Fair Weather, or Foul?

Northwoods Journal

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother’s Day

As we went to bed last night, Mark laughed at me for plugging in the electric blanket.  Well, who do you think got the last laugh when the temperature dipped down into the 40’s inside the trailer during the night?

The morning started promising, with some blue sky and sun when we got up at 7:30.  But as I put out all the bird feeders, I looked to the west and saw very dark clouds rolling in.  The breeze kicked up, as well.  I tried sitting out on the porch but it was too windy to be enjoyable and so dark and gloomy that all my photos looked awful.

We did have a pair of evening grosbeaks make a brief appearance this morning.

Evening grosbeaks share the feeder with a female Baltimore oriole.

Evening grosbeaks share the feeder with a female Baltimore oriole.

Hairy woodpecker trying to sneak a peanut while the female evening grosbeak watches.

Hairy woodpecker trying to sneak a peanut while the female evening grosbeak watches.

Also, three black squirrels and a gray squirrel chased themselves round the feeder and through the woods.  The one black squirrel was eating buds from the maple tree.  I tried to get a picture, but it didn’t turn out very well, as you can see here.  It just was not a good day for photography.

Black morph gray squirrel eating maple buds.

Black morph gray squirrel eating maple buds.

Black morph of the gray squirrel.  Very plentiful in the northwoods.

Black morph of the gray squirrel. Very plentiful in the northwoods.

It sprinkled a bit off and on but didn’t stop Mark from doing a few chores around the yard.  I sat parked at the kitchen table uploading yesterday’s blog post.  We questioned what we should do – head home early or hope the weather cleared?

By 11:30 the sun broke out and we decided it was safe to go for a hike.  The dogs, of course, were in total agreement with this plan!  We loaded up and Mark drove out to M33 and turned north.  I asked him where we were headed and he said no idea.  He planned to stop when the whim struck him, I guess.  We didn’t really go very far.  He went back to an area we have hiked before only this time instead of sticking to the ATV trail, we struck out through the woods on what was at one time an old railroad grade, I think.  I had started out with a sweatshirt on, but by time we returned to the vehicle I was shucking out of it – it had warmed up considerably with the sun shining!

We left that area and drove a short way to another spot and struck off cross-country again, working our way up the side of a ridge.  The good thing about it not being very green at this time of year is that you can go up hill and down dale with few impediments.  Milo was pootering out fast until we scared up three deer, then he was suddenly full of vim and vigor again!

The sun stayed out long enough for us to eat our lunch out on the porch but I pretty much left the camera alone.  How many bird photos can one possibly use, anyway?  We lingered for a bit, even after we were finished eating, loath to start the dreadful chore of packing up.  Ruby had the right idea, relaxing in the sunshine!

Ruby chilling out in the sun.

Ruby chilling out in the sun.

Mark actually took this photo.  I didn’t even know it was on my camera until I uploaded the photos to my laptop.  You can see she’s tied on her lead.  Mark has been working with her off-lead, but this morning with those four squirrels?  Yeah, guess who went running right into the underbrush and guess who had to run in after her? 🙂

Packing up couldn’t be put off forever and the sky started to cloud up as we began putting all the outdoor things away, as if the northwoods themselves were sad at our leaving.  I left what was left of the orange out for the orioles and also the grape jelly and loaded the platform up with seeds and peanuts.  My apology to the birds for having to leave them.

The bird species count for our yard today was 16 species:  evening grosbeak, rose-breasted grosbeak, Baltimore oriole, yellow-rumped warbler, hairy woodpecker, blue jay, white-breasted nuthatch, chickadee, goldfinch, mourning dove, grackle, cowbird, red-bellied woodpecker, purple finch, red-winged blackbird, chipping sparrow.

I’m sorry for the lack of quality photos today – it just wasn’t my day.  Guess I can’t hit the bird jackpot every day. 🙂

Memorial Day weekend will be our next trip up and that won’t be so quiet and relaxing!

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12 Responses to Fair Weather, or Foul?

  1. avian101 says:

    Amy, remember this: – Patience & perseverance- 🙂


  2. tootlepedal says:

    What a lot of birds to watch!


  3. kathydoremus says:

    Enjoyed reading your post. 🙂


  4. gladgardener says:

    Sorry for the late reply but I read the first two posts on my smart phone without seeing the photos so I waited until I saw them on the “big” computer. The bird pictures were great! I especially liked the swans, and the grosbeaks, and the “leetle yellow bird” which I think you identified as a warbler. What a wondrous time you and your hubby share up there in the Northwoods!


  5. More great bird photos, and I like reading about your trips up north, they bring back fond memories!


    • Best place on earth, right Jerry?

      I hope to order my new camera soon. I’ve decided to go with the Canon Powershot SX50. We went to Best Buy on my birthday so I could hold one and get a feel for it, versus the Rebel T3i. I wanted to judge weight and size before ordering. I was going to send you an e-mail telling you about our wasted trip in rush hour traffic to the camera store! Surprisingly, the kid at Best Buy was more knowledgeable than I expected. I also checked out the new smaller Canon DSLR camera, I think it’s the SLsomething-something. Anyway, for the price, size and weight I’ve decided on the SX50 and hopefully I won’t want to upgrade again within a year! 🙂 Tootlepedal tells me whatever camera I get won’t be the camera I really need or want. 🙂


      • Yes it is!

        You’ll love the SX 50, it will do everything that you want to do in one small, light package with no need to lug extra lenses around with you. Just remember that when you zoom to 50 X, your photos may not be super sharp unless you use a tripod. You’re usually better off zooming a little less, and cropping if you need to.


      • I appreciate all the help and advice, for sure! I’ll remember about the zoom. Maybe someday I’ll get a tripod to go along with it. 🙂


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