Monday, March 19, 2018

Notes from the road...

Hello from the highway...

We spent our first night along the GA/FL Line in a place called Traders Hill...large live oaks, with lots of birdsong in the morning...

I found one rest area in Mississippi with WiFi...So far we are having a good trip not great as the weather has turned soggy on us..this was yesterday...

but before that we had a nice trip around Okefenokee Swamp NWR..and that was nice sunny and warm...

Saw lots of gators, and some warblers...the boardwalk was a nice walk with a observation tower at the end..

Northern Parula is everywhere singing loudly 

Aong with Yellow throated Warbler, 

I saw Palm Warblers, 

And Blue headed Vieros,  

Common Yellow Throat...and of course lots of yellow rumped warblers..

I really enjoyed the old  Chesser Swamp Homestead, much like my Granny's old home place looked back in the day..

We found spring!!

We boondocked in the Osceola National Forest...

Last night we stayed in a very soggy Big Buloxi Camp part of the DeSoto National Forest...a nice campground with a great shower..but not photos since it was pouring rain and this morning heavy fog and we left early and now here we are at Mississippi rest area making this blog post! 

Hope to be in TX by night fall! 

Every day is a new Adventure.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

On the Way to Somewhere Warm!

Although I am not 100% sure where I'm headed I'm leaving in the morning! To heck with this cold windy spring...I'm outta here! I've been freezing since Labor Day so I am def headed south then west...eventually ending up in (hopefully by then the warm) dry mesa regions of Colorado where my family lives.  The pollen is thick after a few days of rain and now the wind.
<------my pollen covered windshield. 
Updating may or may not happen as I no longer have a MiFi hotspot, but I now have a tiny little smart phone with a tiny little bit of data.  I'm sure it's much smarter than I If I can just learn how to use it and of course that all depends on whether there is a signal where I am-- Probably NOT as I always tend to go off the grid pretty much...I have to learn how to take a photo and how to put it on my blog with this phone that is sometimes a would be better than nothing I reckon.  I have learned and did a trial run using ebird's Android was easy except for my fingers hitting the wrong key. 
My trusty Panasonic is still hanging in there...I hope if I drop it again, it is to the other side and it may correct it's self? All the trouble is on the left side which means it blurs the left side of the photo..I have to try and get my subject on the right side and that will be the good side...then all is well...duh. 

All the dogs are gonna be tagging along, so I'm sure I'll be a frazzled dog hair covered  wreck by the time it's all said and They will have a blast! I on the other hand will be worn out from driving and they will be rearing to go for a long walk.  I need a robot, why don't they make a dog sitting and walking robot,,,we need that more than one that vacuums the floor! They watched me load the van today and they have positioned themselves between the  house and the gate so there is no sneaking out...

All the tools in my life are put away and getting a well deserved rest...The fireplace is cleaned out and lined with cedar boughs and pine cones, and a piece of fat lighter full of aromatic pine sap to make the smell of wood smoke go away. I hope it's all just where I left it when I return...and I hope these guys ^^ don't over run everything...and the yard birds will be successful in nesting and our summer birds will be here when I make it back...the dogwood is thinking of opening but my pepper plant I thought would be okay on the porch succumbed to the hard freeze 23 F we had last night! I did not watch the weather man but I thought he said bad!
See what I mean right side focused!

                                                                     Carolina chickadee

I hope to add to my bird list, and add some new never seen before landscapes to my memory banks, fill up my Flickr photo account with hundreds of photos that I will mislabel and probably never get back to correct... and add a new chapter to My Life My Art, My Journey.  I will catch up with your blogs when I get internet service.  Maybe I will find some free wifi somewhere along the way like I found in Canada, that was a treat.  

I can tell you one thing...I will NOT be going through Atlanta, Georgia! Or St. Louis Missouri! I have sworn off both of those nightmare Traffic Jam cities, I am headed in the direction of South GA, (the dreaded I-95) the Northern Panhandle of FL, Middle TX, and into AZ!  Jo If I get close I will message you! 
All places where I expect to find warmth!! Shorts n flipflops here I come. 

Until we meet again...arrivederci!

Every day is a new Adventure.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

EMO stuff...

