Sunday, May 30, 2021

A walk in the park

Jessa and I went to Schwer Park in Papillion yesterday, I to fish and she to photograph Baltimore orioles. The fishing was steady—lots of potato-chip bluegills eager for drowned ants and the occasional beetle.

The orioles, however, while definitely present, were less obliging than we had hoped, and Jessa ended up with only one photo.

She did document other icterids at the park, including brown-headed buffalo birds...

...and red-winged blackbirds...

...but her most dramatic shots were of common grackles in enraged but futile pursuit of a red-tailed hawk that had made off with one of their own.

The redtail's departure was presumably welcomed by more typical prey, including this fox squirrel and several baby cottontails.

Another small drama occured when this robin landed in front of Jessa with a beakful of worms...

...leading her to discover a well-situated nest in a hawthorn.

The nestlings, unlike their parents, seemed undisturbed by Jessa's inadvertent intrusion, but then became fledglings as she turned to go, abandoning their redoubt in what she described as an explosion of robinlets. We wish them well...and recommend they watch out for a certain red-tailed hawk that seems fond of young birds.

More shots from the park (all by Jessa, as I continued to fish my way around the pond):

Monday, May 17, 2021

Sunday morning with a railroad cat

We got off to a slow start yesterday; there was plenty of work to be done in the back garden, but it was raining, and anyway Jessa woke up not feeling well, so we did ourselves a kindness and stayed mostly in bed with a couple of brief sorties for tea. Ellie eventually came to join us for a snuggle, and so did Cathan and Caiomhe, a contented pile of people and cats lounging on and under the goosedown blanket as Sunday morning stretched into Sunday afternoon. Just as Jessa started to think about getting up, Caoimhe, who had been lying on Jessa already, stretched out a paw and went to sleep.

My comment, "She looks just like Chessie," was met with blank stares from both my wife and daughter. "You have no idea what I'm talking about, do you?"

"Regional, or just because you're old?" Jessa teased. Well, both, apparently. I pulled up the Wikipedia page on Chessie to dispel their ignorance, and both Jessa and Ellie agreed that Caoimhe, whose appearance belies her five years, is a ringer for C&O's sleeping kitten.

We stayed in another half-hour at least.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Fresh fish

While throwing streamers near the rocky dam of one of our local lakes in search of striped bass hybrids (a pursuit about which I hope to have more to say soon), I picked up two new species on the fly this week:

Channel catfish (they do a fair bit of open-water predation on smaller fish in addition to scavenging; this one hit a shad imitation).

White perch (initially mistaken for white bass; both are freshwater congeners of the striped bass).