Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
Click on Mark Twain to jump to Troutbirders book review blog

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Spring Birding



Indigo Bunting & Northern Oriole.








This spring wasn’t the greatest for outdoor activities. That is to say, it was cold, dark , rainy and often windy. But the backyard birding was great. I have six different feeders scattered throughout the back yard. Here is the view of three of them from my station on the recliner. There you might find me reading, working a crossword, writing something for this blog or peering over the window sill to see if any new feathered friends have arrived for lunch. Take a look.


From left to right - Indigo Bunting, Hairy Woodpecker, Chipping Sparrow, Goldfinch Female Rose Breasted Grosbeak.







Swainsons Thrush & Indigo Bunting













Downy Woodpecker & Rose Breasted Grosbeak






















Blue Jay

















Hairy Woodpecker













Female Summer Tanager

















Of course, there are always the ground feeders like this white crowned sparrow hanging around too. It's quite a show and these pictures show only part of it.

 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Suspect

Click on Mark Twain and Troutbirder above to jump to the book review. The heroine is Maggie a German Shepherd.....

Friday, June 26, 2015

Flyfishing Bluff Country

When I first came to Fillmore Country as a young teacher in the 60's I was surprised to learn it was without a lake or reservoir. Plan B was to learn fly fishing in the many nearby limestone spring creeks.  That became a life long passion which I passed on to my two sons, even carrying it to the distant mountains of southwestern Montana and their rivers and blue ribbon trout steams.
Several weeks ago our son Tony visited us, coming from Arizona, and borrowing some of my gear waded once again the crystal clear waters of his youth.  Naturally, I came along camera in hand and your invited too......
One of the attractions of trout are that they of usually found in the most beautiful of places:
Along the South Branch of the Root River near Forestville State Park.
 
As the evening wore on several nice mayfly hatches occurred and Tony caught and released dozens of trout though a few were kept for the grilled dinner we had that very evening.....
 
 

 
 
 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Dream Lover


“The finest female genius of any country or age: “
 Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“She beyond doubt or comparison the strongest woman and the most astonishingly gifted:”
Pianist and composer Franz Liszt

As a strong woman I would put her up there with Cleopatra and Queen Elizabeth I and certainly not just because she often dressed in men's clothes, smoked cigars, wrote best selling books and captivated and scandalized her times....
History teacher and blogger Troutbirder

Click on Mark Twains picture above to jump to Troutbirder II and my review of Elizabeth Berg's remarkable novel of the life of George Sand...

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Jungle Fantasy


 These are Mayapples and the English called them mandrakes and English folklore says they scream when pulled from the ground! As you can see , the white flowers cannot be seen from overhead and so I had to lay down on the ground to photograph them. I did think the umbrella like stalk and leaves have a somewhat tropical effect. Thus my "jungle" fantasy. The plants beyond the mayapples are lily of the valley. These plants both represent the third year of my effort to restore a woodland garden effect to the north section of our property. It's been a long struggle to remove the prickly ash, gooseberries, burdock and other invasive plants from the area. The south plot is in its sixth year. Also, beyond the overgrown woodlots is  my  intent to reduce grassy areas,  fertilizing, herbicides and mowing. Yes, I'm trying to be more "green."
This area, also in the north section, gets a little more sunlight, so the buttercups seem to do quite well
I must admit some of the flowers I am already seeing, I don't have a clue as to what they are. I cleared brush, did some burning and in the fall threw some seeds on the ground labeled "shady wildflowers." So be it. I'm not going to be a native restoration type of purist either. Mrs T loves hostas. I do too. Japanese "aliens" are more than welcome here.
Finally I built some simple benches, restored an old picnic table and added a fire ring. This project is turning out to be a lot of fun and I'm just getting started!



Sunday, June 7, 2015

Mothers Day Traditions

Since my great paternal grandparents, the direct line of Troutbirders has produced 13 males and two females.  In the extended family of my generation I had 5 male cousins and one female. We had two sons.....

Mothers Day 2015 Mrs. T. and Lily on our deck. Mrs. T. refers to Lily as "my girl." Lily follows her everywhere.  The beautiful corsage was from Deanne our D.I.L. in Minnesota.  Our son Tony in Arizona sent his mom a pendant and a owl cushion...                On that particular day I broke my longstanding rule never to kiss lips that were kissed by dog lips......:-)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Savage Nature


 A few  years back  The Troutbirders along with friends Gary and Rosie made their first  trip to Florida. The birds, animals, and landscapes were fantastic. We saw lots of alligators.... What we didn't see were ferocious canines.
The alligator normally considered the "apex predator", can still fall victim to  a 'team work' strategy often implemented by dogs. This is  made possible due to the tight knit social structure and "survival of the pack mentality" characteristic  of canines.


Killer gator photographed by Mrs. T near Ft. Meyer.

See the remarkable photograph below courtesy of Nature Magazine. Note that the Alpha dog has a muzzle hold on the gator preventing it from breathing, while another dog has a hold on the tail to keep it from thrashing. The third dog attacks the soft underbelly of the gator.
Not for the squeamish !!!!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Boob Job


Beaver Creek Valley State Park is a 1,187 acre Minnesota State Park near the town of Caledonia. The park features a steep, narrow valley carved by East Beaver Creek, a spring-fed trout stream. The heavily forested valley, up to 250 feet deep in places, is a hidden natural oasis amidst the farmland of southeastern Minnesota

We had spent a couple of days hiking, relaxing and me flyfishing in this beautiful place. I was busy grilling up the burgers that evening. Mrs T was reading comfortably in the camp chair some distance away. She was wearing a white blouse with colorful flower prints. That's important! Suddenly, agitated, her arms were swinging wildly. Thinking, perhaps, a few marauding mosquitoes, I hollered "what's the matter." "He's attacking me," was the reply. Rushing over, I found a nearsighted hummingbird going for the gold. "It's a hummingbird who thinks your a petunia," I counseled sympathetically. Finally, the misguided bird buzzed off and peace returned to the Valley.

More recently we were sitting on the front porch reading the paper and watching our neighbors across the road - the goats. Mrs T began showing that agitated look.


Another visitor had appeared above us. At 1/8 ounce he still appeared aggressive. I gave him a no nonsense warning. He backed off.
"Don't worry dear I'm here to protect you," I volunteered. That's right. I da man.