I love this time of year. The sun gets lower in the sky, shadows lengthen and magic awaits in the evening interplay between light and shadow. Soon it will be autumn on Cape Cod.
Yesterday I went in search of rosehips at Red River Beach. Rosa rugosa are the wild roses that cover so many of the Cape’s dunes and the rosehip fruit is now ripening. Packed with Vitamin C and great for making jam, tea and tarts, rosehips are a sure sign that September is drawing near.
I was greeted by a family of crows as I began my walk. You can easily spot the juveniles this time of year with their almost furry soft-looking feathers and dark bright eyes. Summer days are passing and the young will soon be difficult to distinguish from their parents.
Crows, the subject of many artist’s songs and poems, have always captivated me. They are so aware of everything around them, soaring on wings of shiny black “finger tip” feathers as they sculpt the air with their aerial acrobatics. Bobbing and weaving from telephone wire to treetop, their endless chatters grows to a cacophonous roar as they proclaim themselves to be the rulers of the heavens.
Meanwhile a lone mourning dove, softly cooing to her mate, watches the crows with a Zen-like stillness and calm.
The clear melodious song of an oriole made me look up just in time to get a quick shot of this charming fellow with a bold orange breast and shiny black head. Surely he must be readying for his own flight south, perhaps enjoying just a bit more of his summertime sojourn on Cape Cod.
A flock of black ducks was enjoying their morning spa when I approached the spot where Red River crosses under Coyote Hill Road. Framed by tall marsh grasses for privacy, their golden brown and purple bodies reflected in the rippling water as the group splashed and preened and quacked away oblivious to my rapid shutter clicks.
I couldn’t help but giggle in between shots, captivated by how each individual was so intensely occupied in a particular stage of feather nibbling, wing fluffing and head dipping.
Just then I noticed that my camera battery was running low. If I could get just ONE photo of rosehips, I’d be thrilled! Praying that I had just enough juice left, I quickly snapped these shots.
Ready to get back to my studio and my work, I knew that I would be dreaming all day of glistening black crow feathers, ripe red rosehips and purple duck feathers reflected in Red River blue…
‘Til next time, thank you for visiting Hats and Horses!