Moby peck

The big raucous pileated woodpeckers in our corner of the Ouachita Mountains have been the Moby Dick to my Ahab-ic photographic ambitions. For years, I’ve tried to capture a decent photo, but they’ve proven elusive, skittish and pretty good at hiding for something so large and loudly colored. But finally, FINALLY, one very vocal female lit in a tree this morning, not far from our living room window. And there she is.
8-7-2016-Pileated-Woodpecker-Web.jpg

Ghost leaf

Arkansas summer mornings¬†give rise to interesting conditions, thanks to the high humidity and the difference in temperature between inside and outside. Condensation on the windows can be especially telling — as if Nature was deploying her own forensic technique to seek the whereabouts of creatures and things. On this July morning, this ghostly outline appeared on the glass — retracing the landing spot of some storm tossed leaf.

7-17-2016 Leaf Impression Window

Season’s first ripe blackberry

The wild blackberries here on the mountain are a two-edged sword. The berries are delicious (especially when cooked into a cobbler with a lemon cornmeal crust), but the harvest is a thorny affair that often results in ripped sleeves, pierced digits and purple fingertips. Spotted the first few ripe ones yesterday.

(Drops head sheepishly) Yes. I ate them.

6-11-16 First Blackberry