Friday, November 1, 2013

My Morning Visitor: A Red-tailed Hawk

As I walked out into the early morning sunlight, a very large bird took flight from its perch on the low wall between my driveway and my sister's.  That concrete block wall is about shoulder high for me. I was not 10 feet from the bird when it flew. I had only a brief view of the pale underside of its wings as it soared leisurely away into the blue eastern sky.

Research at Wikipedia convinces me that it was almost certainly a red-tailed hawk.  I had not realized before how pale the feathers are on the underside of this beautiful bird.  This image from Wikimedia Commons  (Red tailed hawk saoring Maryland USA) is almost exactly what I saw, low but climbing with hardly a beat of its outstretched wings. My bird was slightly paler, almost white, and I did not register its brown back before it flew. At first I thought it might be an owl, but daylight was too far advanced for any owl to be out at that hour.

The image is by Badjoby (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons and is  licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  Badjoby requests at the site that someone fix the misspelling typo "saoring," since he doesn't know how -- but I don't know how to do that, either.  I am very grateful to him for granting the license to reproduce his beautiful photo.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Just Before the Storm

Halloween festivities in Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee, have been postponed to Friday, November 1, the "Day of the Dead."  That's because of the 100 per cent certainty of heavy precipitation and severe thunderstorms this afternoon, which would endanger the little trick-or-treaters  (and the big ones, too).  In NOAA's forecast there is also mention of the possibility of a few tornadoes. 

So yesterday I photographed the increasingly beautiful colors on the trees in my neighborhood, just in case the high winds should shake loose the rest of the leaves now dressed in their red and yellow Halloween costumes, carpeting the ground with them and leaving only the still preponderantly green foliage in the storm gusts' wake.


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