Clearly Joy and I were out there once more, cameras in hand, with steely gazes and noble hearts, prepared to face (almost) anything in our quest for good photos! Yes indeedy, it's time for another Photo Safari! Aren't you excited? I'm calling this one the Blue Jay Way hike. Why? Take a look:
Look at all those blue feathers! Ok, Ok, they aren't Blue Jays. They are actually Scrub Jays. But the Beatles didn't write a song called, Scrub Jay Way now did they? Let's agree to call it poetic license and let it go at that.
The things about the Scrub Jays is that not only are they easy to spot due to their bright blue feathers, but they are also a very bold bird. They are not the least bit intimidated by a human presence so they do not hide. As Joy and I were walking along the trails, they were everywhere around us, in the trees, in the shrubs and even just on the trails alongside us. A few times we had to back up to get a particular photo because they were just too dang close!
Now other birds, such a cardinals, are a lot more skittish and shy. Even though the male cardinal has those bright red feathers which you would think would make it impossible to hide successfully, they are masters of finding hidey holes in their favoured thickets. And they are definitely not trusting of human-kind. At one point we came upon an area that was home to several dozen cardinals but to photograph them, we had to be silent and absolutely immobile. And even then, they moved quickly and continually. So the photos are not spectacular.
There were of course, a variety of other birds all around as as we hiked. Mostly birds I did not capture (ratz) but a few that I did:
Initially I thought this was going to be a floral themed hike because there were so many flowers! I love when there are flowers :) And sometimes, when there are flowers, there are also bugs or bees or dew drops or, well, you just never know
And speaking of 'you just never know' to quote myself, one of the coolest things we saw was animal tracks. At one point we were hiking down a trail that no human been on recently. And we know that because it was loaded with very clearly defined animal tracks! All Sorts of Animals! I have the advantage of hiking with a former Ranger so Joy is able to ID any footprints that I cannot. We saw bunny prints and deer, loads of different sorts of birds, a few snake prints, a few other critters AND one big cat! Oh yeah. That was pretty awesome. He (or she) trotted right down the center of the trail with no worries about anything or anyone. That cat is definitely the "big dog" at the park. And lest you doubt the veracity of my claims about the size of the kitty in question, here is a paw print next to Joy's shoe. Big Kitty.
We saw other creatures too:
And, my favourite category, once again, the Rando Files:
It was so hot, so humid, so filthy out on the trails and we were exhausted by the time we returned. But we would (and will) absolutely get out there and do it again. It's all a part of the adventure.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.