Against The Sky

I can’t help myself: I keep taking pictures of birds that are high up in the sky. There are no reference points to give the photos balance and the birds are too far away to make great shots, but I still want to capture the majesty of a hawk or eagle in full flight.

Tonight the early evening sun gave me an opportunity as a hawk was flying lazy circles above our house. The sun was highlighting under his wings as he effortlessly glided over our neighborhood.

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He came a little closer, but was obscured by a tree in our yard.531A3303

It was an enjoyable hour, watching a beautiful bird seemingly enjoy the air currents, probably looking for his dinner.

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While waiting for him to circle back around  a blue jay having a snack from the bird feeder obligingly provided me a shot on the ground.

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The Birds

A glance out the window this afternoon found our chestnut tree full of birds. There was a lot of noisy activity around them, but a core group just sat there. I fetched the camera from upstairs, changed the lens , and still they sat.

After watching awhile I realized they were mostly Cedar Waxwings, which we rarely see, with a variety of our regulars mixed in. An hour later most of them were still there.

Water On The Move

The snow has mostly melted and there is water everywhere, from calm ponds to roiling streams. Yesterdays’s road trip started at Westfield Falls in Middletown, where the ascent was a bit dicey, to the view of the Arrigoni Bridge from Harbor Park,  ending at a serene pond in the  Cromwell Meadows Wildlife Management Area.  We saw some wildlife in the Meadows, including a heron, a hawk and some song birds, but none were available for a photo shoot.

Passing By Me In The Backyard

After a disappointing trek on Sunday that left me with a multitude of out of focus Osprey shots I decided to stay in the back yard with the camera yesterday.

I chased the squirrels away from our feeders and I waited. And waited. I was about to go back in when the parade started; a few flits at first, then a steady stream of small birds.

I captured Finch, Sparrow, Cardinal, Downy Woodpecker, and Robin who all graciously took turns around the yard.  I missed a few. A blue jay didn’t stay long enough, the beautiful female Woodpecker hid behind the maple branches, and the Mocking Bird who has policed our yard for several months didn’t join in.

I hope to try the Osprey again another day.

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Winter Reveals

The snow is down to just patches along the CT side of the Long Island Sound. Eolia, the one-time mansion of the Harkness family,  and its grounds are now showing off details that can only be seen this time of year. Some, like the ceiling, aren’t fully hidden during summer but could easily be overlooked when the vibrant gardens catch your eye.
These underpinnings of the gardens and the views through the trees will soon be obliterated by the plants and trees that make the gardens and grounds of Eolia so wonderful in the warmer months. It’s been a rugged winter and budding leaves will be a welcome sight.
Harkness Memorial State Park in  Waterford, Connecticut is home to Eolia, formerly the summer mansion of the Harkness family. The park includes 230 seaside acres of sweeping lawns, with stately trees and spectacular gardens.