Sunday, August 31, 2014

Slow Sultry Sunday

The heat and humidity have returned with a vengeance.  Not too much going on birding wise.  I did see a very large flock of Grackles come over yesterday afternoon as my nephew and I were setting to do some long exposure photography once it got dark.

We are still experimenting trying to come up with something interesting for his state fair photo.  We stayed out until almost 10 pm just fooling around.  I think both of us learned quite a bit on long exposure shooting.  It is pretty neat on how one subject can look so different.  The color variations of two were achieved using chem lights (glow sticks) as illumination.

After a while, we both got a bit silly playing with the chem lights.  I think he enjoyed that more than anything else.  That was something that definitely appealed to a 10 year old boy. Finally mosquito weary, we called it a night.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The End of Summer (Almost)

I met my friend at the park this morning for a look about but not much was going on.  Very few birds were out and those that were settled in quickly as the heat rose.  The only birds really active were the hummingbirds.  They were each guarding their patch of Jewelweed flowers and chasing other hummers off.

It is hard to believe that this weekend is labor day.   My friend and I had considered a road trip but decided against it with all the traffic that will be heading towards the beach.  Just not worth the traffic hassle.

Late summer definitely belongs to the insects.  Plenty of those around and they do make for interesting photo ops.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

No Fracking Way

It is rare that I use the blog to speak out on an issue but for sure, North Carolina lawmakers have sold out the citizens of this State in favor of the oil and gas industry.

The current Republican regime has been quick to push through all bills related to fracking though they do not have that market cornered.  Democrats are just as compliant though most no votes did come from the Democrats.

Despite evidence of groundwater contamination by known cancer causing agents in other states where fracking is already underway, North Carolina lawmakers have approved it in this State. What happens when our water becomes contaminated and there is a rash of increases in cancers in areas where fracking will be taking place?  It will be too late then.  Once again.....steps are already being taken to protect the companies who will be doing the fracking and the average Joe citizen is out of luck.  I really just cannot understand such disregard to the health and welfare of the citizens of this State.  Just another case of big money speaks big.

NC lawmakers are busy pushing through bills trying to make sure that chemicals used can be kept secret by imposing heavy penalties for disclosure.  Scary stuff (S.B. 786) here that is being passed trying to protect the gas and mining industry and saying the hell with the citizen's welfare of this State.

Lawmakers have also ensured that no NC citizen can deny fracking on their private land.  An individual buys the land, pays taxes on the land and now can have no say to deny the gas and mining companies from coming on their land and contaminating it with fracking ehemicals but pocketing the money from anything found.  What the heck is going on?  Our law makers have started this State on a dangerous path for loss of personal freedoms regarding use of private lands.

So when the next elections roll around, remember who voted to allow fracking in the State.  Voting record is here and it has been signed by Governor McCrory.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Busy Week

I can't believe it is almost the end of August.  This week has been exceptionally busy trying to finish up state fair projects with my nephew, finalize my submission to the J.C. Raulston Arboretum photo contest and finish one of my donations to the Yates Mill organization that keeps the mill going at the local park I visit.

I take my photos in tomorrow with the reception/awards ceremony Saturday evening.  Keeping my fingers crossed.  Since the photos cannot have been published prior to the contest I will share those after Saturday.   I am okay with the two photos I am submitting but you never know what the judges like.

The donation of the toy owls for the Harvest sale were much more involved than I anticipated.  I though I would get a dozen done but have settled for eight with everything else going on.  They turned out pretty cute.  The little pulley hands on a hanger and when you pull the string, the owl climbs the string and the wings rotate.

I had a female or young Black-and-white Warbler stop by this morning early.  The light colored face is a pretty good indicator of a female or juvenile.  I think it is the first time I can remember seeing one though I have always seen lots of male B&W's around.

The fawns are more and more beginning to wander off on their own though the doe is generally somewhere in the area.  This fawn did not like the liriope grass but did favor the flowers.  It walked along gently nibbling off the flowers.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Signs of Autumn

Signs that the fall migration has begun is evidenced by the arrival of some warblers and American Redstarts.  The female was a bit shy hiding in the leaves but the male that came this afternoon spent time bathing and preening.

Acorns have begun falling and the deer show up in the mornings pawing the leaves and looking for them.  The doe with the twin fawns was here early this morning.  The sun had not yet made it to the front of the house so the photos are not the best.

The fawns are losing some of their very dark color and have grown quite a bit.  I grabbed the camera up this morning and they were almost too close for the lens I had on the camera.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Rain, rain and more rain

What a messy day it has wise.  Rain gauge shows two inches so far.  I went down to my cousin's farm yesterday afternoon to retrieve the trail camera.  There had been lots of action near the corn field and we (nephew and I) hoped to get some good shots.

We parked some distance away and walked in hoping to come up on the fawn that has been hanging out in that area.  We did see the fawn but it ran off quickly.  As we got closer to the location, the fox that has been hanging out in the corn field popped out.

It seemed very curious about us and made no attempt to run.  It turned to watch us as we stood taking photographs.

Finally it turned and went back in the corn field.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Finally some sunshine today.  I spent most of the day cutting up limbs.  I had lots of tree trimming done yesterday but the price only included the cutting.  Glad that job is done.

Back during the spring, one of the escaped sunflower seeds from the bird feeder sprouted.  I dug it up and put it in a pot on the deck.  The Goldfinches started coming to it while it was blooming looking for insects and today, this male GF visited the plant twice tearing out the seeds.  I think next year I will fix an area to plant a little plot of them.

I am looking forward to taking my nephew out tomorrow to do some photography.  With all the rain we have had, there are some really amazing mushrooms out now.