Never has a more snuggly creature walked the earth than our little Sam.
He’s nearly always sleeping on me when I fall asleep and sleeping on me when I first awake. He sleeps on me in the evenings as we curl up in my chair, as he is now, his legs tucked under the laptop and his pink nose inches from my hands.
He also loves to snuggle up with both Scout and Emma. Yesterday when I woke Ellie had her head on my chest and Sam and Scout were curled up together on my legs.
Over the Christmas break, I photographed bitterns more than any other animal. Each opportunity offered something unique, such as photographing them hunting voles, fish, frogs, and salamanders. Or in the sun and snow and rain. Or shooting with a wide angle lens for an environmental portrait or zoomed in with a telephoto lens to highlight their faces, feet, and in this case, the beautiful pattern of the feathers on their chest.
After a cold start, we’ve had an unusually warm winter this year in the Northwest. Last weekend was warm and dry enough that I let the cats get some time in the backyard, joining Ellie and I as we played hedgehog and I trimmed some of the plants.
Outside hedgehog involves more running and as Ellie tires, her tongue starts hanging out farther and farther until eventually you can glimpse the Great Black Spot, first observed by Galileo Galilei in 1609 courtesy of his advancements in telescope design. I’ve learned that when the Great Black Spot appears, Ellie is getting pretty tired and has to make the difficult choice between squeaking hedgehog and breathing. In her state of hedgehoggephoria, I can see in her eyes she’s not always going to make the right choice, so that’s when it’s time to stop and take a breather.
This intermission would be a good time for entertainment, I’ve thought about putting the cats in little cheerleader outfits, but even I’m not that brave.
As you can see from the picture, a lot of NFL receivers could learn from Ellie’s dedication to her craft, never taking her eyes off the prize until the hedgehog is secured.
Believe it or not, I don’t have a nickname for these trees beside Sora Marsh. I rarely photograph anything in this pond even though something is usually swimming in it. The road along the pond is too narrow to have a good spot to pull off and wait, and while there is a roomier spot where I took this picture, it’s usually not a great place for pictures. You do get lucky sometimes, I photographed a mink swimming across the pond once.
As with the previous picture, there is a bit of wildlife in this shot, a northern shoveler swimming alone in the distance.
The Cactus Tree isn’t the only tree I’ve named at Ridgefield. There are the Twin Brothers and, as seen here, the Seven Brides. And just like with the Twins, it doesn’t matter if the actual number of trees matches the nickname, it’s more about the impression I get when I see them. These trees aren’t actually grouped together, it only seems like it when you reach this part of the auto tour.
I can’t resist including a little bit of wildlife in my scenic pictures whenever I get the chance, this time the honor belongs to a red-tailed hawk perched on a foggy winter morning.
I love color in my pictures, including pictures of fog, but this one even I prefer in black and white.