Tuesday, December 02, 2008

sunday in the park with jiggs

Fall mushrooms in bloom

Birds. I love shooting them -- with a camera. I have been sharing my passion for birds on the Melaque message board.

Too often for a blogger, I forget to take my camera with me on my outings. Fortunately, this Saturday I took it along -- because it was one of the most pleasant Thanksgivings I can recall. Usually, our rivers are flooding and families somewhere in Oregon are evacuating from the holiday table.

Jiggs and I were making our rounds through his favorite park. He was marking far more landscaping, but I was taking more photographs.

I happened to glance up just in time to see a large hawk land in a tall oak tree. A moment later, a smaller version of the hawk alit in an adjoining tree. That, in itself, was unusual. Hawks are not known for hanging out with one another.

I did not give the reason much thought because I was trying to zoom in on the smaller hawk to identify it. I managed to snap off two quick photographs before I heard the reason for the rare hawk camaraderie. Crows were beginning to circle the trees.

I have long wanted to photograph the interaction between raptors and crows. And I thought this would be my opportunity.

But the hawks were far wiser. They had no intention of being extras in Friday the 13th vs. The Birds. They surreptitiously glided away -- using the oak branches as cover. Lollygagging is not a good survival technique when crows are mobbing.

The crows were befuddled. And I was left with no shot.

But it is a beautiful young red-tailed hawk. My zoom takes away most of the detail on its head. And, all things considered, I would prefer the head to be mysterious rather than pecked by the crows.


Anonymous said...

that is a great shot steve. only wish you'd included one of the professor.


1st Mate said...

Steve - very good shot of the hawk, and wasn't he a handsome young thing.

I'm going to add 'shooting birds' to my list of things I want to do. I haven't had a lot of luck with them, but maybe that just means I'm not walking enough.

Steve Cotton said...

Teresa -- More Jiggs to come.

Bliss -- A handsome bird indeed. And very clever. I have had to learn patience with photographing birds. THhy are too -- flighty.

glorv1 said...

Steve, thats a very nice looking bird. Be careful of the mushrooms, so Jiggs doesn't eat them. Hugs to Jiggs. Take care.

Steve Cotton said...

Gloria -- Jiggs is so busy finding other things to eat in the park, he would not give a thought to eating a mushroom. I am convinced dogs have the minds of vagrants: eat now, there may be no other meals. This from a dog who has not missed a meal in 13 years.

Islagringo said...

George would be so proud of you. You'll have to show him this on Sunday. Loving your thought producing last line too!

BoBo's Mom said...

BoBo would have loved those mushrooms. I have given up trying to stop her from eating mushrooms. Afterall, it's better than the alternative......poop!!

Steve Cotton said...

Wayne -- Derivative humor recognized is always its own reward. Thanks.

Steve Cotton said...

BoBo's Mom -- Jiggs stops and sniffs that drift of mushrooms on each of our walks, but he has never even tried to lick them. But if there is the slighest amount of excrement within a mile of our walk, he will search it down -- and then gulp it down. He was literally running and jumping -- in short bursts -- this evening. Of course, he is now dead to the world.

jennifer rose said...

So, how long do you wait before letting Jiggs give you a post-prandial kiss?

Anonymous said...

Hi Steve,

At the risk of sounding dumb - are the mushrooms you're referring to really mushrooms? In your picture they look like the round empty things that fall off of my oak tree. I've never known what they were called.


Steve Cotton said...

Jennifer -- Jiggs appears to have been brought up as a Presbyterian -- no kissing allowed. He simply has never been a licker. Probably because it would indicate he was lower in rank than ANYONE in the world.

Alee' -- They really are mushrooms. But taken from that top angle, they do look at bit like the Oak puff balls. If you want to see them in person, they are on the northwest corner of the Archives building.