Friday, May 20, 2022

Is this the world we want?

War, Violence and Hate don't belong here...why do we tolerate that?

This weeks episode of MY Life is a couple roams around  my neck of the woods, literally, and the birds I saw and some other bits of nature...including this Celestial Event.  




The Moon Shot:   Jumped out of bed at 11:30 pm to take a few shots of the Blood Moon Eclipse...

I did not hear a wolf howl but I did hear the Eastern Whip-0-will...

I enjoy quietly listening...you can learn so much by listening, a practice I should put into play more when dealing with humans, but to be honest at this season of my life...I'm not impressed with humans...my family and my few friends on the web is perfect, anymore outside of that circle  is well...

Black Water Snake


Scary to be honest.  Stephen King says stick to what you know he is a pretty scary guy so he should know....I agree so I just try to expand on what I know, this leaves me mostly in a place of peace!  


This is a wood-zee-pond that sits back off the road a little is a beautiful spot It is however on Private Property I trespassed for just a few minutes and plucked a Yellow Throated Warbler out of the canopy...while he plucked a caterpillar off a branch...


A Prothonotary was singing loudly also  as he came to scold me for trespassing,



I hung around there for about 20 minutes before moving on down a nearby dirt road to this field that is one of my new birding stops...


It's on private property as well but I stay on the county maintained road...and bird the edges... with my binoculars I can see pretty far without going on the land...This Eastern Towhee came out to sing his solo for me..


And quietly  giving himself away is the Blue Grosbeak, sitting high on a stalk checking out his hunting grounds...thick conical beak, and rusty wings..


 the Brown Thrasher hid up in the leaves so he could get the upper hand on viewing me, sneaky but I still grabbed a shot of him when he looked away for a second with his keen yellow gold eyes...notice the chevron specks on the chest..


They are mimic birds that repeat other bird songs but unlike the Northern Mocking bird, they only repeat it twice like TWEE TWEE, KISS, KISS, etc...so that's one clue as to what you may be hearing.  

The Red Eyed Vireo repeats the same thing over and over it sounds like "Here I am Where are You?"  These can easily be mistaken for Tennessee Warblers, since they look alike, so the song is a key ID feature...and the eye of the Tennessee is dark like almost black. 


Later in the week I went to Sandhills, it was the last of cool days in the forecast of the week....so I left early...packed a sandwich and arrived in time to find a Spotted Sandpiper walking the pond edge looking for his breakfast...there ended up being 3 Sandpipers only one wanted his photo taken...











This area has thickets of plum and blackberry and so that means fruit loving birds like the
Orchard Oriole are abundant...




And with many snags to build in and feed on Red Headed Woodpeckers are also abundant..



Eastern Bluebird



And lastly the Carolina Wren who is another great singer and a small dynamo!


I hope we can learn to be tolerant of each other but never tolerate hate!


PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.

Friday, May 13, 2022

It's Life

The weather has been extortionary this week however it's the week gas went to $4.10 a gallon.  Nothing by European standards, but to us here it's a hard blow, especially when you drive a gas hog like my van! So I kept my little adventure trips to a minimum. I think I may need to take in a little burro for future transport plans! 

So here's some photos of one out and about and some things I saw....and I will adlib some commentary about my week.  

 


This Red Tailed Hawk has half a tail...the Grackle was in hot pursuit Life is not always peaches n cream

Monday morning at 1:32 AM awoke to an Earth Shaking  sound of a train swiftly approaching faster than the speed of sound and the windows rattling...Earthquake 3.3 on the scale! Yes this area about 15 miles to my west has been the epicenter for many tremors and quakes since December, this one was the largest, followed the next night by a 2.9 after shock.

Imagine being a Cliff Swallow and your home is made out of mud...there is only one way to pick up that mud if you're a bird and that is in your MOUTH! Yuk...and all. 


When gathering mud to reinforce their gourd shaped homes the Cliff Swallow keeps his wings high out of the muck, pretty good idea!  Below  a group of Double Crested Cormorants stand atop the old Dam built in 1920...Just a few miles north of the epicenter of the Quake



This is from the water holding side of the dam...it's 3 ft below full and the lake is 64 feet deep....and covers 13,700 acres. How strong would the Quake need to be to destroy this dam? Its pretty thick at the bottom...but you can see it has cracks!


I have been  sawing up a big limb that fell out of a large dead Pine at my place...it also came down with lots of small twigs, and branches...I had it neatly stacked into a pile of large pieces and the rest I picked up and put into four large bins that took a half day to do...I used the lawn tractor with the trailer behind, put all the bins and the wood into the trailer, moved that to the van and onto the cargo rack that I put on back,  it holds 500 lbs of cargo. Tied it all on,  Spent the entire morning doing that...then unloaded  it at the solid waste center and put it in the Yard Waste bin...got back about 1 pm sat down to relax and I hear a huge crash outside...Look out wondering....
 Another Large limb fell  even bigger than the one I just removed...it will take me 10 yrs at this rate to eventually remove the 100 foot, 3.5ft diameter dead Pine!

