A week or so ago a new feathered creature showed up at our suet feeders. My wife first noticed it by its song, one we had not heard before. Finally, she tracked it down and we identified it at the feeder. Our conclusion was that it was a red-headed house finch but we’ve since decided that may not be correct.
We didn’t have a good photo of the bird so on two occasions this week I sat on the deck with my best lens and found a very different creature than what we first thought was paying us a visit. This one has far more colors and is truly a bird we’ve never seen before. After lots of digging in our library of bird books, the closest thing we can find is labeled an immature summer tanager, which is a migratory species and more commonly found in South Florida and the tropics.
My granddaughter posed the emerging garter snake video on her Facebook page. I don’t know when or where it was filmed but it reminded me of something I and my students observed in the spring at the South Salem Cemetery. The emergence of hundreds of Gartner snakes from hibernation and the formation of a breeding ball. The smaller males surround a single, larger, female, each trying
We’ve fed the birds in our woods for decades. But, this winder we decided to put out some corn in hopes of drawing the squirrels in. We have a large heard this season and they are great fun to watch.
So, I stopped at Tractor #and brought home a corn feeder, a 50# bag of shelled corn, and a bag of eared corn. Long story short, so far the squirrels have totally ignored it. I see them run down the tree and a few minutes run back up; showing no interest in the goodies offered. My only theory is that the corn feeder is hanging on a hickory tree and there’s got to be lots of hickory nuts on the ground that the squirrels prefer over corn.
We’ve fed the birds for years and have loved every penny we’ve spent on suet and black oil sunflower seeds. Close at hand is a Roger Tory Peterson Field Guide and every species that shows up gets noted with the day and year it first appeared at our feeders. I’m pretty sure that if it weren’t for bar hopping, I could have gotten into bird watching as a hobby when I was younger.
Have you ever seen a photo of a baobab tree? I first saw them in a college textbook about South African History and they are
magnificent. They sort of look like a tree turned upside down with its roots in the air and its foliage buried in the ground. To see one makes it hard to forget one.
Last winter my wife and I watched a police series that was filmed in Australia and something resembling baobab trees were a regular part of outdoor shots. After a little research, I discovered that there is only
My old friend Bobby Everhart and I took a quick 4-day run to Emerald Isle, NC for some pier fishing. Early October, in a normal year, would have been a perfect time for catching coolers of spots and sea mullets, both great food fish.
However, these are not normal years and the air temps were in the high 80s and the water temps near summer norms. The result was, we went, we fished, we caught a few dinks, we ate good restaurant seafood, we did a little sightseeing, and we had a wonderful time retelling old stories and making a couple of new ones.
I was going through a backup hard drive today and came across a file of photos (see video below) I’d taken during the major ice storm that shut down Northern Kentucky and much of Southern Ohio in 2004. I’m sure you all have stories to tell as does my family.
Like everyone, we lost power and it caught us unprepared. We had a generator but no gasoline or oil. So, we did as well as we could by the light of the propane insert in our woodstove. The wiser thing would have been to take the insert out and revert to burning wood. In no time we could have had it 80 degrees or better in the downstairs of the house. Instead, it was just above 40 degrees.
Maybe you saw a video on the news of the recent grasshopper invasion of Las Vegas (see below). Back in the 1960s, I had the fortune, good or otherwise, of experiencing such a thing in person. I can’t remember if it was grasshoppers or crickets but, as I learned later, such infestations are not uncommon in America’s West.
I was coming back to Ohio from California and had stopped for the night in a cheap motel in either Texas or Oklahoma. The entrance to my room had an actual screen door on it and when I had packed and was ready to leave I opened the main door and the screen door was alive with crawling insects. I literally held my breath long enough to run for the car and in doing so several hundred made it into the passenger compartment with me.
I recently posted on Facebook some photos of the area around our home. We live in thick woods surrounded by most plants and animals common to our area. That includes an abundance of poison ivy and other things that may make your skin itch.
One of the photos was of our wooden walk from the drive to the screened-in porch at the back of our home. Along the walk is a large tree with English Ivy growing up the trunk. Mixed in with the good stuff is a smattering of poison ivy and a plant named Virginia creeper. Some visitors to the posting seemed to not be able to identify the good from the nasty vegetation so I decided to do a little educating.
Late last summer the US Commonwealth of Puerto Rico was struck by two major hurricanes, Irma and Maria. Along with the US Virgin Islands these American territories were devastated. The physical infrastructure and economies of these islands remain far from recovery. NPR recently reported:
“Puerto Rico still has areas contending with terrible living conditions following Hurricane Maria and the lackluster response to the storm from the mainland United States. Even the deadly effects of the storm are far from over: With many still living without power or their lives otherwise disrupted, particularly elderly populations, the overall suicide rate in Puerto Rico increased 27 percent in 2017 compared to 2016 levels.”
These people are American citizens yet, in many ways our government has turned its back on them. Somehow America’s president appears to think that flying into the scene and tossing a few rolls of paper towels is all that’s needed. It gave him his photo opportunity.
I recently had reason to search for a quote from the comedian Sam Kinnison. When he was alive I didn’t much care for him because of his screaming delivery. He’s been dead since 1992 and now that we have the Internet and have access to his written words I’ve discovered that, damn he was funny.
In lieu of recent shark attacks in North Carolina here’s an idea whose time may have arrived. Life guards in Long Beach, California are using drone technology to keep track of area sharks to warn swimmers of potential dangers.
A friend of mine is in the business (GreenBird) of providing products that help improve the habitat for our bird populations. I recently received this post from him with ideas about turning your property into a recognized bird sanctuary. We have been ardent bird feeders for decades allowing
My wife and I were near Bainbridge this past week and spotted a pair of bald eagles perched in the top of a tree along Paint Creek. We’ve seen a single eagle in that area on several occasions but this was the first for a pair.
Today I sat in a meeting with representatives of the Army Corp of Engineers and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The topic of our area’s eagle population came up and it was reported we have three nesting pairs and a fourth that “may” be trying to nest.
Specific locations weren’t revealed but one pair is near Bourneville, another near Bainbridge, and the third at Rocky Fork Lake.
A truck driving friend of mine reported being along the upper Mississippi River and spotting a grouping of around seventy-five golden and bald eagles. Wouldn’t that be a traffic stopper?
On a recent drive to Miami, Florida we took a side trip to the Sebastian Inlet State Park area. For the past fifteen years I have camped and fished in this area and have become pretty familiar with what to expect in the way of wildlife.
However, on this occasion, as we approached the park, a rather large black animal came out of a shoreline cluster of grasses and quickly ran across the road, disappearing into a stand of dune grass. It wasn’t a house cat, fox, dog, or anything common. We all immediately concluded it was a panther or other large cat.
When we got to the park we stopped to report our sighting to a ranger. After we described what we’d seen the ranger said we had seen a jaguarundi. A wild cat found in Central and South America but that was often showing up in certain parts of Florida.