Here I am, beginning to flap my wings so they will dry. My wings aren’t waterproof, even though I swim in the water.
Oh, never mind, I’m preening instead. There’s plenty of time. Look at my beautiful eye color! I think I’m the only bird in the world who has aquamarine colored eyes. Don’t they look like jewels?
But I still need that flap and stretch……. I guess because my species dates from prehistoric times, I’m a little different than many other birds.
Ahhhh….. that’s better then! I’ve shaken off most of the water so now my wings can finish drying in the sun. Aren’t my wings beautiful to look at? They even help me to swim underwater so I can catch fish to eat. I like fish!
I find this shot fascinating because you can actually see the individual cells of the leaf in the part of the leaf that has turned brown. No microscope required. (Although you would need one to see the activity inside the cell, which is even more fascinating!)
Crows are joyous birds.* Here they are a dusk, having joyously ridden the thermal “Breath of Winter,” and are trying to settle down for the night, all the while calling and squawking and speaking their mind from tree to tree, in a last family discussion before sleep.
*There have been flocks of resident crows in the Lake Merritt area of Oakland for….. I don’t know how many decades. Every morning the flocks wheel around our 22 story building and spend the day in the general area of the lake. Come dusk, they reverse the pattern, flying off to their roost for the night. Because of their constant presence, I have started to learn a few things about crows. This huge group of flying crows is called a river ofcrows. They are highly intelligent, and live in large close knit family groups. While they do not nest in colonies (each mating pair builds an individual nest), the whole close knit family works together to forage, defend their territory, and care for their young.
They do not sleep in their nests other than to raise their young, however – they roost in trees. And according to Audubon’s Where Crows Go At Night they have “a giant avian slumber party. Gathering in a park or woodland, they land in a tree, then scuffle and shuffle and squawk, filtering down through the branches.”
And “scuffle and shuffle and squawk,” I can tell you, is exactly what they do. Their carryings-on can be deafening.
Here in the San Francisco Bay Area we are at sea level, so we don’t get snow. But fall can sometimes be short lived and move directly into fallen leaves, fallen temperatures and lots of rain. And fog, of course, but then we can have fog in almost any season. I put this photo through a filter to emphasize how cold (for us) the weather was last week – uncharacteristically dipping into the high 30s F at night. I know, I know – that’s positively balmy for those of you in Canada or in the midwest or northeast states. But here, that requires us to pull out our down jackets when we are out.