Well, Ferris Bueller had it right--this Nikon camera is great! OF COURSE Kat broke down and gave it to me last night, and then I stayed up until like 2:30 in the morning playing with it and reading the manual (like a geek).
As soon as I got home today I busted out the camera, the binocs (more on the scope in a bit), and got out to the fenceline. Like an actor hitting his cue right on, one of the juvenile herons flew in.
Here we see our adolescent heron circling the marsh, heading for his usual tree. This is the first time I've seen any herons for at least a week, and his timing is impeccable.
I then focused on his little tree, and as I snapped pictures, I wondered if this was a blue heron after all. I mean, what's with the rufous neck and the greenish body?
Admittedly, the focus is pretty bad, but the colors are there. Is this what juvey great blue herons look like? I'm sure his mother was a blue. She's too large to be a green heron. I'm confused. His coloring really matches that of a green heron. Is it possible that this little guy is in fact NOT a juvenile blue but an adult green?
Local birder Roana Fuller told me there might be a rookery out there on the marsh, given the adult and the smaller birds. While I agree there are a lot of birds out there, I'm wondering if there were no juveys, just adults. It is a little late for babes to be out in the woods. It's downright chilly here tonight.
Heavens. My world is rocked.
Here is another photo--though the focus isn't much better. Just not enough light, and not enough experience behind the camera, I'm afraid.
Okay, I need to calm down. So what if this is a green heron? I'm pretty sure I saw juveniles before, but if not--well, so be it. At least now I can chalk up another lifebird.
Pretty exciting around the old marsh tonight.
So now I want to go back to some unfinished business regarding caterpillars that looked like little powder-donuts. I went back to the little tree where I saw them, and lo and behold--they were gone! All that was left was these little shrivelled carcasses!
What the hell?
So I continued my investigation, and I found a completely different caterpillar on the next plant over--see Exhibit A:
Who is this guy? And why is he in the same pose as the powder-donut wormies? See Exhibit B:
Not much powder left on this guy, but at least he's not shrivelly!
What kind of worm is this?
Okay--back at the computer after a temporary intermission. My investigation then led me to this, which we'll call Exhibit C:
A-ha! From the looks of it, perhaps the stripey worm comes out of the powder-donut worm skin, like a butterfly from a cocoon? Or it could just be a coincidence that LOOKS like one is emerging from the other. I've never heard of such a phenomenon, but then I'm no caterpillar expert. Any comments?
I tried to get a pic of the foliage they were eating, but alas--it's GONE! Look--this is all that's left!
Seriously--this is the only bit of leaf I could find. Hungry little guys, I guess.
I took some other bird photos, though they too aren't great. Still, I saw what I would guess is a female red-wing blackbird, judging from the reddish shoulder patch.
I also some a lot of cedar waxwings, which was neat:
Sorry about the low quality, but this is the best of the bunch.
Speaking of bunch, I caught this little gang hanging out together on a tree:
Looks like the possible lady redwing blackbird, some starlings, a grackle maybe?, and a brown-headed cowbird. Maybe?
Finally I have some updates on prior situations around the backyard: First, our little chrysalis:
See how you can see the stripes on his little wings already? This Nikon will take close-ups as close as 1 centimeter in beautiful sharp focus. I love the little raindrops on there too. I ended up gently dumping out some of the tobacco-stained water, so our little guy wouldn't drown if we get more rain.
Finally, the pears are ripe and delicious! I found a few on the ground, and then I saw this:
Someone's been eating the pears on the ground! Who could it be? Perhaps this guy?
Looks a little suspicious and plenty guilty! However, his little mouth couldn't possible have nibbled away this much fruit overnight. That's when I saw it--a clearly delineated opening in the verge, right at the fenceline next to the pear tree. . . .
I think we can all guess who's been coming in and partaking of the pears.
And really, I have no problem with that, Mr. Nibbles. (that's the Eastern cottontail who hangs out in the yard all the time. he's not even afraid of us anymore and will sit there nibbling on grass until we get within about a yard of him--that's too close for his taste.)
Here's a neat pic of a ladybug:
And my little nasturtium, the first close-up I took with this camera: