There's a wood duck that hangs around a large pond (generously referred to by the locals as a "lake") near Hilary's place. We first noticed him last year. Normally, the pond is wall-to-wall mallards, so this little drake really stood out. Before too long, we noticed him keeping company with a female mallard. Not too surprising really. You’ll see what a handsome fellow he is in a minute.
Well, Woody quickly became a magnet for every wildlife photographer near and far. Hilary got some fine shots of him. I’m sure others did too.
Me, not so much.
Let me back up a tad here (although I mentioned this not too-too long ago).
There was a time, in the long-ago and far-away, when I fancied myself a decent photographer. I owned a couple of good cameras. I bought and digested hundreds of photography magazines and knew my way around a darkroom. I even came to understand, and manipulate, arcane concepts like depth of field! But I drifted away from it for nearly 20 years when the hobby became just too expensive.
Flash forward a couple of decades.
I bought Hilary a pretty good camera because I knew she had a gifted eye and encouraged her to start a blog. (Anyone who’s visited The Smitten Image knows how spectacularly that turned out.) Largely through her lens, my dormant photographer gene was reawakened and hallelujah! - digital photography was more affordable than its predecessors!
I haven’t yet treated myself to a digital SLR but, as mentioned a few weeks ago, I did buy a nice little grab-shot camera that fits into a pocket. And, if I do say so myself (and I just did if you’re scoring at home) I got a few decent shots from it.
On three different occasions, I had opportunities to shoot pics of Woody. Out of about 30-some snaps, two are keepers. That little rascal has a way of ducking (sorry) my focus.
Anyway, after that windy intro, here’s a couple of pics of Woody, as well as a few others taken semi-recently.
Here's the handsome devil in all his iridescent glory (Remember to click the photo if you'd like to see it enlarged):
I like this next one because I think it captures his cocky personality.
Remaining with our duck theme for a bit, here's a good looking mallard venturing onto the snow for a nibble.
There's a wonderful, dead tree near the aforementioned pond at Hilary's. It's often a gathering spot for the local birds. At night, we can add "mysterious" and "ghostly" to its description.
Here's a pic idea I shamelessly stole from Hilary. We were in a restaurant and she took a shot of this fixture. I really liked how it looked so I hauled out my camera and took one too.
A couple of weeks ago, on an evening walk with Ben, I was saddened to see a rainbow trout in great distress. Most likely, an angler hooked him in a vulnerable area and released him anyway, hoping he'd recover. It was a middling-sized male, about five pounds, and he was being ushered downstream by the current. He was on his side and every few seconds would feebly try to right himself. He was unable to do so, even when he managed to thrash his way into a gentle eddy. The light was fading and he was some distance away but I took a couple of pics anyway. I walked along the bank parallel to him, encouraging him to find the strength to recover. I lost sight of him as he tumbled downstream in the dark.
On a more cheerful note, here's a shot of one of Hilary's neighbour's Christmas lights.
And we'll close this session with an "aww" shot of Hilary holding her newest neighbour, baby Lily.