Winged Things

Northwoods Journal

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Since Mark’s allergies have been so awful up here, I let him sleep in this morning and got up with the dogs. It’s much more of a hassle with having to tie Daisy up due to the rabbit incident yesterday. I have to say that was one thing I really liked about the property we looked at – the yard where the mobile was located was nice and flat and could easily be fenced for the dogs. Something we are unable to do here because the ground slopes and has so many lumps and bumps.

After their breakfast, Ruby and Daisy cuddled up in the chair looking totally innocent. Do these faces look like vicious killers? 🙂

Vicious killer beagles.

Vicious killer beagles.

And here’s old Milo. He’s always up for a good snooze.

Milo - probably dreaming about kibble.

Milo – probably dreaming about kibble.

The kitchen was still a mess from yesterday, so no big breakfast this morning. We had to make do with peanut butter toast and yogurt and cold bacon. The allergy meds had finally kicked in, so Mark tackled mowing the yard. He keeps disposable face masks up here to help block some of the dust kicked up by the mower. While he mowed I changed the sheets on the bed and started packing up the dirty laundry.

It was another lovely day and we decided to take some time on the porch and just sit. I was so happy to see a few more birds today, so I took lots of photos. If you don’t care for bird photos, you might want to skip the rest of this, since I’m going to put A LOT in here, just because it’s been so long since I took any. 🙂

There was a hairy woodpecker that came to visit. I think this may be the juvenile I saw with its mother last trip up. It was very skittish and did a lot of peeping and cheeping. It was on the poplar behind the fence.

Hairy woodpecker

Hairy woodpecker

Then it came in to the maple tree with the suet. This is not cropped at all – I was so close!

Hairy woodpecker on the suet.

Hairy woodpecker on the suet.

Then it seemed to realize I was standing a mere five feet away and flew back to the poplar, scolding me.

Hairy woodpecker giving me the business.

Hairy woodpecker giving me the business.

Then we had a pair of goldfinches stop in. I took this shot of the male.

Male American goldfinch

Male American goldfinch

Then it flew into the maple and tried to hide from my camera.

Playing hide-and-seek.

Playing hide-and-seek.

This is the best photo I took all weekend. I’m very pleased with it. It’s not cropped at all.

Male goldfinch.

Male goldfinch.

The female remained undisturbed on the platform feeder. I was trying to figure out what she had in her mouth.

Female goldfinch.

Female goldfinch.

Soon her hubby joined her.

American goldfinch pair.

American goldfinch pair.

Next to stop by was a female rose-breasted grosbeak.

Female rose-breasted grosbeak.

Female rose-breasted grosbeak.

I soon realized there was a fledgling following her around. It stayed up in the tree branches.

Female rose-breasted grosbeak fledgling.

Female rose-breasted grosbeak fledgling.

Sometimes the mother would fly up and feed it a seed, but I never got a shot of the two of them together.

Female rose-breasted grosbeak fledgling.

Female rose-breasted grosbeak fledgling.

We decided to go for our hike before packing everything up. Mark drove over to Meaford Rd., to a trail we’ve done before. He likes that area because it’s nice and shaded. The area is pretty strange, even though it’s all uphill, it’s always wet in there. It’s almost like a northern rain forest. Everything is always damp and humid and the ground is always wet and there’s plenty of mud. (And mosquitoes!) If you go off the trail, you will find little underground springs and areas where the rivulets of water have worn little canyons in the ground. There are a lot of young birch trees, maples and oaks.

There were plenty of signs of elk all over the trail. Some of the tracks were very fresh, so we were keeping a sharp eye out. At one point, all three beagles pointed their noses into the air and started sniffing. All three of them turned toward the woods and started to strain on their leashes, so we knew something was close by. Squinting into the woods, we could just make out the form of a couple of elk far back in the deep growth. Ruby started to yip and howl. It was way too dark to even attempt a photo, but I’m fairly certain it was a cow and calf. As we went back down, we decided to take another trail that went back the way we came, hoping to catch a glimpse of the elk from the other side, but the “trail” (which really wasn’t much of a trail at all) soon petered out.

On the way back toward our vehicle, Mark pointed out these fungi. He thought it was interesting how the one was growing under the other. I took three photos, two with the flash and one without. I think the one with the flash gives the photo a fake look, but the one without you can see how dim it was beneath all those trees.

As Mark loaded the dogs in the FJ, I took some photos of butterflies that were flitting about. This is about the best of the lot – it isn’t cropped at all, so I’m pretty pleased with it.

Butterfly.

Butterfly.

Mark’s not one to sit around waiting while I chase butterflies and bugs through a field, so I gave up. There were lots of grass hoppers, too, but the only photo I got of one, you can’t tell the grass hopper from the plant!

I spy...a grasshopper?  No, wait...

I spy…a grasshopper? No, wait…

We were very hungry when we got back to our place, so we threw together a quick lunch of grilled spam and cheese sandwiches and ate out on the porch, bemoaning the fact that we have to head home.

To prove I am not a proud person, I’m including this next photo. The entire time we ate our lunch, there was a hoverfly right next to the porch. Remembering how impressed I was by Jerry at Quiet Solo Pursuits and his recent photo of a hoverfly, I thought why not give it a try? I even got brave and switched my camera to Tv mode, where I could increase my shutter speed. Hahahahahahaha — this is the result! 😀

It's a hoverfly, I swear!

It’s a hoverfly, I swear!

Everybody laugh with me now. (But not at me, because that wouldn’t be nice.)  Obviously, I’m not Jerry!!! LOL (If you haven’t checked out his blog, you should. He’s like a WordPress celebrity! And an excellent nature photographer to boot.)

It didn’t take long to finish packing up and soon everything was loaded in the car, ready to head home. On the drive out toward Elk Valley, we saw a badger! Mark stomped on the brake and started to back up, then realized it was probably long gone already — and my camera was in the back, anyway. Boo. That would have been a most awesome photo to get! We haven’t seen a badger in a long while.

Traffic wasn’t as bad as we feared, considering we rarely come home on a Sunday anymore. We probably won’t go up for the entire month of August. We have another BIG adventure quickly approaching. One I’m extremely excited about and hope to be able post during that time!

Stay tuned!

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6 Responses to Winged Things

  1. kathydoremus says:

    Love the pictures. You know I love birds, but I think my favorite is the one of Ruby and Daisy. Makes me want to grab a book and curl up with them. 🙂

    Like

    • They are sweet dogs (despite the rabbit killing, LOL). I’m afraid I have spoiled Ruby to ruination. She was supposed to be my husband’s dog – a birthday gift – but I pretty much took her over as soon as I held her in my arms all the way home from south-central Ohio. 🙂 She’s my babykins.

      Like

  2. First, thanks for the shout out, I’m not sure that all the accolades are deserved, but I’ll take them. 😉

    I see more improvements in your photos, most of these were shot in the shade, and that’s tough no matter how good of equipment you’re using.Every one of these posts of yours are making me “homesick” to be up north. I hope to make it Labor Day weekend. Good luck on your big plans for next month, whatever they are.

    Like

    • I hope you can get up there over Labor Day. We plan to be up then, too. Sad to think things will be starting to turn by then and summer will be just about over. It was very cool at night this past weekend, with chilly mornings where you needed a sweat shirt. After reading your post today, it’s hard to believe fall migration is starting. Seems like just yesterday I was all psyched up for spring migration!!

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  3. tootlepedal says:

    The goldfinch is a pretty bird but the butterfly won hands down for me.

    Like

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