Thursday, September 7, 2017

Crops & Clips: Flashback to September, 2014

Once again I am looking back three years and remembering how it was then, and maybe what I might expect this time around. My archives contain 410 photos processed that month. As usual I will look for my favorite memes-- birds and other critters, beautiful skies and reflections, fences, signs of the season, and maybe a few shots which speak for themselves. 

Back in 2014, we started the month at our permanent home in Florida but in mid-month returned to our second home, a condo in Illinois. A little after sunrise on September 1, the winds were calm and the skies fair over the lake in our local wetlands.

Early morning clouds on Harbour Lake 20140901

Later in the morning we stopped by the neighborhood Bald Eagle nest and found that both adults were at the nest and bringing in sticks to renovate  it. Usually this activity begins later in the month or in early October. The female, whom the eagle watchers had named "Joy," perched atop a Melaleuca snag and spread her wings (click on photo for more and larger views):

Bald Eagle female 6-20140901

This is the male, Pride (no, he is not really that close to the tree!):

Bald Eagle female 9-20140901

Joy, whom we had been following  for six years, was known to have produced at least 13 eaglets (11 of which survived to fly freely). Sadly, she would disappear at the end of October. We were never sure of her fate.

Pride was left without a partner. In early December a new and younger female appeared at the nest. Courtship and mating followed, but if "Jewel" deposited any eggs she never sat on the nest. For the first time since 2007 the entire breeding season would pass without any new eaglets.

Two days later I caught a much smaller bird in the act of spreading his wings, a Prairie Warbler:

Prairie Warbler taking flight 20140903

On September 5 a small flock of White Ibises roosted on a neighbor's fence:

White Ibises on fence 20140905

A Black Vulture posed for a portrait. Maybe he heard me say that he is not so ugly after all!

Black Vulture portrait  20140907

On September 15, just before we were to depart for Illinois, migrating Ovenbirds passed through:

Ovenbird 08-20140915

On the same day, parting shots at a pair of Florida butterflies, a male Julia longwing...

Julia longwing male 20140915

...and a White Peacock:

White Peacock 2-20140915

The Chicago skyline on the approach to Midway Airport on September 17:

Chicago skyline from Midway approach 20140917

In Illinois, the air was crisp and the light a bit different. Though not a "field guide" illustration of the species, I liked the way this Nashville Warbler fit the frame:

Nashville Warbler 20140918

In a classic pose, a White-breasted Nuthatch took a different view of the world:

White-breasted Nuthatch 3-20140919

In a small marsh not far from our condo, I enjoyed the natural sepia tones of a Swamp Sparrow...

Swamp Sparrow 09-20140929

..and a Marsh Wren, ...

Marsh Wren 03-20140929

...but a Nelson's Sparrow was more elusive:

Nelson's Sparrow 08-20140929

On the last day of September, the temperature had dropped 20 degrees. Hundreds of American Robins seemed to appear out of nowhere. Some bathed in a small stream:

American Robins bathing 2-20140930

On the way home we stopped by a Bald Eagle nest only a mile away from our Illinois condo. As was the case with the one near our Florida home, it was the first in the county, having been established on the grounds of a residential boys' school only about 4 years previously. 

The nest was built in a dying pine tree the middle of a sport stadium parking lot. I fear that the tree will need to be removed, as now, three years later, it is entirely dead and may present a hazard to public safety:

Bald Eagles at Mooseheart nest 20140930

This cameo portrait was captured from a distance:

Bald Eagle portrait COREL2 20140930

Agramonte, our daughter's Tibetan Mastiff, kept an eye on me as I barbecued steaks on their back deck:

Agramonte2 20140929

An old barnyard:

Water tower2 HDR 20140925

 I prepared this post in advance as the ferocious Hurricane Irma appeared to be on a collision course with south Florida. We shuttered our home and evacuated on short notice. Right now (September 6) Mary Lou and I are seeking refuge three time zones away in mile-high Albuquerque, New Mexico.

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,


Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy


Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue

Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh


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



  1. Many lovely shots. Kudos.

    I love Agramonte

  2. Love all the birds! Beautiful butterflies!
    I am glad you are far away from Hurricane Irma
    Have a great day!

  3. Hi, Mr. Kenneth!
    As always your photos are perfect and the themes wonderful.
    I'm going to pray to God that nothing bad will happen to you and your family and all those who will suffer from the hurricane. I will also pray that the beautiful nature that you portray so well, will not be destroyed.
    A strong hug in this hour of apprehension.


  4. Wonderful photos! I am glad you are out of the way of the storm.

  5. This post was a joy to view. You are beside my post link on Skywatch Friday. I pray for your safety and all those in Florida as Irma barrels toward the land. My uncle and aunt, many friends of my parents are in Florida. They are deciding now, in West Palm Beach, weather to go or stay. God bless you all.

  6. Gorgeous look back at lovely memories.

  7. I love these photos from the archives! Some excellent shots. You had a really productive month with 410 photos! I probably average 50 or so.

  8. The reflection is outstanding! I also love the rest of the photos. I'm glad you were able to escape Irma. Albuquerque is a wonderful place. Hopefully you wont sustain too much property damage.

  9. Hello, the Mastiff is a gorgeous dog. I love the eagle and the ovenbird. The butterflies are lovely. The Ibis on the fence is one of my favorites. Great post. I hope you neighborhood and home are safe in Florida, Prayers for all. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy day and new week ahead!

  10. Hang in there Ken and Mary Lou! Good thinking to prepare ahead Ken. Those clouds are stunning! Also love the captures of the eagle and the ibises. Still don't think this poor vulture would win a beauty contest, lol!
    We hope at All Seasons with you that your home will make it through - hopefully without too much damage. Happy you found a place to escape to! All the best for coming week!

  11. Great set of pictures - but of more importance, I hope that you and yours (and your house) are OK.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  12. It was difficult for me to continue beyond those magnificent eagle photos! Wow. Loved 'em all today Ken.

    I'm still a bit slow getting around to paying visits to all of you who joined in this past weekend at I'd Rather B Birdin'. Bud and I are still trying to line up someone to replace our privacy fence from Hurricane Harvey...and getting debris and stuff cleaned up from our yards. I do hope you and your loved ones and your home in Florida were not damaged by Irma. Keep us posted when you can, and thanks for sharing your post with us.

  13. Awesome photos. Loved the Ibis on the fence, the shots of the eagle and that huge dog.

  14. Great photos of the eagle especially.
    Thanks for joining this week's party at

  15. Those are a lot of photos! You take this seriously. That eagle on flight is impressive.

  16. Wonderful photos! I hope that everything is ok in your home in Florida.


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