Friday, May 20, 2011

Roadside Highlights

It might seem strange to head this post with a somewhat pixelated, long-distance shot of a bird, but it's a reminder of a great bird-watching experience and a recommendation to check out this spot. I have an inferior telephoto lens, and this bird was probably 1,000' away. At any rate, a spot roughly a quarter mile off highway 89 on Stampfli Lane in Indian Valley, is currently surrounded by wonderful wetlands. There's lots of willow, rushes, sedges, and wildflowers at the edges of ponds that will last a while longer before drying up. It will remain a great bird watching site even after the ponds go dry because there are extensive fields that harbor little mammals that attract all manner of hawks and owls. Today, the treat was Yellow-billed Magpies. They were flying around, pairing off for little dances, and so on. The only place they stood still long enough for photos was an area quite a distance from my vantage point. Anyway, if you click on the photo, twice, you'll get progressively closer. better yet, drive out there when you get a chance and have some time to wait for the action.
The other two photos are of crickets that were under a piece of bark I turned over around 1/4 mile north of the Greenville Y on Highway 89. I believe they were involved in some intimate activity before I disturbed them. The brownish one disappeared quickly, but the black one was easily tamed to my hand for a photo session. I need to research the color difference. I've never seen brown and black ones together like this. Might be a California thing.:)

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