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Nature in it's glory

Nature in it's glory

Feb 27, 2011

Wind and snow deliver delightful close-ups

A museum of Bohemians
I'm suffering from spring fever, or cabin fever, take your pick.  So I have been waiting anxiously for the weather to warm up and it did overnight, but not as expected and certainly not for long.  The snow is still coming down, drifting and whirling violently with the gusting wind, to cover everything with a thick sheet of white.   In other words the weather turned nasty.  With the change in weather and the wind came an unexpected delivery however, right to the end of my driveway and the fulfillment of a wish.  My wish for a close up portrait of a winged nomad, in detail with all it's glorious color.

Short flight to the roof
I had originally planned to go out just for a little while but it was still too early when I woke, and I will admit I was hoping it would warm up some more.   So I got busy doing some research on the internet and, as usual, completely lost track of time.   It was the insistent and very persistent call of a Blue Jay that finally caused me to surface from the web.  I went to look outside but couldn't see anything that might have upset the bird and then quickly checked the weather again, because the wind had picked up notably.  To my disgust, the temperature had dropped by several degrees, which is when I made the decision to just stay in.

Bohemian waxwing in flight and close up
Just landing
However, as I was puttering around in my kitchen, I happen to glance outside to see small flocks of birds flitting by the window in waves.  A closer look proved that there were larger flocks flying just over the treetops on the street, which is why I changed my mind, yet again.   This, I just knew was my best opportunity to get some pictures.   It didn't take long to grab my camera, bundle up and give myself half an hour max to be out in the rapidly deteriorating weather.  I wasn't even gone ten minutes.

Bohemian Waxwing - Just a glimpse of a beautiful wing
Crowded close just above the roof
Bohemian Waxwing - A look in the eye
There are many trees planted throughout my complex, some of them quite tall.  So as soon as I stepped outside my door, I was looking up, and the first thing that greeted my sight was hundreds of Bohemian  Waxwings in the tree tops at the end of the drive, not more than twenty five feet away.  They were flying back and forth between the tree tops and the roof where they were consuming the fresh snow.

They were also pecking at something beneath the accumulated snow on the branches of the pine just above, leaving a mess of light brown husks scattered all over the sidewalk and ground under the tree.  No doubt they were getting at the tree sap on the branches, which is the only other food that they will consume besides fruit and insects, that I know of.
Bohemian Waxwing - Just a bit shy
I couldn't believe it!  For once the birds where within a reasonable range of my camera lens instead of at it's extreme limit, I wasn't standing in knee deep snow and wet, and I wasn't hunched over under a branch or bush in an attempt to get a decent shot.  That isn't to say that I wasn't having difficulties getting decent pictures.  The wind was blowing snow around after all, which meant the focus kept going in and out on the camera and the birds of course were not exactly stationary.  Nevertheless, I understood with certainty that I would get the portraits that I've wishing for and I was ecstatic.   When I finally saw the result of my brief outing on the computer screen I was elated and I just had to share them with you.  Just click on the photos to enlarge them for viewing.

For more information on Bohemian Waxwings just follow these links:



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