Wonders of Fall

Pictured above: Mallard ducks, House Wren, Northern Flicker, Hermit Thrush and Yellow-rumped Warbler

“Here’s the plain truth, at least as it has been shown to me: We are never far from wonders.” – John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)

A Search for the Essential

It turns out that the chirping noise that a hummingbird makes actually comes from its tail. Since hummingbirds move so fast, they can make their tail vibrate like a reed instrument. This is a male, Ruby-throated Hummingbird.
These aptly named flowers are in the genus Cosmos which comes from the Greek word “kosmos” meaning “beautiful.”
When it’s not perched on a plant, the American Goldfinch can be seen foraging on the ground or flying – dipping and rising in a wave-like pattern as it soars.

Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday lent itself to several quotes for me to highlight. With chapter titles like “Slow Down, Think Deeply,” “Bathe in Beauty” and “Limit Your Inputs,” there was a lot for me to like about this book. So please allow me to share two great little excerpts with you.

“The way you feel when you awake early in the morning and your mind is fresh and yet unsoiled by the noise of the outside world – that’s space worth protecting.”

Or how about this one? “In order to think clearly, it is essential that each of us figures out how to filter out the inconsequential from the essential.”

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwings are most often seen in flocks while searching for berries to eat, so it was unusual to find this individual in Irvington, New York, seemingly content to be on its own, while having a look around.

“Acceptance anchors us so that we might focus on the present rather than endlessly drift in a sea of wishing, dreaming and pining for anything other than what is.” – Rose Zonetti

I’m happy to be able to share that one of my photos has been selected for the “Top 100” in the 2021 Audubon Photography Awards. You can see all of the photos by clicking on the link below. My Red-bellied Woodpecker from this past winter is photo #69.


Sometimes (but especially in summer)

Sometimes, if you just sit on a rock, near the river, at low tide, and wait… you can be visited by a Belted Kingfisher.
At other times, it can be helpful to get a birds-eye view of the grass and dandelions and hope that a Killdeer doesn’t fly too soon.
And sometimes, it helps to be reminded of how important it is to just step outside and remove yourself from all your cares and worries. To just be still, and listen and look at the incredible beauty that is still so alive in this world.

Black Bear, Blue Grosbeak

What began as a quest to photograph a black bear in the wild became a three-day adventure along a portion of the Eastern Seaboard this week. How exciting it was to see this black bear foraging in an open field, at dusk, at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina.

Two Sanderlings displayed perfect synchronicity as they flew together before landing on a beach at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina.

The yellow of this Prothonotary Warbler seemed to glow in the filtered light of a bald cypress forest at First Landing State Park in Virginia.

Another true highlight was seeing a Blue Grosbeak for the first time. This male was with his mate at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia. An incredibly beautiful bird in a truly magnificent park.

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.” – Victor Frankl

Higher Ground

Blackburnian and Magnolia warblers were two of the real highlight birds during my jaunt to Central Park this week.
The male Baltimore Oriole stops me in my tracks every time. This one was singing at Rockefeller State Park.
An American Redstart snags a worm at the Lenoir Preserve in Yonkers while even the Yellow Warblers are becoming a bit more difficult to find now that the leaves have fully grown.

“When you feel the earth moving, bring yourself back to the now. You’ll handle whatever shake-up the next moment brings when you get to it. In this moment, you’re still breathing. In this moment, you’ve survived. In this moment, you’re finding a way to step onto higher ground.” – Oprah Winfrey

On the Lookout

A Yellow Warbler at Rockefeller State Park and an Indigo Bunting at Teatown Lake Reservation in Ossining, in their lofty perches.
A Green Heron at Halsey Pond in Irvington, NY also seems to enjoy standing, perched up high, with a view.
An Orchard Oriole at Croton Point Park and a Prairie Warbler at Teatown Lake Reservation in Ossining, NY.

“What difference would it make to the quality of our lives if we lingered more in nature? We invite you to spend some time reconnecting to the wild and alive Earth and practice experiencing the sacredness of the first Incarnation.” – The Center for Action and Contemplation

Warbler Wednesday!

Palm Warbler, Halsey Pond, Irvington, New York.
Magnolia Warbler, Rockefeller State Park, Pocantico, New York
Ovenbird, Hillside Woods, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York
Chestnut-sided Warbler, Rockefeller State Park
Yellow Warbler, Rockefeller State Park

They know – it’s time
They know
In every feather they can feel it
They know

Every bird in the sky knows
A change is gonna come
By an’ by

Eric Bibb – Songwriter and musician – from his song “They Know”

Such Miracles!

Black-throated Blue Warbler at Hillside Woods in Hastings, New York this morning.
Yellow-rumped Warbler at Halsey Pond in Irvington, New York
My first sighting of a Prothonotary Warbler. Belleplain State Forest in New Jersey.
Black and white Warbler. Hillside Woods, Hastings, New York
Hooded Warbler, Belleplain State Forest, New Jersey

The Warbler Parade is officially underway! The May migration spectacle has already been everything I had hoped… and it’s only May 3rd!

“I feel poised at the edge of a great adventure. For me, these birds and their movements in waves northward, draw a veil of life, of beauty, of urgency, across this continent. It’s the most exciting time of year to me – it’s what I wait eleven months for. I will be soaking it in with every fiber of my being. Birds are such miracles!” – Melissa Groo