January 15, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Mountain-top hawks & ravens

On Saturday I ventured into new territory in the western part of Augusta County. First I did a little bit of hiking on the eastern slope of Elliott Knob, and then did the quick boardwalk loop at Augusta Springs, but not much was happening at either place. Then I headed south and climbed along a gravel road to the top of Little North Mountain, passing through Troxel Gap. It was higher than I expected and provided some great views. At the very top near some communications relay towers I came across a very loud group of Ravens that were feeding on a carcass, as well as a Red-tailed hawk. The drive home was very interesting, as I passed through the towns of McKinley and Middlebrook, and saw many picturesque farms. (Later that day, the Baltimore Ravens lost to the Indianapolis Colts, which was fine with me.) Here are the highlights:

Speaking of hawks, I saw a Sharp-shinned hawk behind the Staunton-Augusta Rescue Squad this morning, and it's probably the same one that has been menacing birds in our back yard for the past couple days.

Parrots in Brooklyn!?

Yes, it's true. I have read reports about this amazing case of avian adaptability, and learned (via The Neighborhood of God *) that there is a Web site dedicated to them: brooklynparrots.com.

* UPDATE: I was curious about the origin of that blog's name, and (after Googling) I found the poem "Friend In The Desolate Time" by Erik Johan Stagnelius at poemhunter.com. It concludes:

Therefore, rejoice, oh friend, and sing in the darkness of sorrow:
Night is the mother of day, Chaos the neighbor of God.

COMMENT by: Dymphna Saint, of Piedmont area, VA on Jan 16, 2007 17:01 PM
That was Stagnelius' only decent poem. I found it a few years ago in the magazine "First Things" and cut it out. When I researched him, though, it was obvious his deep depression got in the way of his poetry. The bird pics are great. the future Baron has been avid about avians since he was a wee one. We have no idea where that gene comes from but he became a kind of "amateur expert" on his own. He demurs from this, saying he is not good at recognizing the birds' calls. I plan to show him the photos...too bad he's seeing them so late. Doesn't leave much time to get over there and have a look around. I think he participated in the end-of-year count one time, but I'm vague on that. Now college leaves little time for such activities when you have 3 other room