Ghost Bird… An Unusual Photo

Mourning dove leaves ghost-like impression on window. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

A crash-landing Mourning Dove left its impression on a window of our home on the Applegate River in Southern Oregon. It looks like a ghost bird hovering outside.

“This can’t be good,” Peggy commented from her office. I suspected that the deer were chowing down on her flowers and walked in to watch. Instead, neatly imprinted on her window, was the image of a bird with a 16-inch wingspan. It looked like a ghost. The Mourning Doves now had something to mourn about. One of them had taken a beak-dive into our window. I grabbed my camera– like what else was there to do– and recorded the crash landing from inside and outside of the house.

Black tail deer visits the Mekemson house in Southern Oregon. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

What I expected to see– a hungry black tail deer lusting after Peggy’s flowers.

Impression left by dove after crashing into a window. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

What I saw instead. I took this photo from the outside looking in with our trees being reflected in the window. Note the eye. Eerie, isn’t it?

I fully expected to find one very dead birdie on the ground, but none was to be found. Peggy and I are hoping that the dove picked itself up after the incident and flew off, a wiser bird with a headache.

Since I decided to put up a blog between blogs today, here are a few more photos from yesterday that I took while Peg and I hiked a section of the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail. The trail follows an historic 26-mile ditch that was built in 1870s to carry water to Sterling’s hydraulic mining operation outside of Jacksonville, Oregon. Its relatively flat nature makes it an excellent beginning of the season trail. Backpacking season is coming soon and Peggy and I have to get in shape! In the next couple of months we hope to explore the Red Butte mountains that look down on our home and I have a 40-mile hike along the Rogue River planned.

Peggy and I have looked out on the Red Buttes since we moved here three years ago. Now it is time to meet them up-close and personal. Recent snows may delay our backpacking trip.

Peggy and I have looked out on the Red Buttes since we moved here three years ago. Now it is time to meet them up-close and personal. Recent snows may delay our backpacking trip.

Peggy will be floating down the Rogue River in late May with our friends Tom and Beth Lovering. Since I need the exercise, I am going to hike the 40-mile backpacking trail that follows the river. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson)

Peggy will be rafting down the Rogue River in late May with our friends Tom and Beth Lovering. Since I need the exercise, I am going to hike the 40-mile backpacking trail that follows the river. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson)

Photo of the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail in Southern Oregon taken by Curtis Mekemson.

The historic 26-mile Sterling Mine Ditch Trail wanders through a variety of terrains ranging from dry, brush covered slopes to cool, pine and madrone filled valleys.

Shooting Stars found along the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail in Southern Oregon.

Early spring flowers, including Shooting Stars, added color along the trail.

Oregon Grape flower found along the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail in Southern Oregon.

We also found this impressive Oregon Grape flower, which happens to be the state flower of Oregon. Later in the summer these flowers turn into berries that wildlife find quite tasty and supposedly make good jelly.

Old tree stump along the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail in Southern Oregon.

A rotting tree stump caught our attention for a moment. You can see tunnels left by insects as they feasted off of the wood.

A vine-twisted madrone tree found on the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail.

Our most interesting find of the day. Peggy and I love Madrone trees and their silky, almost sensuous bark. But we have never seen one twisted like this. Close inspection showed that it had been caused by a vine that had worked its way up the tree.

NEXT BLOG: My choice for the title of the book on my Peace Corps experience.