Thursday, November 26, 2015

Catching Up

Been a long while since I last posted anything to my blog, but here I am catching up.  Have quite a potpourri from a number of excursions here in Colorado and one shot of a red-headed woodpecker from a recent trip back to Memphis and Hernando.  I accompanied my niece's husband for a Sat. morning trip to the farmer's market in the little town square for milk and then a stop by the Ladybug Bakery for some yummy pastries.  Across the street far up in, I think, a sweet gum tree was a red-headed woodpecker.  It's a distant shot at maximum zoom so not really sharp, but my first picture of that bird.

red-headed woodpecker

barn swallow

violet green swallow

juvy swallow?
western grebe

muskrat hauling strawberry


red-tailed hawk?
broad-tailed hummingbird

canyon towhee
lark sparrow

prairie falcon
red-napped sapsucker

rock squirrel

hairy bee?
mountain bluebird

From my daily walk down to Lake Arbor with our dog, Rocky, a number of shots from last summer and this fall.  In the winter we always get lots of western grebes.  Easy to recognize with their long white necks and black caps.  The swallows, especially the barn swallows were successful in raising broods this summer.  They often nest in the eves of the gazebo next to the lake and come in with feathers to refresh the older nests.  The violet green, rough-winged, bank, and tree swallows also nest around the lake and there's a couple of shots of those included.  There are a number of muskrats that call the lake and feeder creek home.  Earlier last summer there was one swimming along next to the shore carrying a strawberry in it's mouth, apparently cast off from a near-by picnic.  The field above the lake is a favorite hunting ground for kestrels and red-tailed hawks.  There's a shot of each of those.

I go camping to Lake Pueblo quite often, especially in the fall, winter, and spring.  Too crowded and hot in the summer.  Last spring I got this nice shot of a lark sparrow hoping around on the ground near my camp.  In the spring and fall I often set out my humming bird feeder on the camper.  I rigged a hanger so it's right next to my window.  I can hear them buzzing around it once they've discovered the feeder.  Got a couple of shots of them working the feeder.  One of the year round residents at Lake Pueblo is the canyon towhee.  They are very curious birds and often go looking for goodies in the camper and up underneath the truck.  Here's one sitting on the tire keeping an eye on Rocky.  There used to be tons of prairie dogs in the park, but they have removed most of them.  They have also encouraged raptors by putting up some poles for them to hunt from.  Couple trips back there was a prairie falcon making use of one of the poles.  Never saw him make a score, though.  Another of the regular residents in the park are rock squirrels.  They are rather large, gray squirrels with white freckles.  Handsome critters.  They live in burrows in the ground, but you often see them sitting up in the cedar trees using them for lookout posts.  Flocks of mountain bluebirds winter in the park.  You can almost always be sure to spot some.  Here's one sitting in the dead top of a cedar.  The bluebirds are one of the reasons I like to go to Pueblo in winter.  Their bright blue color and cheerful chirps raise my spirits.

From a trip to Hot Sulphur Springs along the Colorado River last summer, here's a red-napped sapsucker you often see working a route among the willows along the river.

And one last shot that I forget the location of - an unusual kind of bee.  Not sure what these are, but I have seen them a number of times.  A large, hairy, yellowish bee.  Thought it might be a tachnid fly, but now I'm no so sure.

It's Thanksgiving and looks like some serious winter is setting in.  Might not get for awhile.  I like going to Pueblo in the winter, but my minimum high temp for a visit is 55, so it could be awhile.  Plus, dark comes mighty earlier in the short days of winter.