Wild Weekly Photo Challenge: Movement / Robin

Robins Bath 01
Robins Bath 01, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

This is an American Robin who loves taking dips in the birdbath. He has established an almost daily bathing ritual, and is quite fun to watch.

Here he was this morning, back for his usual bath.  I hope you enjoy the photos!

Robins Bath 02
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Wild Weekly Photo Challenge: Overlooked

Almost Overlooked
Almost Overlooked, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

>>:::<<
hidden yet unconcealed
overlooked in plain view
camouflage
>>:::<<

This is a photo of a little crab spider camouflaging itself on a dried maple seed pod (or a “ballet slipper” as I call it).  This seed pod was only about 1.5 inches long (~4 cm).  At first I did not notice the spider, and my intent was to get some macro shots of the web of veins running through the seed pod.  I had recently gotten a new macro lens and was anxious to start learning how to use it.  Only when I got closer and picked it up did I noticed this little creature clinging to it.  So I decided to make it part of my photography subject.  During the whole photo session, it cooperated nicely, and held perfectly still for the camera.  I only wish I had a tripod at the time to hold the camera just as still.

Crab Spiders usually have short, wide, flat bodies with the first two pairs of legs being longer than the back legs.  They are typically colored to match their habitat, and some can even gradually change to match the color of the flowers on which they are hiding.  Crab spiders ambush their prey, sometimes holding still and relying on their camouflage to keep them from being seen by their prey.  Also, their main defense is this ability to camouflage and they will hide or drop away from predators if they can.

This image is for the Wild Weekly Photo Challenge theme of “Overlooked.”  The great outdoors is filled with things that are often overlooked by most people. People these days spend so much time hurrying through life, tied to their cell phones, that they often forget to look around and see the overlooked things in nature that make our world so special.”  This is a reminder that there is beauty everywhere — sometimes you just need to do a little searching for it.

This is also for the “Tagged” letter challenge (letter “O”) by Frizztext.

Spring Is Here!

Hungry!
Hungry!, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)
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Launch!
Launch!, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

>>:::<<
passionate wingsongs
carry loving nourishment
spring nesting
>>:::<<

Happy Spring to those in the Northern Hemisphere!

Today is officially the first day of spring here, yet it is a gloomy, rainy day, which will turn into snow for the next few days.   Snow is still on the ground, and the deer are still sporting their heavy winter coats, however, yesterday was a nice sunny day and the American Robins arrived with their beautiful songs.  A sure sign of spring!

The Western Scrub Jays are gathering food more frantically lately and we hear the constant flapping of their wings as they visit the feeders and beg for peanuts continually through the day – breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.  We also see the male feeding the female, which we learned is a way for the female to get used to the male feeding her while she sits on the nest for about three weeks straight, incubating their eggs.  Nesting should begin soon!

The photos above were taken yesterday and are of the same male scrub jay.  The second image is a combination of two different photos.

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“F” Tagged: Flicker of a Flicker

Flicker Flicker
Flicker Flicker, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  Click on photo to enlarge.

>>:::<<
a rare fiery flash
eager for a striking pic
hopefully next time
>>:::<<

The camera is set and ready to capture a bird in flight.
I anticipate its takeoff and start continuous shooting,
hopeful and excited that, finally, I got the shot I wanted!
Darn!  I cut it’s head off!

(Has this ever happened to you?)

This bird is a male Red-shafted Northern Flicker, which resides in western North America.  It is a member of the woodpecker family.  Their outer coloring is mostly neutral, but they are red under their tail and underwings.  The males have a red moustache.  They are stunning when they take off, with their vibrant flashes and flickers of red from their underwings.  Although I have been able to get some good bird flight shots, I’m still working on getting some of the Flicker.  They are quite skittish compared to most of the other birds around here.  Practice, practice, practice!

This image is a combination of two photos taken in sequence using continuous shooting.  I thought that the trees in the background in the original photos were distracting so I used a texture to soften them.

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After a long absence by me, this is for the “Tagged” letter challenge (Tagged “F” Challenge) by Frizztext, to share a short story or reflection, even an aphorism using a word tagged with each letter of the alphabet.
Texture used is Kim Klassen’s “Havana”

 Linking up with:
TEXTURE TUESDAY
WILD BIRD WEDNESDAY
NATURE NOTES

“T” Challenge: Threat Display

Finch Threatened
Finch Threatened, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  Click on photo to enlarge.

