Wildfire, Smoke and The Wind.

The Turkey Vultures have not skipped a beat this summer they have been as reliable as the wind. I’ve taken many pictures of them mostly experimenting with light, distance and focus. Some came out OK others simply junk, but it was good to do. The Terns, Gulls and Herons were out.

Terns have been out this summer but the Gulls have recently showed up again, they left during the spring mating season after the pecking order competition was over. I’ve seen some fledgeling Gulls and managed to get a photo of one.

The Gull has its first Winter plumage, according to my Bird reference book it will be retained until Spring. It’s big for being a yearling, when I caught it from the corner of my eye I thought it may have been a Hawk. I’m going to keep an eye on it to see how big it grows. There are geometric patterns on the top of the wings it appears as if it is a planned design.

Blue Herons are fine with the wind and at times they show it. When their feathers resemble a duster or look like a ladies hat from the 1800’s it’s either from the wind or they ruffle themselves. I’m confident it’s the later sometimes intentionally and other times it’s caused when they fall in the water. At times they actually fall but that remains rare, they will dive into the drink lungeing for a meal. They will eat nearly anything; true ancestors of the Dinosaurs.

The Scrub Jays are ever present but they don’t stay for long periods of time. They are constantly eating and gathering food to stash for later. They are an intelligent bird species, well intelligence is a fleeting quantity, how could it be measured as birds are concerned. I’m not sure if eating all of my Cheries and Apples is a good measuring stick and I’m not sure if it’s too smart eating peoples fruits; the Squirrels are just as guilty. They chase one another off of the tree on occasion as if they own the thing, in a way I suppose they do.

The Great Blue Herons spend a good deal of time aloft, when with the wind those big wings propel it at high speed. Each of them is 3-4 feet x 2 foot at the widest, that’s a big surface to catch the breeze. They perform as if they are each a kite, they billow with the wind. I wonder at times if their speed may be an optical illusion because they are so lanky and thin. The wings may just give the impression they are flying slowly.

I must comment on the wildfires burning out of control North of me. The smoke was greatly reduced in our area however I still wore a mask due to it. Much like Tornado, Hurricane and Blizzard warnings we get Air Quality Reports. In other words it’s a report on how much smoke is in the air, advising people with health limitations to wear a mask and remain indoors. It sounds a lot like the Covid directives; not to be let down we are quarantined again for who knows how long. Tomorrow the air is suppose to be clear, however Thursday is predicted to be a nasty gram smoke day. I know there are many areas in the ‘World that have measurably worse climate conditions, my intent is not to think one is any more horrible than the other, all of these disasters are not definable with words alone; the human suffering is beyond mere sentences.

My neighbor was in Texas not too long ago he struck up a conversation with a few men about the weather. Mitz told them that they had a mix of bad weather on a regular basis, every kind of weather in that State. One of the men told him “yep that’s true but at least we can see ours coming.” He was referencing Earthquakes it really tickled my funny bone, I had never heard that before.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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