Robb and I enjoyed a lovely weekend. We went cycling on the Bay Trail late Saturday afternoon. Despite the fact that most of the migratory waterfowl have long since left the Bay Area, I had the very great pleasure of getting up close to a mixed colony of diving ducks.
This is a Surf Scoter. He is my favorite diving duck. What a handsome fellow! I had never, ever seen one of these out of the water, before Saturday.
Here is a juvenile Surf Scoter. I was sneaking up on the adult, and didn't actually see this bird until I was almost standing on top of it.
And that beautiful male Scoter, again.
Hanging around the Scoters were a pair of Scaups, and a female Bufflehead. The female Scaup had a horribly injured wing. When Robb and I first moved to the Bay Area, we volunteered at a rehabillitation facility for injured waterfowl. Based on our experience, we feel that this girlie is actually in good health, but won't be migrating anytime soon. We wondered if the male Scaup in this group was her mate, and if he was sticking around because of a pair-bond. I don't know if I'm assigning too many human traits to the Scaup when I speculate abut that sort of thing.
You can really see the extent of the damage to her wing in this photo. Something took a huge chomp out of her. She is lucky to have survived.
We saw a few other critters on Saturday.
This Ground Squirrel was practically standing on my shoe.
I spotted a few Goldfinches, eating thistles. The Goldfinch photo is the only one that I cropped in any way. All the other images are full-frame. We really got close to nature on Saturday!
And speaking of thistles, I took a long-delayed whack at my garden. It was waist-high in weeds, most notably thistles. I tore a swath of destruction through the middle, and planted some more native California plants. I have what must be the poorest soil I've ever worked with. I've got to find some manure or compost!
Even the garden is teeming with wildlife. There's a pair of Purple Finches who are very annoyed with my thrashing around, as well as hummingbirds, lizards and zillions of bees.
Despite the lovely outings, both Robb and I actually had a pretty rough weekend. He's experiencing a lot of muscular spasticity, and I'm still behind on my sleep. Since his accident, Robb is almost immobile in bed, and snores like some kind of fire-breathing dragon. Combine that with the nightmares I've been having, and I'm not getting the best sleep in the world.
(This weekend I dreamed that I had been transformed into an auto-cannibalistic bacon-cheeseburger with a green tartan 1970's carry-on suitcase for a body. This, as you can imagine, was rather upsetting.)