Kali and I took a 5-mile walk on Sunday afternoon in the city park downstream of the preserve. The park embraces the same creek that flows through the preserve, but the stream is larger in the city, having been augmented by the flow of several sizable tributaries en route. The day was cold (in the mid-30s F), but the sky was perfectly clear and the park was uncharacteristically deserted. We had a fine walk.
Cooper's Hawk perched on a beech limb over the creek
We bought a digital SLR two few weeks ago--a Canon T3i body fitted with a versatile Tamron 18-270 lens. Kali simply could not see what she was photographing on the screen of our Nikon S10 point-and-shoot, so she desperately wanted a camera with a viewfinder and an all-purpose lens. I want to take close-up images that can rival those of some of my fellow Bloggers, so I wanted a camera on which I could fit a closeup lens. I'll have to wait to get the closeup lens for a while, though. The two images included in this post were taken with the new camera setup. I was at least 200 feet from the hawk, so I'm not surprised that the image isn't great, but it was an experiment._____
My holidays this year promise to be not very merry. Most immediately, one of my cats is on death's door. She had a good life with us, but arrived as a stray and remained nearly feral despite sharing the house with us for over 10 years. It has only been in the last two years that I've been able to touch her (and Kali has never been able touch her). Because she is so skittish, we've never been able to take her to the vet; if we were to try to corner her or put her in a cat carrier, she would go berserk--we've tried. So, once it became clear last week that she was in very serious decline, we figured we were just going to have to wait it out. She's clearly miserable.
Then, last week, I learned that my 86-year-old father, who lives in San Diego, is receiving hospice care. He'd had heart surgery in August 2010, never recovered adequately, and has been in and out of the hospital ever since. I'm going to California right after the New Year to bid him adieu. Needless to say, I'm a little subdued.