Monday, February 9, 2015

Opie and the Gang

The first week of January I began visiting Bluebonnet Swamp, our local nature area that sits smack dab in the middle of Baton Rouge. For the next two weeks I observed a goofy-looking O'Possum who liked to amble over to the bird feeders to snack on seeds. I named him Opie. Each day I looked forward to seeing him; he came at the same time every day. The photos of him with his mouth open, appearing vicious, is really just him chewing on sunflower seeds. He was harmless. Unfortunately, Opie did not survive an attack by either an owl or hawk. I will spare you the grisly details. I was very sad.



During the time I was enjoying and studying Opie, I noticed a male and female House Finch missing the top half of their beaks. The photos were sent off by my birding friend to an expert in the field. Turns out they both had Pox which also affects their feet. Sad.


These images are just normal observations. Nothing odd or sad here.

GERONIMO!!!

Buff-bellied Hummingbird
A winter resident

Chickadee who got a little careless with his seed.

Holding tight to this one!

Red-bellied Woodpecker


Sharing with Anni at...

58 comments:

Beate said...

Gail, those shots are absolutely amazing! Opie is so cute. So wonderful you got to see him every day. But I'm so sad that he got attacked. And those poor birds with Pox! Oh no :(
Love the hummingbird pic and the chickadee who got careless with his seed made me laugh - it took me a second to see the seed in the air ;)
The woodpecker is such a beautiful bird!
Have a great start into the new week :)

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Poor Opie! I love that picture of him though. And I love the pictures of the peaceful finch and also the woodpecker :)

rainfield61 said...

Beautiful critters.
Some poor critters too.

rainfield61 said...

Beautiful critters.
Some poor critters too.

eileeninmd said...

Poor Opie, he was cute! I love the bird shots, especially the hummer.. Great post, enjoy your day!

Irma said...

Hi Gail,
What bad for Opie, he looked so cute.
I love the birds, photo 7, 11 and 12 are my favorite.
Best regards, Irma

bas van Es said...

ja zulke dingen zullen altijd blijven gebeuren maar het is wel een prachtige log geworden.

nookworm said...

Again, it's the way of nature and natural things that we have to accept. Your woodpecker pictures made me feel better.

Bob Bushell said...

Brilliant O'Possum, or 'Opie'. Love him/her. And the rest, they are beautiful images Gail.

Debbie said...

really awesome captures but those red bellies are amazing, aren't they??

i think house finches are susceptible to many different diseases. i get so many injured/sick ones here at my feeders.....there are a lot of eye problems with them!!

Renae of Simple Sequins said...

oh, Gail! Too bad Opie is no more. He was so cute!!! Yes, super sad. Pox? as in "Pox be upon thee". Oh sad again. I love the GERONIMO!! Not sad. LOL

Great photos, my friend!!! ♥, Renae

Karen S. said...

We used to have Opie's cousin Scuttle-Butt, (really that's what he did) his name was more like Charlie, as everything unnamed seems to be named Charlie around here. He was a fan of our groundskeeper cats food. I'm not sure what happened to him. They sure can look mighty-mean though. Mostly they are just stubborn.

TexWisGirl said...

love your red-bellies and the fact you keep hummers over winter there!

i never minded the possums except that they carry a disease that can be fatal to horses, so i'm always 'grateful' when my dogs dispatch them.

EG CameraGirl said...

Lucky you to see a hummer this time of year! And I'm a BIG fan of red-bellied woodpeckers!

Breathtaking said...

Slendid shots everything.The hummingbird and the woodpeckers are a joy to see, as I can't see them on my patch.
Warm Regards.

Linda R said...

Opie does look a little bit scary. But Im sure he is fun to watch. Excellent photos once again my friend. I LOVE the hummingbird photo as well.

Hugs~

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

finishing with non-sad was good, but my nose is still running over the earlier explanations. snort sniffle sniffle

Kerry said...

Your photos are fantastic, Gail. I love that you have affection for even such creatures as possums. And birds that are ill. I am reading a book about viruses (Demon in the Freezer) & it talks alot about pox. Even fish can get a type of pox; it's everywhere.

June Caedmon said...

Wonderful collection, Gail! I'm glad you've been able to visit the swamp so regularly. Your captures are unique and inspiring as always!

Stephanie said...

I know things like this happen in nature, but it's still sad to see...

Your photos are wonderful, Gail :) Have a beautiful week! Hugs!

Hilary said...

Such fine pics. I love how you capture the exact moment a bird takes off .. or drops a seed. Beautifully done.

Too bad about Opie. We have named one of our critters Opie, as well. Only it's a deer. But his ears stick out at about the same angle as your Opie's. ;)

Ruth Hiebert said...

Amazing photos. Those poor birds with part of the beak missing.That is sad.

Shug said...

Oh No....pooe Opie! He was a cute little fella. glad you cleared up that he wasn't being vicious. He was just enjoying his seeds. Bless the birds! Sad for them. Gail, as always...your pics are wonderful. Hope you are having the same kind of sunny day as us here in East Texas...
Hugs

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Sorry to hear about Opie. He really was vicious looking!! Great photos.

Anvilcloud said...

Poor Opie. nature red in tooth and claw.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Poor Opie. Possums always look so grisly. Even as babies!

