Tuesday, July 29, 2008

An Adoption Announcement - 07/29/08

The Smallest Things Can Fill The The Biggest Holes In Our Heart
These two sleeping beauties are Bailey and Peanut
Bailey and Peanut are just two from a litter of five
They were born on Saturday - May 10, 2008
They were adopted on Sunday - July 27, 2008
Everyone is doing just fine.

(If you find yourself looking for a pet and really don't know where to start try http://www.petfinder.com they cover animal shelters as well as P.A.W.S. and others.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Visiting The Island - July 8th

Working at BASF sometimes does have its perks, one of them being able to visit Fighting Island.

Fighting Island is a 6km² (1,500 acre - 1200 above water) island located in the Detroit River just offshore from LaSalle Ontario. Owned by BASF Corporation, Fighting Island has been recognized by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity as a success story as the island is being revitalized to become a Wildlife Reserve in the midst of a heavy industrial geographic area. BASF Corporation has actively promoted this project since the mid-1970s. Today approximately 80% of the island is covered with vegetation. There are a number of species of birds and animals that have taken refuge on the island. The shorelines are monitored for signs of erosion.
A Bald Eagle is one of the many birds that you see on Fighting Island. This mama eagle wasn't too thrilled with me standing in a just plowed field not far from her nest but as she circled - screaching all the way I managed to get one good shot out of several. There was a young eagle not too far from the area and he did make his presence known - but as fast as he swooped in - he swooped right out again - no time for a photo. I'll get another opportunity in August and hopefully I'll have a better day. Til my next outing.

To learn more about the Island go to http://www.basf.com/corporate/061404_baldeagles.htm

or Google Fighting Island.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Beautiful Night 7/09/08

Decided to take advantage of the beautiful evening we had Wednesday night. Went over to Pte Mouillee and decided to ride up the center causeway. Dragonflies and damselflies flying about, a Monarch has got my attention but doesn't give an inch to allow me to take a photo or two. There are two black snakes sunning on the gravel - they look like old tires. There's a couple of ducks on the left of me and the birds are all in the reeds - all is quiet. I traveled through checking out both sides and seeing nothing. When I get to the cross sections of Lead Unit, Vermet and Long Pond I set my scope to scan the areas surrounding. The Egrets are plenty with a few Blue Herons here and there. American Coots here and there and everywhere along with some Capian Terns, Common Terns and Black Terns. In the Lead Unit I can see the Osprey and her two babies on the perch and the multitude of ducks swimming around. Noticing the sun is just about to go down I decided to head over to Campau Road to see if I can get a photo of the Indigo Bunting that I know hangs out there.
As I travel down Campau Road I scan the area for anything that will move. Birds are flying here and there as the Tree Swallows and Barn Swallows sit on the telephone lines. I turn the corner and keep scanning the area. As I reach the gates I decide to turn around and head back down the road. I decided to park my car at the corner of Campau Rd and Pte Mouillee, set up my tripod and scope and waited. Like clockwork I suddenly hear the singing of the Indigo Bunting, now this becomes a waiting game to see when and where she will appear. Sudden up from the bushes in front of me she rises and lands on the support wires of the pole. I focus in, get my Coolpix ready and attach it to the scope. Unfortunately my tripod was not being cooperative, I needed to balance the tripod head and the scope with one hand and fire off shots without loosing it. Out of about 24 shots that I could get before she split I managed to get at least two good ones. Hung around a little longer to see if she would return but by that time the sun had set and it was time to go home. So til my next post.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Very Quiet Weekend In Mio

Headed up to Mio for the Fourth of July weekend. I really was hoping for some interesting shots this weekend but all weekends can't turn out the way we plan or hope for. Friday started out with the vocal sounds of the Great Crested Flycatcher and kin. It really was nice seeing them still flying in and out of the bird house. The next bird on the scene was a Rose Breasted Grosbeak male, shortly followed by an immature female. That was pretty much the bird sightings for the day. Later went fishing in the Ausable where across the river were ten female Hooded Merganser frollicking in the water and then later sitting on a log close by. The sunset o the river was beautiful but unfortunately the mosquitoes were hungry and made enjoying the view a little impossble.
Saturday morning the Flycatchers were no where to be seen, in fact all of the birds were no where to be seen. A single White breasted Nuthatch sought out seed from the feeder and then disappeared. Took a ride over to the Kirkland Warbler Wildlife Refuge and drove around some of the trails. Saw the Kirland Warbler flying but of course when they landed they didn't land where you could get a photo or two. So for the time being (until next year when they do the guided tours again) I will have to settle for seeing them in flight - who knows maybe I'll get lucky. Later took the canoe down the Ausable River to do some fishing and of course there were birds everywhere and I with no camera.
Sunday brought a single Black-capped Chickadee and that was pretty much it for the day. If it wasn't for the butterflies and the chipmunks I probably wouldn't have taken a shot of anything. I had a couple of cooperative subjects and I did take full advantage of them. The two most cooperative subjects were a Red-spotted Purple and a Little Wood Satyr (to the right).

Well that was my weekend, although rather uneventful - it was a quiet and beautiful weekend none the less. Til my next post.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

In Memory of Nutmeg - 1992-2008

Today - June 20th I had to make a decision that has left me empty and broken hearted. Today I put my companion of 16 years to her rest. Nutmeg came to me when she was 8 weeks old. She was a little ball of orange fur whose tail was so long that when she laid down she could wrap her tail around her and still touch her butt with the tip. She would sleep along side me with my arm wrapped around her for the 16 years of her life. Her purring at night was relaxing and seem to make problems lighten so I could fall asleep. She definitely had a calming affect. She was with me through a divorce, a move into a new house. She comforted me when my mom passed away and then my dad. She has always greeted me at the door when I came home and yelled at me when her litter box needed cleaning. Nutmeg was diagnosed with Diabetes last January and needed two shots a day. She started out at one unit twice a day but in the last six months she's needed 15 units twice a day. In the past couple of months she developed problems with having a bowel movement and needed to have enimas within a month apart and an anal extraction in between. There were options to consider but to see her go through all of this just didn't seem fair and there were no promises that this would cure the problem. So with all my love and a broken heart I made the decision to put her to rest. She is now in a better place and no more discomfort. She will be missed more than anyone can ever imagine.I will always love you Nutmeg.With all my heart, Mommy

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

In Search of the Black-necked Stilt - July 2

Decided to take a run up to Pte Mouillee before the big weekend and before I head up north. Thought I'd give it a shot to see if I could see the Black-necked Stilts that I was lucky to get a photo of on the 15th of June. Weather isn't looking good and there is a chance of rain but as long as it was clear for a while I thought I'd give it a look. I took the path from Sigler Road and traveled between the Vermet unit and Long Pond, thought I'd have a better chance of seeing the stilts if they were indeed out there. In Long Pond there were quite a few of Green-winged Teals and in the Vermet Unit just behind there was a Common Snipe. In the distance of the Vermet Unit there are at least 2 dozen Caspian Terns and about a half dozen Black Terns, along with Cormorants and American Coots and a number of various ducks (sorry couldn't make them out). Weather started to kick in so I decided to ride back to my vehicle and call it a day. If tomorrow is any better may I'll give it one last shot. Til my next post.