Weekly Photo Challenge: One

This week’s challenge is “one.” So, we have two pictures of “ones.” A solitary Eastern bluebird stands watch on a branch. Below a single ladybird beetle finds its way across concrete.

Other “ones” we liked:

12-11 BlueBird2-crop

Ladybug

 

Air surfing

From their hangout atop the local cell tower, both black and turkey vultures cruised the updrafts that lift from the Ouachita woodlands below. This morning, they were air surfing right outside the deck, swooping so close you could almost grab a feather.

Black vulture cruising.
LOOKING DOWN — Black vulture scouts for lunch.
9-28 Vulture1
SEARCHING — Something must have smelled inviting, since a troupe of vultures was circling and swooping over the south valley around noon today.  The group was infiltrated briefly by a kestrel flying east. 
A trio of vultures silhouetted against the sky.
THREE — A trio of vultures silhouetted against the sky.

Under seige

It’s that time of year again. The sound of “chip, chip, chip,” followed a series of thunks and talon scratchings against the front door and the bedroom windows. Claudia Cardinal(e) is back defending her territory to the south and the Mr. Indigo Bunting is doing the same on the north side of the house.

He’s back!

Napoleon, the boss hummingbird is back, having made a successful trans-Gulf flight from his winter quarters in Mexico or south Florida. He went right to where the feeder had been hanging the last few summers. Took a few minutes this morning to make some nectar and give the feeder an overdue scrub. Not long afterward, a second hummingbird appeared.

Napoleon surveys his domain in the Arkansas Ouachitas from the bottom half of our flag staff. We took the top half, with flag, inside in anticipation of some heavy thunderstorms earlier in the week.
Napoleon surveys his domain in the Arkansas Ouachitas from the bottom half of our flag staff. (We took the top half, with flag, inside in anticipation of some heavy thunderstorms earlier in the week.)

Rising above

It’s so good to see our campus hawk cruising the thermals during a lunchtime photo safari.

SOARING SPIRIT -- The campus hawk spirals above the parking lot and green spaces on a beautiful, overcast spring day.
SOARING SPIRIT — The campus hawk spirals above the parking lot and green spaces on a beautiful, overcast spring day.

The waxwing tree

The phone rang. A colleague upstairs called to see if I’d seen the flocks of cedar waxwings sweeping and swirling from tree to tree around the office grounds and adjacent campus. The birds moved almost as one; stripping the hollies of their berries and continually finding new places to roost. Waxwings are beautiful birds with their masks and crests. Look closely and you can see accents of bright yellow and pink in tips of their wings and tails.

TREEFULL - Birds outnumber blooms on the branches of this tulip tree.
TREEFULL –  Masked birds outnumber blooms on the branches of this tulip tree.
DOWN -- Injured waxwing seeks rest in the grass.
DOWN — Injured waxwing rests in the grass. He fell in a sort of spiraling flat spin like an autumn leaf. Perhaps he was dazed after a collision? Sadly, an hour later, his head tipped forward. His beak to the ground, he expired.