Thursday, January 7, 2016

Crops & Clips: Flashback to January, 2013

As much as I enjoy the anticipation of future events, I like to reflect on past experiences. Therefore I will attempt to capture some memories from three years ago, and continue the "scavenger hunt" for photos which represent a few selected themes: Living CRITTERS of all kinds, beautiful SKIES and REFLECTIONS, as well as MACRO images. Most difficult for me (as I inhabit a community in which the Homeowners Association imposes uniformity) I will try to find a GOOD FENCE that is somehow more interesting than all the other lookalikes.   I met this challenge for the past 12 months in a row, so let's see how far I must travel into the month of January, 2013 to achieve my goal!

After recovering from New Year's Day celebrations with visiting relatives, I got out early on the local wetlands and, before sunrise, found an interesting CRITTER, a Wilson's Snipe. It was only January 2, and the snipe also provided a very nice REFLECTION:

Wilson's Snipe 20130102

Video: Wilson's Snipe (If the frame below is blank, just click on it to see the video):

Wilson's Snipe 20130102

The next day Mary Lou and I visited the local Bald Eagle nest, which contained at least one eaglet that had hatched out only 2-3 days before. One adult that we believe to be the female was sitting high in the nest. She had a bloody beak so we assume there was prey in the nest and she had been feeding one or more nestlings. Soon the male flew down to the nest and also appeared to be tearing at prey and feeding the young:

Bald Eagle male tending young 20130103

On January 4 a Mottled Duck cast another beautiful REFLECTION:

Mottled Duck 2-20130104

A very unusual CRITTER showed up on January 5. A captive-reared juvenile Whooping Crane, one of two which migrated from Wisconsin on their own, and then wandered away from the flock that normally winters in northern Florida:

crane 20130105

The next couple of days were filled with the excitement of tracking the cranes and watching the eagles tend to their eaglets. The cranes occupied a wet prairie just to the north of our birding patch, under a beautiful SKY (January 7):

PPines WCA HDR 2-20130107

The pair of cranes on the morning of January 8 before we received a fateful phone call:

 Whooping Cranes 2012 15 Cypress male and 13 Tussock female 20130106

Then, another family  emergency required us to return to Illinois on January 8. You may recall that we had spent much of November and early December there to help our daughter take care of her husband, who broke both of his legs in a hunting accident. Our daughter called us at about 9:00 AM to say that she was on the floor awaiting arrival of the Fire Department rescue squad. She had fallen down the stairs and badly broken her ankle! We were able to get a flight out and arrived in Illinois about 11:00 PM that night. 

Of course we were happy to help out caring for them and their two daughters, but it was quite a shock to suddenly transition from "T-shirt and shorts" to mid-winter in the north. Here the happy couple sport "His & Hers" leg casts:

Our wilderness forays were sharply curtailed as we transported grandchildren to and from school and adults to and from medical visits. However, their back yard provided me (on January 15) with a FENCE shot, along with their two 130 pound Tibetan Mastiffs, golden male Agramonte and black-and-tan female Sagua:

Sagua Tibetan Mastiff 20130115

Now, my mission is to find a MACRO--

Well, I've gleaned my photos up to January 19, where I find a magnificent Red-tailed Hawk on a wire near our daughter's home:

Red-tailed Hawk 2-20130119

Maybe this photo of Agramonte in the back yard will qualify as a MACRO:

Agramonte 20130124

On January 20 we are back in Florida, where I processed a panoramic view over our local Florida wetlands, but no MACRO so far:

Harbour Lakes Wetlands 20130120

At our local nest, one eaglet now is visible:

Bald Eagle male with eaglet 20130126

On January 30, did I get close enough to this Belted Kingfisher to qualify for a MACRO shot? I think not:

Belted Kingfisher 20130130

I've reached the end of the month. On January 31 I found this pair of Egyptian Geese on our back lawn:

Egyptian Geese courting 20130131

OK-- I went back into the archives and found this photo, taken on January 22, 2013, in the kitchen of our daughter's home. For our metric-knowledgeable readers, the outside temperature in NE Illinois was -19 degrees Centigrade:

Clock temperature minus 2 20130122

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to GOOD FENCES by Tex (Theresa). 

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy


Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to I Heart Macro by Laura


Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display



  1. those furbeasts just stun me every time you show them! :) loved the colors of the grasses in some of these shots, too!

  2. Your photos are magnificent, and I love the reflections, too, Kenneth! The video was amazing to watch and I could hear the bird sounds. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Hi Kenneth How terrible that your family injured their legs are all at the same time. I am sure you were a great ehlp to them. Agramonte is ike a male Lion. I would not to foot the food bill for all those dogs.Loove seeing the Eagels with their young and the Hawk is an excellent shot. Love the reflections shot of the duck and wonderful to see the young Cranes

  4. So many awesome birds. I love the Eagles and the shots of the juvenile cranes. - Those were some mighty big dogs by that fence, but quite handsome.