DeniseinVA said...

Amazing photos Gail. Poor Opie, nature's way but still very sad.

Brian King said...

These are gorgeous! I love the Red-bellied Woodpecker and hummingbird! Beautiful!

Kathy said...

You were lucky to get great photos of the possum. They are usually nocturnal. The only photo I've ever taken of one was when I trapped a possum thief who was eating our bird seed. I released him many miles away and I haven't seen any other evidence of him since then.

bailey-road.com said...

Such gorgeous birds! Sorry to read of Opie's sad demise.

Michelle said...

I love the wood pecker!! The opie looks a bit scary!

Felicia said...

Opie is so cute. I love the detail of his feet in that 3rd image. so sad about his demise.

the birds are fabulous. love the hummer.

ladyfi said...

Wonderful shots! I love that red leaf and that goofy possum face.

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

Gorgeous bird photos! Too bad about Opie and the pox that affects the house finch.
Thanks for stopping today and your nice comments.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Sad to read about Opie's fate, but nit uncommon an occurence in nature as you well know. The "geronimo" mid-air shot was terrific.

Bethany Carson said...

Love the midair shot of the bird and the photo of the woodpecker. Too bad about those finches!

Sorry to hear about Opie as well...the photos of him made me smile. Our dog killed an opossum once (just doing her duty as a good farm dog), but unfortunately it turned out it was a mother opossum with three little babies. We couldn't let the poor things starve, so we took them into one of our buildings, put them in a couple of our spacious rabbit cages, and fed, petted, and raised them till they were grown and we released them a few miles away.

Juliana said...

Кумедна тваринка на перших фото! Має трохи загрозливий вигляд))))

xoxo, Juliana | PJ’ Happies :)

Wally Jones said...

Good Mornin', Gail!

It looks like Bluebonnet Swamp is shaking off its winter coat and getting ready for Spring. Simply wonderful photography and extremely enjoyable narrative!

Thank you for sharing. It made my morning coffee much better.

Deanna said...

Glorious pics of the birds...shame on that disease that affects the birds' beaks and feet. And Opie looks like an animal I wouldn't want to get too close too.

retriever said...

Wonderfull pics, best regard from Belgium.

http://louisette.eklablog.com/grebe-huppe-podiceps-cristatus-a114631484

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Beautiful shots ... I don't love possums (issues with our garden way back when we had our house in Oregon) but you make him look kinda cute and I'm sorry he met a grizzly demise.

Wonderful birds as always.

hootnonny said...

Amazing! Love Geronimo!

Ida said...

Oh poor Opie to have met such a sad end to his life.
Also those poor birds with the missing beaks. It really is sad.
You have some wonderful photos here. Loved your Geranimo shot.

Linda said...

Sad about the casualties, but your pictures are fantastic!

Barbara Shallue said...

That makes me sad about Opie. When I was little, my sister adopted a possum and her babies. I vaguely remember it but they remain among my favorite animals. And those poor birds! I've never heard of a pox that birds get. Thanks for finishing with some happy photos!

Donna said...

We have never seen possums here although they must be around...they just stay in the woods.

Susan (ABON) said...

So sad about Opie's fate :( At one time I didn't like O'Possums, but since then I've learned much about them through wildlife rehab friends, so my attitude has changed. Also sad for the poor birds with health issues. I realize it's all in the scheme of "life", but I wish I could fix them all. Love the chickadee and red-bellied woodpecker shots!

Ratty said...

I feel bad about Opie. Things like that always make me sad. But at least he'll be remembered by you and everyone who stops by here and sees the wonderful pictures of him.

Joke (Joke's Camera) said...

So sad Opie has died. Gorgeous pictures, Gail. A Hummingbird .... wow. I have never seen one in nature. Just on pictures. Stunning series. Greetings from the Netherlands, Joke

Anni said...

Gail....I must apologize profusely for being so late in stopping by to visit with you and viewing your magnificent images. We've been extremely busy doing yard work and a bit of house repairs during the warmer days. Then, taking time to work on my personal blog during 'break time' LOVE the Birds AND Opie! Plus the beautiful capture of the scarlet leaf.

Well done.

Thanks for linking in this week at I'd Rather B Birdin'.

Helma said...

Wow .... your photos are wonderful weather and incredible beautiful quality. The animal in the first pictures I do not recognize but birds do. Really beautiful pictures, sharp, bright and with many fine details.

Anita Johnson said...

I'm sorry to hear about Opie...I find them a bit creepy, perhaps it's their teeth...and tail. I have observed a few birds with beak issues too, never thought to find out what caused it, very interesting. Love that hummingbird, we only have ruby throated ones in Wisconsin. Your photos amaze me !

Indrani said...

What an excellent capture of the bird suspended in mid air!
I am in love with your pictures.

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

Tis sad that animals suffer. never knew about bird pox. Thanks for sharing.

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

Poor Opie!!! Lovely Bird photos!!! Pox?
I looked it up!!

Gunilla Bäck said...

Poor Opie, he was a very cute critter. I love all the birds, but especially the woodpecker.

Imagebloke said...

I loved the images and I am loving this blog. Fantastic images and description.

LC said...

It makes me so happy to see your wildlife photos. I have missed them during my weeks away from blogging.