WalkingSquares 27 through 30

Yay! I did it! I followed Becky’s #WalkingSquares challenge, walked outside and took photos every day in November (except one).

If I am to be honest, I will have to admit that for me, this challenge is not so much WalkingSquares, as it is StrollStopAndStareSquares.  But going very slowly and pausing often, allows me to notice new things to photograph.

On Sunday, we had wonderful weather.  I got this picture of an American Kestrel early in my walk.  I see them just once every few months.

Finally, some clear weather!

American Kestrel.

As I continued my round into the woods, I saw some small birds that didn’t look like the typical chickadees and titmice.  I stood very still for at least fifteen minutes, until they got used to my presence and flew more closely.  I was standing there thinking about what a lovely day it was, and how if I wasn’t doing this challenge, I would have just marched on along my usual path, without really watching the birds, and relishing the woods in the afternoon light.

That evening, when I processed the photos, I realized they were Golden-crowned Kinglets!  We have had Ruby-crowned here before but I have never even seen the Golden-crowned before. This is Bird Species 102 for our farm list!

Golden-crowned Kinglet, helpfully displaying his crown.

Golden-crowned Kinglet — blurry but adequate for ID.

Golden-crowned Kinglet.

On Monday, I decided to go back to the spot where I had seen the kinglets, to see if I could get any better pictures.

I took a shortcut through the woods, in an area where I don’t usually walk, because the ground is full of gullies, and most of the year it is crowded with brush. But at this time of the year, the brush has died back and you can see where you are going a little better.

There was a big tree that had fallen over a gully, and it had beautiful fungus growing all over it.

Fungus on a fallen tree.

My path through the woods was not the shortcut I thought it would be, and I did not get to the kinglet spot that day.  I did spot a Sassafras tree sapling and that is the first one I have seen on the property.

Tuesday I went out too late and only got this picture of a Tupelo tree at dusk.

Tupelo silhouette.

Wednesday I went back to the kinglet spot, and while I was waiting quietly to see if the birds would show up, I noticed this mulberry tree that I had not spotted before.  We have about 12 species of trees that are plentiful on the farm, and then just one American Holly specimen, one Sassafras, and now three Red Mulberries.

Mulberry tree growing intertwined with a Sugar Hackberry and a Yaupon.

The beautiful huge Mulberry leaves.

I really enjoyed walking for the challenge, trying to see if I could find something new to photograph every day.

The other really enjoyable part of this challenge, is following the links to read the participants’ posts.  Becky has done a lovely job of creating a path of posts in her wrap-up, and I would encourage you to explore some of them!