2016 may have been a rough year for some, but I consider it a win. From the moment I woke up in a hospital bed in 2013 after a severe bike accident and reacted to my injuries with a "it could be worse..." I have since adopted this as my way to go about things in life. If I am alive with my health, family, and friends, I am in my view pretty damn successful! So in the end 2016 wasn't terrible, but there certainly were times that were hard, but also many to celebrate.
The most hurtful moment in 2016 was losing my Gma, she was like a mother to my sisters and I and I had never experienced a loss like that before. It hurt so much (more than I could have ever imagined) to lose her, but I also know she is at peace.
The best news of 2016 was my mom, she went through 2016 taking care of Gma at the end of her life, trying to take care of herself, and probably more people than she ever needed to take care of -- also she went through surgeries and chemo, and she rises up out of 2016 cancer free and hell yeah, I am so proud of her.
So to close up 2016, I went on a walk in a place that feels like home, Prospect Park, where I could see all the familiar faces of the things I love- and all those things were very compliant in giving me amazing views. What a privilege it is to be alive and to be able to enjoy the nature that surrounds!
Happy New Year- I hope you get out to enjoy some sights of your own!
|An American black duck on some calm, but swirly looking waters.|
|This little downy woodpecker was so close, wandering among the black tarps covering the phragmites, just chipping away at the few little plants coming up.|
|No shortage on coots today, I love these little winter residents, especially when they give you the chance to see their funny lobed feet.|
|I perched myself on the edge of the lake and 2 young mute swans made a b-line for me. They approached very close, only to be let down that I would not ever dare feed them.|
|Many ruddy ducks pop up among the crowds of geese, shovelers, and mallards.|
|One ruddy, near the ring neck duck was going crazy, preening for those 10 minutes. Ruddy ducks in doing this make for some funny poses and their little bodies are just so weird- this guy looks like a puppet.|
|Also gives you a rare look to see the underside of that broad bill they sport, and to see how far back their feet and legs are set-- the better for diving with!|
|I always like stopping at the feeders in winter- a nice chance to see birds close and it is always a grab bag- you never know who will show up! Today lots of red-wing blackbirds.|
|A male house finch in lovely color.|
|Then I noticed a little guy, darting from feeders to tree, I was slow to catch him, but when I did, it was this little masked thing: a red-breasted nuthatch.|
|He had a plan to get to those seeds...|
|This pretty mallard caught my eye, just getting in her rest with such beautiful markings.|
|Was hoping the snow geese would still be on the upper pool, but instead, a nice treat- a very close to shore, female bufflehead!|
|More common at our coastal areas, these pint size divers are pretty adorable and pretty tough little ducks.|
|Also a treat, some nice light to actually make out all the beautiful features of this duck.|
|I know they are common, but I love raptors and big birds, maybe because its as close to a real dinosaur I could ever get.|
|Someone also just ate- full crop!|
|Talons look like they were freshly used too!|
|Why do they call you a red ta...|
|... alright, got it! ;)|
|A nice capture of biomimicry!|