Monday, December 30, 2013

Northern Shrike


The Northern Shrike is a little smaller than a Blue Jay.  It is another winter visitor from the Arctic tundra.  The Shrike is a fierce predator and often kills its prey by impaling the victim on a sharp stick or barbed wire fence.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Owl Eyes


"When I look into the eyes of an animal, I do not see an animal.  I see a living being.  I see a friend.  I feel a soul."

~ Anthony Douglas Williams, author of Inside the Divine Pattern

Friday, December 27, 2013

Snowy Owl


The continuing Snowy Owl irruption in the northeast is incredible.  I spotted this young guy perched on a fence post right next to the road late this afternoon.

Blue Jay


The boistrous Blue Jays keep things colorful and lively in the yard all winter long.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Snowy Owl Invasion Continues



As the great Snowy Owl irruption continues in the northeast, I was able to get a few more photos just before sunset yesterday.  This is the same bird from different angles as it was getting dark.


The photo below was taken today and is a different owl from the one pictured above.


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Indomitable Spirit

The temperature early this morning was a frigid -1° Fahrenheit, yet the Chickadees in the yard seemed oblivious to the cold.


"We learned to be patient observers like the Owl.  We learned cleverness from the Crow, and courage from the Jay who will attack an owl ten times its size to drive it off its territory.  But above all of them ranked the Chickadee because of its indomitable spirit." 
~ Tom Brown Jr. (American Naturalist and Author)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

On this day of the Winter Solstice...

Tundra And Trumpeter Swans on Lake Erie


May all beings be peaceful.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be well.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings be free from suffering.

Winter Solstice Greetings!

Welcome to the most wonderful day of the year that brings the return of the light!  Happy Yule!


Axial tilt is the reason for the season!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Nacreous Sunrise

We had an amazing sky at sunrise today with everything happening all at once!


Pearly Nacreous Clouds (upper right), a rare but ominous sight since they indicate problems in the ozone layer.


Part of a sundog visible through the trees. 


The setting moon.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Snowy Owl


Spotted another Snowy Owl today out on the ice cover of Lake Erie.


I caught her in the middle of a big yawn...

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

I Wonder...


"I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently?  And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says "Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again." ~ Lewis Carroll


This little American Goldfinch must be hoping for a break in the weather.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Monochrome Bursts into Full Color at Sunset


Quite a contrast from earlier in the day (see photos below).

The Witch of November


The clouds and north winds (known on the Great Lakes as the Witches of November) surround us in monochrome.


A female Long-tailed (Oldsquaw) Duck rides the surf.


A Grebe in winter plumage rides out the stormy seas in the protected water around the city pier.



A rare Juvenile Sabine's Gull (outstretched wings in center) with Bonaparte's Gulls

Monday, November 18, 2013

Bonaparte's Gull

Bonaparte's Gull

There are plenty of these petite little Bonaparte's Gulls arriving in the Dunkirk Harbor.  Many of them will remain in the southern Great Lakes area until spring.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Malnourished Waterfowl


This is what malnutrition looks like in watefowl.  This feral domestic duck is in the Dunkirk Harbor suffering from a condition called "angel wings."  It is caused by people feeding it BREAD!  This can cause a nutritional deficiency that makes their wings grow the wrong way and renders the bird flightless.  Please people, don't feed bread, cereal, crackers, cookies or other human junk food to the birds!


Evening Sky