Sunday, January 27, 2019

Red-tailed Hawk

I pulled over to the side of a New Jersey road and stopped at this red-tailed hawk to take a picture from the passenger side window. It turned to watch me.
It was sitting on a wire surveying an open field, which is the red-tail's style of hunting. He kept his eye on me as I snapped another couple of shots.
Note the red tail from which the bird gets its common name. Click to enlarge.
It turned to check me with the other eye. Not wanting to be too disturbing, I drove away and left it to its hunting.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Tracks in the Snow

Something left these tracks in the snow near my house. Round prints over an inch across with five toes. Too big for squirrels. Not dogs or cats. What made them?
I searched the Internet and found pictures of opossum tracks like this, round with five toes like a sunburst. But what sent me back outside to look again were the descriptions of the opossum's rear tracks. "Like the footprint of a human infant" they said. "With opposable thumb like a human thumb" they said.
I found this. Click to enlarge. I've outlined what I think is a lone rear possum print at the edge of where the snow was melting into a puddle. Like a human infant footprint? Yep. Like a human thumb sticking out on the lower left? Yep.
I pronounce them opossum tracks and will be on the lookout for nocturnal visits. The handsome fellow above is an opossum ambassador I met this summer at a nature center event. I'm glad to have such an interesting creature in the neighborhood.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Wild Ponies

I'm sitting by the fire keeping warm on this cold snowy day, while looking through old photos. How about a couple of wild ponies from Assateague Island National Seashore?

Click on the photos to enlarge.

Terri Farley wrote: "Since humans first huddled around campfires, stories have been told of wild horses with wind in their manes, fire in their eyes and freedom in their hearts. Those horses eluded capture, and scorned the comforts of civilization"

And they don't seem to mind posing for the tourists.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Happy New Year!

 The 2018 Creature of the Year award goes to this great egret featured in my August 26th blog. Congratulations elegant egret! Click to enlarge. Click the date for the blog.
In the event that the egret is unable to fulfill its duties, these runner up squirrels from my Arpil 8th blog -- pictured here reacting to the announcement -- will step in. Happy New Year and good wishes to all for 2019.