>>:::<<
why must one threaten
those who truly mean no harm
misconception
>>:::<<

This is a photo I took this past summer of a female house finch receiving a defensive threat display from a female ruby throated hummingbird.

Hummingbirds are aggressive and defensive around the feeders.  They even hover right in front of hubby and me with their tail feathers fanned out, which is the sign of a threat display.  We provide the feeders for them, and the finches won’t steal their food, but we all still get threatened.  However, it is certainly amusing and makes for good photo opportunities!

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This is for the letter “T” Story Challenge by Frizztext, to share a short story or reflection, even an aphorism using a word tagged with each letter of the alphabet.

 Linking up with:
WILD BIRD WEDNESDAY
NATURE NOTES
CAMERA CRITTERS
RURAL THURSDAY

“S” Challenge: Survival

>>:::<<
avian banquet
abruptly evacuated
predator shadow
>>:::<<

Lately our birdseed feeders have been swarming with more feathered friends, moreso than this past summer.  There could be 30+ finches, chickadees, pine siskins and scrub jays monopolizing the four feeders at any one time, quickly depleting the food.  Then suddenly, it seems like one of the birds sounds an alarm and they disappear in a flash!  Yesterday, we saw why.  As the small birds evacuated, another larger bird flew across all the feeders and perched in a tree just outside our deck near those feeders…it was a stunning sight!

I believe this bird is a prairie falcon.  (Can anyone confirm its identification for me?)  With a length of up to 50 centimeters, their diet consists mainly of smaller birds caught in flight, and small mammals.  Recently, I found one of the feeders covered in fresh blood.  I thought some of the little birds got in a fight, but now I’m wondering if this hunter had anything to do with it.  Anyway, I would flee too, if I were in danger of being eaten!

(Although it has been snowing heavily these past two days, I was glad to be able to get some shots of this activity.)

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This is for the letter “S” Story Challenge by Frizztext, to share a short story or reflection, even an aphorism using a word tagged with each letter of the alphabet.

 Linking up with:
CAMERA CRITTERS
BIRD D’POT
WILD WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE

“R” Challenge: Residence (nature), Residents

Haunted House
Haunted House, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  Click on photo to enlarge.

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residence for spooks
sporting indelible costumes
haunted house
>>:::<<

Does this look spooky to you, even without seeing any of its residents?

This nest is a residence for the Bald Faced Hornet and was in my mother’s yard in her large Asian Pear tree.  It was about 3-feet off the ground and larger than a football in diameter.  When she told me about it last week while I was visiting her, curiosity motivated me to have a quick look and snap a couple of photos.  However, fear of having a painfully potent encounter with lots of small black spooky-looking things drove me away very quickly.  I have been stung before by yellowjackets and bees, and I’ve stepped on a bumble bee nest by accident – big owwwwwie for several days!!  So I decided to use Wikipedia’s photo below so you can see what the little critter looks like up close.

Bald Faced Hornet – Source: Wikipedia

Here is some information about the Bald Faced Hornet:

  • It belongs to a genus of wasps in North America called yellowjackets, but called a hornet because it builds paper nests.  It is not a true hornet.
  • Are large (greater than 15mm) with black and ivory coloring
  • Are common tree-nesting wasps
  • Are more aggressive than yellowjackets and other hornets
  • A nest can contain 400 to 700 workers
  • Will aggressively attack with little provocation, and anyone or anything that invades their space
  • Have smooth stingers, and will sting repeatedly if their nest is disturbed
  • Are known for their football-shaped paper nests
  • Nests are abandoned by winter and are not reused
  • Old nests provide good winter shelter for other insects and spiders since they are insulated from heat and cold
  • It is not considered safe to approach the nest for observation purposes
  • Their scary costumes and face masks are permanent!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! 

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This is for the letter “R” Story Challenge by Frizztext, to share a short story or reflection, even an aphorism using a word tagged with each letter of the alphabet.
Kim Klassen texture used – Providence

 Linking up with:
MACRO MONDAY
TEXTURE TUESDAY
OUR WORLD TUESDAY
NATURE NOTES
RURAL THURSDAY

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