Thursday, April 9, 2015


Spring along the river is starting to shape up nicely—or at least it was until heavy rains several days in a row turned things into a muddy flow that's now risen several feet above normal levels. Not that the water is dangerously high and I'm concerned about possible flooding. But appearance-wise, it's sure not the gentle, pastoral stream the hue of old jade, which burbled past the cottage a few days ago. 

Of course the one constant to a riverside life is change. Change in water levels and color. Change in vegetation. Change in the cast of characters sharing this fluid space. 

A few weeks ago there were wood ducks vying for paddling space with the mallards and Canada geese on the big eddy across from the cottage. Then the woodies disappeared. Today they're back—six of 'em that I can count, the drakes as stunningly resplendent in their spring attire as any native bird in North America.

Other welcome returnees are the pair of kingfishers who've decided to again set up their fishing dives from an overhanging sycamore limb just upstream. They employed this same perch over several days a couple of weeks back, before redeploying to a different limb across and farther upriver. So long as they continue to use this closer staging branch, I have at least a chance of making a photo.

Kingfishers are sharp-eyed and easily spooked—not very obliging photographic subjects. The image above, from about the time I started getting sick several weeks ago, is the best of a bunch of attempts. Getting it involved more luck than skill—and even so, it was still captured from a distance well beyond the frame-filling reach of my longest lens, and thus had to be heavily cropped to produce what you now see. 

I keep hoping and trying to do better. So a few more kingfisher days are welcome.        


Gail said...

HI GRIZZ - I am happy to "see" you. I hope you are feeling better each day.
I so love reading of the changes on the river as the seasons unfold. It is glorious to see via your wonderful images and life-giving to imagine because of your wise and natural words. Thank you Grizz, really, "thank you"
We hope to get outside and begin our Spring set up. wicker chairs, garden decor and hang the humming bird feeder. Last year we were late and the humming birds were hovering about looking for their sweet nectar. This year it will be waiting for them to arrive. I am so happy to enjoy and celebrate Spring with you again - a blessing of magnitude proportion.
Love Gail

George said...

Great shot, Grizz. I'm envious because I have never been able to capture a kingfisher, one of my favorite birds, on film.

Grizz………… said...


Thank you for your comments. I hope I don't write too often about the river, but it's my "yard" and the focus of so much of each and every day. Everything revolves around the river.

I'm also anxious to get out and get going on yard work and projects. We're in one of those April "Rain Phases" right now, where it rains each and every day—sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. Everything is muddy, soggy, drenched, so not much yard doings for awhile. But like you, I'm happy to see another spring, and to be able to share whatever I can here, and with you. Take care.

Grizz………… said...


I see kingfishers practically every day when the river isn't frozen over completely. Meaning I have lots of opportunities to photograph one…theoretically. This is the only fairly good image I've managed during the years I've lived here—and trust me, I've tried. This one is seriously cropped, and came more from luck than skill. So envy that good fortune, if you wish, but think of it as a blind hog's rare acorn—which also depended on enough pixels to help things considerably in post processing. Kingfishers are tough!