Monday, April 21, 2008

I was going to title this "Looking for Vultures"

But I had already given up on finding some this morning. We were shooting just about everything else, instead. Still, I was puzzled to find these shots.I couldn't see these fellows, so I cranked up the zoom and shot them anyway. They looked like hawks or crows, except they were rather lumpy, if you know what I mean. Crows are very sleek looking birds and hawks don't usually droop, I guess.
This closeup, however, tells it all. A turkey vulture. Not visible to my naked eye at all! You can click on it for a real closeup. They all hang around together: Crows, ravens, vultures and hawks.
Later, I was wandering past what I had always assumed was an apple tree. Deer come all the way through the residential neighborhoods of Elmira to visit Foster Island. It seemed natural that this would be an apple tree, to lure them in. But, if you look right in the center, there's clearly a thorn! The darned thing is full of them. Not an apple at all. It is a wild pear or plum.
I heard quite a lot of splashing and I hurried over to catch a photo of the shoreline. It wasn't a duck or muskrat, as I had hoped. Just Ellie, mucking around.
Caught a glimpse of what I thought was skunk cabbage, but on closer inspection, I don't think so.
Also, the clearings are full of these yellow, snowdrop-like flowers. They are everywhere. Maybe they will come out fully in the later morning. We will check later this week.
You know, I usually think of a culvert as nasty, and sewerlike. Not this one, not usually. Hoffman Creek starts way above the city, up where I used to hunt before I was diagnosed. Up in the hills it is just as tiny and ephemeral as when it passes through the town. Then it goes under the streets and comes out to Foster Pond. Usually very clear, although there is often trash floating in it. Right now it's pretty and decked out for Spring.

It is not safe to enter the culvert. Never.

Little Pond

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