How depressed I've been since I found a little stray, the cutest little chihuahua you ever laid eyes on...that's not the part that depressed me, it was the realization I can not take on a 4th dog. I could not keep him. I barely have my head above water, feeding and vetting the three I have, all who came into my life in this same way; left alone with no one to care for them!  When I make out my monthly budget I have to figure in dog food and heart worm preventive, it's so costly!  I had already sworn I was NOT taking in any more dogs.  It's hard to travel the way I want and drag them along as well as the expense of giving them the best life I can offer.  So tears all day... then when I left him at the Humane Society I was bawling like a 6 yr old in Walmart after mama said NO!  At some point in life you have to let someone else be the hero...I did all I could, I did not just turn my back on him I kept him one night and they were open Saturday so I took him before I had a chance to change my mind....I was already trying to convince myself I could do it...but it would mean a smaller slice of life for the 3 I've already made a commitment to, although his food bill wouldn't have been much... he was young he would need a complete vetting and he had not been fixed so right away medical bills, the girls are up for all their yearly vet checks in about a month. And it's very costly.  And I have plans! 

I hope the right family comes along and brings him into their hearts and home.  I have to think that will be the outcome.  When my heart is broken I turn to Nature to help me get through it...when I was a kid I had a horse, and I'd run and get a hug from her when things didn't go right her name was Silky...that big warm hug was like Silk, it got me right back on track.  Today no hug...just  cold hard realization.

*Sigh* why is life so hard sometimes?  
I hope this doesn't sound like an excuse post...If it would not have put me in a hardship to keep him I def would have. 

Remember when this little lady was found,

And then we found a home for her!  

I said in that post that finding a home for her left me open to help another dog,,,,and 4 yrs later Casey came I did exactly what I said I would do, he was so old I figured he would not be adopted, but the little guy up top is young and sooo friendly he will be adopted I'm sure! He loved being cuddled, Casey hates to be cuddled he likes to be admired from a distance so kids were out of the question with him.  
Tell me I did the right thing...
 I only knew him 24 hrs and yet I feel a hole in my heart.  

...and then on Facebook a guy put up a photo of a Sharp Shinned hawk that  got caught in a fence...and no one saved him! It broke my heart...People were too afraid to help him-- so he bites, he claws, it won't kill you all you need is a jacket or a pair of gloves...most animals in need will allow you to help them...If only I could have been there! I would not have hesitated on helping him...they could have tossed a shirt over him and untangled him and he could have been saved he would need help, but it was doable. Bird rehab centers have connections to help birds, we used to take our birds of prey to the Zoo their vet department would patch them up and then they would come to our center to heal and get strong and be released and if unable to be released a network of people who are licensed to keep them as Education birds or place them in facilities where they would be cared for would be doing nothing is just not acceptable. There is just no way in Hell I'd take a photo of a bird in a situation like that then just walk away?  Never...I'd die trying to help him.  

Not a good week for me emotionally.  

Every day is a new Adventure.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Some Videos from the past

I was looking for something on my You Tube Channel and came across this video I made of a Louisiana  Waterthrush, May of 2012! I don't even recall putting music to it...but it's sort of fun.  The weather has been so bad lately I have been doing nothing that I wish to share except moaning! Cold wind for 3 days followed by buckets of rain....So I'll share this with ya..

AND Jun 18, 2012 one of the loves of my life MILO! I know you guys remember him...he learned how to fly on the screen porch and this is one of the first videos I took of him...May of 2012


I had to go upstate and dog sit for my sister so I took my dogs and Milo with me! So he went on a car trip and we spent several days up in the mountains! While we were there he learned to sing.  

Some where in all my files is the video I made of the day I released him a week or so after this was taken.  I should upload it so I can enjoy watching it...and share his release with y'all. 

AND just to continue with the silly light mood that is cheering me is a video I made of my favorite travel Bag.  I am a horrific video-ographer hope I don't give you vertigo!

And don't make fun of my southern accent I was born with it. 

Every day is a new Adventure.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Sunny Sunday 2

Welcome back!  After driving past the Peach Orchard I arrive at Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge...Im fortunate to have this awesome place close by...We have rambled it's roads for years.  Today being Sunday the Visitor's Center is closed but I park there because I hear a ton of birdsong coming down out of these trees!


A Bachman's Sparrow was seen here a few days ago...I have no hopes of seeing it as this is a huge place 45,000+ acres!  I strain my neck backwards and find the singer...a House Finch!

or two...

Everybody is pairing up time to replenish the supply of birds! 

Eastern Bluebird

I walked around the area listening and looking and found White-throated Sparrows, and Chipping Sparrow, but no Bachman's showed.  An American Kestrel soared over, heard and saw a Red bellied Woodpecker and then a not so familiar woodpecker chip chirp and rattle...

