faunal

Full sun

Olympics sunny

What a difference a day makes! Loving the sun all day! First appearance since arriving….

Bird in treetop

Even the birds were celebrating the glorious light….

Sunset seward

Proof the light lasted to sunset….

Dragons!

Stone chinese dragon

Stone Chinese dragon.

Mexican axolotl

Real Mexican dragon (really: axolotl).

Bald eagles!

Evergreens rimed

Today the most frequent wildlife species we saw were bald eagles and magpies. Both have contrasting coloration. The eagles were all solos, except a pair circling each other (squabbling?).

Cottonwoods rimed

I have no photos of the eagles, but one was sitting on a fencepost, several were sitting in trees, and one was flying right at me upslope from below. And not far away. Stunning. I’m guessing they’re congregating in the valleys for the winter…where we drove much of the day.

Sunlight rock

We saw many rimed trees…evergreens in the first shot, and cottonwoods next. Finally, we got into some sunshine—and our world got color!

Cattle irrigationpipes

But the clouds kept getting in the way…still, the juxtaposition of Black Angus and feeding troughs/bales and irrigation pipes all on snow is a nice contrast to the shapes of the trees on the slopes above.

Sunset at elevation

The atmospheric obscurity adds to this sunset shot over the Clark Fork of the Columbia River—we have crossed the continental divide. “It’s all downhill from here,” as one sage noted in a somewhat similar situation.

Not wild(life)

Cat stretch

Sweet kitty! Even got up from the sphinx position to greet me.

Color equation?

Hotpinkcamellia

This is certainly a hot pink camellia. Despite the overcast and rain, it cuts through the murk of the day.

Yellow butterfly

The rain, or just time, brought this one down. I spotted the bright yellow among the leaves and thought: that’s too yellow for a leaf!

Not quite bolognese

Hot pink plus brilliant yellow equals…? Best I can do is this bolognese-inspired sauce (aka gravy)…in the new cook pan/pot. Perfect size! [This swirl is right after I started to stir in the milk….]

I tried

Cardinal back turned

I spotted this cardinal (upper left quadrant) preening and looking. I attempted to get him both in focus and in profile or a better pose than this. But this is what I got.

Then, I slowly ducked and snuck off for a camera with a longer lens. Of course, when I returned, he and his glorious plumage were long gone.

Pigeon posting

Pigeon view

This shot is from yesterday because today was gloomy and rainy, and I did not take the trouble to create a rain-art photo. There’s something peaceful about all the pigeons lined up, apparently unaware of the new arrival.

River stories

Cormorants waiting

These cormorants are waiting for whatever cormorants wait for. Food? More than food? These rocks were under many more feet of water for decades in a huge mill pond.

Hooch mills whitewater

Downstream of the cormorants, some of the later mill buildings survive, most repurposed as river-front apartments now that the dams are gone and the water is white, as it was through the early 1800s. This is the Chattahoochee at the Fall Line in Columbus.

Whitewater running

Now, venturesome people in funky short kayaks dare the once-again fast-flowing river to overpower them. [This guy was just fine; this moment looks scary, however.]

Stationary wildlife

Cement hare

Found this cement hare and vaguely remember seeing it in this yard before…perhaps in a different location? Vague is the operative word here.

Squirrel mutation

Personally, I’m convinced that Mosquito Joe’s chemicals turned a squirrel into this monster; however, my analysis may be off a tad.

All over the map

Carwash underway

Title refers not so much to geography as photo subject matter.

We sprang for a mechanical carwash over at the BP to reduce the grime accumulated yesterday on the Explorer. It was reduced, but not vanquished. Now, for better or worse, we don’t look like we’ve been out in our hunting camp.

Birds in flight

I looked in the bird book, and still I don’t know what kind of waterfowl these are. My guess, from a place of extreme ignorance, is goldeneye or lesser scaup. I’m probably looking in totally the wrong section of the ID book, however.

Arachnid lichen

I assume arachnid (eight legs). You can assume I was totally surprised when I looked at the photo as when I was taking it I was trying to get a good focus on the lichen, and totally missed noticing the critter.

I looked up the lichen, too, and I’m in over my head there, yet again. Maybe an eastern candlewax or a greenshield?