When you have two black Scottish Terriers that you, yourself have trouble telling apart at a quick glance, double is what you see. The two pups together are more obviously different. Gibbs is bigger, longer, and lower. He’s more “doggy” and Bonnie is more “bitchy” which is as it should be. Gibbs is stronger and more gracefully athletic. Bonnie is bouncy, cheerful, the happiest dog in this best of all possible worlds, the Candide of small dogs.
And then there are the swans and the geese. Both mate for life and you will rarely see one bird without the other nearby.
Kaity and I went shooting today. We haven’t done that in a long time and it was a pleasure spending time with this young woman who is my granddaughter.
It was not quite as bright and beautiful as it had been earlier in the week … but it was neither raining nor snowing.
At this point in the seasons, a day which isn’t bitterly cold and when precipitation isn’t falling from the sky, is a good day to be out and about.
Monday Garry and I are off again. Me to Amherst to stay with friends, he from there to Amherst to Long Island, then back to pick up the luggage (me). And home.
I’ll try to get some pictures while I’m out in the western part of our lovely commonwealth.
These pictures were taken somewhere in Sutton. A farm, a pond, a few bright leaves.
We met a big (probably) Greylag (domestic, not wild) goosewho was taking a break from the farm and failed to read the signs reminding us not to feed the geese. I hoped I was seeing a rare goose, but suspected, when he walked out of the water and stood there looking cute, he was probably domestic.
When Garry said I should come out and grab my camera, I wasn’t as thrilled as I usually am. Mid November is usually drab, vying with early March for nothing special to shoot. Nonetheless, I went. I haven’t taken any pictures for over a week and my camera was lonely.
As we left the house, the sun came out. I noticed more than a bit of autumn foliage. Most of the trees are half bare. Naked branches cluster right, left, or center … but the rest of the tree is still clothed in golden leaves.
Our first stop was Whitins Pond. The last time we were there, it was mostly muddy bottom. No birds and not enough water to float a canoe. Today it looked normal. The mallards I saw were too far away to shoot, but I was glad to see them swimming lazily on what may be the last warm day of this autumn.
Garry suggested we check out the dam in the middle of town. When we got there, it was after three … late afternoon since the clocks were turned back. The light was golden and so were the trees along the Mumford River. The angle of the sun and the trees turned the river to gold.
We were above the dam and a whole flock a mallards were enjoying an excursion. There were males with their bright teal heads, females and adolescents — full-grown, but not yet wearing their adult feathers.
It was gorgeous. These pictures are not processed. This is how it looked in the lens. No special effects … or any effects … were used. Just a little cropping. A drab day turned into a miraculous day.
I needed an airing. My cameras needed exercise. So, finally, I got my act together and we went out to take some pictures. Where to go?
Sometimes, the path of least resistance works out best. We went into town, parked and walked to the Mumford River and the dam. With trepidation. I didn’t know how bad it would be. As it turned out, better than I had hoped, at least for photography.
Because there, right in front of the dam where it used to be deep with a powerful current, stood a blue heron. So still he might have been a statue. Garry spotted him and we dove for our cameras.
We had nothing to fear. He stood there, unmoving, for so long I thought maybe there was something wrong with him. Then, he started to move. Walked over to the spill way … and grabbed a fish. And swallowed it. Then, in his new position along the side by the spillway, he again went still. I guess he was waiting for another fish. He was still standing there when we packed our gear and headed home.
The Mumford is very low. It’s no more than a few inches deep, but at least it’s wet. I guess, from the heron’s viewpoint, it’s better this way. Because when the river was “normal,” a wading bird couldn’t fish there.
I see wild animals frequently in my woods. Garry saw a family of deer yesterday out his window, but I missed them because I was too slow getting there. I had some exciting close encounters with the local bobcats which may have been responsible for my heart problems. Regardless, none of these encounters yielded photographs.
So, to meet this challenge, I must return to my faithful, dependable swans on Whitins Pond.
I took this picture “blind” because I could not see the swan with my own eyes. The nest and swan were almost invisible behind the reeds on the far side of the pond. All I could see was a bit of white. But, I figured,”What else could it be but the other swan?” They are always in pairs, especially this time of year when they are breeding.
So using my super zoom, I aimed at the white thing and took a series of pictures. It was the nest. The camera has far better eyesight than I do.
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