Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Constitutional

I did my usual Sunday constitutional today, visiting Ballard Park, Gooseneck Cove at Hazard Rd., and Newport Harbor. While critters both winged and four-legged seem to have avoided me, I did get some interesting scenic shots.

In Ballard Park Frank Amaral and his crew of volunteers have been doing some Spring cleaning, especially down in the Quarry, cutting out the invasive Multiflora Rose, Asiatic Bittersweet, and Japanese Honeysuckle. And they seem to have uncovered some leftovers from the Quarry's checkered past as an unofficial dump - the front cover panel to an old TV (below left) and an old washing machine tub (below right).

Meanwhile, there are other things going on in the park; I found this Praying Mantis egg case on a branch lying on the ground. After taking some macro shots while holding the branch in my fingers, I went to find some underbrush to prop it in so the hundreds of little Mantids who hatch later on in Spring will have a proper start in the world.

Walking down Hazard Rd. I discovered that Gooseneck Cove was pretty much deserted by birds, deer, and even people. However, I noted that somebody has put up an Osprey nesting platform to the east of the road on the tidal flat. Normally an Osprey platform is a telephone pole topped with a flat platform, but the terrain here would make that a pretty unstable proposition. This tripod form will be much more stable given the circumstances. Note that they've put chicken wire up in the "crow's nest" at the top and put some sticks up there to advertise that the space is ready for occupation. I hope a passing Osprey couple take up that offer!

Meanwhile, since wildlife seems to be scarce, I can always take a landscape shot.

On the way back home I hopped over to King Park at the south end of Newport Harbor. This area usually hosts a fair-sized flock of Red-breasted Mergansers, and it looks like they're still around. I was able to get some good shots of a drake (top) and a hen (bottom) fishing just off the public beach in the park.

And as we leave the harbor to head for home, let's take one last look over the docks and piers toward the Newport/Pell Bridge. The docks are empty now, but in a couple of months there will be plenty of boats to clutter the view. So let's enjoy the look of an empty harbor while we still can!

© 2010 by A. Roy Hilbinger


  1. Hey, I like that Osprey tower. How nice, to have it there waiting!

  2. Roy:

    I want to recommend Bird Word Girl, a new blog started by a bird-loving photographer friend. I'm sure you'll like it.

  3. The flora will always provide for settings, when the fauna are in hiding, yes. Nice :)

  4. It's a strange in-between time between the thaw and the spring. I'm not sure about the Osprey tower, it looks a little 'exposed' hope someone makes a home of it.

  5. that Praying Mantis egg case! I've never seen an Osprey platform like the one in your photo. Of course, I don't live by a large body of water either!