In response to yesterday’s wholly unnecessary assault on my shoe (see Berry Stains from the Sky), I have decided to memorialize the event in haiku.
In the first poem, I write from what I imagine to be the perspective of the assaulting crow. The second poem describes the event from my perspective, starting with the crows on the ground, followed by the realization that they were distracting for the attacker from above.
summer is most fun
eating berries in the tree
poop on humans’ heads
young crows in the park
diversion! third crow in tree!
they laugh, stain my shoe
Welcome to the year of the ox. Enjoy!
I have, while speaking to some of you on the phone, mentioned the yellowish haze often hovering over Denver. The photo below is an attempt to capture what I am talking about and was taken on December 10, 2008, which was a worse-than-average day in terms of appearance. It was not, however, the only time I have seen it so bad.
Downtown is to the left of the scene captured (the buildings at the left edge of the photo obstruct the view of downtown).
Enjoy that fresh mountain air!
A few posts back, I promised (with conditions) some deer and turkey photos from my trip home last month. Here they are!
The turkeys below come by the house several times a day and eat seed that has been pushed out of a bird feeder by other birds. The tom whose photo I posted back in September (see Tom Turkey) still visits regularly, but is, of course, traveling alone. A few times, however, they were all together outside the house.
A deer and representatives of two species of squirrels.
Finally, I have received word that two coyotes have been seen nearby multiple times.
This is a follow-up to my earlier post “The Austin Bat Bridge“.
This post is mostly about bats. First, however, is a couple turtles I observed while on the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge (i.e., the bat bridge).
Now to the main event: the bat report. In my earlier post, I expressed disappointment that the bats would not be around while I planned to be in Austin. The good news is that some stragglers were still living there.
On my first day in Austin, I walked across, around, and under both ends of the bridge and could hear a lot of squeaking noises coming from under the bridge. It must be much louder during the summer.
I went out again to observe the bridge as the sun was setting, hoping to see something. I was not the only one, though, as twenty, or so, people had the same idea at the north end of the bridge. As the light was fading, the bats came out, although I did not see a large, dark swarm. Instead, I saw a few bats flying around above me.
I took some pictures, but they waited until it was pretty dark to come out, so here’s the situation: I had to crank the ISO of my camera up to 1600. Translation: the sensor becomes more light sensitive, but it also increases the noise (graininess) in the image. In spite of the increased sensitivity, I was still having to use exposure times between 1/80 and 1/40 of a second at full aperture (the depth of field — the range of distances at which objects appear to be in focus — is very shallow at wide apertures). That shutter speed is pretty slow for a bat picture. You should take the above discussion as a warning that you are going to see out-of-focus bat blurs, rather than bats.
A closer look at the previous bat blur:
One more blur pair:
I just happened to run across a group of bighorn sheep when I was up in the foothills conducting some business. They were actually standing on the opposite side of the highway from the destination in my mission.
The ram on the left has an identification tag on his neck.
Here is a closer look.
The light rain today brought a nice rainbow for a few minutes.
Here is a picture of the tom turkey that stops by my parents’ house a few times each day. I took this when I was visiting during the Labor Day Weekend.
This is another post about another mid-June bird encounter. One possible route to work takes me, for a short distance, through a field covered by prairie grass near my apartment complex. I often heard the chirping of a number of juvenile birds while walking through the field. Eventually, I had the opportunity to see the birds in a large tree.
I would stand under the tree for several minutes, and they would continue with their chatter. If I stayed for more than a few minutes, though, they would quiet down and watch me.
I did not know what they were at first, but ultimately decided that they appear to be falcons. I managed to capture some images of them. Unfortunately, given the conditions, the quality of the images is somewhat low. The birds do appear to be falcons, particularly American Kestrels.