A black-tailed prairie dog peeks up out of its hole as the sun first illuminates its burrow. I saw this little fellow in New Mexico in 2007, the first time I had seen a prairie dog since we saw them at Custer State Park in South Dakota in 1996.
Coyotes are adaptable creatures — tolerating a varied diet of both plant and animal life, living in climates hot and cold and wet and dry, and even living in close quarters with humans. My wife and I came across this coyote a few years ago while hiking in Rinconada Canyon in New Mexico’s Petroglpyh National Monument. It was one of a pair that were working their way up the canyon.
I wanted to photograph the sparrow’s notched tail but changed my tack when the sun suddenly broke through the fog and cast a shadow of its tail onto the sign. In the environmental portrait below, while the notch may not be visible with the tail feathers spread out, even from a distance the yellow eye-stripe stands out.
These pictures are from earlier in the year, Ellie remains on strict bed rest although her recovery is going well. She’s finished with the ice pack treatments, which she didn’t like but accepted well enough.
She remains on medication, after several unsuccessful attempts with other foods, we’ve settled on hotdogs as the preferred delivery mechanism. We tried various cheeses but she kept breaking apart the cheese and spitting out the pills. It’s a pretty impressive skill really and Ellie proved a quick study. The hotdogs, however, are so eagerly accepted that Templeton remains the undisputed master of pill befuddlery.
I arrived early one April morning at Ridgefield and was going to sit beside Quigley Lake to watch and listen to the blackbirds. As I started to pass a car parked on the south side of the lake I noticed a lovely sight across the road, a Wilson’s snipe just above the waterline. The snipe were actively calling out around the refuge but this little beauty was silent during our brief encounter. I didn’t stay long since I was blocking the road and I could see in my review mirror that with each passing moment more and more cars were pouring onto the auto tour.
I’m not as into shorebirds as many birders but even I love every encounter with these enigmatic birds.