  5. That was definitely a January to remember! I'm loving the birds and those amazing dogs and I'm glad there have been no family emergencies of that caliber since then. The thermometer pic qualifies as a macro probably, it certainly qualifies as a reminder to me of how glad I am to be in Florida in January!

  6. If you are still near those dogs, give them a couple pets from a couple here in Indiana that would dearly love to get their hands on them! It is when I see my neighbor's dog or am at my daughter's house, that tempts me to want to get a dog. But we really don't want any more animals....but we sure enjoy other's pets.

    Anyway, I have enjoyed all your shots...those reflective shots were really wonderful. And so glad to see the eaglet....

  7. beautiful selection of images. love the sky images.

  8. Such fantastic photos! Wow to it all!

  9. Agramonte looks like he has a lion's mane! Some great photos here!!

  10. That photo with the reflection is such a classic. But as ever, there are many contenders for "favourite photo" in this post.

  11. Stunning favorite is the crystal clear reflection with the mottled duck..And those whooping again! And a sweet eaglet...Love the dogs too.
    It is about the same temperature where I live!!

  12. Great mix of photos! I love the reflection photos! Do Kingfishers stay year round, or do they migrate? (I think an elusive Kingfisher might be living in my neighborhood, and I heard him yesterday after not having seen him for awhile. Needless to say, he vanished before I could get a photo of him.)

  13. Anne, our kingfishers here in south Florida are winter visitors. We have them breeding near our Illinois home. Of interest, they may maintain and defend two territories-- one for breeding and the other for fishing.

  14. My goodness Ken, what an ordeal that was! I always enjoy your wildlife photos, you are such a gifted photographer. Thanks so much for sharing the love up-close with I Heart Macro :)

  15. I enjoyed going back in time with you....and I remember you two having to return to help with your daughter & SIL....and the sadness of losing the whooping cranes. {I have yet to spot any Egyptian Geese, tho they've been reported here in So. Texas on occasion}

    Beautiful sky photo...
    Lovely fur babies!!!

    Thanks again, for sharing this post link at I'd Rather B Birdin' this weekend for us birders!!!

  16. Hello, I just love those dogs. They look so hugable. Great shots of the birds. So sorry about your daughter, I hope they both heal quickly. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

  17. You've certainly shared some wonderful captures! Love those dogs. I seriously want a puppy.

  18. Getting to see an eagle on the nest is a rare treat! Love your photos! I'll be looking for those cranes here in FL! Hugs!

  19. Great set of pictures - that snipe is really good. While I am not adverse to following a few trends, I'll give the his and hers casts a miss I think!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  20. Hello Kenneth!:) I hope there are no more injuries in the family this year, and that it is full of great birding opportunities. Loved seeing all your bird sightings, amazing captures of them all, and the lion look alike photo of Agramonte is stunning.

  21. It dawned on a while after I commented the other day that I did not even say I hope your daughter and SIL are doing okay. Who would ever think of both having casts on their legs at the same time!

  22. @Rose--
    Our daughter and son-in-law healed remarkably well. They each had to get around on scooters for a few months but now both walk without a limp, and the hardware in their bones is not causing any symptoms. They are coming down to Florida for Easter break and we will spend time on Sanibel Island, one of our favorite places. Thank you for your concern.

  23. That's quite a collection of memories, Ken! We're very happy to hear your daughter and son-in-law are doing well and the soothing waters around Sanibel have healing powers!
    Thank you for sharing your January quest images!

  24. Absolutely magnificent photos ~ I love the eaglet and so glad your children are doing okay ~ and you are now back in warmer climate and checking on the eagle family ~

    Wishing you a wonderful week ~ ^_^

  25. Kenneth, your photos are incredibly beautiful! It is wonderful to be able to go back + re-live some old memories! Have a beautiful week!

  26. Beautiful birds on the wetlands.

  27. Absolutely gorgeous, the Tibetan Mastiffs and eagle.

  28. Absolutely magnificently done, from the birds, the dogs, back to the birds again, just delightful share. Thank you for brightening my morning already~

  29. I am so sorry to hear about your daughter's broken ankle, done so soon after her husband's legs! I wish them speedy healing and I am sure they were more than grateful for two loving grandparents to make the journey and take care of the whole family. You both deserve medals. Great photos here and as I haven't done so before, I would like to wish you all A Very Happy and HEALTHY New Year :)


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