Little Black Cormorant

It’s a gloomy day but still nice for a walk. The ponds are a wildlife refuge and plenty of waterfowl winter here. I saw this pretty little cormorant and thought she made a good subject. Many of the cormorant and night herons like to hang out in the trees. If you look closely you’ll see ten or more black bodies perched on the leafless branches in the background.

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Clear Blue Skies

When the skies are clear and the air is clean I try to take full advantage. Days like this seem few and far between. The white ridges are sand dunes where the kids ride their dirt bikes. I imagine it was a popular spot once, but now I’m not so sure. It’s not in the middle of nowhere anymore.

Bothering Another Hawk

If only I had a good camera. My trusty iPhone isn’t quite up to capturing wildlife in action. Sigh. But I try and do the best with what I’ve got, especially when I’m lucky enough to stumble across a scene such as this huge red-tailed hawk munching on a coot he caught. I was surprised he let me get as close as I did, enabling me to snap a few shots before he dragged his dinner far enough away to chow down in peace. 

The Birds Who Cry “Help”

Peacocks are prevalent at the park and when I was small their plaintive cries haunted me. They seemed to be calling for help across a vast sea of trees. One night I had a fitful slumber during a sleepover there with my Girl Scout troop. Zipped up tight in my bag I dared not close my eyes as I was sure the ethereal creatures were beckoning to me.

Today when I find myself in the park at dusk those cries haunt me still, a melancholy cacophony echoing from the shadows in the trees.

The Magical Water Tower

The water tower fascinated me as a child growing up in Las Vegas during the ’60’s. It seemed enormous, like a magical castle in this far-away park that resembled a fairytale land.

I remember running toward it over what felt like grassy hills with the desire to ascend its heights, perhaps to find Rapunzel inside. Looking at it now it’s much more humble than I imagined it then, but sometimes I still see it through the filter of my child’s eye.

 

Icy Ponds

The ponds are partially frozen today. It’s funny to see the ducks land on the ice. It’s difficult to see them in this picture, but they’re there!

On the far side of the park north of the ponds, the temperature seems ten degrees cooler than on the south side. This holds true even in the warmer months.