The Female Red Cockaded Woodpecker! a tree nearby the male, 

First time I've ever gotten a photo of one of these and first time seeing one in many years...

note the big white cheek patch this is the main diagnostic to look for...

This male has a band on his left leg...I can't read it, I can make out it's like aluminum....I only reported 2 birds but I'm almost 99.9% sure there was 3 they left I swear I saw 3 swooping shapes.  I stood still and was no bother to them they took their time, I took a bunch of photos...these are the best from the distance I stood away.  The Male was on a big tree on the right and the female on a small tall tree on the left so I saw them both pretty good, the 3rd bird came into view as they moved off...he was probably behind me.

I was thrilled! Not just for me for these BIRDS!!
This is an endangered species,,,,it's only alive due to being protected and provided for in places like Carolina Sandhills!   There is hope.  Of course we have to get Trump out of the White House or all our endangered species will lose their protection! 

rice n beans with cilantro and cold coffee

 After eating my sack lunch I drove over to the Oxpen Lakes...on the other side of the refuge road.  They have recently burned this area...I saw one Canada Goose, and one Pied Billed Grebe in the South Pond, 2 mallards flew off the North Pond when I drove up....

More Song Sparrows hopped around in the brambles...

A tree line of American Robins formed...

Then I realized my Sunny day had turned sour...

Clouds rolled in the wind picked up and it began to drip rain...A Yellow Rumped Warbler peered down  from a budding Maple tree...

And that was the final bird of the was such a primo day even the rain didn't seem to matter, it was a fitting end...and a gentle reminder that home was waiting.

Every day is a new Adventure.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Sunny Sunday...

Im having more and more trouble making it around the net on my old Windows XP! Google has somehow made it impossible for me and many other unhappy Chrome users to work with our photos in Flickr.  That is my main photo storage.  So now I have to create my blog using Firefox and that's fine it's just I have all my bookmarks and favorites all set up on Chrome.  It's such a PIA.  Living in this capitalism is so suffocating!

Okay lets just get out in the woods and forget all that crapiola.  Sunday started out being the perfect spring day so I left the dogs sunning in the yard and I made my way over to my 3rd visit at my new patch.  

The wild plums are blooming and it's really nice to see flowers and honey bees!  

He has those pollen sacs on his legs full!  It was so nice to hear them buzzing around..The birds were out but harder to find in the scrubs and thickets...

Got one White-throated Sparrow to tee up nicely...

It looks as if they recently mowed one of the trails it's a nice walk to the trees in the back...I still haven't followed the trail all the way into the woods only the verge of it maybe next time. 

I usually walk up to the woods and the trail splits into 2 up to the left and one to the I went to the right.  

Still plenty of song sparrows, Its hard to get exact counts cause they flush so quickly and only one or two will perch up enough for me to see them.  So my numbers are guesses based on what I felt I saw in a flash...


I didn't see any Northern Bobwhite today BUT then I realized I saw them on the left side.  I did see a lot more Field Sparrows this time...hard to get a photo of one...but this one was visible enough for a try.

 Up high I heard the repeating song of the Brown Thrasher, they are similar to Mockingbirds in that they mock other species, yet with the Thrasher they normally repeat a tune only twice. Just about the time I thought to "make a video" he saw me and ducked down and got silent. 


They are big birds, I normally see them scratching around under the edge of shrubs looking for grub...but now it's Spring time to get up there and sing your hear out!  And speaking of the devil, here's one of my favs, the Northern Mockingbird...

The are so successful, you can see them everywhere. Even in a field of Broom Sedge...


I had 19 species on my new patch and it was given Hot Spot billing after I requested it, I hope other birders will now go there!  I had another stop planned for the day so after an hour and forty-five minutes of walking I was ready to sit in the van and drive to my next stop...Along the way I passed through the McLeod's Peach Farm...and the peach trees are blooming for as far as the eye can see! 

And the same scene was behind me too!  No wonder this area has so many bees!  The peaches are good but they are small compared to ones from Palisades in Colorado!! 

 This post is getting long but I want to keep going so  I'll split it, part 2 will follow in 24 hrs!
Remember when we went to the movies back in the days, and they had an Intermission???  Now they make you sit there for hours no intermission....

 They didn't run ads they just had a huge screen with the word INTERMISSION on it! You'd run out and get another coke or more popcorn and use the little girl's room...and we would always play in the wooden telephone booth!

        I'm going to keep typing and part two will post 24 hrs after this one...
Time for an intermission.

Every day is a new Adventure.