Thursday, April 30, 2009

Does a bear $^*! in the woods?

No, he does it on the side of the road.

blogging from beautiful Fayette County, WVa.

(The Flock is fine and we are having a wonderful time, but we blew out the bandwidth at Opossum Creek, so we have to pirate WiFi wherever we can find it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

New River Festival, Day 1

Blogging from the Meadows House at Opossum Creek. Temps in the 80's; I didn't plan on this heat.

Bullet points: 30 species of birds so far, plus butterflies, dragonflies, deer, a snapping turtle, and many, many friends and fellow bloggers.

Bonus points if you can ID what we found in the creek behind our Farmhouse.

Red-spotted newts, breeding.

This trip is great, and it's only just begun!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Backyard Birds, April 25

For my sister: a Cedar Waxwing - one of a small flock I found in my backyard on Wed.
This one was in a wild cherry tree, but the rest were obligingly found in an Eastern Redcedar. Isn't it nice when they cooperate?

Friday, April 24, 2009

How to get tons of comments

Feature a cute, googly-eyed Boston Terrier on your blog!

Meet Vinny, recovering from his neuter operation.

Of course, Vinny would much rather be out of his cage, being held by a nice person.

Or, better yet, eating treats.Yum, yum!

Hey, lady - come back! You are forgetting something - ME!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wordless Wed: Apple Blossoms and Redbud

apple blossoms

17 Napkins: Earth Day 2009

I stopped at Skyline Chili for lunch last week, picked up some cheese coneys and took my lunch to the park. When I arrived, I opened the bag to find ...

Seventeen paper napkins.

Now, admittedly, Skyline is messy, but really. I was only one person. Why in the world would I need 17 napkins for 2 cheese coneys and some fries? I thought about it during my whole lunch break. What a waste. The restaurant is wasting money by distributing so many napkins for one customer, natural resources are being wasted in the manufacture and distribution of unnecessary napkins, and landfills are overflowing with our trash, including all those extra napkins.

It's not just Skyline, and this excess isn't limited to napkins, but includes all sorts of things, like ketchup packs. When I eat at a fast food restaurant (which is too often, to tell the truth) I try to ask them for two napkins or only three condiment packets. If I forget, I take the extras home rather than throw them out.

It's the little things that count.
Think about it, today, Earth Day.

And, for a fun way to celebrate Earth Day, click here and share your photos with the world on Earth Mosaic.


(For the record, I used four napkins for my Skyline lunch, and the word "napkins" ten times in this post.)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I'm really proud of this, my latest completed piece of pottery.
Now, if I only drank tea...

Textured navy and white, stencilled detail with medium blue and light red underglazes, on white clay. The knob is a ceramic drawer pull, attached after final firing. It has a 2 cup capacity.

People Watching Owls

While waiting for the Big Show, owl-watchers turned into people watchers.

Susan and Nina.
Notice the blur in Susan's right hand. It takes a fast shutter speed to stop Susan.

Susan and family - Mom, Isabelle and Lorelei.

Nina got a new lens!

Mr. Nina

Didn't think to change my shutter speed before Mama Owl fled the nest. This is the best owl-in-flight photo I got.

Ooooooh! Aaaaaah!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tree Climbing (and baby owls)

None of this baby owl cuteness would be visible if a brave soul didn't climb up the tree and send them down to the earth-bound owl fanciers on the ground.

Enter Jeff, RAPTOR's resident tree climber and bander. Being a certified acrophobe, I can only marvel at the courage and skill it takes to do this. Here are a few of the dozens of photos I took while watching Jeff in action.

Starting at the bottom.

Already too high up for me.

Now it's getting really scary.
(That multi-colored bag hanging off his left hip is the official Owlet Transfer Device.)

Don't look down!
Owlet acrobatics on high {shiver}
What goes up must come down.

Thanks, Jeff, for letting us have a glimpse into your world.

Backyard Birds, April 19

In between rain showers on Sunday, I tried to grab a few bird photos.
Adult male Purple Martin, posing just right.

Tree Swallow pair seems to have decided on a gourd this year, rather than a wooden nest box.

I heard a familiar song, repeated couplets, and found this bird. At the very tippy-top of the tallest tree, this picture isn't the greatest, but I hope you recognize the Brown Thrasher by his classic silhouette. He is my FOS (First Of Season) Brown Thrasher of 2009.

I know you know this guy,
Red-winged Blackbird, male

but do you know this one?Red-winged Blackbird, female

Newer birders are often confused by female red-wingeds. They really don't look much like the males at all, and the fact that the two migrate on different timetables add to the problem. The boys return to their breeding grounds first, to establish their territories, and the girls come along later. Yesterday was the first day I have seen females.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Owl-watching: Part 2

When last we left our baby Great Horned Owls, the two were about to meet. Owlet Number 1 is the resident from the nest can at Lake Isabella. Owlet Number 2 is an orphan looking for a new home. Will the two potential siblings get along?

Number One is the Fierce One, on edge and alert for danger."Look how big and scary I am. Don't mess with me.
I'm the top of the food chain,
and I could kill you if I wanted to."

Number Two is contemplative, taking in his surroundings and wondering what is about to happen."This is definitely a weird day."

"Get off my log."

"What is his problem?"

"I will bite you in the butt."

"Dude, you bore me."

"Are you my brother?"

"What are you guys looking at?
Can't you see we're bonding?"