Friday, September 21, 2012

The Faces Change

A few new birds came in this week at Maple Lake, joining the resident Mallards, farm ducks and Mute Swans. These coots, including a couple of juveniles, were keeping company with a Pied-billed Grebe. Some of the coots were diving, which I always find entertaining. It just seems wrong! : )

This immature Double-crested Cormorant looked similar to the one that used this same spot to rest on a few weeks ago. 

There was also a female Shoveler and a couple of Gadwall present, but they were too far out for pictures. Here's a picture of where they were, though. Feel free to zoom in and look! : ) 

Beautiful Maple Lake in Paw Paw

Until next time, best wishes for wonderful finds in your own amazing places!

Harvest time

The grape harvest is in full swing - suddenly the rural roadsides around the vineyards are filled with parked cars, trailers, crates, porta-johns, and dozens of people bent over the vines. At the winery in town, large trucks are loading up the pulp from the pressings and taking it away. This is what the fuss is all about!

Wedding flight - Bug alert

I caught this termite flight in the woods behind our house the other day. So fascinating! Of course, I hope they don't wind up starting up a new colony under my porch!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Morning Visitors

These Wild Turkeys were part of a flock that was scratching around in my driveway yesterday morning like giant chickens. Sometimes I am late for bird trips. Sometimes I don't make it at all. These are some of the reasons why! : )  ADD, did someone say? I don't know what you mean! What were we talking about?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Where are they now?

When I looked at this empty martin house, it made me think about all the life that filled it only a few weeks ago. I thought about those seemingly fragile young birds and their parents on their incredible journey to the south, and thought again about what a miracle this world is, and all the life that fills it. Safe journey, martins!

On a more technical note, here is an interesting link to an article about how to use Nexrad to track the migration event.

How to use Nexrad to follow migration

Take care, all, and thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

This shower almost caught Shine and me during our morning walk. I love the cloudscapes this time of year.

The sun is never too far away, though. 

But what's this I see peeking out from amongst the trees? 

Yes, folks, I think it's autumn I see in the distance over the ripening bean fields. The blackbirds know all about it. They are gathering in their fall flocks already. Most years a few thousand of them do this in the trees around our house. It's like being a in a stadium full of bird baseball fans! They chatter and swear and argue for a couple of days. Then suddenly we realize what the ringing quiet means. They are gone. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

They Are Everywhere!

I checked out the lakeshore at South Haven yesterday afternoon. There were a few Barn Swallows moving through, but that was pretty much it for birds, except for the expected gulls and hybrid mallards. It was still a great day to be outside, however.

South Haven Lighthouse 9-3-2012

There were a couple of young Northern Cardinals in the shrubbery, and I found a beautiful pokeweed plant.  I love pokeweed. It looks like it is from another planet. The fruiting stems look like the tentacles of a monster from a 50's Hollywood B movie, and I am not sure what is going to grow out of those fruiting bodies! : ) 

Happy Fall to all!