In the Shadows

I was able to capture images of a couple of birds that are spending a lot of time in the underbrush at this time. The Brown Thrasher and Gray Catbirds are feeding their chicks lots of insects, as evidenced by what they have in their beaks! I often hear them (both species have very unique vocalizations) and I get glimpses of them flying out of the shadows and then flying back into the darkness with the results of their hunting expeditions. I feel fortunate to have been able to focus my camera in the few seconds they showed themselves.

Like many other species, they will also feed their chicks fruits like the wild Mulberries. We have these valuable trees growing wild in a few places around our property. As I am driving by on the golf cart, I can often grab a low hanging branch and snatch a few ripe berries!

I find it amazing how nature provides. The wild raspberries – which the birds take advantage of when they are ripe – are weeks away from being edible. Yet at this time, the Mulberries not only have fully ripened fruits, but the berries even on one branch, ripen at different times (as you can see in the photos.) That means that one tree continues to support the birds over a long period of time. It’s interesting to note that the Catbirds and Brown Thrashers nest very near to the Mulberry trees and close to the raspberry briars. It’s like having a house near the grocery store!

Also, I’m including pics of a Red-winged Blackbird and a pair of Mourning Doves. The Doves project the most calming energy – and I love how often they are hanging out together, as a pair.

I have to end with this frog that was staring up at me (or so it felt) when I stopped by the pond to see if I could spot any interesting birds. I had been sitting there for many minutes when I got the feeling he was hoping I’d look his way. It was as if he was saying, “Hey, what am I? Chopped Liver?” So I felt obligated to take his picture. I’m amazed it turned out as good as it did, he was a pretty big frog, but he was also quite far away from me.

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