This picture of Sam is from his first week with us when he was still quarantined from Scout. He was too tired to play, but wanted to play too much to go to sleep. When he got like this, I’d lay down on the bed and then he’d climb into my lap and fall asleep, but then I couldn’t get anything done as moving would disturb him.
He reminded me of our dear departed Templeton. Sometimes when we were playing Crinkle Bag (his favorite game), Templeton would be so tired that he literally wobbled on his legs as he tried to stay upright, his head bobbing as he tried to keep his eyes open.
Sam seems to have at least one other of Templeton’s traits, as several times I’ve seen Sam climb into my chair if I get up to go get something. Templeton was the true artist when it came to chair stealing, often going so far as to lure me out of the chair in the first place and then doubling back to hop up into the seat and take my place, looking at me with the purest innocence.
At first I thought he preferred the one chair over the other in my office, but he’d do it with both chairs. Then I thought he just wanted the one I had warmed up, and perhaps there is some truth in that. Sometimes, though, I think he just wanted to prove who was the master.
As if I needed the reminder.
I finished Emily BrontÃ«’s Wuthering Heights today, the first time I’ve read the book. I enjoyed the first third and the end but most of the characters are either extremely depressing or annoying. By the middle of the book I found myself wishing she had quickly concluded the novel by having a horrific lightning storm blow in and destroy both houses in a fiery cataclysm.
She could have called it BrontÃ«’s Inferno.
The queen of the house turned seven years old yesterday (March 25th). Her mother was feral and Scout and her siblings were born under the house of a friend of ours. She’s slept me on me just about every night since we brought her home. We definitely got the pick of the litter!
This picture of her is from May of 2001, her first month with us. I had a hard time photographing her at this age since she didn’t want to leave my lap when we were playing, but the scratching post gave me a good opportunity. I’d put a little furry mouse on the top and she’d come flying across the room and jump to the top to grab it. On this occasion she knocked the mouse off with her flying attack so it’s not in the picture.
The same green-winged teal as before, now swimming above his reflection. He and his mate stayed in the area feeding for quite a while before swimming a little further off to feed. Teal are noticeably smaller than mallards but larger than the little diving ducks like ruddies and bufflehead, so even with a telephoto lens they have to approach pretty close for a frame filling shot like this one.
When looking for wildlife, its tough sometimes to know whether you should just stay in the same spot for a while and see what comes to you, or if you should move around and see what you can find. Often times it comes down to my mood and my instinct, particularly at a place like Ridgefield that I’ve visited many times.
On this morning, I was reflective and content to sit and see what happened, and I’m thankful that I did as the teal were not in sight when I first stopped to watch the eagle. The following morning, however, I was quite restless and spent most of the time on the move.
I got up before sunrise last weekend to head up to Ridgefield for a few hours. It had just stopped raining and was going to be cloudy in the morning, so I didn’t need to get there that early for the light, but I’m glad I did.
Near the start of the auto tour I spotted a third-year bald eagle on a distant tree, its dark eyestripe a testament to its age. It was a quiet and peaceful morning and I was in a pensive mood, so I parked the car and watched the eagle preen itself for over an hour.
Eventually a pair of green-winged teals came swimming up, stopping on a downed log to preen before returning to the water to feed. This lovely creature is the male, greenwings get their name from green patches in their wings, but its the male’s head that most attracts me.
The Eurasian teal looks similar, but the white vertical stripe is a giveaway that this teal is the American variety. Another sign is that it differentiates between football and soccer, but this is difficult to discern in the field and best used if you spot a teal in a sports bar.