The view from my perch on the mountain

Graham’s Forge Road

Clear, sunny skies brought on a terrific bout of spring fever today so Buddy and I went for a ride out on Graham’s Forge Road. We even talked Frankie into going along!

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“How in the world did I end up on this side of the fence? The big metal monsters are whizzing past way too close for comfort. This idiot even stopped to point that long black thing with the shiny end at me and that can’t be good!”

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“I’m telling you, Margot, if that boy had a lick of sense he’d be dangerous. Everybody knows geese are safer on this side of the fence.”

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We’ve found several good paces to go fishing this year. Sitting on the bank under a shady tree, drowning worms is a wonderful way to pass the time away. I can’t wait for spring to arrive!

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Every time I go past this old mill it seems like another little bit has fallen away or caved in.

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After not seeing very many deer for most of the winter I rounded a bend in the road and found this doe looking at me, looking at her.

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She stayed nearly motionless as I changed lenses to get a tighter shot.

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Just a little further on I found another one watching us drive past! She was a little more bashful.

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This one sure wasn’t, stopping to pose in the sunlight!

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I’m not sure what species of hawk this is. In fact, when I first spotted it I thought it was an eagle because of it’s size. It was circling way out over the river and I got this shot at maximum zoom with my 55-300MM lens. Once again I’m drooling over that 700MM monster in the catalog but I’ll have to hit the lottery before Frankie lets me spend $4,000 on a lens!

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10 responses

  1. Fizz

    I love where you live. Can I move in? You know, bring Papa, the dogs, the cat… You know, the whole crew? We won’t take up too much space…

    February 10, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    • Okay, but you’re gonna have to teach buddy not to eat the cat. Papa should be okay so long as he don’t keep bacon in his pockets.

      February 11, 2011 at 9:25 PM

  2. what are you whispering to the deers (and other animals) for they let you take your pics that close? I think it does not only depend on lenses.

    February 11, 2011 at 1:25 AM

    • Just a little something I picked up from an old friend: “Be vewy, vewy quiet; I’m hunting wabbits!”

      February 11, 2011 at 6:08 AM

  3. That picture of the raptor reminds me of a Red-Tailed hawk, or Buteo jamaicensis. They’re the most common in Virginia.

    February 11, 2011 at 2:13 AM

    • I thought the same thing but just wasn’t sure.

      February 11, 2011 at 6:06 AM

      • You might be interested in knowing that the Red-tailed juvenile hawk is one of the raptors used as a beginner bird in falconry. I think though, my favorite raptor is the Harris hawk. The Harris hawk is the only social raptor, all the rest are solitary birds. I saw a falconry demonstration at the hunter education instructor training in Oct. 1999, where they had a Red-tailed hawk, a crazy little Cooper hawk, and a Harris hawk. I knew I was in love then, but did not take up falconry. Sure wanted to!

        February 11, 2011 at 9:14 PM

    • When I worked for the Navy in Norfolk we had a pigeon infestation that was way out of hand. Pigeon droppings can cause, among other things, Histoplasmosis which can be very serious. With my COPD the very last thing I needed was any more respiratory problems. The base was located in a bird sanctuary and after the game warden took our pellet guns away, for the third time, he said we were all going to the brig if he caught us plinking birds in the service bay just one more time. Base Environmental spent thousands on electronic remedies, none of which worked and we were out of ideas until one morning when my leading petty officer opened the bay doors. The pigeon flock flew in A LOT faster than usual and there was a strange looking pigeon at the back of the flock. Turned out that “pigeon” was a Coopers Hawk (we named her Bouncin Betty after the infamous land mine) and she decimated the pigeon flock in very short order. Base Environmental was so happy about this green solution that they installed a web cam to beam “their” success story to headquarters!

      February 11, 2011 at 9:34 PM

      • Histoplasmosis is bad news. I am surprised that no one thought of calling a falconer for the pigeon problem. The Coopers Hawk is pretty nuts, difficult to man, and not a beginner bird. They are a very efficient killing machine, flying low and fast. They come in like a cruise missile creating havoc all around. They are very stealthy. A friend of mine described one doing that at his wife’s bird feeder. I think he did a double take when it saw it come in low and fast picking off all the pretty song birds. He said, “they (the victims) were the stupid birds.” When she objected, then he told his wife, the hawk was just doing it’s job picking off the less intelligent birds.

        February 12, 2011 at 1:07 AM

  4. Wonderful pictures Chip!

    February 11, 2011 at 9:21 AM

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