Last Saturday while out looking for whales (before Sunday's amazing J-Pod encounter) I came across three baby fox kits. My shore-based whale chasing ceased immediately because you just can't pass by faces like these. While I was crouching in front of my parked car with camera in hand, another woman stopped to watch them for a while, too. "This is the cutest thing I've ever seen," she said. That about sums it up, as photos definitely speak louder than words with these guys:
(Note: Prints of all these photos can be ordered from my fox image gallery)
In other news, I've been falling way behind Dave and my dad in our year list challenge. On an evening walk the other night I did hear my first Swainson's thrush (159) of the season. Then today I stopped by Westside Lake and was amazed by the number of birds I could see and hear just standing alongside the road: olive-sided flycatcher, turkey vulture, red-winged blackbird, Cassin's and warbling vireos, violet-green swallows, pied-billed grebe, and best of all, a western tanager (160).
After my walk on the nearby quarry trails, I was still enjoying the sun too much to head straight home, so I stopped to look at the wildflowers at Land Bank's Westside Preserve. It's amazing how you can visit a place so many times and still find new vantage points - I think I discovered a new place to go sit and read there on my next visit, and it has an added bonus of being out of the wind. While sitting in that spot taking it all in I took this shot of the broad-leaved stonecrop that it's full bloom right now. I love the colors!
Also while sitting there this western x glaucous-winged gull hybird came and landed about fifteen feet away from me. I'm pretty sure he was checking me out for food. He was out of luck there, but no doubt he'll have more success in what promises to be a busy holiday weekend here on the island.
Next up, it's off to a one-day symposium tomorrow to learn some details about a very interesting part of local history; a story many people aren't even aware of that took place just 50 years ago. I'm sure it will inspire a great blog post in the very near future! Stay tuned...