Feb. 24th, 2012

eregyrn: (-Saw-whet - cold)
Last weekend I went and visited my Mom, only two months after seeing her at Xmas. The biggest issue here is that it's a long drive and I get SO BORED with all of the possible routes, which I have done multiple times a year for years and years. SO BORED. I have gotten to the point where I will plot a route that is out of my way and on slower roads, just so that I have something to look forward to. It takes longer to get there, but at least I'm mentally stimulated.

On the drive back, therefore, I routed myself through Harriman and Bear Mountain state parks (NY) as has become my custom, and then noodled my way up the east side of the Hudson Valley, discovering things as I went. Alas, a few of them I did not get any pictures of -- like the several deer and for-real beaver dams seen in the aforementioned state park. So for the collection below, you know it had to be truly arresting for me to have stopped to take a picture of it.

But let's start somewhere familiar: bird identification!

IMG_1905

As I was getting gas while leaving the island that Mom lives on, I noticed a bird on nearby power lines, and I looked at it idly, as you do. "Huh," I said to myself, "that's the size of a mourning dove, and it has a long tail... but that is NOT a dove's head shape".

more below, including an identification )

Before we leave LBI...

IMG_0117

Yes: the beach, still there. Actually, the beach is very notably wide right now. Probably because the island has not suffered a big storm in a while. This is high tide.

more beach below )

So, after the nice state park and the deer and the beaver-dams and all, I'm driving up the Hudson Valley on roads I'd never been on before, and I come to a junction where I turn from one little state route to another and WHAM:

IMG_1923

Curious? See below the cut... )

Coming up this weekend: bald eagles! And maybe, if we are very very lucky, snowy owls.

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