Sunday, November 25, 2012

Water Turkey 2

My bird club friend confirms that not only do I have an anhinga (or water turkey) in my photos here and in preceding post, but I have a pair of male and female anhingas. Continuing from yesterday's post, here are more photos showing the birds and habitat, plus a Canada goose in a meeting of north and south. The manmade lake, off Highway 70 in Kinston, North Carolina, is partly surrounded by a few houses and the little Frenchman's Creek Mall with its koi pond garden and fountain. My photos also show a former garden center with a bridge going out to a small island from where I first noticed the birds. And I hope that the stray cats are not a threat to any nests.

In the first photo below, re-cropped from yesterday's post, the upper bird is the female. The lower one is the male, also seen drying its wings in other photos.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving Water Turkey

Anhinga, or water turkey, seen on a manmade lake in Kinston, North Carolina, over Thanksgiving week. I thought I had a cormorant species, but this bird looks so much like the anhinga I know from my teenage years spent in south Florida. It turns out that the anhinga's northern range extends to North Carolina.

 The upper bird in this view is almost definitely an anhinga -- if I'm wrong, then call me a water turkey! The buff colored slender neck ending in sharp delineation with the darker lower plumage looks just like other images of anhinga I've been studying. I'm not sure what the lower bird is...
Meeting of southern and northern species.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Postcard from Lake Kittamaqundi

"Having a great time. Wish you were here." Another view from the wilder northern end, evening, mid-October.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Visiting our condominium at night to feast on the acorns...There is at least one large adult raccoon and lots of little ones, which have been more skittish and harder to photograph.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Gracey had a choice between her toy squirrel and a real squirrel. I think she's going for the real deal. (Don't worry: The squirrel outside is safe.)

I settled some choices in the voting booth this morning, and I hope my favorite Democrat candidate gets re-elected. Most of the ballot questions for Maryland were pretty easy for me to decide. In my mind, they boiled down to simply thinking, "How mean-spirited it would be to say no to this" -- including the civil marriage act in support of gay marriage and the in-state tuition issue for illegal immigrant students. I voted in favor of both.

The line at my polling place on Vantage Point Road in Columbia, Maryland, seemed long around 9:00 this morning, but it moved quickly and I was out in about half an hour. The line and wait might be a different situation now. I remember waiting in a much longer line that wound through the hallways of Vantage House when Obama was running for his first term.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sandy Visits Our Pond

A mix of photos taken around Lake Kittamaqundi between Tuesday, October 30, and today, Sunday, November 4. Hurricane or Tropical Storm Sandy blew through the area the night before Tuesday. A walk along the lake gave a view of the Little Patuxent River, which runs parallel to the lake, bursting its banks and cascading into the lake all along the shore of the northern half. It almost washed out the construction work road currently running along that side (topmost photo, showing the Gehry building and the Sheraton on the other side; latticework in the road was not visible before). The next two photos compare the same section of the lake, showing the river flooding into the lake on Tuesday and the silt-covered shore of the lake today, along with a nicely timed heron in flight. That heron could tell its own story about the storm, and I might get more photos of it onto the blog later. The photo of the great egret (still not migrating after all this?) also shows the flooded peninsulas on Tuesday. Saturday, the woods around the northern half were alive with birds, and I managed a shot of two of a small flock of bluebirds. hocoblogs@@@

From earlier in October: A particularly blazing maple in our neighborhood. That tree is bare now, but Sandy hasn't washed away all of the fall colors.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

"Spirit, Harmony, Serenity" (and Gracey and Sandy)

The November show at the Artists' Gallery in Columbia features the Oriental brush work of Jing-Jy Chen. My photo shows the exhibit in place on Monday morning as a certain storm was arriving in the area -- the storm has passed and the exhibit is still there! The reception is tomorrow evening, Friday, November 2, 6-8pm. For details and a better look at that lovely triptych of cranes here is a link to the Artists' Gallery website.

 Gracey witnesses the storm's arrival on Monday morning.
Pondering the aftermath Tuesday afternoon.