Sunday, August 11, 2013

Early to Rise

For the last several years, we've rented a house on Silver Lake in New Hampshire. My parents took my sister and me there every summer for over twenty years, and over that time, our friends and extended family visited on and off, and we all built some wonderful memories of the place. Our current rental is two houses down from the cottage my parents loved, so we see pretty much the same sunrises.

I tend to wake up very early on the first morning, so I took the camera down to the dock to enjoy the dawn. The lake is very deep, so it stays cold all the way through the summer, and some mornings, the lake is completely covered in fog and you can watch the sun burn it off as it rises.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Thousand Splendid Tree Swallows

Andy and I have been taking long walks at Hammonasset Beach State Park, which is a nice place to bird in the first place, but as we walked along some of the scrubby pines behind the dunes, we looked up to find hundreds—maybe as many as a thousand—Tree Swallows hawking for insects in the air above our heads. I can't rule out that there might have been other species of swallows in the air, but every bird I got a good look at, as well as every bird I can identify in this picture, is a Tree Swallow, lacking the distinct banding on the chest that could indicate a different species.

The picture only captures a fraction of the birds and an even smaller fraction of the feeling of standing out in the open air and watching a thousand little individuals choosing a path in that huge three-dimensional dance.