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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Babies in the Woods

Baby squirrels! It doesn't get any cuter than these guys peeking out of their front door.
The trail in McCormick Park is a good place to find babies of all kinds this spring. There are many birds that nest in the trees along the path.
I saw baby Mallard ducks yesterday, swimming fast and diving underwater...the poor mother was hard pressed to keep an eye on them all. The Great Blue Heron that hunts there was sure watching them, but had to settle for a fish!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What a Way to Spend a Saturday!

I'm not the partying kind...You won't find me dancing on a tabletop in my underwear at midnight while baying at the m0on and wearing a lampshade as a hat. Let that picture sink in...
Sometimes, though, I receive an invitation that's too good to pass up. Saturday I enjoyed a homemade wine tasting party up on Lake Margaret. It was a lovely, sunny and warm spring day. I laid for a while on the dock soaking up the vitamin D while fishermen cast into the clear water. Lake Margaret is home to a small population of native Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii) , or so I hear.
The wine was good, the company pleasant, and Shannon's rabbit tart, beef liver pate, and bacon-wrapped dates with goat cheese were amazing.
I liked CW's dandelion wine. Jonathan's plum wine was good, but his blackberry wine was my favorite. Cyndi and Max brought a lovely raspberry meade and a tasty elderflower cordial. I tried them all over the course of the afternoon. We (10 or 12 of us at the height of the party) all enjoyed the array of food and drink without anyone behaving badly.
The highlight of the day was watching an Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) catch a fish then try to keep it when the Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus luekocephalus) swooped in to take it away!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Wood Duck on Stump

I saw this beautiful drake in McCormick Park last Sunday. He was standing watch over his mate, who flew up from under the bank and startled me...I wasn't expecting an explosion from under my feet!
As the pair flew off I was struck by the very un-duck like sounds they were making...ooEEK and jeweep are how the bird books describe the sounds.
The Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) is the only North American duck that typically hatches 2 broods in a year and they are among the few that nest in tree cavities or nest boxes.
I hope that I get to see the babies soon!

My Favorite Fiction Authors and Books

  • Suzanne Arruda- the Jade del Cameron mysteries: "The Mark of the Lion" "Stalking Ivory", "The Serpent's Daughter", "The Leopard's Prey" and "The Golden Cheetah"
  • Ken Goddard - "Balefire" and others
  • Stephen White - the Dr. Alan Gregory books are all great. "Kill Me" is my favorite.
  • Harlan Coben - anything he writes is great
  • Elizabeth Peters - Amelia Peabody mysteries

My Favorite Nonfiction Authors and Books

  • "Coyote's Guide to Connecting With Nature" by Jon Young, Ellen Haas and Evan McGown- 2nd edition coming soon!
  • Gavin De Becker - "The Gift of Fear"
  • "Deep Survival" by Laurence Gonzales- the best survival book I've ever read! Not a how-to, its more of a who does,and why.
  • Candice Millard - "The River of Doubt -Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey"
  • Anything that starts with "Peterson's Field Guide To..."
  • Tom Brown, Jr. - "The Tracker" and others
  • Mark Elbroch - "Mammal Tracks and Sign" and "Animal Skulls"