A heartfelt thank you to writer and wildlife rehabilitator Suzie Gilbert, for featuring my piece at the 10,000 Birds website. It’s an essay about how a stray cat became a transformative influence in my life, teaching me the value of animals — particularly wild animals — outside the walls of my own home. If you’re a wildlife rehabber, an accidental rescuer or thinking about getting involved with wildlife, I highly recommend Susie’s book about that very process. I’ve posted a link to the book below.
A few minutes passed and I couldn't shake the thought of the slow cricket in the tempest. I Googled crickets and indoors and food sources and realized that I wasn't even sure what type of cricket he was, or if he even was a cricket, or where he actually belonged. I didn't know if he was healthy or if he'd come indoors for respite. And there I'd left him standing in the dark 'n' stormy, a weather system getting so thick, it would soon be dark rum and ginger beer falling from the sky.
I love seeing raccoons in daylight, just to observe the behaviors which normally evade us at night. Contrary to popular mythology, seeing a raccoon in the daytime does not mean they are rabid. Raccoons can carry rabies, but animals with rabies exhibit other symptoms. This time of year, we see raccoons even more often in the afternoons as they forage, often to support a growing family of kits. Mother raccoons will look after their young for a year or so.
Beavers are vegetarians, and lily tubers are a favorite foodstuff. Because beavers are crepuscular (loving the twilight), you'll see them most often at dawn and dusk, which accounts for the predictable in-time of this beaver family.
I originally named this portrait "Standing Room Only." I'd never seen a Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) creep chest-high into a pool -- then just stand there forever like a Japanese snow monkey.
I had just a split second to figure it out when, in a move I couldn't believe -- one serendipitous gesture by nature -- a huge wave pushed the gull back toward the beach. He was flattened against the sand and struggling as the undertow pulled him back. It was just enough time for me to dive into the water, grab him around the wings, and tuck them against his side to constrain his moves.
I've done a "best of" selection at the end of previous years ... but this year I'm opting for a favorites list. I didn't realize there would be a disparity between the photos I consider my best technically versus those I hold close to my heart. There appears to be only a loose correlation between the merits of an image and my feelings about it.
This fork in the Nooksack is a known spot for Bald Eagles scavenging salmon carcasses in the winter ... the fish now expired after their long haul upstream. The salmon fulfilled their life mission -- leaving their legacy in eggs laid among pebbles of the river bed.