Another redhead in the parking lot*

Theparking lots between the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the Cooperative Extension  Service headquarters are ringed with a mix of old, tall hardwoods and pines that rise to somewhere in the 50-70 foot range. This thin forest is home to an abundance of life including hawks, raccoons and coyotes. There are several types of woodpeckers too; red-bellied, pileated and this fellow, the red-headed woodpecker.

ON HIGH — Red-headed woodpecker enjoys the view from atop a large, leafless pine tree.

(*The earlier redhead in the parking lot was a spectacular red maple)

The higher ed hawk

It’s not uncommon for the thrum of traffic along South University Avenue in Little Rock to pierced by the shriek of a hawk. Folks who work at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock and the adjacent extension service offices have observed a female hawk nesting in the same place for at least five years. Her landings near high office windows or railings are a delight to watch.  It’s also a relief to her fans that despite the rise of new campus buildings and the demise of some of the higher pines, she continues to make the university her home.

Below, some hawk shots taken during morning strolls around campus.

WATCHING — Hawk perches some 60 feet above campus.
WAITING — Juvenile red-tailed hawk waits out the harassment doled out by blue jays, catbirds and other smaller birds. It eventually flew back toward its nest.
HAWK’S NEST — Described as being “big as a La-Z-Boy.”

24 little hours …

Arkansas has enjoyed unseasonably warm temperatures for late January and the first day of February. Highs today were in the 70s. Even the rock knockers were out this evening, singing their songs in the sunset.

Growing up in the northeast, where the first blooms were snow drops, eagerly awaited in February or March, it’s hard to get used to blooms in January and February. Here in central Arkansas, daffodils begin blooming in January and continue well into March.

The first day of February was a bright one for these blooms near the library at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Safety First II

The  University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s urban campus  offers terrific people watching as students and faculty cross tree-lined brick paths en route to the next class or the library or something sushi or Taco Bell-ish at the student union. The campus is in something of a tough, but improving, neighborhood. Being aware of your surroundings is always a good idea.

Campus police maintain visibility and call boxes are located across campus, all for safety’s sake. But sometimes, things just don’t work.

Out of order call box on UALR campus
A passing wit's scrawl offers sound advice on an out-of-order call box. The call box has since been fixed.

Determined killdeer

This killdeer has twice set up a nest in a little bit of mulch in one of the parking lots at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Not sure what happened to her first clutch of four eggs. She’s back with another clutch, and just as fierce in the defense of her nest as ever.

Killdeer in nest
Don't mess with mama killdeer.

Possum straight up. With lemon

This animal proves the possum-bilities are endless. No idea whether he was stuck or playing possum or just plain confused, but this possum just hung on the fence, seemingly oblivious to the scores of people walking by during lunch hour. The lemon, well, it appeared sometime during the lunch hour. No telling whether it was meant as food or decoration.

Possum hanging on chainlink fence at UALR.
This possum was hanging around with the lunch time crowd at UALR. It was quite alive; but its actions or lack thereof, are inexplicable. Maybe March in Arkansas comes in like a possum. (iPhone photo)