Saturday, December 28, 2013

Today's walk report: 122813

From my front door and beyond.

It was another one of those walks where I felt had I left earlier I could have spent a lot more time walking. I felt GREAT! Initially my plan was to leave about 2:30 but I didn't get out until 3:13. I woke up this morning with an eyestrain headache and by 1:30 it was nagging at me so much I decided to lie down on the couch, close my eyes and listen to music. Same thing that happened on 121613 but for different reasons, as soon as the stereo lost wireless I was out. I don't know if this is a bandwidth issue or Pandora just likes to cut you off sometimes to see if you're still there. Whatever the case, once the music was gone me and the cat on top of me were both sound asleep. I figure there was 40 minutes of music and 30 of nap time. As my mom would always say, well, you must've needed it.

2/3 a cup of coffee, 1/2 a liter of water and a rare ibuprofen later, I grabbed iPod and camera and was out the door. The headache was still haunting me but it would disappear about 1 km into the walk.

I'm starting to see some activity already from some of the wildflower seed I laid down in October and why not? The seedlings probably think spring is already here, we had a high of 84º yesterday and it topped out at 76º today. Hardly what most people would call winter weather.

Outside my door...

Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima)

and I believe this is Alyssum Purple Royal Carpet (Lobularia maritima). Those seeds went down late last year and I never saw anything.

Oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare), it seems odd to me that this is only manifesting in one small area so far but I know little about the secret life of plants.

Onto the campus...

Merely an exercise in manually focusing.

Cooper's hawk having delusions of grandeur?

I continue to find it challenging to get a nice close-up of an American Kestral. My camera data here says I was 10.9 meters away which actually would be the closest I've gotten BUT I don't want to be looking so directly up, I'd like a nicer pose, I want better lighting and I'd like to capture the bird on something more "natural" than a lamppost.

These are the two crows I've mentioned before. These birds have known me for 3 years now. Crows in the wild can easily live into their 20s. This was where I'd almost always find them at the top of the hill close to sunset but lately there have been birds of prey hanging out in this same location. From this spot I walk a circle on the top of the hill. It's about 800 meters.

When I came back to the crow's spot look who I found. I now believe this is a Prairie falcon (Falco mexicanus) but as always I welcome corrections, anyway, the crows were nowhere to be seen. Although I will also point out crows do not seem to be especially intimidated by hawks. See one challenge I probably diverted here.

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