But first, some early morning color as seen through the trees while Kaylee and I were out walking:
Over the past couple of days I'd started wondering if I really wanted or needed to bring my camera back and forth every day when I went home at lunchtime to let Kaylee out for a bit. I mean, there's only so many pictures of Kaylee fetching her stick and chickadees I could take, right? But today I went ahead and grabbed it anyway. To say I'm thankful I did would be an understatement of epic proportions, because as I drove up the hill I spotted a ruffed grouse on the left side of the road:
So I stopped, put the window down, took pictures like the one above, and followed the grouse as it crossed in front of my car. I put the passenger window down and slowly rolled the car back as it wandered through the brush for a bit, trying to keep an eye on it. It paused for a moment, as if debating its next move. And then, much to my surprise and delight, it flew up into a tree that was no more than 4 feet from my car:
I threw the car in park and started snapping away, soon realizing the grouse was after the berries still on the tree's branches:
In this one you can see the berry's stem poking out of its beak:
Once it'd had its fill, it hopped down from the tree and back into the brush:
Given that I can probably count on both hands the number of times I've seen a grouse, it was amazing to be able to watch one so close up for that length of time, much less photograph it. Needless to say, there's no question the camera will be coming with me from now on.
And as always, we close with Kaylee: