Jewels of the Sky

Hummingbirds_wordpressI never cease to be amazed by hummingbirds as they zip past me before stopping on a dime. A female Ruby-throated Hummingbird (at left) and a male have their favorite perches near our home in Dobbs Ferry, New York.HummingbirdFlight_wordpressThese hummingbirds beat their wings about 53 times per second. Amazing right?

“As we re-emerge post-pandemic, I hope we can maintain some newly re-learned habits of slowing pace, watching more closely, and finding great interest and peace in the changes and movements that living things constantly show us.” – Carl Safina

“You can observe a lot by just watching.” – Yogi Berra


Night Sky – Maine


At Wilson Pond, a new moon in a cloudless night allowed for a great view of the Milky Way and of Jupiter, the brightest light in the night sky.


We were also able to see the comet Neowise, shortly after sunset, while looking toward the Northwest sky.

“Of course there are experiences of landscape that will always resist articulation, and of which words offer only a remote echo – or to which silence is by far the best response.” – Rob Macfarlane (Orion magazine)

Cry of the Loon


During our drive up to Maine this week I mentioned that I really wanted to see a Common Loon. It turns out that even more thrilling than seeing this amazing bird was hearing its mournful cry.


A loon popped up just a short distance from my kayak and shook water from its feathers before calling out in its unearthly but beautiful call. It’s a memory I hope to hold onto for a long time.

“The loon symbolizes the wildness of the north – wildness that many of us, trapped in an ever-more-urbanized society, long for from the depths of our souls.” – Marie Read

Just the Right Spot


These two little bandits were seen resting in the crook of a tree near our home yesterday. Their mom made for a soft pillow but it still seemed difficult for them to find just the right spot for sleeping.

“My hope is that when the pandemic releases its grip, when the world speeds up again and we return to work and school, when there’s less time to watch birds… that we remember what Covid-19 has taught us: that our health and our planet’s health have never been more intertwined – and to take care of the planet is to take care of ourselves.” – Daryln Brewer Hoffstot (from the New York Times 6/19/20)




An American Oystercatcher came in for a landing at Milford Point on the Long Island Sound in Connecticut this morning.


A Red-winged Blackbird chased a Great Egret away when the larger bird waded in too close to the blackbird’s nest at Connecticut’s Silver Sands State Park.


A Piping Plover chick, new to this world, isn’t quite as alone as she may look. Her mother stayed close by and provided reassuring “peeps” as the youngster wandered about on the sand at Milford Point.

“The highest form of love is to be the protector of another person’s solitude.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Northbound Birds




Three of the beautiful warblers seen heading north this spring included the Canada, Common Yellowthroat and Bay-breasted warblers. I wonder who else will be lucky enough to witness these amazing birds as they make their way to their breeding grounds.

“Surrender to what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be. ” – Sonia Ricotti

Let’s Party!


A Baltimore Oriole shared an Eastern redbud tree with a bumble bee at Croton Point State Park in New York.


A male Eastern Bluebird at Rockefeller State Park in Pocantico, New York.


This vivid Indigo Bunting was photographed at Harriman State Park.

“Spring is nature’s way of saying ‘Let’s Party!'” – Robin Williams

Hiding in Plain Sight


After I learned that there was a Great Egret seen not far from our home, I stopped by the small pond that was mentioned and there it was – a beautiful and unusual bird for our area.


After photographing a cooperative chipmunk, I saw an eastern gray squirrel, in hiding and making noises that made me aware that there might be a raptor close by.


I then turned around to see this Barred Owl. Two special birds in one day!

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one sees rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” – Antoine De Saint

Brand New Day


As the morning fog lifted, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet appeared on a Japanese Maple at Halsey Pond.


The morning sunshine was most welcome.


A Hooded Warbler sits in the early morning light at Sterling Forest State Park in New York.