Cherish is my favorite word, and I cherish the ability of turning the routine into a beautiful moment.
Nature creates in me, a spiritual and meditative time to bring peace, harmony and balance, into an otherwise ordinary day~
Mary Howell Cromer

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fourth of July & Final Seasons Entry~

Thanking everyone so very much for your kind words of support and encouragement for my 5 year blog presentation last week.
I truly appreciate all of the views and the very complimentary comments from the bottom of my heart, they all meant so much to me.
As for my health...the medications are a challenge, trying to get used to them in my system, but I shall endure.
For this week, I wanted to post a few of my absolute very favorite images from this past season with the Red-Shouldered Hawks of Tingsgrove and Beyond.
Hmm for newcomers, who may not get that.
I live on a little over 2 acres and for over 31 years this land has fondly been named Tingsgrove.  
For many years the hawks have lived, sometimes nested and hunted this land, as well as the land nearby.  
Hence the name of my blog.
The image above is on the left the very elusive male partner of the pair and to the right the female.
Below the nest is ready, and 2 sessions of brooding was complete ( the first had failed, due to a harsh lasting Winter) and eggs have begun to hatch.  
A meal was brought to the rim by the male to the left

Remember to double click on the first image, to view a larger slide show presentation after you have read the summaries below~

 I will also be linking up with Mary at:
Mosaic Monday

As well as I am linking up with Stewart at:
   Wild Bird Wednesday

The image below is now my screensaver on my Smart Phone, just too, too sweet~

The hen presenting a meal to one of the young eyas~

The hen was always sprucing up the nest with fresh sprigs of greenery.  
When the young ones begin to stretch those wings, it is such an amazing thing to watch how quickly they develop~

It was not very easy to view all 4 of the young ones at the same time~

I have tried to include some flight images in this post.  
I always enjoy watching Raptors soar, and also hear their voices communicate with one another as the reach higher and higher in the sky~

It takes about 2 weeks before I can first see the white down of the little heads of the eyas. 
 It takes another 2 weeks to make an accurate count if the nest is as high as it was this season.  
The white down changes colour to this lovely shade by about week 6~

The shot of the young one watching the hen fly in with a meal is one that I really liked~

Some may find it difficult viewing frogs and songbirds taken, however this is the way it was planned and while yes, it can be is nature at it's best.  
I have heard it said that 6 out of 10 times a Bird of Prey will miss what it hunting, and then only 10% of them will survive their first Winter.  
It is a rough life for them.  
To have 4 beautiful young hawks now thriving at 11 to 12 weeks ( they hatch out every other day) of age, is truly a great success story and I am so hoping they do well~

Above the beautiful hen bringing in another fresh sprig of greenery and below, she has offered a small snake to her young ones.
She allows them to fight over who gets what~

Once again the same thing when she delivered a songbird~

These next 5 images are probably some of my most favorite of the several thousand that I snapped in 18 weeks~

Yes, I can honestly say, without shame that I love this bird, she is truly awesome~

If you saw my post from last week, this was the young one that fell through the trees and hung all night by a single talon.  
One of the neighbors Jack found a road killed Gray Squirrel and we presented it to the hen. 
 She did indeed find it and I was so happy to see that she first fed it to the very hungry one on the left.  
She then fed a larger female to the right and she allowed her to fly off with it. 
This would be the first meal that the young one would lift and fly with...nice~

The adult female had brought in a meal...she is in the middle on the branch.  
Three of the 4 young ones went for the same meal and one started to fall after a brief battle for food privileges.  
One took a tumble and was caught by another one and hung by it's talon long enough that I got this quick snap, before it was released and dropped to a tree below~

I found a snake that had been killed by a car also one day and why not offer that as was only going to be wasted as Vultures cannot get to everything out there.  
With such a large family to feed, it was a good thing this season.  
The hen ate some and then fed 2 of the chicks a bit, before allowing the one below to have  it.  
You cannot see the snake in this image, however the bird is mantling it here,
  the it is learning behaviors and skills which will be needed very soon for survival~

She is a beauty!

Probably my favorite flight shot of the female this season~

The image below just makes me smile. 
 A young one has just left the nest and has gotten all comfy.

