Friday, May 18, 2018

NOT a Bird Post.

There is not one bird in this post for a reason....sometimes one just needs a change of topic...
It is great fun when you find out something new you didn't know...so here is something that just crossed my mind, in my Family I have always been called by my nickname Sondy (pronounced: Saundy)...so there now you know something new about me! 

Here's something else you may or may not know...Around here I see people walking along the grassy verge of fields carrying big knives!  Big hunting knives, Bowie knives, Butcher knives....yikes and  WOW! Sometimes it's one person sometimes a small group, or even an entire family...maybe in your area if you saw such a sight you would lock your door and roll up your window and step on the gas... but here you stop, roll your window down, and ask "any luck"?

By now you're probably saying wth?
No I'm not pulling your leg, it's just another little known fact, something only the ones who live here know. 

Yesterday my sister and I joined the ranks, no it's not zombie killing or car jacking on the side of the road here in this part of Colorado  (maybe where you live too). 

....in this grassy verge lies a delicious secret.....



Big healthy, gorgeous, organic Asparagus.  

Here is one haul my sis picked a couple weeks back...it was delicious!

Steamed with a little lemon juice Yum Yum. 

The picking window is quite narrow, in fact most plants have already begun to bolt or go to seed...and someone had picked her favorite spots but we found a few they missed.  You look for last years brown and withered stems and normally you can find the new plant right there...

                       Last years old stems



And here is the plant just cut the tops and take them home.  Our haul on this day....


SO we have this bag sitting in the fridge waiting to become part of a delicious meal.  Last year when I was here my sis and I planted a fall crop of Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce in a big tub.  She got a good harvest and then winter covered the tub with snow and when it melted the lettuce started to grow again!  We've been enjoying the tender leaves in our salads.  



So more organic home grown deliciousness.  And check this out....here is another free treat!  The Colorado Library system has this program called  Check Out State Parks.  It is a backpack ...



You check it out like a book! Inside is all this cool stuff...



Inside: there's a little 10 x 25 pair of binoculars, 2 really nice field guides for plants and animals, and a parks pass this is a $49 value!  This pass covers your Day Use Fee into the State Parks currently here $7.  So I'm thrilled we have it.  We had our name on the wait list for a while and they called.  So it's ours for 7 whole days!

Included is a questionnaire  they want filled out upon the return, it is a simple "what did you do" sort of thing.  So right away we headed to Rifle Gap State Park!  


I think it was take your dog boating day!





I think a dog was driving that red boat...


We had a fun Day! 

PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Highline Lake Mesa County, CO

I like to try and photo the sign of a park, for 2 reasons one, it tells me what photos follow and to remind me where I was! This time I forgot to snap one of the official sign at the park entrance but I did take the trail sign..I drove to Mesa County and the town of Loma, it's only a stones toss from the Utah Border to Highline Lake State Park.  I hoped to find Burrowing Owls in this area they have been reported recently and it's only an hrs drive, but didn't  see nary a one!  But there was plenty of other good things to enjoy so didn't walk away empty handed.





Over in that clump of trees is the crampground...(pun intended) Yet again I arrive on a Holiday Weekend...Mother's Day!  I'm only staying one night this time...I'll be gone by the time the generators kick in. 


Casey and I ended up in site 5 the last available spot! Thursday is not a good day anymore to find a camp spot unless you plan to boondock.  I really wanted shade tho....because in this area the public lands  is open arid and sunny.  It's perfect for Prairie Dogs and Burrowing Owls do take up residence. I'm sure some were hiding out of the wind in their burrows.  

 

This is 2 & 8/10 road, one BUOW was spotted on this fence line but on Thursday a dry hot wind blew so hard Horn Larks had trouble hanging on...riding the wire was was surfing a wave.


The road ends here at this bluff...an ATV could probably continue but I turned around...



There is no bad view here..and more prairie species of bird hanging out like the Western Meadow Lark. 
I'm supposing, I am not so worried to separate Eastern from Western in this case.  

 

The newest problem with my Panasonic is that Cheeto shaped dark mark, I think it's a scratch.  I edit it out in most cases; this one slipped by the QC.

This awesome desert prairie road is off Old Highway 50 and 6 and there is Public Land access here... McInnis Canyon National Conservation Area.  75,000 acres of wilderness!  I took the Sidewinder Road and was rewarded by this awesome wildflowers...


Mostly it's Orange Globe Mallow, and the pinky white specks are what I know as Maricopa Lilly and there was some blue, yellow, and white  tossed in as well none of which I know the name of. 









It got hot so we headed back to the lake where cool breezes made it feel really nice.  This lady decided to fly a kite.. I decided to check the lake for birds...

A couple of Great Tailed Grackles entertained me with all those weird sounds and whistles they make; one sound reminds me of when cars crash on the highway...


In the morning after a fairly quiet night,  I drove over to the other side of the lake to make breakfast and enjoy the peace and solitude of a sun coming up behind clouds over the lake.  






Soon a few boaters came out to disturb the calm waters.  


Some quietly and eventually the not so quiet arrived.  


After breakfast I got things back in it's place and started birding along the laketrail and the coves.. four Bullock's Orioles came around...  




Flocks of mixed gulls came in, too far away for decent looks, but there was Franklin's, Ring Billed, California, and even a couple of big Herring Gulls in the mix. 


and a large flock (about 40 in total)  of Western Grebe with an Eared tossed in for flavor...


Overhead a large flock of what I assume to be White Faced Ibis flew over... the afternoon before a flock of about 75 did the same thing  they didn't land either. 


Northern Mocking with different mimics than what I'm used to hearing back east serenaded me. 


The upper end has a small lake called Mack Mesa Lake.  



Found three Snowy Egrets up there...



Barn Swallows not in large numbers like the Northern Rough Wing and the Violet Green Swallows over by the dam.  


In shallow dried mud a Killdeer was faking a nest site to draw me off and a small number of Spotted Sandpiper flushed away.  



In the afternoon I visited this area...


The wind picked up again so not much was out and about...had quite a few Lark Sparrows holding on and singing...



A nice Swainson's Hawk watched from atop...


...and up on this wire the Loggerhead Shrike. 



It really is a beautiful area to explore...


And that was my overnight trip!  Here is something from last week, a courtship video, a special moment between 2 courting Cedar Waxwings!

Waxwings Berry Courtship




PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.