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

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All y’all, it’s fall!

Fall has definitely made its presence known here in the Arkansas Ouachitas!

Gotcha!

Butterflies and dragonflies in flight can be mesmerizing.  However, their erratic flight styles can drive you crazy when trying to capture them in pixels, whether panning with a real viewfinder or even worse, trying to pan using a digital viewfinder and its fraction-of-a-second lag (and no drive or burst function).

Well, a little spray and pray with the shutter yielded my favorite shot of the morning as this red-spotted purple moved through the canopy of the valley forest.

butterfly flying.
TAKING FLIGHT – Red-spotted purple flits among trees in the valley forest.

Dogwoods

Spring has finally loosed all its charms here in the Arkansas Ouachitas. Even the dogwoods have caught up — blooming just in time for Easter.

The stark beauty of a foggy winter’s day

For most of the last week, winter has cast a foggy, rainy spell over our part of the Arkansas Ouachitas. This is how nature makes her own monochromes.

 fog-shrouded silhouettes of pines, oaks and hickories
The fog-shrouded silhouettes of pines, oaks and hickories describe the angle of descent to the south valley.

 

Blackjack oak
Bared of its leaves, except for a few tatters, this blackjack oak looks almost prickly.

Birdstorm

The ghost of Alfred Hitchcock must’ve been passing through the morning of Dec. 6. The noise of this many birds swirling from tree to tree is hard to describe, and while it wasn’t deafening, it was somewhat unnerving. The birdstorm came and went in just a few minutes.

Thousands of birds in branches.
RISING — Almost as one, this raucous flock of thousands of birds lit in a row of trees, then lifted away.
Sky filled with birds.
SWEEPING THROUGH — Thousands of birds swirled around the house before heading west.