Friday, April 18, 2014

Bonding

The cool weather continues and rain is projected for the weekend.  I am beginning to think that spring weather is only a dream.  This afternoon as I was fixing some dinner, I watched a pair of Cardinals doing a little bonding action.  The male would go to the bird feeder and bring the female back either a safflower or sunflower seed.  A little beak action leads to bonding between the pair.  The male appears to watch the female to see if she was pleased with his offering.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Trail Cam Shots

I always look for something other than deer to capture on the trail camera for a yearly contest.  Part of the rules of the contest is that you cannot do any post processing.  It is whatever comes out of the camera.  It is only an 8mp camera so quality is only going to be so so.

The Woodchuck/Groundhog will be my subject this year I believe.  I am going to try several different positions and see which comes out the best.  I watched it for a while this morning via the binoculars and when there was a break in the rain went out to retrieve the camera.

I didn't realize however that the lens had a film on in so I cleaned it before setting it out again.  For my next  try I used two cables hooking it around the big tree to try a different angle.  Tomorrow will tell but I think I like the angles of this shot and will give  this one a try again with a clean lens.

That area appears to be a hot spot of activity.  The raccoon was there again but fortunately was not able to move the camera this time.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Pine Warbler Couple

Rain is heading this way but we really need it to wash away the yellow coating of pollen.  The last couple of days with the wind blowing things are also dry and a nice rain should freshen things up.  The birds have steadily making use of the disappearing fountain to clean the pollen from their feathers.

 I got pretty tickled with this pair. They came together and both bathed for a minute then one flew off and sat on a limb above while the other bathed.  They repeated their visit three times.  Looks like it must have felt good to them.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

How much wood can a Woodchuck chuck?

The trail camera position was a dismal failure thanks to a raccoon shifting the camera that I had placed in an already precarious position facing the Groundhog hiding hole.  I got enough shots of the raccoon's face to know he was the culprit.

I got a very poor shot with the camera this morning as I was walking down to retrieve the trail cam. It is extremely skittish and runs to the hole as soon as it sees you so this shot was taken from some distance away and the light was bad.

I changed the position of the trail cam and left it down low for several hours and have just changed it up higher and will leave it there for a day or two.  With rain in the forecast for Monday and Tuesday  perhaps the lower position would be better but I will shift it on Wednesday.

The appearance of the Woodchuck aka Groundhog, Marmot, Whistle-pig answers some questions I had about some small saplings that had been chewed off.  I was beginning to think that perhaps a beaver had found its way to the pond.

Speaking of beavers, the beaver at the park was out early snagging some greenery.  I only got a couple of shots before it went in to its lodge.

There was an almost noticeable feel of energy and excitement in the air today among the birds.  It is almost like someone opened a big bird cage door and let all the migrants out.   I have heard quite a few warbler songs today, the Great Crested Flycatcher has been screeching and what year round birds that had not already started their nest were working hard on them today.




Saturday, April 12, 2014

Reflection

I did not go out long this morning as I was trying to finish sanding and staining my Grandmother's pie safe that I had been stripping.  When my Grandmother passed, that was one of the things I wanted and none of the other grandchildren seemed to have an interest in it.  To the best the family can figure it is close to 90 years old.

A quick walk through at the park where I went to check the Bluebird boxes, I saw this Mallard and thought the reflection in the water was quite nice.

Just a few minutes ago I went down to put out some food for the deer and spotted two new creatures in the area.  Of course the scurried in to a hiding hole but I feel sure with the quick look I got that they are Groundhogs.  In all the years I have been living here I have never seen one around.  I came back up to the house to get the trail camera and clippers to try and fix an area to catch them coming out of their hole.  I know any night shots will be a white-out since I have it set very close but I am after day shots anyway.  Hopefully tomorrow something will be on the trail cam.

Friday, April 11, 2014

5+ Feet of a Not Happy Snake

Warm weather brings them out and this one was in the yard today.  It really did not like being disturbed and I really did not like it being that close to the house.  No, I didn't kill it but highly discouraged it from calling the yard home.  Where are the hawks when you need them?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

White-eyed Vireo

 The fun has begun.  New migratory birds are arriving daily.  Bird songs not heard since last season fill the trees.

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Nature lover, animal lover, lover of life.