I awoke to dull, overcast weather, but headed off to Jericho anyway, thinking that even if the light was all wrong,and if I ended up with no decent photographs, Black Jack would still enjoy herself as long as the rain held off. But I got lucky with photographs, I think. If you like any of these, let me know. I'm still not much of a judge of a quality picture from a mediocre one. I tend to judge by the subject and its action/expression, even if the light, composition, whatever are all wrong.
This hawk appeared right at the end of my walk. I have to thank a man on a park bench for pointing it out. I would never have see it high up in the tree overlooking the rabbit territory. The man did call it a wombat. I was fairly certain he was mistaken:) I'm trying, after some google searches, and after studying the book dp sent me, to decide whether it's a Red-tailed Hawk or a Cooper's Hawk. I'm fairly sure it's one of the two. You do have to look quite closely to see its curved beak.I've cropped the above photo to show a closer view.
Black Jack and I spent some time observing the rabbits, as we did last week. Again, she was quiet and well-behaved, if pretty intensely focused. A hand waved in front of her eyes would not have produced a blink, I'm quite sure. There were a lot of people around, feeding veggies and oats. The rabbits were right out in the open, sometimes eating from children's hands. This one was Bill's favorite rabbit photo.
I took several pictures of this one, with the torn ear. Dog attack? Rabbit fight? Coyote? Thorns? No idea. This picture was the most pathetic looking, especially since the carrots sit untouched behind it. It makes me sad, but I'm posting it for the record.
All the children gravitated to this cute little grey one.
Shortly after I entered the park, I saw this heron. Another lucky break, because at first, it was almost completely camouflaged in the marsh. It was very busy hunting, and was the only wildlife sighting today that caused Black Jack to bark and lunge to the end of her leash. I don't know why, but it really seemed to worry her. I loved a lot of my photographs of this heron, but Bill narrowed me down from ten to three shots for the blog. Thanks, Bill!
I know I've posted many shots of mallards, but thought today's were pretty decent as well, so one single and one couple to record our walk.
One sign of Spring, maybe?
Last week, I photographed a black "duck", but didn't identify it. I took a good luck at the bird book, and think I may have an American Coot here. The only thing that would have made my identification more certain is if I had been able to see its lobed toes. The book says, "The highly versatile American Coot is a delightful mix of confusion and comedy - it has the lobed toes of a grebe, the bill of a chicken, and the black body and swimming habits of a duck. However, the American Coot is not remotely related to any of these species; its closest coastal cousins are the rails and cranes. These loud, grouchy birds are seen chugging along in wetlands. At peak speed, this back and forth motion escalates and seems to disorient the American Coot. It will fake a take-off by running and flapping to the other side of the wetland." I think I observed some of these fake take-off maneuvers, but can't be positive. I did love the description in the book, so unless someone tells me otherwise, I'll stick with the American Coot identification.
I stood on the little bridge to take this photo. People were throwing bread over. I really wish they wouldn't do that. I'm okay with birdseed, or food designed for waterfowl, but feel the bread is a very bad idea. Note the one seagull here. I've observed that seagulls don't seem to require like company to feel secure.
I liked this shot, so here it is.
Black Jack quivered as she watched this squirrel, but amazed me by remaining still and quiet. I realize I didn't take one picture of Black Jack today, but this squirrel is for her. She came home very tired, although still ready to play with her ball, after a stimulating walk.
Two more shots that I liked. I love trees almost as much as I love birds and beasts.
Bill came to get us, just as it started to rain. We went off to the downtown cafe that I mentioned yesterday, to have lattes and cheesecake. Then, we came home to an absolutely wonderful Bill-cooked meal. Thank you, Bill!
Tomorrow, I will see the surgeon who operated on me after the cycling accident four weeks ago . I feel pretty amazingly well, I think, although not quite as strong as I would like. I'll ask him questions about getting back to the "bikes" part of my life, but my gut tells me it may be another couple of weeks. Still, life is good, and I know it!!!