December 2, 2017

Furred, Feathered, and Local

Well, I was wrong about the bears. Not all of them have gone into winter quarters. Fortunately, this one is in Shenandoah National Park, not in my neighborhood. I've already put up bird feeders and a bear will take them down and destroy them! (I've had it happen.)

When I first spotted this guy, he was standing beside Skyline Drive, out in the open and looking perfect. But of course he went into the woods as I pulled over and turned on my camera.

I'm getting used to missing the best shots of bears. They are shy of humans, and it's just as well since they can be dangerous. The best shot that got away was a bear we saw in the fog on Skyline Drive. It was walking on a stone wall, and since the fog (actually a cloud) was thick, it appeared to us suddenly, like something magical. It would have been dangerous to stop to take a picture because visibility was only about 20 feet and there was no place to pull over, so getting rear-ended by another car was likely.

A squirrel is much easier to photograph. I took this pair of squirrel pictures through a window.

This spotted bird looked both familiar and strange to me. A friend pointed out that it's a starling; not the dark kind that I usually see but a juvenile, which is lighter in color.

I don't know what the bird in a tree is. It was across the yard and even zoomed and cropped, I can't see much detail.

And then there's this chicken! It showed up at our neighborhood entrance, hanging out with the ducks.

Here he looks like he belongs with the muscovy duck (far right), but of course they aren't related. Our muscovies are wild birds, probably descended from some farmer's flock. I think the chicken walked over from a nearby farm, or perhaps from a neighbor's backyard chickens. Sometimes we hear crowing, so I know they are kept nearby.


  1. As always, I found your post most pleasurable. Thank you kindly for sharing with us at I'd Rather B Birdin' this weekend.

    I just can't get over having a bear so nearby. Whoa.
    And your unknown bird, tho I'm not positive, I'd still like to guess...a yellow rumped warbler?!!!

    As always, I found your post most pleasurable. Thank you kindly for sharing with us at I'd Rather B Birdin' this weekend.

  2. Sometimes the most interesting animals are in places where it is too dangerous to stop the car.
    The chicken is a handsome bird!
    Cute squirrel!
    Have a wonderful day!

  3. Hello, I love the bear sighting. It always seems to work out that way for me, by the time I take out my camera turn it on, the bear or bird is gone. Your spotted bird looks like a starling. I love the chickens. Thanks for linking up and sharing your post. I appreciate your comment too. Happy Sunday, enjoy your day and the new week ahead.

  4. A fine series of pictures. I had my first squirrel show up yesterday at our new home

  5. Our bear killed 3 chickens. And then there were none. Looks like the chicken in the last shot escaped but got bloodied.

  6. Fantastic shots of all these critters, Linda. You come across some interesting critters in your area.

  7. Wow what luck to see a bear! I'm surprised he isn't tucked into his den for the winter.

  8. First time we camped in Shenandoah, there was a bear trap 6 campsites away!

  9. Reading about your bears, I think I'll quit complaining about all our squirrels!

  10. That chicken is either brave or foolhardy! Silly thing. I said sort of the same thing about all the bears we saw when we were in Alaska.,.they simply refused to pose for me.

  11. Neat creature pictures. I'm not so sure I'd want to see a bear up close and in person, but I enjoy your photos of them.

  12. How fun to live in a wilderness area. Your description of the bear in the fog is chilling. That would make a cool painting, if not a photo.

  13. lovely collection of critters and birds.
    That is one proud chicken :)


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