There was an awkward level of fog around this young eagle, not enough to make it interesting but too much for a clean picture. I had to push it too hard in post-processing to get a look that I liked, and the hit on quality especially shows in its brown feathers, but I find its gaze so mesmerizing that I still like the picture.
Tundra swans are easily seen at Ridgefield during the winter months but they tend to keep their distance on Rest Lake. So when I spotted two swans closer in at South Quigley Lake, one of my favorite spots to photograph, I stopped the car and settled in. It rained heavily as I watched the swans preen among the much smaller coots and mallards.
Then suddenly without warning both swans decided to take to the air. They took quite a running start before liftoff, adding to the rain with the spray of water kicked up from their steps.
One day on the auto tour at Ridgefield, a car ahead of me had stopped in the middle of the road leaving no room to get by on either side. Since I wasn’t in a hurry, I pulled over and stopped a long ways back from them so they’d know to take their time watching whatever it was they were watching. There wasn’t anything to photograph from my vantage point but I was enjoying the symphony of the swans on Rest Lake when I heard a rustling from the grasses not far below the car.
I expected a nutria but was surprised to find this bittern instead. At first I had a good view but as it hunted the narrow channel, it soon disappeared from sight and the grasses rarely allowed a view below. So I drove a short way until I found a better spot and settled in to wait and hoped the bittern would walk that far. My patience was rewarded when the hunting bittern at last came back into view. After playing around with views of the bittern half-hidden by the grasses, it stepped to the right and gave me a clear view of its head and beak.
Emma got her teeth cleaned over the break, and since it was her first time under anesthesia we were advised to keep her separated from the other animals for the rest of the day and keep an eye on her. I stayed with her in the evening in the guest bedroom and she was all over me, rubbing her head up under my chin, a temporary lap cat. Much like she was that first night we brought her home when she was so nervous, making me feel bad for her now, as I knew stress was driving her behavior.
My wife switched with me at bedtime as the other pets often sleep on me. Emma hates to be confined though and mewed loudly under the door and kept me from sleeping (but not, apparently, my wife). I eventually freed her and let her roam the house, but she decided instead to spend the night playing in our bedroom, grabbing little objects and then batting them around the hardwood.
I got very little sleep that night but fortunately she was back to her normal self the next day and we both slept in peace once more.