This morning I got up early and took a walk at Mason Farm. I took my new spotting scope with me, hoping to sit somewhere and try it out. On the way in I saw a number of deer, and took the best pictures I could given the low light.

Finally I found a comfortable spot, got situated, set up the tripod and scope and began scanning the tops of the tall oaks that stood at the edge of the frosty field. By now the morning sun was just starting to brighten the highest branches. A couple of bluejays flew in and sat sunning themselves contentedly.

Somewhere behind me a Pileated Woodpecker gave the forest a wake up call. I also saw some dark colored birds in the tall dead grass around me…maybe indigo buntings?

Looking through the scope, I caught sight of a Chickadee in a Sweetgum pretty far down in the forest. I was amazed at the detail of what I could see. I also learned something. The Chickadee was moving around the branches picking seeds out of the prickly balls that Sweetgums are known for. I didn’t know that they picked the seeds out of those. After a while it was time to pack up my scope and head back. As I stood up I startled a deer that had apparently wandered in fairly close to where I was.