January of '15 will be remembered in the annals of Hoot Owl Karma for its paucity of posts.
Generally speaking, one must venture outside to experience the wild, and January's hectic work schedule conspired with cold and flu season, the high school exam schedule, and a few particularly inopportune days of rain to severely limit our time outside.
And, on the few occasions when we encountered the wild with camera in hand,
things seldom went according to plan.
This handsome juvenile red-tailed hawk had just left a meal of road-killed white-tailed deer when we rolled up.
Rather than pose patiently for a blog shot, it lurched awkwardly against the tree trunk,
then launched and wheeled and disappeared into the dense cover beyond the tree-line.
A few days and a few miles later,
our friend, belted kingfisher, perched high against a perfect sky of blue,
but, alas, this perfect post was not to be...
Yet another fine day found us approaching a hunting red-shouldered hawk along the shoulder of a rural byway...
a hunting red-shouldered hawk with no time to spare for gawkers, that is.
We are nothing at Hoot Owl Karma if not optimistic, however,
and January's near misses will give us an even greater appreciation of whatever we encounter tomorrow...
Perhaps we'll stumble upon a bare-limbed shrub, retaining but a few old dead leaves from the year just past, yet covered in spectacular, bright yellow blossoms which appear to be growing from the flesh of the limbs themselves. We're familiar with the tales and lore associated with "witch hazel," and have even shared a photo or two in the past, but this is by far the most spectacular example we've encountered.
It's good to be back!