Wednesday, July 16, 2008
My stories class (Fiction Writing) takes place on the second floor, in the back of the Barn, and the room is graced with a fire escape, a great place to spend the fifteen-minute break in the middle of class.
Some Barn Swallows were undisturbed by our presence, so I snapped a few pictures of them with my camera, which I had brought with me to class.
In flight, they’re beautiful, agile birds, and the only local swallows to have the forked swallowtail. They’re a voracious and welcome presence on a buggy campus. In a typical barn, they’d nest inside and out, and would perform their valuable exterminatory services in exchange for nothing more than unmolested lodging. The current configuration of this barn, however, means the only real nesting areas are outside. Fortunately, most of the Bread Loaf campus has been maintained in an architectural style with plenty of eaves and gables, so they seem to do just fine.
Vesper Sparrow, but the stripe over the eye is much too pronounced. It’s possible that it’s some kind of immature plumage.
Or, it’s an entirely new kind of bird and I can retire once the internet takes notice of this photo. Either way.
Indigo Buntings on this campus. It seems I just hadn’t noticed them at all last summer. This summer, I couldn’t walk around without bumping into them. Unfortunately, they’re a little too shy for my 75x300 telephoto, so I can’t seem to get a better picture than this. Alas.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
In some ways, it feels like he’s been a part of the family forever, but the calendar makes it quite clear that he’s been with us just less than eight months.
He loves the fetching.
Comet is a wonderfully relaxed and fun-loving dog. When I come home from class, he hops around like a bucking horse. I think he wants to jump up on me but knows it’s not allowed, so he compromises by engaging in some full-on frolicking.
He’ll also happily sleep on his back or roll there to beg for belly rubs. That’s a fairly winning behavior too.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
The sun also made for good colors.
My Dad guesses European Skipper. Sounds good to me.
Indigo Bunting calling again, so I stopped to try to stake him out. As I waited, I was treated to the sight of this Common Yellowthroat, also singing for territory and hopping around.
Yellowthroats are apparently pretty shy, and I had never even heard of these before, much less seen one, so I felt lucky.
Just up and too the left of the Bunting is probably a female of the same species. They’re quite drab in comparison to their husbands and even harder to spot. I didn’t even realize I had gotten a picture of her until I saw the photo.
But, it was right on the road, the lighting was decent, and I wanted to look for some birds. Right at the beginning of the trail is an open wetland area, and though there was no life when I first walked out to it, a few minutes’ patient waiting yielded this Gray Catbird, who flew out to an exposed branch to sing.
Catbirds, incidentally, are great imitators, and though they don’t typically reconstruct as complete copies of songs as Northern Mockingbirds and Brown Thrashers do, they have pretty complex songs nonetheless.
A lovely and demure thing, isn’t she?