These very common small birds are friendly birds and are often surrounded by half a dozen or more of its kind. During cold winter months they feed on seeds and grains. In the spring, summer and fall they feed on insects, flies and mosquitoes. Normally sparrows are noticed in joyful conditions, sing musically and chatterers about the day’s business. There are times a sparrow will mourn; this only happens when the bird’s mate has been killed or its nest and young is destroyed. Although some people may consider them a nuisance and of no monetary value, but accordance to the Bible in the days of Jesus, these tiny birds were an article of commerce as they are now in the Far East.
Eastern Song Sparrow
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Wow!!!! Here is another of God’s creations known by the non-scientific name as a dragonfly. I wonder if this insect inspired man’s flying insect called a helicopter. Maybe in the very existence of the dragonfly they were giant flying dragons and through time they dwindled down to the 3 to 5-inch colorful insect we see now during our warm and hot summer months.
It is written that the dragonfly in almost every part of the world symbolizes change and the perspective of self-realization; and the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity also the understanding of the deeper meaning of life.
Uncommon to my area of Southeast Virginia is the Red Throated Loon. I photographed this aquatic bird in late November at Messick Point on the Back River an estuary to the Chesapeake Bay. At my first sighting, the head was barley above water with its winter plumage of speckled blackish and white spotted feathers, it swiftly swam near the water surface like an otter. Once it surfaced the loon posed long enough for me to get a few nice pictures.
In doing my research for this Loon, it is said in The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds, “Loons have difficulty walking on land because their legs are located at the extreme rear of their bodies, so they are seldom seen away from the water. They are extremely vulnerable to oil pollution; many have been killed along both coasts as a result of recent spills.”
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What is important about today? This is a day life will begin and for others will end. The moment of new life what will the news announce? Is it another terrorist attack, Government corruption, worldly plagues, or catastrophic storms? At this point of life, there is no return to the security and comfort before birth. You now begin the journey through the Alpha and Omega. For others, their journey has ended. Did they accomplish their purpose here on earth or did they roam about aimlessly? Life has a purpose; it is in fulfilling those purposes that we find meaning and satisfaction in our lives.
Unselfish love is the key to fulfill life’s purpose. It is deliberate and purposeful rather than emotional, impulsive or self-serving love.
The town I live in is Newport News, Virginia in the United States. The East end is the industrial area made famous for its military ship building. Mid-city once farm land has developed into a commercial hub of office and medical centers, shopping areas, and many chain restaurants and the North end is residential and houses a large military base.
Located in center city are a few coffee shops like Starbucks, Aroma’s and Panera Bread company. They are not like the quaint cafes that are found in small towns were everyone knows each other and will take time to sit and chat.
Here in my area of the world, coffee is the most popular drink. I wonder is it the coffee the people enjoy or the many sweet additive ingredients that go into a coffee? It is very rare I see someone drink their coffee black. I like my coffee from fresh roasted beans brewed at the right temperature with nothing to cover that steamy aroma and taste.
As you guess I am of the older generation with some on-coming of arthritis, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. As an alternative means to control these issues. I enjoy a good hot tea such as ginger and lemon which helps with the aches in my knees and ankles. Then roasted dandelion root that gently stimulates the liver. Also, a good Earl Grey black tea to sip as I read a book. My favorite tea is a green tea with hibiscus made with whole tea leaves steeped in a small teapot and poured into a china cup.
How would you describe your coffee taste? Why is a certain tea better for you?
I see a Barred Owl from the corner of my eye.
Is it stretching its wing or getting ready to fly?
With intense eyes, the owl stares.
I am concerned and a little scared.
I raise my camera and push the button.
Now I know this event will not be forgotten.
Photo and poem by Richard Smith
Camera used is a Sony A77II, Sony lens 70-400mm, ISO 3200, 400MM, F7.1, AT 1/1000 Sec.
I am a barred owl whose skill is to hunt.
Like night-light vision and soulful brown eyes,
I can search from high in a darken sky.
In a dash and swoop, my prey I confront.
By day, I rest and snooze within a tree.
If I’m awakened by an unknown sound
With eyes wide open, I look all around.
my head turns to all sides so I can see.
Photo and poem by me (Richard Smith)
Photo was taken with a Sony A77II, Sony lens 70-400mm, ISO 3200, 400mm, f/7.1, 1/1000 of a sec. Location: Nolan Trail, Newport News, VA 4/21/17
Today I did some bird photography in the woods at the Mariners’ Museum located in Newport News, VA. Spring is a season of romance. Birds are doing their mating rituals as well as other creatures like this pair of snakes. These snakes were about 6 feet from me.
The lesson I learned when looking up for our feathery friends, be cautious where you stand and step. The moral of this story is look up, look down and know what is all around.
Photo shot with a Sony A77II, Sony lens 70-400mm, ISO 1600, 160mm, f/5.6 at 1/800 sec.
A Good Match
Splash, crash, the Brown Pelican is hit with a surge and a wave. Each curl pushes her closer to the jagged rocks. A place for the territorial Great Blue Heron. A hoarse, guttural squawk of the Blue Heron marks a warning to any intruders. The Herons’ yellow eye looks at the pelican with anger. Fearful for her life, the Pelicans’ web feet paddles with all its might, her wings push at the top of the water to help free her from a catastrophe from the rocks or the sword like beak of the Blue Heron.
Photo taken with a Sony A77II, Sony lens 70-400mm; ISO 200, 320mm, f/5.6, 1/500 sec
I swoop and dive into the river James.
Out from the shallow water’s a fish I retain.
My young juveniles with open beaks awaits me.
I nourish them with fish I caught by the talons of my feet.
Pictured taken from a Sony A77II, Sony lens 70–400mm,
1/1250 sec., at f5.6, ISO 400, 360mm