Mornings are busy here. Squirrels and blue jays compete for peanuts.
All photos taken through the windows of the house.

birds & bonfire

Halloween festival at Green Lakes State Park.
Blue Jay and Cardinal at the house. Cardinals seem more shy and move faster than Jays; more difficult to photograph.

walk to library

Under the power lines, are some interesting things. The library has a well-done community garden as well.


Airport trip = excuse to visit Seneca Wetlands Nature Preserve and Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. The burros live at Ventosa Vineyards, Geneva.


Black-capped Chickadee, Poecile atricapillus
Curious little birds.

clean robin

A volunteer lily bloomed, a robin bathed, and the cats posed in the usual creepy ways.

red squirrel

American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), and a Cowbird.

Wikipedia says “Red squirrels can be easily identified from other North American tree squirrels by their smaller size, territorial behavior and reddish fur with a white venter (under-belly). Red squirrels are somewhat larger than chipmunks.”

Wikipedia on Cowbird: “These birds feed on insects, including the large numbers that may be stirred up by cattle. In order for the birds to remain mobile and stay with the herd, they have adapted by laying their eggs in other birds’ nests. The cowbird will watch for when its host lays eggs, and when the nest is left unattended, the female will come in and lay its own eggs. The female cowbird may continue to observe the nest after laying her eggs. If the cowbird egg is removed, the female cowbird may destroy the host’s eggs.”

clear story

Temporary installation in Palo Alto: Bottle house, called Clear Story.
(Also photographed a pair of mourning doves in the morning.)
The Palo Alto event: Super Happy Block Party.

baylands nature

I saw a group of plein air artists, a hummingbird, a Northern Mockingbird, a pheasant crossing the road, several Black-necked Stilts, a coot on one foot while drinking, and those little brown birds who love the mudflat insects. (Baylands Nature Preserve- maps) It would be a good place to bike also.

Lime Hollow

Breakfast with the girls and then Lime Hollow Trails. Met a fellow training his juvenile red tailed hawk.

coyote creek trail

MY Saturday morning bike rides seem to go until late afternoon. I made it to Anderson Lake Park this time, about 35 mi round trip. I started near the Velodrome. I learned that Anhingas have green eyes!
The airplanes were not full size; they are model planes. Very interesting.
I didn’t see any mountain lions but I did see a small black Chihuahua, with a spiked collar, alone. He apparently lived nearby and knew where he was going.


There’s frost on the grass this morning. I cleaned the window so I could photograph the birds. Downy woodpecker, finch.


I followed the cormorants, on my bike, on the LG Creek Trail. It’s funny how they swim, lower in the water than the ducks. Most of the photos here are of the cormorants. There is also a portrait of a coot (so many this year!), a woodpecker, and a duck feeding-frenzy, after someone dumped a huge bag of crumbs (right next to the “Do Not Feed the Birds” sign).
Made it home just as the rain started.

Alviso birds

Not as muddy as last time, and sunny and hot by 2. I made it twice around, about 18 miles or so. Here’s my bike ride.
My favorite is number 14. What a face! (Camera = Canon Powershot SX40HS)
Birds: black-necked stilts, turkey vultures, ducks, seagulls, snowy & great egrets, blue herons, pelicans, sandpipers.. I’m not sure what those two are, with the curved beaks, flying, in photo number 4. (Curlew? Whimbrel? Ibis?)

Clark Reservation, again

Mom and I went back the next day too. The colors are great right now.

Clark Reservation colors

The colors here are probably not quite at peak yet. Soon.
Dan says I’m getting my ducks in a row, finally. Maybe so, but they are geese.
Panasonic Lumix camera.

muddy mud flats

Bike ride at Alviso mudflats again. It’s muddy in spots after the rains. Lots of bugs, birds.. Anhinga, egrets, herons, ducks, seagulls, little water birds. Lots to see there. Photos taken with the little Panasonic Lumix.

hot weather

We’ve had dry, hot weather in the 90’s F for a week or more. Sunrises are beautiful though and it’s cooler then..

  • Kiddo has a new haircut.

  • The little bird is made from that squishy stuff that’s used to attach photos to the wall. The feathers I’ve collected on my biking adventures and just outside gardening. The blue feathers are of Stellar Jays and the white one is from an egret at Alviso Wetlands. The big striped brown one is from my last ride on Coyote creek trail.

Onondaga Lake

Clark Reservation

110619_4120110619_4117110619_4116These three photos at left are taken at the house. Aaron is testing Dan’s mountain bike. The crow sits on the tall birch tree, and the red maple is crazy red.
The slideshow is from Clark Reservation, nearby. Dan & I saw two owls – perhaps barred owls? We guess that one was young because he was smaller and made more of a chirping noise, not a proper owl hoot. The wood thrush sang near the parking lot.

again, the birds

110527_3810The after school walk in the park has become a favorite. I took more photos of ducks & baby geese. The most exciting find was the grebe nest – it now has 3 eggs (last time I only saw one). One grebe was fishing and the other was on the nest.

Here’s the merganser again. I think this is the male and the female is off nesting. Mergansers move very quickly compared to other ducks.

today’s birds

The usual suspects (Canada geese, night heron), but also –
– a nice photo of a merganser yawning.
– and mama & baby egret.

giant turtle

I’m thrilled about spotting this giant turtle at Vasona in the Los Gatos Creek. My best guess is that it’s a nonindigineous species: Apalone spinifera spinifera. Common name: Eastern Spiny Softshell. I wonder what its story is. It’s huge; about 18 in – 2 feet in diameter, and perhaps it is the same one as in the above linked article, last (documented) seen in 1999. Initially I saw it underneath the walking bridge, on a little dry spot. Later I saw it swimming away. The last photo shows the tracks of where the turtle was on the dry land. Maybe burying eggs?

Also saw lots of birds, including the usual egrets, night herons, Canada geese, ducks, and coots.

The boys had rubber boots so they could explore more. They found some broken goose eggs, and removed some trash from the water, and had a great time. I managed to get one photo of the very shy feral cat.