Sitting on the deck at the ranch in San Antonio, this wasp was checking out my computer.
It has been interesting, watching the foraging behavior of the birds here. The whistling ducks are mostly vegetarians, eating plants along the water’s edge, in or out of the water. The limpkin goes for the mussels along the shore line – by the dozens! Their bills are specialized for opening bivalves, which they bring up on the grass to eat.
Seeing a pair of pink birds flying across the pond, they were immediately identifiable as roseate spoonbills. They don’t usually hang out here, and I’ve not seen one close enough for a good photo, but we certainly don’t have them in New England!
I met anhingas several years ago. At first I thought they were cormorants, but the coloring is slightly different, and they have a different shape of tail. Also called snake birds locally, they look particularly snake-like when only their neck shows above the water.
Limpkins are common around the pond this year – and they are LOUD!! They often call to their friends across the way, or in the air. Or maybe they aren’t friends, and it’s a warning call – I don’t speak Limpkin! I first saw them a few years ago, kayaking a little south of here. The whistling ducks treat them with respect, giving them space if they come strolling through.
Two herons, a tri-color and a little blue. I also have seen a couple of great blue herons, but only in flight, or at a distance. I did get one photo, but only of the legs trailing behind as it flew by!
The Roadtrek is not going much of anywhere this week while I visit the youngest granddaughter and family in Florida. I’m using this time to visit, and knit, and visit, and take photos of things definitely not seen in Vermont! I had never seen – or heard! – a Black-Bellied Whistling Duck, and in trying to identify it, found that two out of three sources don’t think they come to Florida. But they do, and they make the most unduck-like sound; it really is a whistling. When a flock flies across the lake, they can make an impressive noise. They also call to each other across the pond. But Audubon does show it in this area (https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/black-bellied-whistling-duck) and has some sound clips of this duck that does not quack. I opened the back door to take the photo below; until the sentry on the left stood up, mostly what I could see was those very bright pinky-orange bills. The feet are the same bright color. Immature birds don’t have that brightness yet; their bills are dark.
Turkey tail fungus show me a possibility for a colorway for a future knitting project – not that I don’t already have too many lined up! But wouldn’t this make a great Fair Isle sweater yoke?
I’ve spent some time each of the past two days getting in firewood; this fungus was on one piece.
I had just posted yesterday’s post about turkeys, and was turning in to my road – and there were another dozen walking across!
Driving out to our Quaker Meetinghouse, I had to stop for these turkeys, of which there were about 25 – and once I had stopped, they were in no hurry to move on! I should have taken the white papers off the dashboard for better photo quality, though.
And our rustic 1820 Meetinghouse makes a great background for photos – I like how the bright striped yarn contrasts with the backgrounds. This cell phone pocket was requested by a friend in Maryland, who watched me finish up those bright socks recently posted. The cord was crocheted onto the sides of the pocket, and I used I-cord to make the strap and button loop. Another yarn out of my stash – although I had to use a bit of yellow from another project to finish the flap. And my camera looks like it’s winking at you!
Tuesday, September 21: Another Tuesday, and Outdoor Recreation for Seniors is at it again. We convened at Pillsbury State Park, in Washington, New Hampshire for a gorgeous day on the water. The weather has cooled, so most started off with long sleeves – although many were shed by the time we rounded the far side of the lakes.
We had the greatest diversity of person powered watercraft – three different inflatables, including mine; a serious ocean kayak, a foldable Oru, a canoe, and all the average recreational kayaks. For contrast:
Also, note the wind turbines in the background. It always lifts my heart to watch them generating.
We ended the day overlooking another pond to eat our lunch and visit.
September 9 – 11: I’m on the road again. Departing Thursday, I spent one night in Bennington, Vermont, then on Friday drove down to Sandy Spring, Maryland, where I had a meeting on Saturday. While I was waiting for others to arrive, I sat with the doors of the Roadtrek camper open, knitting – and watched a Mom and two fawns walk across the yard. If I’d had camera in pocket, where it belongs, I could have gotten a photo of them walking in front of the solar panels – I thought that would be a great juxtaposition. But I had to move (slowly and quietly) to get the camera, and by the time I had it in hand and was back in my seat with the view, one had wandered back behind the building, and these two were munching under the trees. Then Mom wandered off, while Junior took on the job of pruning the shrubbery.