White-Tailed beauties…

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Every morning just after sun-up, about three families of these White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) sprint across my back yard. They have moved to a field behind the trees during the night to forage on the grass and leaves. Come daylight, they come back across the yard, cross the road and through a large church parking lot into a small wooded area where they spend the day. Usually I see them while I’m having the morning coffee and doing newspaper crossword puzzles, so I am not prepared to try to get any photos. Today I stood out in the finger numbing cold for about 45 minutes waiting for them to pose for me. They did not disappoint . I had trouble with lens fogging and image noise (due to high ISO setting), but at least I got a shot. In the last hundred years the White-tailed deer population has rebounded from near extinction to abundance, largely due to aggressive game management and the control of their natural predators (coyotes, mountain lions, etc…). These particular deer, being in a suburban setting, have little to fear from the myriad of hunters around these parts. I may start naming them! I think there are enough to pull a Christmas Sleigh.

A cold and rainy day…

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This photo pretty much captures my mood for the day. Not much going on.

Possum on the Half Shell…

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I was excited by todays picture because in my lifetime, I think I have seen a live Armadillo only two or three times. Every other one has been road kill. When I was young, I don’t think there were any around this part of the country. But their population has been slowly expanding northward over the years and you now see them dead on the highway all the time. The name Armadillo is Spanish for “little armored one”. They are unique little critters. I came upon this one early this morning while driving through town and he obliged me with a photo op. I was going to include a recipe here for possum on the half shell, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Classical Gasser…

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The architecture of this Phillips 66 filling station was commonplace in the 1930’s and 40’s. They were quaint and easily recognizable. This one was selling aviation gasoline at the Bartlesville, OK Airport.

Frostiness…

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Enforcer…

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This year marks the 100th anniversary of the famous 1911 45 caliber pistol designed by John M. Browning. It was the standard sidearm of the US forces from 1911 to 1985. Nearly three million of these pistols were purchased by the US government. The radically different operating system invented by Browning is still the basis for most all semi-automatic pistols today.

Another lighting display…

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Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)…

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The Dark-eyed Juncos are a small sparrow species that show up around here in the winter months. This one is identified as a male due to it’s slate gray coloring. The females are more brownish. I think this one has found a small worm.

Light display…

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From the Rotary Club Christmas light displays at Bartlesville’s Johnstone Park. Worth seeing.

Red-Bellied Woodpecker…

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Not to be confused with the Red-Headed Woodpecker, whose head is completely red. This bird is identified as a male since the red swath extends clear to his bill. I like the zebra striping. I spotted this bird in the Double Creek area of Oologah Lake.

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