Friday, December 11, 2009

Ice Saga And A Red-shouldered Hawk

The ice saga continues. With each passing day the beauty outside our windows has me praying for rain, that to which people in the Pacific Northwest are accustomed during the fall and winter months. This unseasonable and frigid cold the past week has made for beautiful photographs, but we find ourselves unprepared in many cases as it masks the injury to property and life. Pipes freeze, furnaces malfunction, and neighbors are without water and heat; utility bills rise; driving can be dangerous; moisture is purged from the air as well as our bodies and care must be taken regarding hydration, hypothermia and frost bite; people hasten to find shelter; often opaque is the damage and/or loss of life to humans, livestock, plants and wildlife...

and last night's gentle sunset did not speak of the day's bitterness

(Be sure to click on the photos to enlarge

and go to SkyWatch to see skies from around the world.)

Normally I would not post the following photo due to quality, but as I passed one of the bedroom windows enroute to a better vantage point, it was a wow moment for me: a Northern Flicker and a Robin followed by many moments when multiple birds gathered at the fountain, flying in and out and with only the apparent desire for water. Even the bully Steller's Jay did not bark as the robin/s partook of drink. The Purple Finch lingered but the Yellow Finch found their time.

Just as I was about to hit send on this post, there was something that flashed way in the distance, and such excitement on my part as I scrambled to snap before he departed. See if you can find him in the Douglas Fir (center back). It has been many months since we last saw him. What a beauty!

Isn't this a Red-shouldered Hawk? Perhaps someone can positively identify him for us.