singing. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter

I took this photo during Easter week last year in Saint Augustine, Florida. It's a snowy egret, Egretta thula, in breeding plumage. Very stylish!   Click to enlarge. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Spring is Trying

Despite the cold (32 F and windy in New York City) I saw these flowers today where last week there was snow. Some day soon this year's interesting insects and baby birds will come. Click to enlarge.  

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spring

I took this photo on Saturday, yesterday, the first full day of spring.
That's three inches of fresh snow.  Click to enlarge.
It's cold outside and winter is stubbornly hanging on in the northeast. But there is hope. All winter long the robin in these photos has been coming to my porch to eat raisins and he has been very quiet.

For the last few days he has been getting noticeably more vocal. He is not singing yet, but he is making calls and sweet whispery sounds that presage songs that will come soon.
In anticipation, here is a quote from the Song of Solomon,  2:11-12.

...behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.