Category Archives: wildlife

Doin’ the Hokey Pokey on the Alsea River

I love to watch the winter ducks on the Alsea River.

Female Common Merganser
Female Common Merganser
Male Common Merganser
Male Common Merganser
Male Common Merganser
Put your right foot in – put your right foot out
Male Common Merganser
Put your left foot in – put your left foot out
Male Common Merganser
and turn yourself about
Female Barrow’s Goldeneye


What if the Hokey Pokey IS what it’s all about?

Bear Gets Low-Hanging Fruit

This black bear is big enough to reach the low-hanging apples.  Well, relatively low.  I picked what I could with a 5′ ladder.

black bear looking for apples
Black Bear looking for apples

Watch this video to see him stand.  Maybe I’ll give him a sign to wear that says, “Will dance for apples.”


There is another pile of scat in our driveway that looks way different from the others.  See the two kinds below:

Bear scat indicates a high-fruit diet - mainly apples and berries
Bear scat indicates a high-fruit diet – mainly apples and berries
Bear scat - not so much fruit
Bear scat – not so much fruit

Can a bear’s diet change that fast?  These were left 2 days apart.  Maybe there’s another bear around who is eating something different?

Even wildlife need to bathe

Otters seem to have a fluid motion even when they are on land.  These photos were taken in Tidewater just below Blackberry Campground east of Waldport, Oregon.  (Sorry if I caught an intimate moment.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell.)

river otters on alsea river
3 otters

 Watch the video of them taking a dirt bath.  When the 3rd otter comes onto land you can see a little newt scurrying out of the way.


Who Goosed the Merganser?

Common Mergansers are voracious eaters.  These 4 siblings know just where to find the fish in the Alsea River.

merganser siblings
Siblings compare notes

I didn’t see them catching any crawdads but there were plenty of mudcats, or sculpin, being swallowed.

2 Mergansers each have a fish
2 Mergansers each have a fish

It actually looks like a terrible way to die for a fish.

It takes a while for the duck to get it into the right position to swallow so the fish doesn’t spread its fins.

merganser with fish
That’s a big tale to swallow

I keep wanting to lend him my opposable thumbs.

I watched, several times, as one duck would come up under another who had a fish.  It looked like they’d try to scare it into dropping it.  In this video, though, I think one is trying to grab it from the other.  I’m not sure who won but the fish clearly did not.  I choose to believe the first duck hung onto his food and got to finish his meal.  But I’m an optimist and don’t like thieves…even if they are just siblings at the dinner table.

Wildlife are Resourceful

I’m pretty sure these are some young wood ducks starting to get their colors.  The blue feathers and the white around the eye that trails off like eyeliner are especially pretty.

Young Wood Ducks
Young Wood Ducks

The elk are starting to graze on apples and wild blackberries now.  They can reach further than I can.

elk in blackberries
Elk grazing in wild blackberries

Why is it that we can’t get a sunflower to grow in fertile soil but if a chipmunk plants it…

Sunflowers planted by chipmunk

Maybe they have magic spit?

Thankful Thursday #thankfulthursday

I have so much to be thankful for…my awesome husband, children and grandchildren, my parents, siblings, in-laws and friends are at the top of my list!

2nd is the beauty that surrounds me in simplicity and wonder.

Mule Deer Buck
Mule Deer Buck with unequal antlers
Merganser Young'uns
Merganser family stick close together
Lazy leaf floating through the reflections
Lazy leaf floating through the reflections
Crescent Moon
Crescent Moon – men walked there
cedar waxwings
Cedar Waxwings stop to chat

and the beauty even feeds me!

Apple tree is stressed from a dry summer but still producing
Apple tree is stressed from a dry summer but still producing

Wildlife Photography

I’ve never taken a class.  I use auto-focus more than any other setting.  I use a Canon SX40 HS with a 35x optical zoom.  I’m not here to teach you anything about photography.

Hummingbird fishing lure?
Hummingbird fishing lure?

I just enjoy wildlife so I want to preserve the moment.  And I love the attention to detail that God has in His creations!

Female or youth Rufous Hummingbird
Female or youth Rufous Hummingbird

I have to admit, though, some kinds of wildlife almost seem like more work than they are worth.  I like to catch the unique markings so I can make a good identification.  But hummingbirds don’t usually sit still for very long.

Rufous in flight
Rufous in flight

If I have enough light and patience, and if luck is on my side, I might capture the little hummer in flight AND in focus!  They are SO fast!  There were 4 of them fighting over the feeders and flowers this evening.

Action shots are my favorites
Action shots are my favorites

These are the treasure shots though.  The captures I never expect.  I’d been intentionally trying to catch the hummer with his tail spread but he just wasn’t cooperating.  The spread tail is a threatening or warning position so they are ready to chase when it’s spread.  I focused on him as he was sitting on the flower and decided to snap at the next movement I saw.  After I took it I thought I’d missed him completely.  I love finding these treasures on my laptop after I download photos from my camera.

Happy snapping!  🙂