Friday, April 29, 2011

I'm really in to this Spring Color change.

Perhaps it's the underlining understanding that, this spring, I will no longer be a spring chicken but rather I will spring into the ranks of those eligible for Medicare, that I find it to be so colorful, and meaningful. The going from the winters cold white lifeless landscapes toward this now vibrant burst of rainbow shades of color is a transformation that I haven't quite experienced before. Maybe being retired and staying at home and watching the changes as they happen right in front of me on a daily basis makes me feel this rare emotion. I've seen, as our American Native brothers say, "many spring moons", but none of them have caught my eye like this year has. Shame on me for not paying more attention to this season change in past years. No I can't say that either because I have paid attention over the years. I love the spring time. Life reappears. All creatures and plants have that let's stretch and grow and bloom and become pretty and active again after a long dormant sleep. Could that be it? I can stretch, grow, and be active, but I suspect the bloom and get pretty days are well behind me. The gray has won a long and determined battle and the springing outta bed in the morning just isn't happening any more. I've always been an earlier riser and still am...but..there is no more bounce up and have at it. I take it nice and easy until the circulation takes its hold, and all the moving parts of my being are all awake and..well moving. Grabbing my coffee cup, I head for the deck. Breath deep..stretch..look..listen....Awwww. It's great to be alive and enjoy another spring morning. Listen to those beautiful songbirds. Look at that colorful landscape and all those beautiful colorful birds and plants near bloom. And look at how high the grass is getting. Perhaps I better crank up the mower today.

Enjoy the spring my friends. Enjoy the spring. Enjoy your life. Enjoy our wildlife. Enjoy the changing of the colors of your life and surroundings. 

I'm really in to this Spring Color change. I hope you are also.......

Trout Lily

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Colorful Feathers of Spring

It's so nice to see the opening of a new spring (although, a little less rain and fowl weather would be nice) with the arrival of our resident summer birds. Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy watching the Chickadees, Titmouse, Juncos, and the "dull" Goldfinches doing there thing to get us through the long winter. But when the drab pea-green feathers burst open to a brilliant yellow and the first sighting of the beautiful Bluebird and a sudden flash of a Rose breast or Ruby neck appears, well, it's just a nice fuzzy feeling. Isn't it? Even the Blue-jays, who don't do much of anything except eat and make a mess, seem to be more colorful.

Enjoy with me, some of my feathery spring friends:

Now don't ya feel all warm and fuzzy??  

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Surprise Surprise

So I says to the wife.."Come on Hon, let's take a ride over to Park Station. Maybe we'll see something we haven't seen in a while". I'm thinking maybe Ducks, Geese, or other Waterfowl that frequent this small lake in the spring and summer months. After an hour or so of driving around and seeing only a pair of Mallards, we headed back home.

In the 80's I was a Deputy Wildlife Conservation Officer with the Pa. Game Commission in the Northwest District of the state (Erie County). As such, I had seasonal duties that at times required for the release of "farm" raised Ring-neck Pheasants. I'd come home from my day job and there would be anywhere from a dozen to 20 or so crates of Pheasants stacked in my driveway. I think their were 10 or 12 Pheasants in each crate with male and female birds. I'd load them in the back of the truck and grab 1 or 2 or 3 of my sons and head out to a couple of game lands and release them. This usually happened close to the opening of ring-neck season. Now having about a dozen ring-necks in a closed confined crate for any length of time, results in an aroma that is really tough to take. Reaching into the crate and carefully getting a hold of individual birds was also pretty messy. (Reason for grabbing 1, 2, or 3 sons).Oh the memories...My boys would return home really disgustingly stinky, dirty, etc. Mom wasn't proud..but I was. Go figure.

With all that said, I moved away from Northwestern Pa, resigned my commission, and transferred to North Central Pa. with my day job in early 1988. I have not seen or heard a Ring-neck Pheasant since. Until I pulled down the driveway from my aforementioned trip to Park Station. There he was...dusting himself in the gravel. My wife had never seen one, so while she was getting her eyes full, I got out and filled my camera lens with pheasant. I only took, over the next 3 hours, about 150 pictures. Gotta love digital cameras. This ring-neck has taken up residency in my front yard it seems as I awoke this morning to the, not heard recently, but very familiar sound of the Ring-neck Pheasant call. It's all good.

I so love wildlife....and the memories of days gone by.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bird seed and Bears..Not good..

My wife and I are blessed to live in an area of upstate New York that has shopping centers, malls, supermarkets, large cities and small towns within a 30 minute drive of our home. We are further blessed to live where wild animals live. We share our yard with deer, turkeys, rabbits, fox, coyote, grouse, all kinds of beautiful song birds, raccoons, hawks, and, oh, did I mention Black Bears. We are further blessed that we only see the bear or bears "visits" a couple times in the spring. Yes, we've had our share of bird feeders destroyed, but $20 for a replacement feeder is the price I'll gladly pay to live with nature. We have never been put into situation where we have felt danger, although, my wife does get nervous when we have an encounter. A couple of pots and pans banged together or other loud surprising noises usually deters any further visits. With that said, I have also been blessed with some wonderful pictures. Here are a few...

Note swinging bird feeders.

Why do you have them so high?

Ya know I gotta eat too...

Admit it, I am a cutie, right?     

I'll hide behind this big rock.
Aw heck with it, I'm hungry.
This looks good. Smells good too.
Ok, I get the message. See ya later.
But I may be back.
Bottom line is, if you want to live in natures neighborhood, you have to share and be very tolerant and be very aware of what is going on around you...all the time. I've never had a bear visitor that became a problem. Taking the bird feeders down for a few days usually causes the bear to alter his travel patterns.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Feathers and Fur Dining

Save some for me.

Do ya want a nut?

I'm glad those guys up there are messy.

Hey..Wat-cha eatin?

Mixed Bag of Finches

Hey Tom, you really should chew your food.