Start the Year Off on the Right Foot!
Well, in this case the left foot. No wait, it is standing on the right foot! :) Anyway, I thought this image of a Great Blue Heron in mid-step would be a fitting shot for today. It was a very cold walk at Alton Baker Park, the temperature down in the mid-twenties this morning. (Cold for us!)
A Bit of Snow on Drury Butte
According to the topography maps I checked this could be Drury Butte, located to the north of the east end of Springfield. This is the beginning of the foothills of the Cascades. I thought it made a pretty scene, no matter what butte it is.
My 'Birds of Oregon' book says of the Anna's Hummingbird, "locally common summer resident and breeding winter resident along the coast and in western interior valleys. It sure would be fun to see a hummingbird nest (without disturbing it, of course)! I caught this little beauty at our hummingbird feeder through a sliding glass door. It is one of my few hummingbird photos, so it's so nice to get so early in 2016! It's true that it might appear over-saturated, but it was colorful. Yet, I do hope to improve my technique with future visitors.
On the Lookout
It seems that a Red-shouldered Hawk is hanging around Delta Ponds a lot lately. Not surprising because it is the type of habitat they prefer. They will sit on perches like the one in this photo, 'watching for prey below the forest canopy or at the edge of a pond, sitting silently until they sight their prey below.' (All About Birds) Delta Ponds makes a perfect environment for them.
According to The Cornell Lab of Orthinology All About Birds - "Red-shouldered Hawks are forest raptors. They tend to live in stands with an open sub canopy, which makes it easier for them to hunt. They are not exclusively birds of deep forest, though; you’ll find Red-shouldered Hawks in some suburban areas where houses or other buildings are mixed into woodlands. In the West, they live in riparian and oak woodlands, and also in eucalyptus groves and some residential areas." - https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Red-shouldered_Hawk/lifehistory
We have had a few days of freezing rain and slippery roads and sidewalks. It is starting to improve, and go back to rain and warmer temperatures. Here is an ice formation I found interesting.
I was thinking of my father today. Wow, he would have been 104 now!
Sometimes a Pondful
I like to wander the woods at Clearwater Park, and came across this pond with low water. I am anxious to see it in the spring when it will be full. It's beautiful even now, I think.
Friends of a Different Feather
It was great to see these two kinds of duck sharing a log together at Delta Ponds. Of course, the Wood Duck is much more colorful than a Mallard, but they are both beautiful. I thought they made a good pair. That's a female Wood Duck on the left.
Distant View of the Cascades
This is a view of Cascade Mountains, possibly the Three Sisters, from high in the Coburg Hills. It was difficult to get a good view. A long telephoto lens helped to solve the problem. Between trees, I was able to get an unobstructed view. So I made the shot, this one.
I have always found oil spots left by motor vehicles to be fascinating. The patterns, designs and colors can be quite beautiful. This is especially true when the pavement is newer or wet. It makes for more contrast and color, like this one.
A Bit of Frost Around the Edges
The sunlight lit up the frost on the edges of these leaves in a pleasing way, I thought. And the bright leafy background added nice spots of color. We are getting into the dead of winter here now, so such color will be hard to find.
Fall Colors Along the Willamette River
I just had to post this one last scene of fall colors along the Willamette. Well, at least I think it is! I have lots more images, since we had a warm fall and the colors seemed to last longer. (This shot was made in November.) It certainly made photo walks more inviting and interesting. Hope you like it too!
Bald Eagle Talk
I watched one of these bald eagles at Delta Ponds as it made its distinctive call. It is the one on the left in the photo. Soon, the one on the right appeared and landed on the other snag. Then they continued their chat before settling down and sitting there for a while. It could be the pair that will soon be nesting on the back side of Skinner Butte, not very far away. I was pleased to catch them like this.