This is one of the last times that I was this close to one of the 4 young ones. 
 It looked wonderful!  
All of them are very strong and healthy and I could not be more pleased~

This is the youngest of the 4.
She is such an animated bird, probably my favorite, but then again, yes, they all are. 
She still will fly close to where I stand, whereas the others are in the distance now, and that is as it should be~

The week that they left their nest area was week 9~

A Blue Jay accompanies the adult female in flight and a young one in flight~

All 4 young ones free and doing what they need to be doing to thrive and survive.
It was a great season with them.
Each one of them touched my soul~

I deleted over 6,000 images from this run and some that had good bones, I kept  in a folder to just have some creative fun with.  
These are the ones that have made it thus far into the category of my artsy Red-Shouldered Hawks images.  
Some of these will actually be printed and some even sold as greeting cards.
It is all a good thing, a very good thing~ 

As for this last entry for the season...well one of the young ones was doing a little branching in the rain. 
 It was having a blast first time out of nest. 
 It would run, jump, hop, spread it's wings and I could just imagine one of Michael Jackson's recordings being played as the bird danced it's way off the stage.
Thank always for stopping by~

Remember to double click on the first image, to view a larger slide show presentation after you have read the summaries below~


  1. the adults have such a beautiful, rich russet color. so happy that all 4 made it to full fledge!

  2. Dear Mary. Another of your glorious posts enhanced by a fabulous series of images charting the youngsters story.

  3. Hi Mary,

    You have managed to make this 'close knit' family of six the stars of the blogosphere. Their daily routine, their personalities and their adventures, so charmingly documented by you, have been a great source of interest and entertainment for your visitors! Thank you for all your detailed accounts and the amazing photographs; it's been such a pleasure to witness the little ones' progress over the past couple of posts!

    Hope you are having a happy 4th!


  4. A beautiful review of this year's hawk season. I loved the whole post. We feel by now that we know each member of the family. What a beautiful job you do of documenting their lives. I can only imagine the number of hours of observing that went into these photos and the ones you deleted. Thank you so much for sharing the fruits of our patience.

  5. And PS: Your real pictures are so wonderful, I would never have thought that I could love the 'played-with' ones equally as well. But that last treatment (the black and white) is marvelous -- I'd hang that one .. it looks like it could be a Japanese embroidered silk or something equally exotic.

  6. Wow! What a beautiful post, full of fabulous photos and collages! LOVED IT!!

  7. what a treat to have such neighbours. :) I would have loved to follow them too.

  8. What a privilege and delight to get to share with these wonderful birds! I would be so thrilled to get to do so! And to get such amazing photos to keep always of their time nesting. Wow! Loved them all, but the young ones sitting on the branch were my favorite. I hope they will nest again there for you next year!

    Sorry you are not doing well. Hope you get used to your meds soon. Also, just wanted to say I hope you get some hummers soon too. We have three to five who use our feeders (Anna's) but the other shots I made of different ones were taken at Madera Canyon about an hour from here at a higher elevation. SE AZ is an amazing place for hummers!

    Have a great week!

  9. Marvellous as always. Your artsy shots are gorgeous!

  10. thank you Mary for being there so we can share this journey as well : )

  11. I enjoyed your series of photos from fluffy chicks to sibling rivalries with food to share. I'm not sure how you offered road kill to the family, just laid it out for them to find? Sometimes I wish I could help our nesting ospreys with fish but don't know how I would go about it, or if this is even possible.

    1. Hi Judith and thank you. About the road kill. The the adult female recognizes me and knows me after so many years, though I must be extremely cautious. I always present anything to her walking and looking downward, never toward her. I will know where she is before approaching the area and toss the road kill in that direction and then turn around and go the other way. She will take most of what I present, and what is left behind, other wildlife takes and I do not worry about as long as it is not left near her nest tree. I will never leave anything out all night on the ground near the tree. If that should happen, I go back after dark and remove it.

  12. I love to have a patch of habitat to call my own - so you could watch and learn every day!

    The hawks are (as ever) great!

    Sorry for slow reply - hectic weeks!

    Cheers - Stewart M

  13. Hi Mary, I have enjoyed your hawk post. The chicks are adorable.. I have a fondness for the little ones. The photos and mosaics are awesome.. I hope you are feeling better, take care.

  14. An amazing post. Fabulous shots captured of the chick, the flight shots adn I do love the edited B & W shot as well

  15. I love those shots, and with a couple of chicks.

  16. Fabulous photos of these gorgeous birds!

  17. It was a truly wonderful season you documented Mary. Can there be any doubt that yours and neighbours' help, kindness and protection contributed to the whole brood surviving. you have presented us with another set of fabulous images and your creativity knows no bounds.

  18. You are very lucky to have them and be able to study them up close. Great series.


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