Hello neglected blog; hello neglected blog readers who think I’ve forgotten about you. I have not. I’m even planning to photograph some food tonight in hopes of making a post But alas, no food right now.
Summer on the US East Coast has been SO AWESOME. The weather has just been ridiculously nice, almost ALL THE TIME. Frankly, it’s a bit exhausting. I have a compulsion to not be in the house when the weather is nice, but excessive heat and humidity keep me indoors for some portion of most summers, giving me time for cooking, canning, crafts, etc. Not this summer. The humidity has ranged from non-existent to pleasantly tolerable, and we’ve had I think a whopping 5 days all summer that were over 90 degrees. It does not rain on weekends. It just doesn’t. It’s raining right now (which is why you are getting an update!), but I’ve been able to go for after-work hikes 4 or 5 days out of almost every workweek. When they forecast a small uptick in the humidity and chances of afternoon storms for most of this week, I was actually relieved: all this hiking has left me with no time for canning and no time to make the raccoon hammocks I promised Jenna weeks ago. (Although frankly, though we got a lovely thunderstorm yesterday afternoon and this afternoon, I’d hardly call the weather this week terrible.) Tuesday I canned a half-bushel of peaches (I made jam, chutney, and sliced peaches in light syrup) and yesterday I finally made and repaired those raccoon hammocks. And today I’m making a blog post. Whew!
I do plan to post a seitan recipe very soon (I’m making and will photograph it tonight), but I wanted to share a few wildlife pics in the meantime since that might be a photo-heavy post and I didn’t want to tack a thousand unrelated pictures onto it. So with no further ado:
An osprey flying:
Remember all my rapturous ravings about nesting bald eagles earlier this year? Well one evening a few weeks ago, knowing the babies had fledged but also knowing their their parents would continue to supplement feed them for a few more months, I trudged off to the wildlife refuge in hopes of finding a fledgling flying around looking for a handout. AND I DID!! I got lucky. 🙂 This is what a juvenile bald eagle looks like. You’ll notice he looks pretty different than an adult. He (or she; it’s hard to guess their gender without weighing them) won’t get his characteristic white, or “bald”, head until he’s about 5 years old. The small bird in this photo is just some songbird that was flying nearby.
There are always tons of bunnies around the refuge near sundown.
This is a funny story; I was walking through the refuge one evening thinking to myself that I’ve never seen a raccoon there. And I’ve been there many, many times. Five minutes later? BAM:
This is just an HDR of a favorite bench overlooking a creek at the refuge:
And a few HDRs from lovely Huntley Meadows Park.
Okay, back to the refuge. One night a couple of weeks ago when the weather was just absolutely outstanding, I went to the refuge and was somewhat surprised to find not another soul there. It’s not that unusual for me to be the only person there, but the weather was so incredible I thought surely there’d be others there that night. Not that I’m complaining because I’ve noticed recently that SOME of the people that have recently discovered this place don’t obey the rules and jog or bike on the hiking trails, neither of which is permitted and both of which really annoy me because it scares animals away. (I think perhaps people have trouble distinguishing PARK from WILDLIFE REFUGE; it’s NOT a park.) ANYWAY, I happily had the entire refuge to myself and it was like walking through a magical fairyland because there were tons of butterflies, dragonflies, and damselflies fluttering around. So I was traipsing around taking a million pictures of butterflies and practicing HDR shots, thinking the night was a total success because I got some really nice pictures. I was really happy. Finally I started to head back to my car as it was well past closing time, when I came upon a small meadow ringed by small trees that shielded me from view, and through two trees I saw movement. Fortunately I hadn’t packed up my camera or tripod, so I looked through my lens and witnessed the following:
Three foxes cavorting! It was sooooo cute! I felt so privileged to see it. It wasn’t until July of this year that I had even managed to get ANY pictures of a fox that wasn’t just a blurry streak running away from me, so to sneak up on this scene was really exciting. I went home positively elated.
Alright, that’s it for now. I’m off to make some seitan, photograph it, do some treadmillin’, and I don’t know, maybe try to get some stupid sleep since my weekend is totally booked and I won’t be making up sleep time then? I don’t know what kind of crazy life I lead where I have to get up even EARLIER on the weekends than I do weekdays, but apparently that’s what I’ve gotten myself into. I can’t believe how quickly this summer has flown by. I want this summer to go on for three times longer than it has! If I weren’t so anxious to go on our Africa trip in October, I’d want this summer to NEVER end! Although I could use a little bit of weather that’s more conducive to productivity…or at least sleep.