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Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Crazy Turkeys and One Amazing Creature

This past weekend was a busy one, what with my boyfriend having to get a finished painting down town to the gallery that represents him and me with driving my son back to school and doing some things with my daughter plus a few other errands that needed done. I even got 1 hr of drawing in, a still life from life, depicting various small finds from our walks. However, we sneaked in a couple short walks before that sun went down on the Saturday, and in the morning Sunday. Both ventures out were slightly more unusual than normal, with some quite funny and interesting creatures. We found ourselves laughing and repeating much later, well past being out, how amazing a weekend it was.

We walked around 2 different areas, both near where we live, as we didn't have a long time to go for our walks this weekend. Our first surprise was to run into the Barred again, enjoying the sunlight. We are always glad to see she seems to be doing fine. She has been in the area since October 2012 and often we see her with blood on her beak in photos so we know she is eating.

Walking down to the lake though, we both spotted an odd shape on a tree, looking almost like a huge rat lol!  I grabbed a couple far away shots of what I realized was an Opossum. I used to see their glowing eyes in the dark at the edge of roads when driving to life drawing or pool, usually in pairs. I had Never seen one in daylight and close like this. I was worried something was wrong as it seemed to be out there, too accessible, and so still and sick seeming. Doh, not until later did I recall the phrase "playing possum" lol! My 19yr old son informed me when I mentioned it to him. The poor thing seemed so sick and I was worrying about it, walking as close as I could to see if something was wrong with it lol! Even my kid knew they act as if they are dead and rotting so predators won't touch them. It is apparently an involuntary reaction.

The next day we went to a conservation area and low and behold, there are the wild turkeys in their usual group, eating bird seed left on the path. One even was up in one of the feeders, helping itself there lol! Funny as hell. They actually came towards us this time, instead of being as timid and running away through the forest. They must be so hungry. They were up on the fence, eating bird seed left there, and even sitting in trees. Apparently, we learned though, that they perch in trees to sleep.

There was a sudden convergence of many male and female cardinals, woodpeckers, a nut hatch, along with the usual dozens of chickadees. Don't I look up then and see an amazing sight. There is the Red Bellied Woodpecker 2 feet above me on a branch. He also must be fairly hungry to be coming down to where we stood. I got so nervous trying to get some shots of him, so they aren't great, but to see him so close was cool! Unfortunately, my finger snapped the shot before my autofocus had completed so the one where he finally made a grab for a peanut was Not in focus lol! Ah well, it was all so great to experience him so close, before he took off with his prize.

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