Wednesday, December 24, 2014

I'm calling it a gift to myself

After doing an errand this morning, I took the long way home through back roads in Howey-in-the-Hills.  The road I took rambles through a rural area with homes on acreage, often with horses or cattle grazing.  I felt confident I'd see something interesting.  Sure enough, I did.

As I rounded a bend, I came upon a fenced pasture and noticed a flock of turkeys in the distance.  I pulled off the road, took out my camera and zoomed in to focus on the birds far across the field.

Even from several hundred feet away, the turkeys seemed to know I was watching them.  I was photographing the turkeys but later noticed two small yellow birds on the ground.  Can you find them? 

Two female turkeys pecking for bugs, seeds or bits of grain

What a surprise to see a red-bellied woodpecker when I uploaded this picture

So much was going on in that field.  Here's one of several killdeer I saw on the ground

High up in a cypress tree overlooking the field with the turkeys was a white ibis

And just down the road this tricolored heron was hanging around a plant-clogged pond.  The pond might be full of weeds but the heron caught himself a good sized fish while I watched from the car.

Wish I'd taken a better picture of its catch

And one final picture - three bored looking turkey vultures with their bright red faces, looking resigned to dine on whatever carnage they can find.

Although I'm not big on holiday gift-giving, I am enjoying this present to myself. While others are unwrapping the latest this or must-have that, my present was a quiet ride through the countryside capturing images of animals in the wild.  

Like all great presents, it's just what I wanted

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