Migration Patterns ~ Robins Return to Holly Road

The end of every January, flocks of robins stop at this holly tree on their way back north. They start at the top and work their way down, eating every berry until the tree is bare. Then they move on.

 

Timelapse Video Captures Rare Full Cloud Inversion Inside the Grand Canyon | Colossal

Although rare, full cloud inversions are something we know well here, covering the same phenomena over the last few years both here and here. This particular timelapse video by filmmaker Harun Mehmedinovic captures how beautifully the descending clouds imitate waves when trapped within the Grand Can

Source: Timelapse Video Captures Rare Full Cloud Inversion Inside the Grand Canyon | Colossal 

 

SKYGLOWPROJECT.COM: KAIBAB ELEGY from Harun Mehmedinovic on Vimeo.

Peonies, Rescued from the Rain

Scottsville, Virginia

 

So much rain, so fast and so long. First the small streams overflow backroads and bridges, now the big river is much bigger, spilling over the banks.

And cold. We have a fire in the stove again

Mirrors: an Australian Salt Flat Lake

Since 2003, Australian photographer Murray Fredericks has made at least twenty journeys to the center of Lake Eyre, a desert lake with an extremely high concentration of salt. Fredericks drags all of his equipment out into the barren landscape, capturing the dramatic sky reflected in both the inch-d

Source: Saltscapes: Mirrors Reflect the Sky in an Australian Salt Flat Lake | Colossal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ‘Vanity’ Series from Murray Fredericks on Vimeo.

 

 

Resist

Madison County, Virginia

 

The resistance is strong here. Sometimes where you’d least expect it, in the rural south.

On the way home from work, meeting up with friends for a Decompression Session at a tiny brewery in a barn nearby.

A good way to end the week.

 

Madison County, Virginia

 

 

 

Mockingbird, Full Moon ~ 3 a.m.

Mockingbird at 3 a.m., April Full Moon

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There’s a male Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) who sings outside our bedroom window every Spring. Despite the fact it makes them eminently easier targets for predators, like owls, they like to perch in the highest tree tops, and our house is at the top of the hill.

In Spring, on quiet nights when there’s a full moon, he sings all night long. So loud he wakes me from sleep, even with the windows closed. At 3 a.m., unable to go back to sleep, I gave up. Went outside with a microphone and a camera. The trees are budding out, and it’s a warm night with a soft breeze.

By odd coincidence I was just reading about mockingbirds, in a book by a local author. Our daughters played soccer together. She often writes for National Geographic and Smithsonian, and sometimes we shared conversations on the sidelines during practice about the topics she was researching. The book is called The Genius of Birds, by Jennifer Ackerman.

It’s full of fascinating info. I just finished a section on Mockingbirds. Apparently, Thomas Jefferson (whose house I pass several times a day) kept one as a pet in the White House when he was President. His name was Dick. Dick not only mimicked the calls of many birds from the nearby woods, but also did a fair rendition of some popular American, Scottish, and French melodies, things you’d hear in a local tavern. Jefferson was so fond of the bird it was allowed to follow him throughout the house during the day.

Mockingbirds will acquire hundreds of phrases in a complex library of sounds they can imitate with great precision, switching between them at the rate of 17 or 18 a minute with such accuracy that in sonograms they are almost indiscernible from the originals. And not just the sounds of other birds – car alarms, cats, people, sirens, whatever strikes their fancy. All using a brain about the size of a pea.

No wonder I can’t sleep.

This one is on a roll again, just like previous years. Though I’m only outside listening for a few minutes, I pick out a couple of hawks, Osprey, Cardinals, Robins, Sparrows, etc..

They sing to impress the ladies, of course, and will risk their lives to do so; but they don’t just sing during mating season. The rest of the year they sing just because it makes them feel good. Brain scans show singing gives them pleasure and comfort, so they often do it whether anyone else is listening or not. Just for themselves.

 

 

Spring Peepers

Spring Peepers, old farm pond.

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Just 3.5 minutes of spring peepers. Brown bats arc through the air.

Walked back to the pond this evening. It’s a quarter mile away, down at the bottom of the field and through the woods. Still, we can hear them clearly from the back door.

Standing at the water’s edge they are so loud they hurt my ears. It would be hard to talk over them.