09 January, 2011

A "Wintry Mix" ;-)

Last weekend I took a few photos out the window because it was just too cold to venture out.  The high temps have been in the mid-teens F (~-12C) or colder, with lows below zero F (-18C).  But the sun was shining brightly for part of the weekend when I took these shots. 
Male, Red Bellied Woodpecker
Male Downy Woodpecker

Male Downy Woodpecker
The woodpeckers have discovered the "Finch Lovers Blend" that I been putting in the Nyjer feeder.  I have seen red-bellied, hairy, and downy woodpeckers all spending alot of time at the feeder.

A red-grey hybrid?

Smaller than a grey squirrel with a wash of red over its back and tail.
 These little squirrels are bigger than reds and smaller than greys.  They have a fair amount of red on their backs and tails, but have the overall shape and demeanor of a grey squirrel.  Not sure if they are hybrids.  I will have to do some research to find out if that is possible.
Blue jay on the new tray feeder.

These last pictures are of 3 white-tailed deer bucks that seem to hang out together.  Normally bucks are fairly solitary, but these guys seem to be buddies.
8 point buck
3 amigos heading back up into the woods
The buck on the left has 8 points and the one on the right has 10 points>

I didn't get a good picture of the buck whose rear end is showing, but it had 3 points on one antler and 4 on the other.
A final look across the yard before disappearing into the woods
It was coming on dusk when I took these photos, so they aren't the best. I have seen the bucks together several times in the evenings.  As the days begin to get longer and it is actually light when I get home from work, perhaps I will have better opportunities for photos.

01 January, 2011

White Christmas in Georgia

We went to Georgia to visit my Mother for Christmas.  The 4 of us (Dennis, my brother Arnie, my Mother, and I) stayed for 3 nights at a cabin in the Richard Russel State Park on the backwaters of the Savanah River.  It snowed while we were there, giving the region its first white Christmas since 1831!
Snow falling heavily.
I took lots of photos of the snow clinging to the plants, transforming hillsides and verges into wonderland.
Snow-covered weeds become works of art.
The white snow sets off the red leaves.
The pine trees were splendid in their cloak of snow.

My brother and I hiked along the Blackwell Bridge Trail, with some very steep terrain providing a good view into the snowy woods.

Here is the Blackwell Bridge, an old train bridge that used to span the Savanah River.  It was moved to this spot as part of the trail system after Russell Dam was built on the river.

Arnie on Blackwell Bridge.

The trail through the woods is just ahead.

Here, the trail is overlooking the backwater stream that Blackwell Bridge crosses.

A small footbridge crosses the stream.

How appropriate - Christmas Fern in the snow.

Frozen drops of water on the tips of beech leaves catch the light.

Little robots we constructed from a kit sent by my sister in California.  The box said "for kids 7 to 97" so we qualified.  ;-)

Dennis, Mother, and I in front of her snow-covered house.

View of the neighborhood from Mother's front steps.

Star of birdseed that we hung outside the cabin.  The juncos and sparrows loved it.

Christmas dinner of Cornish gamehen, mushroom rissotto, asperagus, cranberry/orange relish, cabbage/apple/fennel slaw and sparkling prosecco.  Cheers! 

A little more pepper?

We drove around my hometown of Elberton to see the Christmas decoration.

Pretty lights and greenery with red ribbons.

Reindeer made of lights graze on this lawn.
We had a lovely time, made all the more special by the snow.  I hope each of you had a wonderful Christmas.
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