Friday, October 28, 2005

Pheasant Branch Conservancy - October 27th, 2005


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It's almost impossible to take a bad picture in morning or evening light. But good light in fall makes it pretty easy for amateur photographers to take spectacular images. This is the view from atop the hill looking south at the marsh of Pheasant Branch Conservancy at peak color.


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I love the way Fox Sparrows use a lookout perch and check what’s going on around them, sometimes sidling up a branch to improve their view. This evening there are more than I’ve seen so far this fall and their melodious song fills the air. A couple curious birds perch near me providing an opportunity to capture a great view and a few images.


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The sun renders a sea of red across the prairie as it settles in the west. A Northern Harrier makes its rounds with its classic wobbly flight above the fields, doing a single lap around the hill. This is not a welcome sight for some critters and birds, judging by the rustling in the leaves as the Harrier glides over them. Moments later, sparrow after sparrow departs from the oaks on the south side of the hill, racing across the fields and over the marsh. They’re mostly Fox Sparrows but I catch a few White-crowned Sparrows and White-throated Sparrows among members of the evening exodus.


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Trying to understand the words
Uttered on all sides by birds.
I recognize in what I hear
Noises that betoken fear.

Though some of them, I’m certain, must
Stand for rage, bravdo, lust,
All other notes that birds employ
Sound like synonyms for joy.

Bird Language - W.H. Auden

All images taken on October 27th, 2005 © Michael McDowell

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