This common Grackle has caught a lizard for his lunch...
Lizard is saying "and  you thought you had it hard."


The Squirrels destroyed my new hummingbird feeder, they chewed off all the perches, pulled out the bee stoppers and chewed holes in them...so I have been relocating squirrels to the forest where they can live a truly wild life without human interference.  So far six Seven gone, all males.  If I catch a nursing female she is not relocated...but so far it's all  males.  


This goes to show how critters learn to use what man or woman has put in their neck of the woods to their best advantage...with all this manmade stuff in the way an Osprey still builds a nest and raised young. 

A Grackle finds a bi-valve and eats the small clam inside...


Then the Great Blue Heron chases after the Grackle...



A fish is given a very amazing view of the world as he is flown around right before becoming a meal....I hope he was amazed by the sight...pretty good send off I guess..


 you can tell I am in a sarcastic mood...Sometimes you really have to see the sarcasm in life in order for it to make any sense at all...




PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.

Friday, May 6, 2022

More Migrants arrive


 Learning Bird calls and songs is a very important part of growing your craft of birding. 

Like this bird here...if not for hearing the song I would not have looked hard for it and found it...the Swainson's Warbler. 


play 3 seconds song



I've never gotten a decent shot of one, but this shot I like! I did make a video of the bird singing but there was a lot of background noise so I made a recording of the call only and combined with my photo. 
 

A Green Anole changes his color to brown ...

A White Eyed Vireo is a very vocal bird...and this is one of  his calls



Just a 3 second clip of the bird and call..

he found a grub or spider to eat...


And GOSLINGS! Not many but we will take it. 



Summer Tanagers are in my yard looking for a nest mate...


They are a delightful shade of Orangey Red...



And this first year male Orchard Oriole is multicolored with gold, yellows, blacks and greys...



Other First of the Season birds of this week are the Yellow Breasted Chat...another bird with a loud and boisterous call..


I also saw Indigo Bunting this week I hope to get some good photos of him next time out  I wasn't successful in capturing any good looks this week...They were all around the edges of this wide open field...a new birding spot for me.  It's nearby, it's a dirt road with no homes on it....all rural forest and fields. 



Lots of Savannah Sparrow, and this is one of our May Challenge birds, along with Indigo Bunting, and Eastern Towhee.  


And I will leave you with a look at the vernal pool that I monitor...it's quite large now...


recently I've seen Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, 
Red Winged Blackbird, Killdeer, Red Tailed Hawk, and so far I've seen 50 species here since I starting keep records of my sightings at this pool  of water that is controlled by the amount of rain we have!!

This is in the river tho...hope you have a rock to rest on when you need one,,,



And this is my Mother's Day cactus, given to me by our family friend Nettie who passed away in 2020..
Remembering her and my Mom this mother's day. 




Thats all for this week... 

PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.

Friday, April 29, 2022

May?

Summer is trying to break into spring, as the daytime humidity creeps up but the over nights are still nice and cool...as we used to and still do say "good sleeping weather."  
Do you realize this year is NEARLY half over???

The Iris in the my yard are giving me lots of bloom...





Wish I had something for scale, the Rhododendron is huge this year each flower is easily 8 inches across...



The Dutch Iris's are also blooming in the ponds and even ditches that have water...


I checked the nest of the Gnatcatcher pair that I videoed the nest building of and they have added what looks to be some fluff from cattails maybe, but I didn't see any activity...I was not able to get a shot down into the nest...


But I did find a different nest across the road with a bird sitting in it...no cattail fluff...




So could be a second pair or the same pair with a second brood...they hatch in only 10 days and it's been 10 days easily since I was there...



Not much else was happening at the Newsome Mill Pond...So I went down to the second area about 3/4 Mile down the road where I heard the loud ruckus of Prothonotary Warblers!  Three darted back n forth across the bridge to both sides of the little creek there...


Then one went to hopping around on the lily pads looking for an getting little worms 



There was an Eastern Kingbird hunting from this creek also...



At Bramblewood more Painted Bunting are around...I've yet to see a female come out in the open but I can hear more than one bird calling, they are very tough to spot with their lime green coloring...the males are however pretty easy to spot with all the blue, red, and orange..



And a little Downy Woodpecker at Goodale park had some luck  finding a snack...


This photo below is a freshly fledged Eastern Phoebe...


And I also got an open shot of the Great Crested Flycatcher...


Around home the yard birds are busy....

Tufted Titmouse...

And in the back the Black and White Warbler snakes his way along looking for insects..


And the Prairie Warbler leans down so I can see him or he can see me not sure which...


And to end this post a video of the Prothonotary Warbler hopping around on the lily pads hunting...I hope  you enjoy! 

PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.