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Columbia Missourian

FROM READERS: John Hall captures a few glimpses of spring before winter begins

December 5, 2012 | 10:00 a.m. CST
A Blue Jay perches on a bird bath on an early December morning.

John Hall frequently photographs his mid-Missouri surroundings, and he has been sharing his images with the Missourian for several years

So far we have gone from the fall season to spring in a matter of days.  Yesterday I noticed that the daffodils are already an inch about the soil.  Today the temperature was in the 70's and a lot of the spring cleaning took place outside. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.  The week started for me at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday.  By 8:15, and before the second cup of coffee, I had taken nearly 300 pictures. It started off with the sunrise to the moon set._JGH0691b



 The moon was a bit off kilter and that wasn't the only thing in that condition.  One of the dogs was off kilter and that was the reason for my early rising.

After the moon raced across the horizon the sun was up and so was the Red Bellied Flicker (Woodpecker).  Again the bird posed for many photos and he told me he wanted to show off some of his belly so that my viewers wouldn't think I was making up stuff.  The first six photos of Woody's cousin are posed and photos show Red  tending his garden.

_JGH0970b   The small green sprouts are from the sunflower seeds that have been tossed from the feeder basically by Sparrows and Pine Siskins.  They have sprouted in less than 10 days and if they weather stays this way much longer there will be blooming sunflowers there, shortly.

The Robins aren't going anywhere.  The one in is high atop a flowering crab apple tree picking out fruit for the morning breakfast.

_JGH0778b However, she didn't last long as the Starlings soon arrived, picking and eating their fill of those marble size fruit with the hardness of marbles.


What they didn't eat they dropped.  When I looked to see where they were dropping their bombs I noticed a was a tom cat had staked out his bird watching site below the Starlings.


Thomas was more interested in watching Jay Blue, also known as Blue Jay.

_JGH0781b By that time a male Cardinal  was high atop another tree watching the cat, as was a Tufted Titmouse, staking out his sentinel post on the sunflower feeder.



Mother Cardinal seemed oblivious to everything and concerned about only one thing, eating.  She has a bright background since the big pine tree behind her died and the sun glaring on it makes it appear that the photos were doctored.  They weren't.  What my camera sees is what you get.

Well, I close out with the Red Bellied Flicker  just in case you missed those at the start of this submission.


Look closely and you'll see a twinge of red on the belly.  They have to be in flight before you see the full effect of what gives them their name.  I hope the Yellow Shafted Flickers show up soon.

If you can't see the slideshow embedded above, view it on Flickr here.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising Editor is Joy Mayer.