Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Odds & Ends

While I was in South Central Florida a few weeks back I went out birding with my sister. As we cruised along a long, lonely road in the middle of nowhere we came upon this sight. It was intense and kind of mesmerizing

There were over a hundred Turkey Vultures circling a dead cow in the pasture. I took another brief video because I couldn't zoom in with my little camera:

Here's another clip from Duluth in September. I seem to have a thing about the wind:

Here are a few photos I just liked but they don't have a theme:
Unknown flower (above) - I do know it turns into this: below

Sunflowers in my friends yard
I saw this out in the mud and had capture it - what can I say? It's just weird.

Many of Duluth's Finest birders came out for the possible Pacific Golden-Plover that was chased on September 20th.
Ecobirder & Kim Eckert trying to get a better look

Interesting patterns in the mud - watch out! This is the same mud that nearly swallowed me up and created my picture on the right margin.

The textures & patterns on this large rock fascinated me

The shadows, subtle hues and stark contrast have an appeal to my eye here.

Just a warm & lovely memory for me

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Deer Season 2008

Well the deer were plentiful, as evidenced by the DNR allowance of up to 5, that's right - 5 deer per hunter in certain areas this season and our trail-cams had plenty of action, including several big bucks.

Unfortunately on opening weekend the weather was harsh - temps in the upper 20s with 25 - 35 mph winds all day long. It is tough being out in the open in weather like that, especially sitting motionless (or nearly so) for 1-2 hours at a time. Here are a few pics of some of the areas I was hunting:

The weather wasn't much better on the 2nd day: slightly less windy (20-25mph) but it was colder in the low to mid 20's. Brrrr. And the deer were not moving much. I did not see even 0ne deer at all during the legal hunting hours. Bummer! No venison in my freezer this year...I am too booked up with other projects to spend any more time in the woods hunting deer this season.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

What I did on my 'Summer Vacation'

Here is a whirlwind photo tour of some of the places I've been since late spring. Didn't have my camera along for every spot but here's a few highlights:

Early June - My son Calvin graduated from Centennial H.S.

Mid June - Birding 'up North' in Minnesota - Aitkin County

July - Pickerel Lake in St. Paul, MN - playing with my camera

August - Western MN & Eastern South Dakota - birding

August - Southern MN - birding

about to board the LL Smith research vessel for a tour of Duluth Harbor
The Duluth skyline is defined by the Lift-bridge
Wisconsin Point Light HouseSturgeon lake - lodging for grouse hunting trip in Itasca County

September - Up North Hunting & Duluth Harbor Birding

Sunrise on Lemon Bay - Englewood, Florida
A stately Live Oak with 'spanish moss in South Central FloridaTypical Florida Pine Flatwoods

Florida scrub country looks so different than Minnesota!

October - Southern Florida visiting Mom & Dad

Catching up...

Hello out there,
It's been way too long since my last post, but I've been so busy I haven't sat down to photoshop my pictures let alone blog. I guess I've been trying to cram in a lot of fun at the end of summer and into fall. I have some summer pictures I'd like to share on this weekend of setting the clocks back, as we enter what I like to call Minnesota's 'Season of darkness'. I hope these brighten your day and bring back fond memories of summer:

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Birding in South Dakota & SW Minnesota

OK, so I was at a Shorebird workshop last weekend and had a great time.

Part of that fun was staying at the Prairie Marsh Farm owned by Ken & Mary Lou Larson.

After the workshop was over we had some work to do. Bad storms smashed much of the area on Thursday, July 31st and trees and limbs were down on the farm (it was much worse elsewhere). I spent over an hour hauling limbs and then I got to help mow the lawn, farm style:

I had a blast driving a tractor for the first time and spent about 2 hours cutting the sizable lawn.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Season of Bluebird Nest Monitoring

Since early April, I have been heading out to Afton State Park, volunteering to keep tabs on 10 bluebird next boxes. It has been interesting every week, with something new to offer. I haven't take many photos, but decided to take at least a couple this last time out there, just for the memories. Boxes are often put up in pairs, as Tree swallows will often compete with Bluebirds for the same spot. The two species can often tolerate one another as neighbors, but will not tolerate another of their kind so close. I did not have such an experience with my nests this season, but so goes the theory.

The most intriguing occurance this week was seeing two Monarch butterflies connected in what I assume to be a mating coupling. The 'top' butterfly was able to fly all over the place with relative ease all while remaining attached to the 'bottom' butterfly. That was amazing to me.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Western Kingbirds in Anoka County

I re-found this family of birds reported by Chris Brown. The parents were hawking insects and feeding the begging babies

Friday, July 25, 2008

Summer Glory

Caught a few flower photos today, missed an awesome cloud formation. Some before and after rain showers.