and through the magic of digital cropping, a closer look yet, confirming my original suspicion that this plant was altogether too vigorous and fruit-laden to be our native American bittersweet, Celastrus scandens.
American bittersweet bears fruit capsules that are orange over red fruits. And it bears fruit only at the ends of its twigs.
Oriental bittersweet (C. orbiculatus) has yellow fruit capsules over red fruits, and it bears fruit in the leaf axils, all along the long stems. Bah. But still excellent bird food, as the giggling robins, warbling song sparrows and wheezing waxwings attested.
This is as close as I could get to an in-focus canvasback photo, even though they were close enough to hit with an acorn. !#@$#%$#%#!!
You'll just have to imagine the drakes' ruby eyes, winking open and closed as they drowsily listened to my profane lullaby. I know, it's not worth getting that mad. But I do anyway. I am used to cameras that do my bidding, not defy me with their own little autofocus ideas.
I had far better luck with one of the resident Fresh Pond redtails who was obligingly perched in the open, in full sun. Ahhhh.
Hodge said that she sees redtails pretty much every day in every possible setting in Cambridge (something that certainly was not the case when we were both there in the 70's and 80's). And she says she is always thankful to see them, and always stops to admire them, and never stops loving them. And I watch her doing just that. I feel the same way about redtails. Always worth a third glance and a crane of the neck and a happy sigh, this big beefy beautiful buteo, just waiting for rats and rabbits.