Monday, July 17, 2017

All the Birds and Little Fishes

As a born nature girl, there are few things as much fun as spending a week at camp.... catching and releasing exciting fishes, looking and listening for new birds, finding cool plants, and living right with the weather. When I was a kid I had to find and catch all the frogs, toads, and salamanders. Now it is enough to look and listen and know a bull frog from a green, a Green Heron from a Black-throated Blue Warbler, Heal-all from Partridge Berry.

 It is always hard to come home....not that we aren't surrounded by nature here, but home is all about chaos and work and dealing with....stuff.....up at camp, all my time is my own. Guess I'm just greedy....

Odd duck, an apparent American Black Duck, but with those odd, white feathers
We saw him last year too, but this year the white is even more extensive.

At least this year, the hideous weather late week made the idea of being home and warm and dry downright appealing. Each year I force myself to pack warm clothes, even if it is ninety down here. There is always mental I need this flannel? Nah.

Oh, heck, I  put 'em in my warmest hoodie...but no sweat pants. Big mistake that.

With the flannel shirt AND the hoodie I still about froze on Friday. Had to wrap up in all my inadequate blankets and shiver for a wet moving the boat to the lee of the dock. Wet and cold wind are a recipe for discomfort.

I have lots of warm, dry clothes here at home. However, the birds do not include such exotic wonders as Barred Owls and there are no Black Bass or Fall Fish to wonder over.

There were however, bunnies in my beans last week, despite a liberal dose of repellent before I left. Laundry in epic proportions. Dog number two, Finnbar, whom I missed, although Mack and I had a fine time walking the woods roads, and chaos. Lots and lots of chaos.

I was kind of gloomy yesterday when I went over to the cow barn to deal with some cleanup. I know we have to be grownups and can't play ALL the time, but that doesn't mean I don't want to. 

However, there in the lane was a Carolina Wren...kind of my most special breed of special birds. He was accompanied by a whole litter of fledglings, cheeping and peeping all over the place. 


Welcome home...

My buddy in woods walks, Mack

The Song Sparrows had kids a sparrow, there a sparrow, everywhere a lot of sparrows.

However, the crowning delight came when I was taking out yet another clothesline full of towels to hang them up...mostly not from camp either. I am easily distracted so.....While we were gone my pond pump took a dive. Something in the impeller I think, but it is not in good health. I started taking it apart and noticed a single Rosy Minnow swimming among much dimpling of the water.

Not only had the minnows survived the grackles, they had spawned. Dozens of little pink or grey babies. I was so excited. Going to bring some of them into my little 10 gallon tank just for Peggy's and my entertainment. And no worries about them out competing native fish. My "pond" is a Rubbermaid watering trough, well isolated from natural waters.

As an added bonus the many plants have cleared the water up nicely and the water lilies are in bloom. All righty then. I will put away thoughts of big, wild, water, and wilderness wildlife and birds and get back to life on a small family farm in Upstate NY, home, sweet, home.

A very rare bird, rarely found either in the mountains or the valleys, the Red-crested Chef Bird
If you were one of us you would know just how amazing this photo really is


Jan said...

the chef bird looks very competent

Cathy said...

Lovely, Lovely, Lovely.

Funny too.

And this: (we are in complete harmony here)

"a Carolina Wren...kind of my most special breed of special birds"

threecollie said...

Jan, actually he was just stirring for Liz. His "abilities" around the stove are legend....but not in a good way. lol

Cathy, thanks. Hearing them or seeing their perky selves around the yard rarely fails to cheer me up.