Monday, July 13, 2009

My Sunday Constitutional

I went for a long hike yesterday, as I hadn't had a chance in a while, given the weather we keep getting. The day started out overcast and misty and ended up sunny, so there were some interesting challenges for photography. In any case, I came home full of sunshine and fresh air and felt great.

In the old quarry in Ballard Park the meadow is going full steam ahead. I got a beautiful "meadowscape" shot, but I'm going to put that at the end of this so everybody goes home sighing. Meanwhile, the diffuse overcast lighting made it possible to get this nice macro of Yarrow blossoms without the whites burning out. I love these delicate little blooms!

Meanwhile, down on Gooseneck Cove off Hazard Rd. this gorgeous Great Blue Heron was preening and keeping an eye on me. This is the first time in a long while that I've been able to get close enough to a Great Blue to get a decent picture, so I'm grateful for the opportunity.

Around the corner and all the way down to Brenton Point State Park, where the annual Kite Festival was in full swing this weekend. Can you tell?

Around the bend and up the road on the way back into town, we pass by Hammersmith Farm, part of the SVF Heritage Breeds farm. Today the animals in this field - two Llamas, two Donkeys, and two of a whole herd of Shetland ponies - decided to come up to the stone wall out of curiosity, which effectively stopped traffic on Harrison Ave. and brought the kiddles and camerapersons running. Here's one of the Llamas coming to see what's going on. The other Llama decided it would rather stay out in the nice sunny field.

Both Donkeys cruised that stone wall for all the petting they could get. I kept this one amused for a while. If ever a face said "Pet me", this one does.

This Shetland pony was also doing the wall-begging thing. Believe me, these critters got all the attention they could ask for! And I got the chance to tell several people about the SVF Foundation and the work they do preserving heritage breeds of livestock and poultry.

These horses in the next field over weren't particularly interested in the goings-on down by the road. They stayed up on their hill looking picturesque. They're gorgeous animals, aren't they?

Around a couple more corners and down to Newport Harbor at King Park on the homestretch with visions of iced tea dancing in my head, I looked out in the water off the baseball diamonds and did a double-take. I rubbed my eyes and looked again. No, can't be! Pulled out my Audubon and looked; by golly, it is!

It's a Winter duck where nae Winter duck should be - a male White-Winged Scoter in Newport Harbor in July! This guy should be up on the lakes in Maine and Minnesota raising a family, not getting a tan in sunny (for once!) Newport. Later today I'll report this sighting to the local bird people.

And from there it was an easy walk home. But as promised, I'll leave you with a nice view of Ballard Park's quarry meadow, a nice spread of Yarrow, Blue Salvia, St. John's Wort, and Spotted Knapweed by the stand of Quaking Aspens. A peaceful spot if ever there was one!

© 2009 by A. Roy Hilbinger


  1. What a lovely day! And I got the reaction you were expecting.
    *deep contented Sigh*

  2. Oh great! Now I'm sighing as well...and I can't take pics with macro on for anything ( at least not with this digi-cam ). Fantastic shots, Roy! That blue heron is wonderful( we did have a few nesting just northeast of where I live ). Unfortunately, I did not have camera in hand :(

  3. Great photos, Roy. The kites seem otherworldly, somehow. Did did you manipulate that one?

  4. The heron pic is just fabulous! Wow.

  5. I meant to take a walk around the 'hood yesterday, but I wimped out.

    I'd rather look at yours, anyway!

  6. Oh, to live where you do!

    The last picture of the field of flowers... gorgeous!

  7. What a great hike, Roy. And your pics are top notch! I love the one of the kite festival. How fun!

  8. that's for bringing us along....I needed a nice walk!

    fantastic photos as usual! what is it about donkeys that just scream 'touch me'

    hope the scoter is just 'a wrong way corrigan' and nothing more....